Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Busy Time in the Garden, Little Friends, New Plants and a Contest

This month's photo contest over at Gardening Gone Wild is once again about light.  They are looking for how the amount/direction/filter and other nuances of light affect the photo or creates the mood.  My submission is my Japanese maple 'Garnet'.  It seems to just glow.

Keeping my fingers crossed for this month's attempt.

Now on to the rest of the garden.  We had been busy through March moving rocks.  When we first moved in the backyard garden looked like this after a rainfall.

While this looks nice, you can't see the pathway except for the runoff of the rainwater downhill creating a rut in the center of the pathway.  Originally the garden beds were mulched with pinestraw and the pathway was hardwood mulch.  It created a nice definition without being too harsh.  The lower part of the garden is walled with some flat rocks and looks nice.  I think in the beginning our landscaper asked if we wanted the walls all the way around the garden.  I think I said no.  Isn't is nice a gal can change her mind? 

I have some tender plants that would benefit from not being stepped on by dog or human.  Since we had a large load of rock leftover (sitting at the bottom of the hill) we decided that this would be a good winter project.  The load of stone was left on the flat part of the yard where the elevation is probably 445-450 feet above sea level.  Where we were starting to place the stones was about 465-470.  My friend Linda and I started the hauling of the rocks in one of my large garden wagons.  You know.....they get really heavy when you are going uphill, through the mulch.   We did four loads and felt like we had made headway....until we turned and looked down the hill.  

After Linda left Charlie started bringing up the rocks in the wheelbarrow, I think about 20 or more loads, dumping them midpath.  My job was to place the rocks.  In some instances it was hard to find where the path was as the washout went straight and of course the path didn't.

From above you can see the defined pathways once again.  I had about 10 more feet of rocks to place when I took this picture.  I carried the rest by hand (it was all on the flat part of the lower yard) to finish.

So from any angle it is a nicely laid out park setting, with pathways. 

I am thinking about a bench at the intersection of the two paths. 

We all know with this garden I have lots of room to have many plants.  Last Saturday I was able to go up to to the SC Native Plant Society plant sale.  I had a list so as to not go completely crazy.  I came home with two Mountain Laurels, Kalmia latifolia 'Carol'  and 'Sarah' (or 'Carousel'-- it had two tags, either is fine), three native deciduous azaleas- Rhododendron canescens, R. arborescens, R. periclymenoides--all will find a place to become as large as they want.  I also bought a  Cephalanthus occidentalis, Buttonbush, a False indigo, Baptista, and a Silene virginica, 'Fire Pink'. 

Isn't she pretty?

I have been walking around the yard and into the woods, checking out new growth, etc.  I didn't realize I was being watched.  We have lots of these little guys, various colors and sizes.  They are fun to see.
In the area where on of the Mountain Laurel will go is my Striped Wintergreen, Chimaphila maculata, who is getting ready to bloom. 

I also found an unknown coming up.....anyone have any ideas what this is?  The red stems caught my eye. 

After the woods I checked out the front garden, the Fringe tree, Chionanthus is blooming and so are the Narcissus 'White Marvel' planted around the base.

These blooms are so white. 

Also blooming are the Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko', really pretty little blooms.

And sadly, the Pieris japonica 'Cavatine' is done for this year and starting to lose its blooms.

How is your garden shaping up?

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. I absolutely love the layout of the paths and cannot wait to see it all filled with plants! We have a native plant sale coming up in a few weeks and there is no better time to buy a ton of plants. Oh yeah, that first photo rocked too!

  2. Good luck with the photo! A sure winner for sure.

    The new paths are perfect! I think a bench at the intersection would be grand. Maybe a focal plant there too behind it.

    No idea what the red stemmed plant might be. It looks kind of like sea oats but I don't think the stem is red.

    Your garden is shaping up great! I really love all those rocks and the fringe tree.

  3. Love your rock-lined paths! Sounds like that was a lot of work, you did a great job. It's going to look so good filled in with plants.

    I just love native plant society sales for finding good stuff to plant.

    That's a very pretty photo for the GGW Picture This! I almost used a picture I had of glowing red Japanese maple foliage. Yours is much prettier. Good luck!

  4. Janet you have been busy girl. Oh, your aching back. LOL! The pathway is wonderful. I like that you made such a big pathway. Mountain Laurel are so pretty in bloom. That lizard sure blends in with the bark. I would have missed it most likely. Your picture for the contest is beautiful with the sunlight filter in. Good luck!

  5. Your Fringe tree looks like that already?!?! Mine still looks like a dead stick coming out of the ground!!! :( Hmm...
    How's your back?

  6. your paths look great! we are trying to figure out where to put some in our front garden right now. i love the color of that azalea. was that native plant sale the one in rock hill? would love to have gone but had a class instead.

