October 6, 2011

More Work

It's never finished.

You never get to the point where the garden is done and you move on to other things.

But I had gotten to the point where at least all the major planting areas in my yard were settled.  I have several large beds, a lot of trees, stuff planted around the foundation and patio --- it is all I can handle.  I was pretty much done with creating new garden spaces.

But this area along the side of the drive didn't look right.  The separate beds and plants were too isolated.

So I had the sod removed and linked the separate areas into one big bed that follows the curve of the driveway as it draws you up toward the gardens in back.

The beginning of the area is shaded by a Norway Maple 'Crimson King' at the foot of the bed near the driveway entrance.  That may be a problem some day, with its size and dense shade. 

Despite a lot of rain in early October, the overturned black plastic pots never grew, so I had to plant some other stuff there.

I moved three panicle hydrangeas to the spots where the overturned pots were.  They will get large and elegant and make a hedge lining the driveway.

The young rounded tree in the middle, which formerly sat in its own mulch circle, is now incorporated into this long border.  It is a magnolia 'Elizabeth', with giant creamy yellow magnolia blossoms in earliest spring. 

At the far end of this sweep are two witch hazels, the hybrid hamamelis 'Diane' and an unnamed hamamelis vernalis. 

It's a very big space to plant up.  I put a doublefile viburnum 'Mariesii' in there behind the hydrangeas.  It will eventually be a huge twelve foot high wedding cake of horizontal branches, anchoring the left side of this long stretch, but it is just a twig right now.  It was a tiny rooting from Cyndy's former CT garden at Gardening Asylum

And there is a Serbian spruce at the left edge too.  Still little, but it will make a fine green wall behind the magnolia and hydrangeas.  This type of spruce, Picea omorika, gets hugely tall, but stays narrow, which will fit within the border.  I hope.  Probably not.

I dug up some delicate white wood asters from the meadow and scattered them around.  I also put in several plugs of a woody groundcover sumac, rhus aromatica 'Gro Low', which will spread out and cover all that bare mulch.

But it still needs more.  More tending while the plants fill in.  More plants period.  Weeding.  More mulch to cover all the bare ground while waiting for the plants to get some size.   More pruning and moving things about as they grow.

More work.  And I thought I was done.


  1. Your really brought this area together. It will look grand in no time. When people pull in they will know a gardener lives here.

  2. How did you do that so quickly?! I know you see a lot of work ahead but when I look at this spot the change is so dramatic (love the new shape) and so many wonderful plants added already. You've done most of the hard work already, give yourself a pat on the back!

  3. Come on Laurrie, it's obvious that you love it! It looks like it's going to be another great garden.
    It's funny, but when I saw the title of this post, I thought it said "Motze Wotzk" (just the way the 'R' looks in this font)and it really intrigued me to keep reading to see what these strange words could mean!
    And I have the same trouble with those pesky plastic pots. You get lots of them from the garden centre, remove all the dirt and bits of plant matter from the middle, and plant them, and then they just won't grow...

  4. More work for sure, but so worth it. This is a great welcome onto your property and will, like Lisa said, show a real gardener is in residence. Great job!

  5. I love the way you pulled this all together, Laurrie; I think you will be so pleased with this new space, and it will certainly draw everyone's attention. I love, love panicle hydrangeas--they will be gorgeous here. No, garden work is never done, which is why I actually enjoy winter a little to give me a break and dream of next year.

    I haven't had my coffee yet, so I had to read the part about the black plastic pots twice--when you learn how to get them to grow, I hope you'll share with us:)

  6. Lisa, that is so kind... I love what you said about knowing that a gardener lives here when people pull into my driveway!

    Marguerite, this was one of the few garden spaces where I hired someone to come in and cut the sod. I read your blog about your travails with the sod remover, and just didn't want to do it. So I hired people and it was done in a day. They spread the mulch too, but I am doing all the planting.

    Lyn, The header does look like Motze Wotzk, wow. I am so used to that silly font, but it does look weird. I'm glad to know you have the same problems growing plastic pots as I do!

    Donna, thanks so much. I do consider this the "welcome garden" now.

    Rose, thank you. I do plan a post on growing plastic pots! Actually, if you don't plant them and just leave them in the garage they multiply like crazy I have found.

  7. Are gardens ever done? I think not.

    You are creating yet another lovely space. Thanks for sharing.

  8. In gardening, there is no 'done'! Always changing, never static. That's why it's fun!! That sod roller looks so civilized! I like the new border better. It looks more connected because now it is connected. :o)

  9. A thought for your expanse of "bare" soil next spring -- order some white alyssum seed in bulk (I found a couple of sources with a quick google search) and throw it down for temporary "living mulch." I loved the alyssum border I did this year and if I had the good fortune (and talent!) to be able to design as beautiful a landscaped area as you did, I would be doing it for the first couple of years. The pollinators love it! After that, sedum? Creeping rosemary or thyme?

  10. In the short series of pictures the change looks almost effortless, but I am sure creating the 'after' was lots of work. It is so hard to imagine what a space will look like when the trees and shrubs mature isn't it. I struggle with imaging the how things will look years down the line. I think the change is good though and looks great.

  11. Joene, thanks so much!

    Tammy, I am definitely happier with the connected look of the plantings now.

    Tricia, sowing alyssum seeds is a super idea. I have planted little cel packs of them to create a low carpet in some small areas, but what a great idea to scatter seeds over this whole area! Thanks.

    Jennifer, hiring a crew to take the sod away, and add the dirt and mulch was truly effortless, except for the check writing part. Now the planting, which I'm doing myself, is work but not so daunting.


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