From the Sperry Garden – January, 2010

This past weekend, a gentleman called my DFW radio program to ask about replacements for an old dwarf Chinese holly planting he was in the process of removing. I told him that I was doing the same thing. He later mentioned he would like to use Carissa hollies, and I told him that my new Carissas were already in place and ready to be planted. That was an odd call!

The old hollies had grown misshapen and thin over their 31 years in our landscape.  However, taking them out wasn’t an easy decision.

Deciding to remove plants that you’ve had in place for 10, 20 or even 32 years (as my dwarf Chinese hollies) can be a traumatic experience. Our plants are almost like family. They’ve been there to welcome children and grandchildren into the fold, and they’ve shared the good and bad times of our lives. Yet, plants outlive their useful contributions to our gardens, and it just feels good finally to make the changes. I’ve been down this road many times over the years, and never have I regretted my decision once I finally committed to taking the old, tired plants out.

If you have a part of your landscape that no longer functions the way that you need it to, perhaps 2010 can be the year for you to redecorate your surroundings. Take a stroll through your landscape, and keep an open mind and a critical eye tuned toward everything that you’ve done. Much of it will stay untouched, but the odds are that you’ll find a few places where plant trade-outs would be good.

Nurseries will soon be filling with incredible selections of gorgeous stock. Quality will be outstanding, and bargains this spring are likely to abound. Let this be your year!

This little corner is far from finished, but I really like the way it’s going to look already.

(I’ll show more photos of this part of our landscape as it evolves over the next several weeks. I’m working my way through it deliberately. That’s part of the fun of landscaping.)

Posted by Neil Sperry
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