Well, that dry spell devastated many gardens, most especially those with limited watering capabilities. Here in Forest Park, many evergreen conifers have bit the dust, and more will succumb in 2017 as added stress takes its toll.
In the front of our bungalow, a semicircle of false cypress frame a handsome weeping Japanese maple. Rather, they DID frame it. The maple and the nearby Wintergreen boxwood are in good shape. The false cypress: removed. Replant false cypress? I think I should consider the likelihood of another drought in our future.
I’m extending the boxwood hedge on beyond and behind the maple, repeating plants that handled the dry weeks with minimal supplemental watering. When I reconsidered my options, I went with proven plants for that specific site. I like to repeat elements rather than complicate them (that’s all happening in the back yard, where we get a little chaotic).
It’s getting a little late for me to replant shrubs, so I had to finally pass judgement on a plan. I hopefully have several weeks before it gets hot and I need to supplement the rainfall. This dormant season is when new transplants grow new roots, so my boxwood need to get busy.
If you are still reconsidering, know that you can replant in the spring, but you must commit to watering through the dry spells. Look at what survived in your neighborhood. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale is just weeks away, and experienced gardeners will be able to make site specific recommendations and sell you replacement plants.