The Japanese Maple shown in the previous photo, is now surrounded by numerous Trees and Shrubs. Most of the planting in this area was accomplished during the summer of 2008. Numerous Hydrangeas were planted as well as several selections of Viburnum for their early spring blooms and Clethra for the extremely fragrant late summer blooms. More Trees and Shrubs were planted in the background along the woodland's edge as well. If we can prevent the deer from grazing, we should see major changes in this area within just a few years!
Moving closer to the house, this area also underwent major changes this year. In the center of the bed is another type of Horsechestnut, Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora), which blooms later in the season. We wait in anticipation every year as the flower buds form in spring but seem to take forever to bloom. By late June we're rewarded with this outstanding display of flowers. In the late afternoon it's obvious the bees are as pleased as we are when the shrub is alive with their activity!
We all love to show our glorious photos of the gardens, right? Well here's a NOT so glorious photo of the new Heuchera garden!
The Bottlebrush Buckeye fills the border at the back of this bed. The Yoshino Cherry on the left and the Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia 'Aurea') on the right have rapidly grown and now provide a canopy for the planned planting of shade plants.
This "Before" photo was taken the end of June, 2008.
We tackled the planting the first week of July and here is the result!
This is a very large area and the photos had to be spliced to show you almost all of the plants.
The path actually continues to the left where we planted an assortment of the newer Hosta varieties we grow.
Another view looking toward the woodland's edge and as you can see we were still working in this area! To the right of the path are two types of Grass: Japanese Wood Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aurea' and Hakonechloa macra 'Beni-kaze'). Several Daphnes have been planted and numerous Toad Lilies (Tricyrtis) are waiting in their pots for planting at the base of the tree.
Several weeks later and all the plants seem happy in their new home and we were pleased with the results!
Despite the soaring temperatures, we were anxious to continue planting and finish the new woodland garden Rick started last year. The path through the Heucheras leads into Rick's garden.
"Rick's" garden? Yes :) It's becoming obvious, even though we discuss the designs for our plantings, most of the newer projects have our own individual 'tastes' and you'll see more of "Debbie's" gardens as you follow along!
Leaving the Heucheras, you follow the path which leads to the driveway. This garden was planted 5-6 years ago with Arisaemas, Epimediums, Hostas, Peonies, etc. At the end of the path is one of our favorites, Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen'). It's planted on the other side of the driveway under the canopy of the European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata') which you saw as a young plant in the earlier photos.
One of our favorite combinations planted along this path is the Peony and Hardy Geranium (Geranium renardii 'Terra Franche'). The Peony cultivar is unknown as it was one of those which was originally planted years ago in Rick's grandmother's garden in Illinois. They were then planted in Rick's mother's garden and in 2000 they were transferred to our gardens.
This is another Peony from Rick's grandmother which is planted on the opposite side of the path - isn't it beautiful?
I'm getting sidetracked...showing you some of our favorites! If you follow along we'll be showing you more of our favorite plants in the gardens later.
The woodland garden required a tremendous amount of work in order to begin planting! Several trees and shrubs which were planted when the landscaping began had suffered from the shade of the Pine trees and had to be removed. Posts and barbed wire fencing along the road were also removed. And did we mention weeds? This area had been neglected for many, many years. A Bamboo-like grass (which we had planted years ago) was running rampant throughout the area and the weeding took forever!
After endless hours of preparing the site, two years later we're ready for planting! The plants have been selected and are waiting at the entry to the woodland garden.
A few weeks later, islands of Ferns and Hostas have been planted with paths developed on either side.
This is the view looking up through the Woodland Garden with the new island of Ferns in the middle of the photo. Another path was created just beyond the Ferns which leads to our driveway, or you can follow this path to the road.
Rick planted a number of native plants as well as many shade loving perennials in addition to the Ferns and Hostas. He's also planted a wonderful assortment of shrubs including Deciduous Azaleas and Oakleaf Hydrangeas which will eventually provide privacy from the road.