Let me start by saying I am a novice gardener. We recently bought a home built in the 1903, it has large white pillars and beautiful leaded glass windows, and at one time was very loved by someone with a green thumb. Around the yard we have some sort of white flowering bulb plant (I don't know the name), lantanas, wisteria, cardinal's cap and morning glory. We also have hideous holly. I hate it. So, I am really excited about creating my own garden with some of my favorite plants. I want to plant peonies, hydrangea and gardenias. Can I/ should I plant these all together? What other plants would complement these, since these are all bush type plants? I would like to keep the lantana, but it is out of control. Can I simply cut it back? Any help? Thanks!
Help Plan My Garden
...goodness, I left out a very importatnt word in the first message. oops, sorry. "...realize that it DIDN'T get overgrown in just a couple of weeks."
Oh yes, azaleas love diffused sun. Just remember that their root system is like a platter, shallow and widespread. Azaleas will be most happy with moist (not wet), rich, "mountain" dirt that's 6-8" deep, on the acidic side, and mulched (not more than 4"). Always give azaleas a "shaping tri m" immediately after blooming.
Gardenia's and peonies both like the sun, but give them a try in your sunniest spots. BTW, I see some drought tolerant ferns in your garden too, along with some Lily of the Valley and variegated Soloman's Seal.
It sounds like you live in the south from the plants you've listed. I can't imagine the joy you will have from your inherited garden.
Thanks for your help! I love the house, and look forward to seeing it in spring. I am super impulsive, and wish I could have it all now, so your taking it slow advice needed to be heard! I have to remind myself that we will be here for years. We do get morning sun, but I dont think we have a single spot in on our property that gets full sun, we have lots of beautiful mature trees- magnolia, crepe mertle and a huge hackberry tree. Do you think azaleas would work in the shady spots?
Peony plants require full to almost full sun and well-drained soil. Both hydrangea and gardenia prefer a morning sun only location. If they get afternoon sun, it needs to be filtered or very limited. As far as complementary plants t o hydrangeas and peonys you could use different types of each. Tree, herbaceous, fern leaf and ITOH are four types of peony, each with a different look. Mophead, lace-headed, oak leaf, miniature, reblooming and tree type hydrangea also give different textures. Both hydrangea and peony come in different colors.
It sounds as if you have a grand old home that already has an abundance of plant material. I would suggest that you watch the current landscaping for a year before clearing it all out. You may want to relocate some of what you already have. The hideous holly may only need a good trim between Valentine's Day and March 1. The lantana will benefit by an even "gooder" trim. Don't try to do it all at once, or you'll kill yourself. Start with what bothers you the most, don't get overwhelmed and realize that it get overgrown in just a couple of weeks.