Saturday, October 10, 2009

Japanese Holly

I can’t resist a bargain – especially bargain plants. I have ‘Sky Pencil’ Japanese holly (Ilex Crenata) on my list to add some winter interest in the narrow strip along the blank garage wall. At the 50% off sale at Lowe’s this week, I bought three at $3.99 each. I couldn’t pass up that deal.

That started a chain of events.

First, I divided and moved the yellow ‘Autumn Sun’ rudbeckia (Rudbeckia nitida 'Herbstsonne'). It had grown too big for the spot and had to be staked every year. I dug it out and planted one section where I think it may be OK. I put the other two pieces in a temporary bed near the compost bin. (Am I doing the same thing I did with the Red Hot Poker and Liatris? I hope it doesn’t take 4 or 5 years to find them a permanent home.)

Second, I cut off and pulled canna tubers. I need to put them in a bin for the winter as soon as they dry and I can clean off most of the soil. I posted my canna overwintering method (and madness) in the November 10, 2007 post.

Then it was time to plant the holly. They look a bit inadequate now but the slender, slow growing shrubs can grow to 8 feet.

A lump of roots fell away from the soil when I took the holly out of the pots. Roots girdled the pot. I scored the roots and planted them as best I could. I watered them in well.

I hope they grow an adequate root system to survive the winter. I'll use an anti-desiccant spray to keep them from loosing too much moisture through the leaves in the winter winds and keep them watered until the ground freezes.
Sometimes, it's the chance you take when you buy plants late in the season. But the price is hard to resist.

(More information on Japanese holly from University of Connecticut . Scroll down for specifics of ‘Sky Pencil’.)


Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Oh Marie! Isn't that Murphy's Law, or something? It's like starting one home improvement project always causes another. But, I would much rather be out in the garden playing in the dirt moving plants that painting inside. That was a great bargain!

Marie said...

I agree. Nothing worse than being stuck inside with a home improvement project. Now I can cross one thing off my spring to-do list.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Hi Marie! Those Japanese holly plants should look nice against the wall and add a vertical effect to the border. The price was right! I have an ilex hedge (different type of ilex, not as tall as yours) and I'm very happy with it. One of the plant people told me an interesting thing about ilex. He said that it is better than boxwoods for gardeners with dogs. Dogs' pee (pardon me!) can damage boxwoods, but harmless for ilex. I will be curious to see your border a year later, to see a progress!

donna said...

I still have a few of my "bargains" to put in the ground. Hope they don't freeze to death before I get around to it. You do such a good job with photos to go along with your projects. Grow on 'Sky Pencil' Japanese Holly!

Marie said...

Thanks for the info. I didn't think one shrub would be any more resistant than another. Interesting.

Marie said...

Thanks. My husband is always making fun of me for running around with a camera while I'm gardening.

Good luck getting your "bargains" in the ground. We have frost warnings here in Pa each night. I hope I have something left for GBBD.