Gardening on the Mountain

What a view!

Gardening on the mountain has been very different than when I gardened back in Indiana. I do have a beautiful view in my garden but gardening on a mountain has it's own problems. The main problem that I have found is high winds and how it dries out the soil. There are days that the wind can be very strong and with the lack of rain that we have had for the spring season, I find that I need to water the gardens to help establish the plants. I have noticed that many of my plants are not as tall as they would have been due to a dry spring. Recently we have been getting some really heavy rains and the plants are starting to look much better. I have been adding mulch to the gardens to help retain moisture in the soil. 

Another problem has been the soil. It is not bad for growing plants in but it does contain lots of rocks. When I plant, I have found lots of large pieces of white quartz buried in the ground. I have been using the stone in a dry creek bed. The soil drains well, but organic material in the soil would help.

I have lots of old tree stumps and clumps of Mountain Laurel growing in the garden. I have been digging out the stumps and cutting out and digging up some of the Mountain Laurel. I want to leave Mountain Laurel in the garden because it is a native and very beautiful when it blooms. It also adds color to the garden in the winter and acts as barrier to keep animals out of the garden.

Gardening on a mountain is interesting due to having the house located near the top of the ridge and the gardens much lower and on a slope. You are always going up and down the hill to garden. It makes for stronger leg muscles but it does wear you out more when moving mulch and rock. The other problem is when you dig a hole to plant, the hole is always sloped. Even my pond water level runs down hill to some degree. I also spend time walking down the hill to pick up tools, flower pots and other things that roll down the hill due to gravity.

The fish pond is just about complete. I need to add a few more stones in different areas to complete it. The fish are doing well in their new home and I have had a few new additions born in the pond this year. The pond is covered with heavy gauge steel fencing to keep out large birds and slow down a hungry bear.

 Roses seem to grow very well on the mountain. I have a rose garden and I have added more roses to the garden. I have decided to add a second rose garden to the other side of the house. The area is a steep slope and I plan to design a new rose garden and terrace the area. I can add some steps to the area making it easier to garden. Here are a few pictures of my roses that were moved and are now blooming.

The garden is growing, surviving and I am adding additional new plants all the time. I have transplanted a few plants to new locations due to lost tags in the move. The garden is taking shape slowly!

My next task in the garden will be adding steps going down two of the steep sloped areas to make it easier to walk down to the garden. I started cutting landscape timbers and I plan to start constructing the steps this weekend. After the steps are in, I will add a gravel path throughout the garden for strolling.

Happy Gardening!