Things have been moving ever onward here at the newly relocated Fairegarden. Fall veggies have progressed nicely in the cold frame.
There has also been progress made in the back yard. We have moved many times in our adult lives and one of the first tasks, always, is the hiring of tree work. It is good to have any wayward trees addressed before gardening begins, and while there are still funds available for such. Renovations are notorious fund-suckers. At the new house, the upper level part of the back yard only was fenced by the original owner, leaving the north facing, steeply sloping 25 feet on the other side totally unkempt. Tree seedlings quickly grew to become chainsaw sized weeds during the eleven years since the home was built. Without at least a yearly cut down, that is what will happen to all wild land. It will eventually become a forest.
The row of pine trees belongs to us and they mark the property boundary with the fenced yards of the subdivision next door. We love the privacy and wildlife refuge they offer. After the offending weed trees were cut, the view was very much improved.
But there was more to be done after the trees were felled and hauled away. The landscaper can be seen above walking the area, calculating the cost to accomplish my vision for the land. At one time I had hoped to garden on this large parcel of soil, but wise advisors reminded me of the hazards that steep slopes can bring to aging feet and ankles. We know all about slopes.
Before the work could proceed on the other side of the fence, the fence itself needed to be replaced. It was falling apart and the weed trees had twisted the lumber and caused general dilapidation on the slope side. A straight across the top style constructed of western red cedar brought a much more attractive sense of enclosure to the back yard. (It can’t be called a garden, yet, although the shed looks rather handsome already.)
The assortment of bird houses and feeders, containers of various materials, statuary and benches that had been languishing unloved hither and yon were carefully placed to dress up the fence line. A few climbing roses and some Clematis were planted to bring some greenery someday. A deciduous azalea, seen just to the right of the raised turquoise container was even planted along there. It was found on the mark down table at a big box store in Asheville, NC. Incredibly, this particular cultivar was the earliest blooming, and a favorite of my signature plants at the old garden, Rhododendron ‘Admirial Semmes’. (You can read about my signature plants by clicking here.) I was tickled to find this treasure at all, let alone for a reasonable price. Some things are just meant to be.
The day after the fence was installed, the landscaper came and cleared the mess behind the fence. Winter rye grass was sown and straw was added to help hold the newly bare soil in place. He and his crew were still packing up their equipment here when I dashed out and quickly planted the fifteen small evergreens that were to provide color and winter interest over time. “Don’t forget to water the grass seed”, he said as he left. Thanks for the reminder, I thought, the trees will need watering until the winter rains come.
The rains did come and the grass seed finally germinated. It will not be mown for I admire the flowers and seed heads of rye grass plus we can’t be traipsing around on that steep incline, anway. Happily there is new growth on the little evergreens, too. Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsii’, Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Rachel’, Cupressus arizonica ‘Blue Ice’ and Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Carolina Sapphire’ should all grow tall enough to be seen over the fence from the house and yard but remain narrow enough to not interfere with the pine trees or the pretty new fence. We do hope to live long enough to see that vision come to fruition. Some saved wildflower seeds were scattered back there, as well. The maintenance plan is for a once a year cut down of the ground cover until the trees grow large enough to shade out weed germination.
After the fence and landscaping work was completed, I gave myself a little present. Six yards of local topsoil mixed with composted horse bedding and some mulch and screened were delivered by a dump truck to the back yard. Merry Christmas to me!