Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Here is the new pine bed I put together. It has a Blue Spruce (a true miracle tree) and an Arborvitae. When we first bought the place, this blue spruce was sitting on the ground, still wrapped in burlap. It was on the opposite side of the house, roots growing through the bottom of the burlap. It didn't get much sun, which I am sure helped keep it alive by not allowing it to dry out. I dug it up, removed the burlap and planted it in this sunny spot. It has grown 2 inches in the year it has been in the ground. The arborvitae we transplanted from our old home. I am hoping that someday it will grow wide enough that I can make a tunnel through it. This view shows the path on the north side of the arborvitae. I think the tunnel will be really fun. Walking through tunnels or under arches is always intriguing. This one will be extra nice since it will be green year round.

The south end of the house has gone through quite a transformation in the year since we moved in. Originally, I believe it was a forgotten, or unthought of, space. The garage had a window and a shrub bed all along that end. There was an ugly overgrown trumpet flower shrub where the stone wall now sits. I couldn't wait to dig it out and get rid of it.
The shrub bed was weed filled and few perennials remained, choked out by mint and other obnoxious weeds. Day lilies, tall purple Phlox, and Yellow Loosestrife were the only ones strong enough to survive.

Here is the south end of the house in July of 2005 when we first came and checked the place out. The only few good things were the rocks lining the weed filled bed, the Spirea and Burning Bushes, and the nice pine tree. Before we moved in, the owners did mow down the weeds and dump some mulch over top. It did make it look a lot nicer, but unfortunately, it didn't smother the weeds.

We removed the window and replaced it with a door. I moved the spirea out of the doorway and we made a small landing out of pavers found in the back yard. I then began yanking weeds, digging out that trumpet flower shrub (right corner of the above picture) and began rearranging the rocks. Then came the brick path at the left corner, right through the middle of the bed. The paver steps and short rock wall came next. Behind the house, a path leading from nowhere and leading to nowhere was made of the pavers. The path began at the back of the house, from which there was no door, no patio, no anything. It led across the yard and to the steep hillside, where treacherous, crumbling steps remained. I dug up all the pavers and we filled in the holes with dirt and grass seed. Those pavers have come in very handy for many projects!

I carefully laid the pavers, making sure they were level and secure. The stone wall was the next phase of the project and then smaller stones and plants. It is filled with Creeping Phlox, Blue Fescue, Grape Muscari, and Chiondoxa.
The paths lead you around the side of the house and to the back yard, where wonderful views of the trees and the valley below greet you. It is one of my favorite parts of the yard now. It still has work to be done. The Yellow Loosestrife and the mint grow rampant. I am determined to get every last piece of them out and replace them with nicer plants.

I hope to someday connect the brick path with the paver steps. This area is very much used and a path is being worn in the grass.
Quite interestingly, I found a baby Blue Spruce growing between two of the paver steps this summer. I carefully dug it up, planted it in a large pot and sunk the pot into the ground. Once it is large enough, I will pull the pot from the ground and plant the tree in the ground somewhere.

Little surprises like that are one of the things that keep me gardening. You just never know what will grow and thrive in your garden. It may be an unwanted weed, or it may be that tiny pine growing out of nothing. It always amazes me how such a large plant can grow from such a tiny seed. It is like magic.

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