Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Turning dreams into reality..

It’s been a long time getting to this point.  The deer fence is making it’s way around the yard slowly.  We’ve completed two sides that run in the woods, we’ve got the main stretch along the back and the two pieces that go to the house left.
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As you can see, it’s virtually invisible, the poles stand out and if you look closely you can see the white warning flags tied to the fence, they almost look like they are floating.
I can’t begin to explain my excitement, maybe it’s a gardeners thing I don’t know, but for me it’s like I’m starting all over again.  No more worrying about the deer eating something, no more not planting flowers because the deer will just eat them.  No more worrying that every step I take is going to land my foot in a pile of deer poop!  No more stinky sprays, hanging garlic clips or bars of soap dangling about in bags and maybe just maybe, no more deer ticks frolicking about in my flower beds, waiting for me to stop and pull weeds.  I got so excited at the prospect of being able to plant tulips, funny to some, but I’ve not had them since we moved here, munch, munch, munch.
The planning is nonstop in my flower loving brain, visions of lush border gardens, with dappled sunlight and a gentle breeze dance about.  I see azaleas in bloom, hollies loaded with bright red berries for the birds and lush full hosta illuminating a shady corner.  A meandering path that flows through the secret side of the garden, a quiet spot full of flowers reminds me of my long lost pets, St Francis stands watch here, he’s been waiting for a while now.DSC_0021
Next to a log a grove of native ferns and wild flowers delight in the early spring.  Birds nest in the trees, bees feast on the blooms of various flowers, chipmunks scurry about in the leaf mulch gathering acorns…..
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To get to this place, it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of planning and a lot of little steps.  Some have already been taken, the deer fencing, the constant pulling of honeysuckle and wineberry vines.  Others are in the near future, a chipper to shred leaves and sticks into a beautiful, nutrient rich mulch.  A pullbear to rip the weed trees and Japanese barberry from the ground.  The plotting of the paths and the careful transplanting of dozens of plants to the right locations.  All within reach, one step at a time, my dreams are becoming reality and I couldn’t be more excited!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Evergreens make good neighbors..

There was a time when we couldn’t see our neighbors houses.  It was a good time.  It gave us a sense of privacy and made us feel like we were far, far away without being far, far away.  Recently one of our neighbors cut down all the evergreens that shielded our view of her house.  It was a shocking site and while we welcomed the additional sunlight it brought into our yard, we weren’t thrilled with the loss of the ‘screen’.  So after talking about options and deciding that moving wasn’t one of them, we set out to find someone that could build us a new ‘screen’ of evergreens.
If you know me, you know that I am picky and you know that as a gardener I’m not going to plant something invasive, something that doesn’t offer shelter and or food to wildlife, something that is just all wrong for the landscape and of course something that the deer won’t eat.  Two separate ‘landscapers’ (there should be a legal definition of that word!) suggested arborvitae.  Um.. really?  Next.  That is where Nick with Acer Landscaping & Nursery came in. After walking and talking with him I KNEW without a doubt he was the ONE.  He knew his plants and he understood what I was about and what I wanted, he wasn’t trying to sell me anything that I didn’t need which was very refreshing.
We developed a plan and started the process and in addition to our screen signed him on for a long term relationship!
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He brought us 5 Blue spruce from his Christmas tree farm!  I’m not sure I could be happier.  He was going to get us some hollies as well but he didn’t have any that were tall enough.  We found someone to get the hollies from and he had his crew dig the holes for us.  Our screen is on its way now and we are very happy with the end result.  Between these evergreens and the deer fence which will allow for other shrubs to be planted, we are that much closer to reclaiming our private sanctuary once again!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Happenings..

While it wasn’t a balmy 70 or 80 out this weekend (thankfully!) we did spend it working on two of our current projects.
Randy worked himself sore hammering in sleeves, hauling gravel and concrete and setting the post for the deer fence in place.
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What you don’t see very well is that the top and bottom monofilament lines are in place as well.  We are getting there, it’s a slow process but it’s coming together.  While meandering around helping with little things I discovered a few wildflowers coming up on their own in the woods, lucky for me they are on the right side of the fence!
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While he worked on things I couldn’t help with (even though I did try my hand at pounding in the sleeves with the sledge hammer!) I worked on finishing up some mulching in the bee area and the transplanting of some Spring flowers to their new home under the maple tree.
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I also finished cleaning out the rest of the garden beds, spent some time cutting down briars, honeysuckle and dog rose. 

A gardeners weeding is never done…


Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Deery Me…

We did not get as far as I wanted, but in all honesty I want it all installed in a day.  So Randy getting as far as he did is a blessing and a start!
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This is a gate opening, it’s not set yet, just standing in the holes Randy dug, by hand, by the way.  That gate will give us access to the woods for whatever reason we may need it. 
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Randy put the sleeves down every 12’ they will be driven into the ground and a post will go in them.  It doesn’t look like a lot but this is the longest span of fencing.  He also wanted to start with this section so we could get the hang of installation.
While he was doing that I was cleaning up around various plants.
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I removed the leaves from the struggling yellow bush (struggling because the deer keep eating it!). 
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I pulled all the honeysuckle and weeds off the berm for years I’ve admired the ferns on it, I want to give them a chance to really shine and since this will be in the fenced area I also see some potential for using it!
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I found some native ferns buried under the leaves close to the fence line, native is also a great find!
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I did a major rake and rip out all along this edge.  All the suckers from the Carolina Allspice, the dog rose and wine berries were removed.
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The reason is that from here to the bee area is going to become part of my planting area.  I hope!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April First…

I went out to let Cooper gallivant for a while in the sun.  It was so pretty out I came back in and got my camera to take a few pictures of some of my Spring flowers in bloom.
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Of course I had to get a couple of pictures of Cooper!
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I was walking around the yard when I noticed something interesting, a lot of activity at the beehives. In case anyone ever wanted to know, this is what it looks like when an empty hive is being robbed out.
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Not too much different from what a happy hive looks like right?  Well here let me show you something else;
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See those specks all over the front, that the stolen goods being brought out.  It’s my own fault for not having closed it off before now.  The last time I checked it was when I realized my colony was gone and I haven’t been back since.  Now that it’s warm, these bees that are looking for food wherever they can find it, found basically fast food and are tearing the comb apart to get to it.  So tonight I’ll be closing that up for sure! 
Happy April 1st…no fooling!

What kind of gardener are you?

  Recently in an attempt to find some other gardeners to chat with, I joined several gardening groups on facebook.  It all seemed so normal...