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Shrubs that make me Shrug

May 25, 2011  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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It’s nice out today.  Sunny and warm and happily, there’s no rain in the forecast for the rest of the day.  Greta and I took a looonnngggg walk earlier and while she is recovering with a nap, I turned my attention to our yard.  I know zilch about gardening or flowers or trees or shrubs, but I am excited to learn.  I told Chris that I need some books to read up on all of these beautiful pictures of plants that I am falling in love with online.  For instance, I want an array of wildflowers like these lining our entire fence in the backyard.

via apartment therapy

And once we get our edible garden planted (shooting for next year!) I really would love it to look like this:

found here

*Gasp* The diagonal action, right?  Beautiful and edible.  We really can’t wait.  But for now, while a lot of our effort money is going into getting our indoors up to par, we are happy with working with what we have been given outdoors.  Chris puts in a few hours a week outside taking care of the lawn, but we have noticed some of our shrubs need some attention.  At least we think they do.  We’re not 100% sure since we don’t know exactly what it is we have out there.  In fact, the only thing I do know is we have a large, fragrant lilac tree…and one that is still a shrub out back.

a.  Can these be shaped?  It is stunning, and we love having it, but it looks like it is out of control!  We are thinking of moving it as well, anyone know how lilacs react to being transported??

b.c.d.  Here’s a trio I am scared to touch.  We are talking WICKED thorns on all three, which made me originally think that they were all the same thing.  But look how different they look from each other.  Is “b” dead?  I am anxious to hear if anyone knows what these are so I can look them up and know what to expect year round.  If they are just thorns–well, they won’t last long ’round here, why would I keep them?

e.  These two I know are the same type of tree.  Which type?–I’m stumped, but I am excited to watch it change throughout the year.  Since we moved in in April, it has already blossomed and now has deep red leaves.  MMmmm.  Sign me up for more of these!  Speaking of–are you a member of the Arbor Day Foundation?  From what I understand, with a $10 membership, you get 10 flowering trees!  We are DEFINITELY looking into that.

f.g.  “F” stands for the type of tree in question in our front yard and “g” is the surrounding green….plants?  I was really hoping they were flowers, but these blades just keep getting longer and longer with no sign of something colorful appearing.  Bummer.

h.i.j.  I’ll end the quiz game with these last shrubs that make me shrug my shoulders and put question marks above my head.  I know, “j” is struggling.  We have a few “j’s” and ALL of them look like this.  Half dead and half alive and all in need of a trim.  
Since we don’t have the money for a live-in gardener, and have know-how equalling zero, we would love to hear what you have to say.  If you know a thing or two about lilacs, or those wildflowers in the first picture or can identify any of the letters in question, or just want to weigh in and wish us luck, we are anxious to  read what you have to say.  Now is not the time to hold back.  

What do you think?

  1. Dre says:

    I’d say “e” are Japanese Maples… and I am highly qualified to say that since I am half-Japanese.

  2. Anonymous says:

    F looks like a Silver Maple.

  3. I think e might be a plum tree. It looks like the plum trees my parents have in their back yard. Your yard looks awesome!

  4. Meagan says:

    okay. Apparently, I didn’t comment earlier, but I thought I did.

    I noticed on Greta’s vid how amazing your lawn looks!!! Ryan and I both looked at each other and said, “WHOA their grass is like reALLY green!” It looks awesome.

    Um, I’d focus all your attention to that dog run thing….who does that??? people who don’t like their dogs THAT much so they stick them outside ALL DAY???

    I am not the one to ask about yard stuff, but I know you guys will figure it out :-)

  5. B,C, and D are all roses. Linda is right prune them back in the fall and cover the stump with dead leaves or mulch (I sometimes use newspaper.) And in a month when they start to bloom? You need to dead-head. Cut the dead flowers off… or you won’t get any new ones.
    A What a bush! Wait until all the blooms are gone to trim this puppy back or you won’t get any next year. I shape mine like a tree. Bare branches at the bottom and flowers at the top. And lilacs have sprouts that come out of the roots. They will each make their own bush.
    F,G DAY LILIES! Jules- you scored the jackpot. Expect yellow flowers sometime next month that will last all summer long! And they come back every year. No maintenance whatsoever.

    I feel smart and as if I have helped.
    Bravo!

  6. Dre says:

    I’d say “e” are Japanese Maples… and I am highly qualified to say that since I am half-Japanese.

  7. Linda says:

    Haha… there might be some different opinions coming out here. I think B is a rose bush and that it is NOT dead. It looks to me like it has been pruned back (which is what you are suppose to do with roses for the winter). I have one that looks very similar and right now it looks dead, but its not. It will get roses later in the summer.

    Good luck!

  8. F looks like an aspen to me and B definitely looks dead. If it’s not even beginning to flower by this point you should probably just get rid of it. Maybe I’ll show this post to my coworkers at the flower shop. Most of them have taken horticulture classes and can probably identify some of these…

  9. DoublClik says:

    I’ll get the discussion started here. Um..I have no idea. But your phrases “wicked thorns” and “J is struggling” made me laugh out loud in my office.

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