Landscape Diary

The landscapers put in new sod a couple of days ago and are finally finished. Unfortunately, the weather is getting hotter and hotter (it was mid 80s today) so even though I’m watering the sod three times a day it is starting to dry up. Oh well, in our old house we planted the sod in mid July and it burned to a crisp but we still ended up with a decent lawn.


Now it is up to Nancy and I to start planting and fill in all of those flowerbeds. Last weekend we went to the Jordan Water Conservancy District gardens to get ideas for plants. In generally we tried to go with native Utah plants that are more drought resistant and with trees and shrubs that will be able to tolerate our alkaline clay soil. Today we went to Glover Nursery and started the plant buying process. We felt we needed more trees for the front yard so we got the two hackberrys (great in alkaline soil), a norway maple, and an ornamental weeping cherry tree. The cherry, maple, and one of the hackberries will go in the front and we’ll figure out a good place for the second hackberry in the back.

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For shrubs/bushes we got two Rocky Mountain maples (which are actually trees but they they are multi-trunked so I consider them a bush as opposed to your traditional single-trunk tree), snowberrys, dwarf mugo pines, potentilla, and russian sage. For perennial flowers we got day lillies, a variety of penstemons including several utah natives, some ornamental grasses, a variety of hostas for the shady north side, a bleeding heart, a rose bush, and a few others that I can’t remember.


We got some scottish moss (more yellow than the green irish moss which they were out of) and some red creeping thyme to plant between the flagstones. We only got a little bit of moss because I want to see how well it does before buying tons of it to put in the flagstones. My main worry is that even though the moss is on the shady side of the house it will require too much water and the soil will be too poor for it to thrive. Thus, we’ll see how our test patches of moss do this season and if they are still alive next spring then we’ll go ahead and put more moss in the flagstones. The thyme will go in the flagstone patio because it can take more traffic. In fact, it generally grows so vigorously that you often have to hack it back or it will simply cover the entire patio.


We’ll spend tomorrow planting all of the plants. They don’t look like much now but hopefully after we get them all spread out and planted tomorrow the yard will look better. We’re excited about the many Utah native plants we got. I’m thinking that it would be cool to get some of those plant sign thingys that you see at demonstration gardens that show the plant name. Over the next few weeks we’ll post some pictures of our plants and see if we can find some pictures on the web of what they’ll look like when they’re fully grown.


  1. Wow awesome! Mike is at a plant sale at our arboretum at this moment. The flowerbeds are his new hobby. You know you are middle age when you skip to the arboretum plant sale!

    Can’t wait to see the final product. Mike is going to be giddy to talk plants with you.

  2. One problem with doing research on plants and trying to find Utah natives is that the people at the nursery occasionally look at you with a blank face when you ask for an obscure plant. In addition, I feel kind of strange asking “Do you carry Utah pussytoes?”

  3. Wow, looks really wonderful. The side yard with the flagstones is so nice. You got really lucky with the weather this week–I’ll bet your plants are starting to thrive with the rain and the cool temps.

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