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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.
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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 🙂
 

Are you the type of person that notices what is wrong more then what is right?

Although I would describe myself as having an outlook as a “glass half-full” and tend to observe the positive – it doesn’t carry over when I look at landscapes.

I think that it is because I am supposed to find problems and help people avoid or fix them.

A few weeks ago, I shared my first “Landscape No-No” post, which showcased a common mistake people make with drip emitter placement and trees.

My hope is that by sharing some “Landscape No-No’s” that I will be able to help you avoid making the same mistakes in your garden.

This time, I am showing you a picture from a landscape consult that I did a few years ago.

This featured “Landscape No-No”  is from a consult I did years ago.  The homeowner was very excited to show me his newly landscaped front yard.

However, I did find a few problems, including this one along the pathway to his entry…

Can you tell what is wrong?
Hint: The plant in the middle is a ‘Torch Glow’ Bougainvillea.
I would love to hear your thoughts about what the problem is in the area above.
Please come back for a visit next time, when I will explain why this is a “Landscape No-No” and show you another photo of another problem with this newly landscaped garden.
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I hope you all have a great start to your week!

Some daughter-in-law’s don’t have much in common with their father-in-law. 

In my case, when I married my husband 25 years ago, I wasn’t sure if I would have any shared interests with my father-in-law…..he was a dentist (I was deathly afraid of dentists), he ran 3 miles a day (I got a ‘stitch’ in my side if I tried running to the corner), he was very orderly and meticulous (I am neither of those things) and he was soft spoken (while I can be a bit loud).

I knew he loved me and I him, but sometimes conversation would lag because besides the kids and family, there wasn’t much else to talk about.

That is until I started to become interested in plants and landscaping.  You see, my father-in-law always had well-designed landscapes filled with beautiful plants.  As I decided to pursue a degree in Urban Horticulture, he was very supportive.

Goodding’s Verbena (Glandularia gooddingi)      
Even better, we now had lots to talk about.  Our visits would often include visits into each others garden.
I would show him my newest plant acquisition and he would in turn, ask me questions about a few of his plant problems.
Red Yucca  (Hesperaloe parviflora)
 
A few years later, he and my mother-in-law made the trip up to my newest job location, took me out to lunch and asked me to show them around the landscape areas I was in charge of.

Blackfoot Daisy  (Melampodium leucanthum)

 When he retired, he asked me to design the landscape for their new home.  He had some ideas of what he wanted and then let me go at it.
Damianita  (Chrysactinia mexicana)
 I enjoyed working closely with him, in coming up with a design and the plants that he liked.

Purple Prickly Pear  (Opuntia violaceae)

While I enjoyed visiting and seeing his landscape mature, I didn’t always agree with the way he like to prune his shrubs…


 His style gardening was orderly and meticulous, like he was.
We would sometimes tease each other because our styles were vastly different.

‘Torch Glow’ Bougainvillea

But no matter our landscaping styles, we still enjoyed going out into the garden together. 

Last October, my father-in-law was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  

Phoenix Bird-of-Paradise  (Caesalpinia pulcherrima ‘Phoenix’)

In a very short time, he was robbed of the ability to speak, swallow, eat and the use of his hands.
Now, unable to work in his garden himself, he had to rely on others.
I considered it a privilege to help him where I could.

‘Rio Bravo’ Sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’)

He endured this horrible disease with dignity, a sense of humor and through his faith.

Mexican Fence Post (Pachycereus marginatus)

This past Saturday, after 2 weeks in hospice care, he passed away.

We were all blessed to be by his side as he took his last, labored breath.

One of the last things he wrote was,

“My race is almost over.”


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 I think it will be awhile before I can step into his garden without shedding tears.  
I will miss sharing our love for plants together…..