Spring is one of my favorite seasons in the garden. It's that time of the year when the garden renews itself. Over the long winter, I spend time reviewing the "bones" of the garden from my upstairs window where I can see the entire garden. From there I make my plans for the upcoming growing season. Spring allows me to see what survived, multiplied, needs help or didn't survive. When I first started the garden, my property was weeds, mature native trees and lots of Poison Ivy and Euonymus vines covering all the trees. I spent the first two summers removing vines and itching from Poison Ivy. Around two thirds of my garden is in flood plain and the first few years, I didn't plant anything in that area after seeing my first couple of floods. Now the gardens are large and extend into the flood plain. When it floods, the gardens are under water for about one week. Flooding occurs during winter to early spring, when the plants are dormant. I have never lost a plant from flooding. The gardens are about one and half acres of flowering trees and shrubs and a wide assortment of perennial plants. To create a garden of that size requires lots of plants. I buy many of my plants at the end of the growing season on clearance. I also grow my perennials from seed and start many shrubs from cuttings or layering. I also receive lots of plants from friends and family who don't want them any more for various reasons. Every plant finds a home in my garden. Each year, I focus on adding certain elements to the garden design. Last year I planted lots of flowering shrubs to create the walls of the garden. This year I am adding more hardscapes like arbors, a retaining wall and enlarging the pond and waterfalls. I like to do the work myself, which is part of the fun of gardening! My garden is very young and each year I find it exciting to see how it has grown and continues to mature into the garden I envision. The plants are young and small, but the vision of a beautiful old mature garden is there. As I see it, my garden and I will grow old together!
Apple trees in bloom