At Home with Lisa: Planting a Shade Bush

This week, I decided to tackle a project that really makes me nervous. It’s summer and it’s got me thinking about being outside and enjoying the sunshine.

I have a window that could use some shade. I thought about a tree, but there are some wires overhead. I decided on a hydrangea bush.

Hydrangeas like the morning sun and can grow up to 15 feet tall, so a spot on the east side of my house was a good choice. There is a wire overhead, but even if my hydrangea grows to 15 feet tall, it shouldn’t obstruct the wire.

Plants make me a little nervous. My mother would have my sister and I pull weeds when I was a kid, but other than that, I don’t garden. I’ve been known to kill plants just by sitting next to them, so I made sure to Google the plant before I started any gardening. I needed to dig a hole that was twice as wide as the root bulb and twice as deep.

But wait—I remembered seeing something, somewhere that I should check with someone before I started digging.

So before I pulled my shovel out of the garage, I looked it up. Before digging I needed to call 811 to make sure I wasn’t going to cut any utility lines. In my case, I did it online at The site asked me a couple of questions and sent me an email telling me what utilities were in that area of my yard. The different utilities wrapped it up and let me know within 48 hours that it was okay to dig.

I learned this week that digging is very therapeutic. Once I had my hole, I placed the plant in it along with some plant food and extra soil. I covered the ground with some mulch, too.

My fingers are crossed. It’s been a hot week and the plant’s leaves started to wilt a little before I put it in the ground. If I had to do it over again, which I might do with more plants if this works, I would contact 811 before I bought the plant. Avista’s website has all the information you’ll need to know about choosing the right tree for the right place as well as how and why you should call 811 before you dig.

For now, I’m hoping the roots of my hydrangea take hold and flourish.

Learn more about vegetation planning tips.


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At Home with Lisa

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