Friday, September 30, 2011
Perfectly Placed Pyracantha
I initially placed a 'Lowboy' into my back patio border in 2000, but it grew quickly to smother several surrounding perennials. The thorns make this a plant you don't want to have to thin on a yearly basis, either. Then, in 2005, I noticed a small trail leading under the shrub, and in late winter, as the leaves thinned out, I realized that while Pyracantha is impervious to deer, the prairie pack rats think that it is a good foundation for a communal dwelling. Since I detest the little creatures, providing them shelter approximately 10 feet from my back door was not a favorable idea, so I thinned and shortened the spiny branches at some risk to my dermal covering and then burned them out, protecting surrounding plants as best I could by a constant spray of water. So much for Pyracantha in my borders.
But, since I like the shrub and the Fall display it provides, I decided to place another specimen out on its own, farther from the house where an occasional pack rat colony wouldn't give me conniption fits and where the beauty of the shrub could romp unrestrained without danger to more refined perennials. It sits now in my far front yard, sited so as to obscure the electric box and water meter from view of the house, in a manner recommended by any and all landscape manuals that the Extension service provides. See, you can't see the electric box at all in the picture above. Nor the pack rat colony growing at its base. I did warn you, didn't I, that there are times when it looks ratty?