A month later the fall colors are an indication of winter approaching and we can look forward to more planting next year!
The handsome exfoliating bark of the Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) can be seen on the right in this photo.
Unfortunately we don't have many pictures of the front borders after the first few years, so we'll fast forward to May of 2008!
The deep burgundy foliage of the Forest Pansy Redbud provides a nice background for the variegation of the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Butterfly'). We've planted another tree with dark foliage, a Hazelnut (Corylus avellana 'Fuscorubra') along the edge of the driveway.
The bright yellow blooms of Goldenchain Tree (Laburnum x waterei 'Vossii') provide a splash of color early in the spring.
A closer look at the brilliant yellow blooms of the Goldenchain Tree.
As we move towards the center of the front border, the Hazelnut really stands out with the foliage of surrounding trees in the background. Magnolia 'Jane' (next to the house) was in full bloom a month earlier and will continue to bloom sporadically into the summer. We made a mistake and planted it too close to the house and a severe pruning is necessary every couple of years :(
To the right of the Hazelnut is the Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) shown before. It wasn't long before visitors were questioning the identity of this handsome tree, especially during the winter months when the beautiful cinnamon bark is particularly striking.
Continuing to the right border we've planted a Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus 'Pink Chimes') which is in full bloom in May.
Our original plan was to construct a pergola over the front entry to create shade for the hot southern exposure. However, our plans were delayed and as this tree gains some height over the years, we plan to limb it up to create a natural canopy over the front entry and nix the idea for a pergola!
With the canopy overhead, we'll be looking up at these delicate pink flowers every spring!
Obviously, our primary focus was the front landscape when the house was built. You've seen the transformation there over the last 14 years so we'll show you what we've been working on behind the house. A lot of changes over the years in this area and it continues to change as the gardens are expanded every year and the planting continues!
This is the view if you were standing on our deck and looking to the east toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. The pond was installed during the summer of 1995 with a wooden plank walkway around the perimeter and a gazebo was constructed the following year.
This photo was taken in the fall of 1999 with some of the trees and shrubs that have been planted along the pond's edge in the last five years. A hedgerow of White Pines was planted from the road along the edge of the field all the way to the pond area when the house was built. A few of the trees which were added along the back of the pond include: Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud'), Variegated Japanese Privet (Ligustrum japonicum 'Variegatum'), and several Viburnums - (Viburnum sieboldii 'Seneca') and (Viburnum setigerum 'Aurantiacum'), on the left.
Again, taken in the fall of 1999, you're looking at the newly tilled beds ready for planting which are located to the left of the pond. We refer to this area as the "Catcher's Mitt", in part due to its shape but also because this area 'catches' all the water rushing down the driveway when heavy rains occur.
In the foreground is a Crabapple (Malus, spp unknown) and in the background is a beautiful River Birch (Betula nigra 'Heritage') with the silhouette of a Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa') planted to the left. We've made many changes to this area over the years and you'll see them all as we continue the tour.
In the spring of 1999, a different view shows the "Catcher's Mitt" in the background and what will become the new "Herb Garden" in the foreground.
The trees we've planted in front of the house have rapidly grown to provide shade and protection from the brutal heat of the southern exposure. Now we're ready to plant more trees and create some shade to cool things off in the back of the house.
We started with two new trees planted in the "Herb Garden" last fall: American Sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua 'Rotundiloba') on the left and Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata) on the right.
When Debbie moved to Virginia in September of 1999, she brought a few plants with her, many of them herbs from her gardens in Maine. We're ready to begin planting and because the majority of the plants for this garden are herbs, we decided to call it the "Herb Garden".
In the spring of 2000 everything has survived its first winter in Virginia and we're ready to plant more!
By the spring of 2001 it's looking like a real garden (but we still don't have a digital camera)!
We've planted a few more trees in the "Catcher's Mitt": Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel', Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata), a pink flowering American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea 'Perkins Pink'), a beautiful Beech with deep purple foliage (Fagus sylvatica 'Riversii').
Unfortunately a lovely tree we planted which suffered and failed several years later, Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata), was replaced with a Japanese Hornbeam (Carpinus japonica).
We planted several trees in the "Herb Garden" as well: a pink flowering Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa 'Satomi') and a variegated Zelkova (Zelkova serrata 'Goshiki'). We also added a few annuals, perennials and tropicals to provide a little more color to the garden.