Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Landscape No-No's: Wrong Plant, Wrong Place

In my last post, I showed you a photo of a "landscape no-no" and challenged you to guess what the problem was.


Were you able to guess what is wrong with this planting?

I gave a hint that the plant in the middle is 'Torch Glow' Bougainvillea.

Well, I am happy to report that most of you were right about the problem.
*You see, 'Torch Glow' Bougainvillea (or any bougainvillea) for that matter, is too large to be planted in such a small area.

Although this bougainvillea shrub is small now, it will soon grow very big...


I planted the 'Torch Glow' Bougainvillea, above, in my father-in-law's back garden. At the time I took this photo - it was less then 2 years old.

Personally, I like this variety of Bougainvillea - it has an unusual shape compared to other types of Bougainvillea and produces less litter.

But, it grows very fast and will soon outgrow a small area.  At maturity, it can reach heights of 8 feet and 4 feet wide.

So, back to the original planting in the first photo.  The problem that will soon occur is that the 'Torch Glow' Bougainvillea will grow wider and overhang the pathway to the entry.  

Of course, at first, the homeowner will attempt to keep the Bougainvillea pruned back - but he would be fighting a losing battle.  This shrub grows too big.

Did I also mention that this particular plant has THORNS?

You never want to put any type of plant or tree that has thorns, next to an area where people walk.  No one likes to get stuck by a thorn.

This homeowner also had another landscape problem directly across the pathway from the bougainvillea...


 He has a bush Rosemary planted in a tiny area that was 3 inches wide.  

As you can see, he was already busy pruning it to keep it from hanging over the pathway.

Soon, the base of the plant will become more woody with less leaves as it grows, which will make it very unattractive.

In addition, the small amount of soil, will affect the ultimate health of the rosemary as well.

**So what is the lesson learned from this "landscape no-no"?

Take a few minutes to research the plants you select before you plant them (don't always rely on your landscaper's advice - check for yourself).  Make sure the plants will fit that particular area once they reach their mature size.

I hope this will help you to avoid a similar mistake in the future in your garden.

***********************

I am still patiently (not really) waiting to plant my fall vegetable garden.  We are buying compost and manure this weekend to replenish the existing soil in the gardens and I hope to have everything planted soon.

I promise to keep you updated :-)
 

5 comments:

James Missier said...

Not so much of a fan of bougainvilleas unless they are the varigated type where the leaves are also coloured.
These have softer & subtle thorns that can be tolerated compared to the the originals.
I guess the best is get those that cascade downward and plant them where they can trail.

Lucy Corrander : Photos said...

It's a shame that it's wrong because the top picture is dramatic.

A Daughter of the King said...

That Rosemary plant is such a trooper, struggling along in a 3 inch bed!

Oh do tell what you are planting in your veggie garden. I'm snooping because my daughter and I will be planting a fall garden at her house soon. Our Spring/summer garden was a real flop, mostly because her chickens raided it...but now that the chickens are secured, I'm excited about fall planting. Funny, I've been gardening for over 30 years, but have very little experience with growing veggies.

Arid said...

Love the Torch Glow bougainvillea! I can also attest to the fact they can grow much taller and wider than stated. My mother has a 15 year old plant that is at least 12' tall and 15-20' wide. A showstopper!

richardwilkins said...

I also experienced that one also to my last hired landscape contractor. This issue about putting a plant along the path way or placing it in an area that is not suitable for the plant to live. This thing must undergo in a proper landscape management so that we can avoid this kind of mistakes.

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