Saturday, October 23, 2010

OHHHHhh There is a Garden There

When we first moved in the foundation plantings were done.  Along this side of the house I have Abelia x grandiflora 'Little Richard' and Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko'.  I moved the 5 Hellebores into the back where there is more shade.  At first glance we thought there would be more shade along the side of the house, but apparently not.  In its place I planted the Peony I brought with me from Virginia.  I was able to divide it into three clumps....they should do well there.
Along the right hand edge of the photo you see the woods.  It is someone else's lot, but until sewer comes to our subdivision, no one can build on it as it doesn't perc.   Our property goes about 5 feet into the 'wild' at the bottom of the picture, gradually increasing as we move toward the cars and up to the street.  I think at the street our wild area is about 30 feet wide.   

 One of the first things I planted was a Jane Magnolia.   She is planted at the corner area of the grass up by the parking area.  While the soil doesn't look fabulous, it was workable and I added some amendments to the extra large hole Charlie dug.  Additionally top dressed with some compost.   We had a big rain and there was some washout around her stem.  Knowing that Jane is a multi-stemmed plant, I thought nothing of the two stems at the base.  HOWEVER, the more I looked and poked around, the more I was convinced it was two seperate plants.  I dug it up and gently seperated the roots from each other -- now I have two Jane Magnolias, both along the edge of the woods. 

Working along the edge of the grass, in what is really the edge of the wild, I planted a Ninebark,  Physocarpus opulifolious 'Coppertina'.  My hope was to put one in the front of the house near our copper topped bay window.  Our house front faces South and the Ninebark cannot handle quite that much heat, so it is tucked along the tree line.  It gets morning through midday sun and late afternoon it is in the shade.  Next to the Ninebark is a Viburnum x carlcephalum.  Its roots were girdled (I know I should have checked, lesson learned) so this was another plant whose roots were untangled and manipulated a good bit.  I keep an eye on this one, I think it will struggle a bit. 

Above you see the tree line that I am working along.  I reclaimed some of the woods.  I found some plants worth 'saving' and pulled a lot of Muscadine grape vines.  On the photo below you can see one of the wreaths I made hanging in the tree near my compost bins.  I found a small  Ostrya virginiana, Ironwood, tree.  It is really small--about a foot to foot and a half, but worth having in there.  I also found a small Euonymus americanus which makes Charlie happy, he keeps singing "Heart's A-bustin'". There was also a small dogwood that I was happy to find.  I did cut/pull some red maples and a few Sweetgum.  I have plenty in the yard of both, just don't want them on top of each other.  I also left in place a few Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens vines to add some color next spring.

Once all the pulling and planting was done, I used what bales of  pinestraw I had on hand and top dressed the beds.  It helps define the beds and as the leaves and pine needles fall, it will add more to the top of the forest floor and my beds.  I spread 6 bales (two days ago, spread lots more on other days). 

 Near my 'queenofseaford' on the above photo you can see the viburnum and to the left of it is the Ninebark, already losing its leaves.  I like having the natural area along side the house, I can look out the window above my little desk area and watch all the birds.

Looking up to the parking area there is another green shrub that we planted.  Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet'.  It is a compact evergreen viburnum and will add a bit of screening once someone does decide to build on the next lot. 
Here is 'Little Jane' --the second stem from my first Magnolia.  In the landscape in the fall she kind of fades into the background.  Pulling her apart from the other Jane didn't seem to stress her too bad. 

More garden planning - planting coming soon!! Come again.

 words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. You certainly do have a large number of trees! Jane magnolia is one of my favorites; the only V. tinus I've seen was HUGE, but the foliage is very nice- yours looks happy :)

  2. Janet,

    I see what looks like great camellia habitat, are you getting more camellias? The garden centers here have some really nice 3 gal plants for under $30. Looks like the yard is coming along nicely.

  3. Nothing like working something beautiful into the bare soil. It's looking mighty nice. How fun!

  4. It's looking good Janet. I so wish I could find a hearts a burstin tree here. Where I walk there is one and it is so fabulous with those red berries. I tried to stratify and sprout them but it has not been successful for me. Good choice! Looks like you won't be getting a neighbor. I bet you are glad it didn't perk-I know I would be.

  5. How exciting to start from scratch, yet find all these "free" goodies, too! I can't wait to see the edge of the woods this time next year.

  6. You've made a lot of progress in a short time Janet. I thought taking pictures at different times of the day was a great idea. I still struggle with tracking the sun in my garden. Working against woods with tall trees is challenging. Planning and executing a landscape this large will be extremely rewarding and frustrating at times. I'm eager watch your progress. Best of everything as you tame the wilderness.

  7. Looks like you have been working hard. How lucky you ended up with two magnolias.

    Always Growing

  8. It is a lot of fun and hard work both to start a new garden. Yours looks like it's going to shape up beautifully! Ninebark is a plant I've been hankering after since seeing some really nice pictures of it.

  9. Lucky you to have a bonus Camelia. Hope everything you have planted does really well and settles in happily. New beds are so exciting! :)

  10. Wow, you all have been busy!!! Do you hire out? How do you feel about a trip west? :)
    Looks GREAT!

  11. I am glad you gave us a little more of the lay of the land - scape.

  12. Dear Queen of Seaford,
    "Once all the planting and pulling was done" you write - I admire your efforts and lots and lots of work you've done! Now there's a garden there - that people will see and enjoy (though it's natural to overlook the toil and labour that's in it). You did marvellous work! Britta

  13. You certainly have been very busy, Janet! But it will all be worth it--already this is looking like a gardener's home. I love ninebark; yours should be very happy on the edge of the "wild." And lucky you to get two magnolias for one!

  14. Janet,
    It's been a great year for Heart's A-Busting fruits, so I'm glad you've got one, along with the ironwood!

    How nice to have things coming up in your woods that can be moved around to have a more natural look in some of your surrounding garden areas.

    I hope we'll have some more rain in the coming weeks, to help everything get settled in.


  15. Keep up the good work, Janie! I can't believe how much you have already got done.

  16. Ilona, we live in the woods it seems. I think our V. tinus is compact, so 6 foot at max.

    Randy, I will keep my eyes open for a nice Camellia, though they are like orchids, I like so many it is hard to decide.

    Grace, thanks!

    Tina, thanks, I was happy to find the Heart's a Bustin, I wonder if there is more in the area I haven't found yet? I think sewer is coming sooner than we thought.. so the other lot could be built on within a couple years.

    Ginger, I am really tickled to find good things to save, beats having all the Muscadine grapes and poison ivy! I can't wait to see the garden pop next spring.

    Gene, thanks for stopping by. We have made a lot of progress. Taking photos helps me, I can keep going back to the photo to double check.

    Jan, I was pretty happy about having two magnolias! We have lots more to do.....just glad it is a little cooler now.

    Sweetbay, it is more fun than hard work. I really like Ninebark, just saw a new one...Cherry Wine. Really great foilage.

    Racquel, it is very exciting!

    AoF, I am lucky to get MY work done! And I have seen your is gorgeous.

    Les, the lay of the land is a big hill! More of the rugged edges will be coming.

    Britta, hi!! I have been having fun making the garden a place that is full of great plants. Now I let nature take over.

    Rose, thanks! It feels like a gardener's home. I hope the Ninebark is happy, might get more down the road.

    Lisa, I am glad to have both the E. americanus and the O. virginiana. I am trying to keep the 'nice' natives. Looks like we are due for more rain today. hooray!

    Rosey, thanks!!! It is pretty amazing to sit back and see how much we have done already.


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