Goodbye Bush Clover, hello stonehenge

schoolhouse_gwAugust 20, 2013

Well, said goodbye to the Bush Clover shrub I had in a corner of the courtyard garden. I really can't remember when I planted it, but the first couple of years it was ok, bloomed nicely. Third season, began to flop as it grew taller. This year only half of it came up and that piece flopped way over even with some round supports I used.

I decided to dig it out of there and replace it with this big piece of sandstone block a friend gave me some 10yrs. ago. It and another piece have been laying near the privet arch, right inside a hedge gate where he tossed them. This one always looked like an obelisk to me and I knew I wanted it...somewhere someday. Only I decided it was best to turn the flat side outward from the garden, so you really can't see the obelisk shape standing in front of it. Debating whether I should turn it around. I'll have to take another photo of it from behind so you can see what I'm talking about. I dug a depression about 4" deep, filled it with gravel and then put sand ontop of that. The stone is sitting nice and solid.

I rolled that heavy sucker clear up to the garden from the privet arch and within 3' of where I wanted it. In order to get it between some Iris and the boxwood hedge, it needed to be tipped end over end - no way could I do that. So I called a guy that I pay to do small odd garden jobs just like this to come over. He brought a friend and they had it in place and upright in 20min. lol Oh well, it was worth the pocket change to not have a sore back.

Let me tell you digging that Bush Clover out was a job! I finally had to resort to the spud bar to dig and pry the roots loose. My goodness I never knew how extensive the root system was. Anyway, I had every intention of replanting it but it laid in the wheel barrel and basically the root ball dried up - what was left of it.

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Sorry to hear your bush clover did not do well. This past winter must have been tough on them. Mine did not come back as full as other years. It has not grown as big this year either. But still looks respectable Actually more the size I prefer compared to the monster it usually was other years.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:36PM
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Attractive piece of stone, and I like how you've positioned it. It will provide good year-round interest.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Thanks nhbabs.

mary lu, I remember your beautiful Bush Clover. Mine grew well and bloomed well too but had that flopping habit that I didn't care for. Possibly if I had planted the shrub in a more open area with direct sun it may not have done so; in fact I should have shoveled it in somewhere after I dug it out until I found a better spot for it. Like I said above, I couldn't believe the root system it had developed. I wonder if next Spring I will see pieces of it come up around the stone?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I like how your hedge surrounds the stone. It is a beautiful piece.
My bush clover is in quite a bit of shade and also tends to flop. I have put a peony ring around it and then some stakes further up. So far this year it wasn't that bad to stake it and keep a fountain shape. But, it is one of those plants that I wonder if I'll be able to "put up with it" year after year with its unruly habit. Maybe when I expand the garden into another area I'll have a spot where I can give it more sun. I'm actually surprised how profusely it blooms even in the shade. Wondering now with what you guys are saying if it is a bit of a short-lived shrub.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:23AM
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I could be wrong, but isn't there a more upright lespedeza? Lespedeza bicolor, I think. If you're growing L. thunbergii then it's floppy by nature. I've loved Mary_Lu's pictures of hers for years, so this year I started a few from seed. I can only hope they get to be as beautiful as those pics!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 4:40PM
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I noticed the nursery where I bought mine hasn't had them for sale for awhile. Perhaps other people haven't had luck with them in this area either or grew annoyed with its habit. I thought the bloom was beautiful and unusual.

newskye, I just checked my plant diary and mine was indeed a "thunbergii", planted in 2008. Didn't realize it had been that long ago already.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:26PM
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The more I thought about it, the more I knew it had to be turned around. MUCH better. After all, when I build a wall the straight edge is always on the outside. Now it even looks like an obelisk.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Your stone post reminds me of all the stone fence posts in western Kansas.The early settlers out here used the post rocks for fence posts, as there weren't many trees. Can you imagine building miles of fence with those post rocks? Most weighed at least 400 lbs apiece. I have one turned sideways in my front yard with my house number painted on it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:46AM
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That would have been grueling work for sure flowergirl70ks. Very interesting, any photos of those early fences?

I also want a large sandstone block with the name of my school positioned at the very point of my property down front. Right now there is a large stump from a pine tree taken down three years ago in the spot I want the stone. Plus I have my heart set on the letters being carved, not painted, ect. I even bought some stone carving tools off Ebay but haven't attempted anything yet. After reading books and watching Utube videos on the subject I'm afraid I may not have the talent or patience for stone carving. First things first, to get the stump ground out. Best bid was $260. Something else always crops up when I have that $260! this time it will be a new hot water heater. ugh.

I used to work with real stone blocks but over the years I've discovered I just can't move them about as well as I used too. So I've gone to the faux sandstone foundation blocks made by a local Amishman, for some of my garden projects. They look ok. The above stone is real though. I guess I should say "Luxor" instead of "Stonehenge". :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:44AM
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