Moving Out(doors, that is)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I finally scheduled the gardeners to come and plant my new Natchez crepe myrtle!!!  Yay yay!

Why a Natchez Crepe Myrtle, you might ask?  Well, for starters, I wanted a crepe myrtle that would grow tall.  I want it to shade the front yard in the summer but drop its leaves in the winter to allow for the sun to hit the roof and warm the house.  The Natchez has a mature height of 20 to 30 feet.

According to these folks the Natchez grows very rapidly, between 3 and 5 feet per year, meaning I should be at full height between 6 and 10 years from now.  I'll also get 110 days of continuous blooming.  Pretty!  Even the bark is pretty:

If I'm going to have something in my yard and look at it day in and day out, you'd better believe the entire thing is going to be pretty.  It's also supposed to be tolerant of temperature changes, which bodes well for me during those random cold snaps in February and March.

I've seen the one they have tagged for me at the nursery, and it's a little over six feet tall.  While they are out here, they're also going to pull out the compacta hollies in the front bed.  They're not terrible, but I'm a flower kind of girl.  I can't afford to have them make up the beds right now, but I do have my eye on these as a replacement:

They're called Autumn Twist by Encore Azaleas.  White with purple stripes with the occasional solid purple blossom.  They grow to about 4.5 feet high and 4 feet wide, and I'm pondering pairing them with these:

Autumn Amethyst by Encore (4 feet by 4 feet).  Dark pink to purple blooms.

As an alternative, I also like the pairing of:

Autumn Chiffon (2.5 feet high by 3 feet wide).  Light pink with a dark pink center.


Autumn Empress by Encore (4 ft x 3 ft).  Medium Pink.

My reasons for selected two varieties are twofold:  1) I like variety, because I tend to bore easily.  2) My height requirements vary.  For the ones under the windows, I'd like them to be larger plants.  I also plan on carrying the bed around the porch, which is a concrete porch with steps up to the front door, rather than a porch that is built on the foundation.  I'd like to plan lower-growing shrubs in front of the porch to help define it without blocking the view.  Right now, the grass just runs up to it, and there is no definition to the space.

I like the size of the Autumn Chiffon for in front of the porch, but I prefer the color of the Twist and Amethyst.  I also think the Twist would look especially nice with the white crepe myrtle.  However, if there isn't going to be a marked difference between the two as far as height goes, would it look better to just have a single variety?  If so, I'm tempted to go with the Twist, though I know my mom doesn't like white azaleas.  But these aren't actually white, they're a combination.

Decisions, decisions!

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