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Old 04-23-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,540 posts, read 11,673,376 times
Reputation: 4099

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Wow, you have some very nice plants there from the previous owner of the property. Here are my guesses as to what each plant is.

Plant 1: Lily of the Valley. Super fragrant, but can be very invasive. Loves shade, great under a flowering or other leafy tree. Spring bloomer. Pick the flowers for inside by pulling the flower stalk straight up and out-no need to break the stalk. Comes in a pink variety as well.

Plant 2: Iris, I think it's a Bearded variety. Iris come in Siberian and Bearded varieties, and you can tell the difference by the way the leaves grow. Siberians tend to grow in clumps, while Bearded are more singular, with their rhizones sometimes peeking above the soil. I think that Iris are one of the most beautiful flowers, but you decide if you like it after it flowers.

Plant 3:
Plant 4:

Plant 5 & 6: Peony. These are a beautiful and long-lived plant. A few years ago, I transplanted some 50+ year old peonies from my grandmother's. Although my soil is much more acidic (pine trees) the plants have finally decided to start flowering again (they took a 5-year break, giving me foliage, no blooms. When they do bloom, the flowers are HUGE and very heavy. You may want to put the buds through plant rings, to help support their weight. Another thing: pretty soon, you'll notice lots of ants crawling all over the buds. The peony, as the bud swells, starts to give off a sweet syrupy liquid that draws ants. They won't hurt the plant, but be aware that if you cut the flower to bring inside once it blooms, be sure to check carefully for ants--th

Plant 7:

Plant 8: some sort of hydangia. Don't trim it in any way--many varieties of hydrangia bloom on OLD (last year's) wood, and if you trim it, you'll trim away this years blossoms. Leave it alone and enjoy the blooms in another couple of months

Plant 9: a very sad azalea bush. A true acid-lover, these plants thrive under/near pine trees. Every fall, when I rake pine needles, I put plenty around the base of the azaleas for natural feeding.

Plant 10:

Overall, a very nice variety of plants there, with blooming periods for several months of the year. It's be great if you came back and provided pictures as these bloom Interesting foliage too. Many of these will turn red/brown as we move toward autumn. I especially like peony foliage and iris foliage mixed in with fall flower cuttings.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:59 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,048,212 times
Reputation: 3492
Why remove the #1?

OK.
The reason is because it provide cover for pests and rodents that like to nibble on bark.
If you're set on keeping it, at least clear away some of it closest to the tree.

Gardening in the root zone is not beneficial to trees. Most trees that size are valuable and worth protecting.

Someone made the smartalec remark "How did trees make it in the forest without mulch"

First of all, trees in the forest get tons of mulch.
Second of all, trees in the forest get tons of competition and often don't make it to the size of the tree shown in the picture. They're prone to bad branch structure as well as all kinds of pests and it's generally those scenarios you don't want in a home yard like shown.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:16 AM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,190,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Why remove the #1?

OK.
The reason is because it provide cover for pests and rodents that like to nibble on bark.
If you're set on keeping it, at least clear away some of it closest to the tree.

Gardening in the root zone is not beneficial to trees. Most trees that size are valuable and worth protecting.
<snip>
Lily of the Valley is toxic to rodents (to any animal) and is naturally occurring ground cover found in woodlands. It is no worse than standard mulch for creating a habitat for the most likely critter to debark a tree; the vole. There are no citations in any literature that I could find about this ground cover being bad for tree health, but many for using it in areas where underplanting is desired. To have that big a patch means the plants have been there for some time without evidence of any damage to the tree.

Planting the Lily of the Valley is not by any stretch of the imagination "gardening in the root zone" but it does provide some of the same benefits to the tree as mulch would. I'd be sharing your concerns a little more if you were discussing the ubiquitous use of pachysandra and ivies that so many people like to use as cover in bare areas.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:51 AM
 
Location: WA
5,273 posts, read 20,565,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsAnnThrope View Post
Far out lol.

I don't know any of these plants but a weed is only a weed in the eye of the beholder.

I was born in NZ where convulvulus is considered a weed, in Australia you can buy it at the nursery!

If it's pleasing to the eye and doesn't take over, why not leave it?
Exactly right! Weeding is a human activity not something that nature needs... pull stuff you don't like, leave stuff you like.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,890 posts, read 5,817,714 times
Reputation: 6037
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
2. Bearded Iris -judging by the other plants this seems to be on schedule for your area (mine are finishing up) and too early for Siberian Iris. I thought this looked like what we here in Florida call African Iris, which grow rampant here in Florida if left too themselves....I know.

4. Spirea. You'll know the type once it blooms. Different types have different colors and shapes to the flowers. I'd guess it might be Japanese or Bumalda. Exactly my guess.
I also thought #9 was possibly azaleas. Do those grow up north ? Are they a member of the rhododendrum (sp) family ?

There was one I thought could be a spice bush but I can't remember the number or see the pics while I am composing...<s>

I liked reading this thread.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:37 AM
 
10,115 posts, read 6,679,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
As mentioned, #1 is Lily of the Valley. Not invaxive, really, and easily controlled.

I wonder how trees survived before we mulched them?
I'm with you--I love lily of the valley, and it's a perfect way to keep down weeks and tall grasses under that tree. It won't become invasive there.

For those of you who mulch your trees--make sure you don't have the mulch touching the truck, and for heavens sake don't pile it up around the trunk--you can kill the tree that way. If you have to mulch your trees, spread it out a couple of inches thick but leave an open space around the trunk area, especially in young trees.

Mulching Trees
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