We finally have a digital camera and just in time - by late summer the garden was full of color. The Castor Bean in the background was at least 10' tall! We had to dig the Banana on the right and bring it in for the winter and unfortunately it never made its way back to the gardens the next year :(
We were really pleased with the 'theme' of the garden this year and sorry to see it disappear with the approaching winter months.
The 'theme' changed every year and we continued to plant more trees in the "Herb Garden". The trees were now providing a nice canopy of shade but created problems for some of the herbs and plants that required full sun. In the spring of 2005 it was a time for another change...let the digging begin!
We've enlarged the "Herb Garden" over the past few years and planted even more trees.
Trees added: two Japanese Maples (Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium, Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Viridis'), Purpleleaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena), Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), Thornless Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), Cucumbertree Magnolia (Magnolia acuminata 'Yellow Lantern') and Fragrant Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox var. concolor).
Slate and stone pavers are added to the path and most of the herbs have been replaced with plants that are much happier in the shade.
Standing in the middle of the "Herb Garden" and looking toward the "Catcher's Mitt", the beautiful foliage of the Beech can be seen in the background.
Three years later, even more shade and two years of drought have caused problems for some of the 2005 plantings.
It's time for another change!
By October, a lot of the plants have been removed and more plants which will thrive in the shade (Ferns, Hostas, etc.) have been planted, just in time before the cold weather!
We'll be adding updated photos of the new "Herb Garden" next spring.
Moving now to the gardens we've established to the west of the house. If you're looking down from the deck, this is the area which was originally used for our propagation beds. We decided to till the beds under, start over and plant trees...we need more shade!
By the fall of 2000, the landscape fabric has been tacked down to keep the weeds under control.
All we have to do is cut the path for the driveway and start planting!
Beyond the propagation beds is another area where the only tree planted here originally was a Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). In the Spring of 2001 we added a Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), Red Maple (Acer rubrum 'October Glory'), Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia 'Purple Robe') and another Magnolia.
Three years later (2003) the 'October Glory' Maple is showing its beautiful fall foliage and a variety of trees have been planted in the propagation bed area.