It is hard to believe that we have been in our new home for a year. A new granddaughter was born last August and along with her brother has kept my wife and me very busy. The garden has come along nicely and I am looking forward to making more progress this year. More woody plants are needed to give the garden some structure and these will be underplanted with shade perennials and bulbs. I put in quite a few bulbs (mostly minor bulbs) last Fall and am anticipating a colorful Spring. With many catalogs arriving daily I will be devoting my spare time to working on plant orders.
I am finally getting a chance to post on my blog. All the major projects are done for this year on our new home. The roof was replaced along with a new heating and cooling system. The worst one(for me) was tearing out the sidewalk to our front door which was twice as thick as it needed to be. I did most of it with a sledge hammer. The new entryway is bluestone enclosed on two sides with a stonewall and boxwood. I ripped out the overgrown foundation planting and replaced it with more interesting plants. I still have a shrub border to finish this summer.
Our biggest joy has been spending time with our grandson who just turned two. He loves the outdoors and has great time in the dirt. He also loves to go for walks with us and study the world around him.
Last Saturday I spent the afternoon roaming around the gardens at North Hill in Southern Vermont. This was a real treat since this marks the first time the garden has been open to the public so early in the season.( This year the garden will be open every Friday and Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. through October). The weather was perfect for the last day of April. There were many small treasures blooming throughout the garden. A nice seletion of Corydalis solida were still in bloom and the hellebores were at their best. The most spectacular show was the thousands of daffodils planted in the upper meadow backed by a row of forsythia.
I spent the last week working on and off on the new shade garden . I had ordered compost and three pallets of stone the previous week for the project. The hardest part was digging through all the tree roots. With its southern exposer and high shade this area will be ideal for many of the spring emphemerals that I grow. I had saved quite a few plants from my old garden which were wintered over in a friends garden. I put a small water feature in the lower wall which will add a nice sound of water in the background and give the birds a place to drink.
Yesterday I went to hear Page Dickey speak at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge Massechucetts She gave a great talk called Embroidered Ground (which is also the name of her new book) which delt with her 29 year old garden and how it has changed over the years. After the program I walked around the gardens checking out the early bulbs and hellebores in bloom.
Spring has finally reach us in upstate New York. The early bulbs are blooming and the snow has departed. My wife and I have cleaned up most of the yard and I have started some new gardens. My plant orders will be arriving the second week of April. The next step is to order soil and compost for the new beds.
This winter has been snowy and cold so far. We are supposed to go well below zero tonight. The month of January has been a snowy one with at least one storm a week. As much as I dislike winter it does give me time to read other blogs, study garden catalogs and work on upcoming talks that I am giving this year. I am having a half dozen trees cut down that were in bad shape or in a bad location. This will allow me room to add shrubs and smaller trees to help form the bones of the new garden.
I am a garden designer and plant collector living in upstate New York with my wife Kathy. Last year we gave up a twenty year garden and moved to be close to our Grandson. We are starting a new adventure and new gardens. My specialty is shade plants.