Sunday, November 4, 2012

Planting: Gardener vs. Rock

Another weekend of putting plants into the ground started well.  Added three additional Variegated Aztec Grass (Ophiopogon jaburan 'Vitattus') to the existing three around the base of two of my larger trees.  Attempted this same planting back in October 2010 only to have the unanticipated severe winter hammer the newly added ones into extinction - but trying again (figure if they can just get established then they'll handle any extreme future cold just fine - the original three did).

My extreme planting struggles have been occurring in the highest point in my garden.  This area is presently a blank slate and I've finally started the process of developing it.

Just outside the picture's edges, several large trees have been able to establish themselves - as have several cedars behind the fence to the left.  In this area, I inevitably run into rock when I start digging.  It's not unusual to have to pull out one or more football-sized blocks to get the desired hole in the desired locale.

But lately, I've been running into extreme levels or sizes of rock - such as my recent Rusty Blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum) planting.  And this time, my struggles to plant the first of two Evergreen Sumacs (Rhus virens) met with similar limestone resistance.  After several hours of work spread over two days, I was able to get enough rock out of the way and to break through any remaining layers to allow the Sumac a chance to send it's roots deep.

Additional excavated rocks
After back-filling with the removed soil and more purchased soil (got to make up for all the removed stone!), and amending with compost and peat moss, I was able to get the first Sumac planted.

But my back muscles and overall body ache informed my that it was gonna be the only one planted today.  The second Sumac (and subsequent rock battle) will just have to wait.


  1. Maybe your blog should be titled The Persistent Gardener! The sumacs are a beautiful tree. The berries of those in the greenbelt are just beginning to turn that beautiful, fuzzy, bright orange (what the birds haven't already munched).

  2. Whew. This is why we won't plant anything big.
    The workers used a jackhammer here, when they put in the fence posts.

    But, your tree looks good. I'm thinking it can take the shade?

    1. Should be be able to take either sun or shade and grow to about eight foot - one of those shrubby-type trees.

  3. I had to look twice at the picture of the glove, reaching imploringly, thrown down in disgust, or just thrown in (as in the towel). Wow, you do have lots of rock! I'm with Linda, we just don't even think about planting anything big!