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The Ivy garden gets hot sun for the majority of the day. We don't have a very good starting point picture but just imagine this one little picture duplicated about 200 times. It was just one big pit of dried up dirt with some tough grass and every kind of obnoxious weed imaginable.
We covered this area with black plastic for 5 weeks in August to kill off as much of the grass and weeds as we could. We then took a tiller to it and worked in some compost for the new plants. The biggest addition to this garden is the Star of Magnolia tree. There are several gardens on the opposite side of the parking lot that feature Star of Magnolia settled into a bed of lush green Ivy, so we thought we would try to bring the area together by mimicking that same style in one of our gardens.
We also planted a Vitex shrub on the corner of the garden to add some color and attract butterflies to the area. In the far corner of the garden there are a few Ilex Sparkleberry and a Winterberry that will bear red berries for winter interest. Edging the garden on the opposite side is a row of Nandina that will provide a tropical green barrier between the garden and the parking lot in the spring and summer, and winter interest with red foliage and berries in the fall and winter.
The Ivy will take a few years to make an impact, but we planted over 150 plugs with high hopes.
In the very early spring of 2010 our new Magnolia is blooming. The Nwere hammered by our record 3 feet of snow but it looks like they will pull through, and there is still a bit of green Ivy so we are hopeful that it will start to fill in this year.
By the end of April the Magnolia blooms are long gone but have been replaced with limey foliage. The Ajuga is also blooming and the Nandia are leafing out.