Monday, May 9, 2016

The New Garden is Starting to Bloom


The garden is starting to bloom! Maybe that seems normal to many, but last year my garden was dug up, potted up and moved nearly 500 miles to the new garden site. Plants were put into the ground and for periods of time went without water or care. Now that we have made the move to North Carolina, I have been able to start working the garden and creating the new garden. If you have been reading my blog, you know what has been happening over the last year. Now you can see some of the results. Take a look.

The area in the picture above will be a creek bed with a bridge. It will be rocked in and moss will be added to age it. This area will be planted with assorted ferns and other woodland plants.

The stone bench was recently moved and placed next to the goldfish and koi pond. It required four adults to lift the rock and place it on top of the stone base. Now you can sit and enjoy the fish.

The front of the house had this small mulched area. I decided to plant it with grass. Most everyone in the area mulch their yards, but I wanted grass for our two little dogs. It only takes 5 minutes to cut the grass which is better than 1 hour at the old house.

I have made repairs to the steps that go down to the lower garden. Some of the stones were loose and were dangerous. The stone steps pass through the rose garden and end at the fish pond.

The white to pink flowering shrubs in the garden are mountain laurel. I removed some of the older damaged plants and left lots of this native plant in the garden. It is beautiful to see and it smells nice.

The Oakleaf  hydrangea 'Ruby Slippers' is starting to bloom. This plant is at the gate that leads to the fairy garden and woodland garden.

The fish pond is just about completed. I still need to add some more stone in a couple of places. I added a heavy gauge wire fence material over the top of the stone and pond to keep birds and deer out of the pond. The fencing should slow a bear down, but if he wants into the pond that bad, I am sure he will find a way.

I have found that roses bloom very well in this area and I plan to plant more in the future. Take a look at rest of the photos on how the garden is progressing.

I planted a container garden of tomatoes, basil, oregano, leaf lettuce and sage. The tomatoes are loaded with flowers. I planted my garden on the second floor deck at the kitchen windows. It is nice to have the vegetables close to the kitchen and up high enough from deer.

I recently visited several nurseries and purchased additional plants to fill out the garden. I have  seeded some areas with seed for future perennial plants for the butterflies. I still need to do more mulching and add additional gravel to the garden path. It will all come in time!

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Building the Garden Shed and Retaining Wall

It has been slow going, but the garden is starting to take shape. The new retaining wall has been added and the new garden storage shed has been built. We ran into some delays due to trying to figure out how the installer would get the shed down the step hill to the garden. The shed came in
prebuilt pieces that were taken down the hill and then the shed was built in the garden. It took about 4 hours to build on the spot we had chosen. It looks great and I finally can find my tools and have everything in one place in the garden. It sure saves trips up and down the hill. Take a look at how things have changed in the garden.

The old decayed landscape timber have been removed and the new timbers are going in.

Lots of digging, stacking and nailing.

The retaining wall is complete and I can starting planting.

The shed is made of cedar. I painted it to match the house colors.

It is now painted in beige, cream and dark brown on the shutters.

After getting the painting done it was time to landscape around the shed and organize the inside with all my garden tools.

After the shed was completed, I got the painting done and moved all my tools in and got myself finally organized. It has been wonderful having everything down in the garden where I will be using them. I planted a double Japanese Kerria next to the shed and I added two white blooming hydrangeas in front of the shed. It should look great when they grow and bloom.

The garden has been slow to grow this year due to lack of rain in the area. I have been watering everything regularly, but in the last week we have finally started getting some heavy rains. The rain has helped and the garden is starting to change daily.  I am starting to see some blooms - finally!

My next big project is finishing the stone work on the pond. We are trying to come up with a plan to cover the pond with wire. We need to protect the fish and plants from birds and bears.

Happy Gardening!


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring has Sprung

Spring has arrived in my North Carolina garden and it has been exciting watching the garden come to life. Most of the plants that I moved and planted are breaking ground. Each day something new in the garden appears. I have been cleaning out new garden sites and discovering plants that I did not know were in the garden. I was delighted to find that the two dogwoods in the front yard were actually four dogwoods and two are white and two are pink. The front of the house will look great when they are in full bloom. The top picture shows the first of the dogwoods starting to blooming.

