I had big hopes and dreams for my little courtyard oasis off our back screened in porch. Sadly, my attempt failed miserably and I’m back to square one.
My vision was big and my hopes even bigger. My dream for a courtyard oasis surrounded by boxwoods, hydrangeas, and pea gravel didn’t turn out how I had envisioned. What went wrong? Let’s go back to last summer and I’ll try to explain my vision.
Many of you know that we embarked on a big outdoor patio project last year (2018) in the backyard. We ripped up a brick patio that was falling apart and layed travertine pavers on top of a new cement base. You can follow along on the progress by clicking on the links below
The patio is pretty much done and looking great. I still need to get you pictures in an upcoming post.
The area to the right of the patio…well..it’s not looking great..not even looking good…ok let’s be honest…it looks like crap! How did this happen?! Let me take you back to last year.
This is how the space off the porch looked before we started any demo. There were 20 or so boxwoods lined in a curved pattern leading from the porch to the patio.
A large crape myrtle shares the space and provides a lot of shade to the back of the house. We have given the tree a good pruning and it’s coming back nicely this year, check out “Pruning” and “Limbing Up” Crape Myrtle Trees.
This is how the patio and the walkway looked before we began the project.
The walkway is falling apart and the bricks are crumbling. The boxwoods have grown so big and have overtaken the space. The area has been neglected for years and is in need of a makeover.
Demo of the walkway begins.
All the bricks are pulled up and the rubble is removed.
The boxwoods and a few large rhododendrons are left in place for the time being. How am I going to redo this space to make it look cohesive and be a place we would want to hang out?
I talk to my landscapers and we agree on a design for the space. I get a computerized image and I love it! How cute is this!!!???
We begin the process of transplanting the boxwoods. We want to move the bushes and enclose them around the crape myrtle tree.
The process begins. The boxwoods are carefully dug up and moved to their new home. At this point I’m feeling good.
The boxwoods seem to be handling the transplant well.
The border is starting to take shape and I’m happy about my decision to move them and excited to see the end result.
There are gaps between the bushes, but that is to be expected. Once sunlight hits them, they will fill out nicely..but I am told that it will take a couple years for the root system to establish and new growth to appear.
Then old man winter rolls in. And we get a lot of ice and snow. Many of the bushes fall over due to the weak root system and the weight of the ice.
Many don’t make it thru the winter. It’s time to reassess my plan and figure out if these bushes are worth saving. If the boxwoods aren’t going to make it, my entire plan is going to fall apart. It’s not worth spending money on the rest of the design if the boxwoods are dying.
I posted on my Instagram stories and asked for your opinion. Many thought I should try to save the bushes. I call in my gardeners several times to straighten them up but several continue to fall over and go downhill. Eventually I made the decision to get rid of them all 😞
And that my friends is the story of my little garden oasis debacle. All the boxwoods have been removed and I’m back at square one. Am I glad I tried to save them? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. Was it a costly mistake? 😬 Yes.
Now we start on Plan B. I still love the design my landscapers came up with for the space. I have to rework a few things since my budget took a hit with the failed transplanting attempt and I’ll have to come up with creative ways to make the design work. But I am confident I can do it. Stay tuned and thanks for following along.
Have you had any failed landscaping attempts? How did you rectify the situation?
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