  7. Your hard work is really paying off. I think everything is falling into place so nicely! I so wish I had a dock in my bakyard :-)

  8. Hope your back is ok from moving all those rocks! Lovely garden :-)

  9. Those rock-lined paths look wonderful! Obviously you must have big dreams for all those areas. Good thing you're taking all these 'before' pictures to make the 'after' pictures even more enjoyable.

  10. Good luck with the Picture This contest. I don't think I will have time to play. I am surprised that the Fringe Tree is blooming this early.

  11. First off, good luck with your photo entry. It's a gorgeous shot.

    Wow that was a heavy project you took on hauling all those rocks up that hill. The results are great though, it was the perfect touch.

    You got some great plants at that sale, can't wait to see how they do over the next season.

    Love all the pretty blooms you have this spring. The garden is really popping. :)

  12. The paths look lovely. And I think a bench at the intersection would be just wonderful -- a place to rest in that very peaceful setting. Things are really starting to grow here. This week I'm marveling at how much purple I have in my garden!

  13. Goodness, you could have done with a bench there when you were heaving all those rocks around! The paths look great lined with rocks like that, a feature without being too brash. I love that Chionanthus, beautiful flowers and leaves, and looks as if the stems are a little darker? Good luck with the photo competition...

  14. Your Japanese maple is simply gorgeous; it really glows in the sunlight. Your garden paths look lovely with the rock borders; hauling all that rock sure sounds like a lot of work, but the results were worth it. The paths look so inviting for a stroll. What fun to have so much space to fill up with plants, Janet!

  15. One of my favorite things about blogging is seeing how other people lay out their garden. I love your paths and it looks like a lovely meandering path. And a bench would add a nice touch, but it is great without it too!
    I can't believe how close you are to the river. (?) Wow! pretty cool!

  16. Wonderful job laying out those paths. They look nice and wide, easy to stroll along. They will very pleasant with a few of those new plants to admire alone the way.

  17. Beautiful entry!
    I love the little lizard dude, and the image of the Pieris' spent blooms. Of course it's always fun to see garden-planning-developing as it happens, in pictures! Great post.

  18. Hi Janet,
    You have a beautiful entry for the contest. I am impressed by the size of your garden and the work it must require. That is no small undertaking! The curved paths look great and define the planting beds nicely. I love the fringe tree and the little deutzia- I will have to go back and copy down the variety to add to my spring wish list.

  19. John, thanks so much! would you believe there are about 200+ plants in the garden? Now that they are starting to green up they are more visible.

    Tina, thanks. I have a Rhus 'Tiger Eye' in mind for the area behind where I am thinking of putting a bench.

    Alison, thanks. I am really happy with how it turned out. There are lots of plant sales going on now...oh the choices!

    Lona, yes we have been busy! The initial pathway was made by the guys installing the mulch. Our landscape guy has a good eye. One of my Mountain Laurel is full of buds....so I will have blooms this year!!!

    KZK, Glad to see yours is alive, I was worried. My back is fine ....from that. Wasn't that bad.

    Daricia, No this was the Greenville NP sale. I love these native azaleas.

    Skeeter, We are lovin' that dock and the thing in it! :-D

    AES, thanks, my back is fine -- though bending first thing in the morning is tough.

    VW, I do have big dreams for this back area. I have lots of befores, durings and who knows when it will be 'after'.

    Les, thanks! Who knows about the contest, it is fun though. I was surprised to see it blooming so early but there are others around here that are blooming now as well.

    Racquel, thanks! I think Charlie did the heavy work. I am happy with the results. Hope we get some rain soon, so these new plants get a better drink!

    Diana, thank you. As we walk up the hill from the boat, before venturing up the rest of the way I think a bench would be perfect.

    Janet, I agree! Though as I was the placer of the rocks, I was on the ground anyway. The plant behind the Chionanthus is a Red Stemmed Dogwood---- dark red stems.

    Rose, thanks, I was worried about this Japanese maple as it had some winter damage. I do think the rock pathways were worth it. I am filling it up...trust me!

    Rosey, I love this back garden. A perfect woodland setting.
    We are on a lake, which was a river, now dammed. It is pretty cool.

    Marguerite, The pathways are perfect for walking two abreast.

    Aerie-el, I enjoy all these little lizard dudes! I liked the picture of the spent Pieris blooms too, thanks.

    Jennifer, I am glad you like the photo contest entry..thanks! I am hoping my garden will not take much work....just some weeding. All the plants are going to be allowed to be the size they were born to be. That way I am not pruning and moving plants that are too big. Hope it works!
    This is my first time with the Deutzia, I do like it.

  20. Good luck on your maple photo Janet ~ it's spectacular. I would crown you a winner for it!
    Adding to rocks to outline the paths is the perfect idea ~ your garden is shaping up so nicely. I'm amazed at what you've done in the short amount of time you've been there.

  21. Your paths look great. What a lot of work you've done!

    Good luck in the contest. Those maple leaves really do glow.


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