I have cleaned out one new garden site and given it a Japanese garden design. I continue to add stone to the site and I have planted several different colors of azaleas and camellias to this area.

I have been adding rock to the creek bed area and collecting moss to age the area and the Japanese garden.
We are having the wood retaining wall removed and replaced next week. That should improve the look of the garden. The plants in this garden are really growing very well. I do wish we would get more rain. It has been very dry for this time of the year.

My husband and I have leveled a small section of the garden for a storage shed. The shed is to be installed in about two weeks. I really need space for my garden tools and we have a small 8 x 12 cedar shed being installed that will match the house colors and have two window boxes for flowers. I am looking forward to having a place to store my tools. I am really tired of having to search for tools when I need them.

This is the retaining wall that is being replaced next week. After it is complete, I will add additional gravel to the lower path area and give the area a good weeding.

The garden is starting to show color in blooms. The following photos show some of the flowers and new plants that I have added.

That gives you an update on the progress of the new garden. In two weeks the shed and retaining walls will be complete. I am excited to see everything coming together - finally!

Have a wonderful Easter and Happy Gardening!


Update - The pond fish are doing very well in their new home and it seems that we have baby fish now in the pond!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Designing the New Garden

I have had time to clean up the existing garden and to take a good look at it. The garden is a shrub garden on the side (near the top) of a mountain. My soil is clay and sand with lots of different types of quartz and granite. I have lots of trees and I can start a compost area for improving the soil. I have added additional flowering shrubs and perennials to the garden. I also have added a fish pond that my husband and I installed. The bones are good and I have lots of ideas!

In this post, we will take a tour of the garden and I will share some of my plans and ideas for it.
I plan to enlarge the garden and the new garden entrance will now begin at the gate in the upper picture at the top of the hill.

From the gate, a path takes you down hill to a creek area with a bridge. On the left side will be a large shaded bed for hybridizing hellebores. This garden will have a Japanese theme. I will need to add steps to this area due to how steep it is.

 The creek area is really a drain pipe that removes water runoff down the mountain. The creek needs some cleaning out of collected debris but it will look natural when I am done with it.

There are many different types of mosses in the area and I plan to age the creek with moss. At some point the creek will be green and alive as a moss garden. The garden path which will be mulch, now turns and heads towards the woodland fairy garden.

Here is one of the many types of moss that grows around the area and in the garden.
As you leave the creek area you are now at the lower existing garden. I am adding a shaded fairy garden to this section filled with woodland plants like ferns, hellebores, and other shade loving perennials. The large round cement container is a fairy garden. The path in this area is gravel.

Some of the retaining wall in the upper picture will need to be replaced due to rot. I would like to replace it with a material that allows me to plant ferns and other small plants into the wall.

From the woodland garden you now enter the sunny area where I have planted a butterfly perennial garden. I do have several decorative bird feeders, but I do not keep food in them. In this area, we are asked not to feed the birds due to bears and snakes. To the right you can see part of the beautiful mountain view in the garden.

At the end of the gravel path is the new fish pond and a large fountain. The fish pond is kept covered  this time of year with a leaf net. I will be adding a protective wire covering to the pond to protect the fish from bears.

The two large rocks support a stone bench top that I am moving to the fish pond area. The rock bench existed in the garden, but I need some extra help to lift the heavy stone seat. When the bench is in place you can sit and enjoy the fish pond. The pond has a biofalls for keeping the water in good condition.

At the pond area you find the old existing steps that takes you back up the hill to the house. The steps needed some repair due to loose stones. That task was completed early in my garden work.

Next to the steps on the right of the hill is my rose garden. I have planted it with climbers, drift and carpet roses.

That is the new garden and my ideas. When the weather permits, I spend the day working on it and on cold or days with rain, I am inside painting and remodeling. I am really loving where I live and I look forward to sharing my life on the mountain in my blog. I live in Lake Lure, North Carolina, which is one of the most beautiful lakes and areas to live in. If you saw the movie "Dirty Dancing" then you have seen Lake Lure. Stop and check back on my blog for all the beautiful sights, waterfalls, garden shows and other things the area has to offer. If you live in the area, please leave a comment in the comment section on garden shows, garden tours or gardens to visit in the area. I am looking forward to seeing all that North Carolina has to offer.

Happy Gardening!