This is the view from the road looking back through the Woodland Garden.
There are a few of the older trees which we didn't remove, Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus 'Shoal Creek') and Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria 'Atropurpurea'). They've suffered in the deep shade but we've pruned some lower limbs of the Pine trees to allow more sun and hope they'll respond!
From the other direction, the Woodland Garden continues along the bank looking up the road to our driveway. Rick was still busy planting this area when the photo was taken. Obviously, this garden is on ongoing project and we hope to share more photos with you as the planting continues and the garden matures.
Now we're going to leave the gardens to the west of the house and move back to the east where Debbie's been planting!
Several years have passed since these gardens were first planted. If you remember the photos of the "Catcher's Mitt", this is the area I'm working in now. The trees we planted have really grown and provide a perfect setting for some of the lovely shade plants we grow.
Speaking of lovely shade plants, these are just a few of our favorite plants in this area and we need to add more!
Top left (clockwise): Masterwort (Astrantia 'Lars'), Showy Ladyslipper (Cypripedium reginae), Shooting Star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi), and Hardy Ground Orchids (Bletilla striata 'Alba' and Bletilla striata).
Before the planting could begin, a new path had to be laid. Heavy rains traveling down the driveway repeatedly gouged the soil so we installed crushed stone and pavers to prevent further erosion.
We also had to break down a rock wall which had been constructed on the left in 2002. A running grass which had been planted became a nuisance when its aggressive roots jumped the rock wall and threatened the gardens beyond. Removing the grass was a frustrating experience...however when we tore the rock wall apart it provided rocks for the new Rock Garden!
Planting of the Rock Garden border continues. Several species of exotic Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema), Ferns and mini Hostas were planted.
In the background is another extremely aggressive plant which will have to be removed, Japanese Butterbur (Petasites japonicus purpureus). Actually, a wonderful groundcover if you have the right conditions but it is far too aggressive for this area!
The path leading through this garden splits with an island which will be planted with Heucheras as companions for the Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost') and Lungwort (Pulmonaria 'Silver Streamers').
The path continues with more Heucheras, Heucherellas and Tiarellas planted on the berm at the base of the Purple Beech, shown here one year later.
Other plants in this area include: Fairy Bells (Disporum smilacinum), Rodger's Flower (Rodgersia aesculifolia), Umbrella Plant (Darmera (Peltiphyllum) peltatum) and numerous Hostas.
The decision to hold our first Open House was the inspiration to expand these borders and create the new Rock Garden. Since the nursery is open by appointment only, we wanted to give our customers an opportunity to tour the gardens and by 2006 we were ready!
Compliments from visitors inspired us to expand the gardens even more!
Back to the drawing board! A view from the deck gives us an idea of what we would like to accomplish. Several plants are selected for the borders and we're almost ready to begin planting, AGAIN!
Several months have passed and we've been too busy to plant. More photos are taken to help develop our design. By late fall the plants are finally in the ground and we'll be ready to plant more next spring.
A year later and a blanket of fresh snow highlights the various Euphorbias which were planted in this area.