In the spring of 2007, we had our front yard professionally landscaped. Hiring landscapers was a bit out of character for us, but we had just had our porch replaced and our walkway was in desperate need of replacing as well. All of the plants we had put in ourselves years ago were overgrown, and controlling them was next to impossible because myrtle was running rampant and strangling everything in a chokehold. Myrtle is so pretty in the spring with it's little periwinkle flowers, but it's really pure evil in disguise. Seriously. That stuff will tear down buildings if you let it go. I tried to weed the myrtle myself, but it had a tenacious hold on most of my flower beds, and it fastened its tentacles into the ground faster than I could pull it out. Plus, it was harboring multiple yellow jacket nests. The whole thing scared me. I felt beaten down and in need of professional help.
We gave the landscaper nothing more than our budget, told him to rip out everything, and do whatever he saw fit within our budget. We gave him no suggestions for plantings at all.
And then we held our breath and hoped that we had not made a horrible mistake.
For three days our front yard was a big cloud of dust. It was hard to see what was going on out there! But after the trucks drove away and the dust settled, we could see that our yard had been transformed, and we liked what we saw.
The nicest change is the Mount Airy Fothergilla planted under the front window. There are 5 of these lovely shrubs, and each season they have surprised us. In the spring they burst forth with big downy flowers, and in the fall they turn this lovely shade of red.
I don't think they turned red last year. Since they had only been planted for a few months, it's possible they were still in shock. It's been extra pleasing to see them this fall in all their blazing glory.
I had never heard of Mt. Airy Fothergilla until these five bushes were plunked down in my yard. While my preference will always be to do things myself, I'll admit, sometimes it's nice to let go and let someone else make the decisions and do the work for you!