It has been started from scratch, this new garden. There was nothing but a crabgrass lawn and overgrown foundation plantings when we took possession of the new house in August of 2014. Lots of work has been done and plenty of treasure expended, both physical and monetary. It, the garden, is beginning to reward us for the effort. Our favorite plants were brought here, some notorious for not wishing to be moved, like the first tree peony we ever planted anywhere, P. ‘White Phoenix’. It was written about and photographed many times in the old garden. This is its maiden voyage here.
A very small root section was dug and potted a year before the big migration to Knoxville. The leaves were scraggly and heat burnt by the time it was planted in what was to become the Japanese Garden.
The cork was popped on the prosecco when the little stick sprouted leaves last spring. It can take years for such a tiny specimen to flower, but since we held our mouths at just the right angle and made copious prayers to the powers above, a single bloom graced 2016.
Panning out, the small white flower ball can be seen at the back right fence corner, just under the reddish new foliage of the Japanese maple. The camera shots of the first three images are not really lying, they just are showing White Phoenix at its best, pollen intact and petals shyly revealing their delights to any passing pollinators. Someday it will be magnificent.
The long shot showing the Japanese Garden that is framed by fence and the protuberance that is the breakfast area of the kitchen also reveals the planting just under the arched window. This is mostly shady and was determined to be the perfect home for snowdrops, seedlings of a dark flowered Hellebore and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’. There are two downspouts that help to moisturize the soil on either side of the large window, all the better to water you, my dears. Forget me nots, Epimedium ‘Sulphureum’ and the spreading Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fens Ruby’ help distract from the fading foliage of the various snowdrops, Galanthus ssp.
Next to the kitchen window bump out is the back deck. It may be redone at some future date so plantings around it are not permanent, the perfect spot to grow some food! Sugar snap peas, lettuce, radishes and newly stuck in artichoke seedlings are protected from marauding birds and naughty cats by chicken wire until the veggies get more size to them.
Moving out into the triangular shaped back yard, along the south facing fence are a few bulbs. Cardboard and mulch were applied last summer to try and tame the crabgrass mixed with the creeping devil bermuda grass. The pretty little daffodil, Narcissus ‘Prototype’ is on its second year of bloom.
A handful of Tulipa viridiflora ‘Spring Green’ were tossed into a hole last fall. This variety of tulip was my favorite in the old garden, returning faithfully in the Knot Garden. Click here to see that vision of white. If these prove to be perennial here, more will be added. Tulips are considered annuals here, never blooming again like the first spring after fall planting. We shall see how it plays out.
Across the yard are the two main garden beds, so called the upper nursery and lower nursery. A walkway was made between them using three extra bench tops plopped across the muddy path that connected the two mountains of planting mix/topsoil brought in by dump trucks. Both beds are fronted with small boxwood hedges rimmed with Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’. The lower nursery hedge, which is more shady and wetter has Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ mixed in, as well.
Sometimes, make that always, the camera has a mind of its own as to what exactly I am trying to take a photo of. This shot got it right. Native deciduous azalea Rhododendron ‘Admiral Semmes’ luckily found at a Lowe’s in Asheville, North Carolina is in full bloom. One of two shrubs on either side of the metal edged gravel pathways that lead to the shed are citadels of golden welcome in early April.
Let’s have a look at the lower nursery now, a riot of spring if ever there was one. Trillium luteum, dug, potted and brought to the new garden has settled in nicely in the shady moistness. Behind is a newly purchased last year spreading Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’.
Trillium cuneatum, sweet Betsy, is showing itself. All the Trilliums were stuck into one pot for the move and I am not sure who all survived. We will celebrate those who made it and mourn the loss of those who did not.
Throw in some hostas and various Heucheras and it looks like a party…
…a chaotic, colorful graffiti gone wild miasma of fun and frolic.
The view from the other end, the haphazard and hazardous walkway needs to be tweaked before someone, me, gets a board in the face as these bench tops are not anchored and starting to come apart. If you step on the edge the opposite end lifts up. Note to self….put this on the to do list.
It is a pleasure to see the woodland plantings from the old garden settle in so well here. There was actually no moist ground there as the whole yard was on a steeply sloping hill all the way to the street. It’s a wonder these plants grew there at all. They are happier here, it seems, so far. I like the bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis leaf curtain behind the seed pod and hope for some seedlings to appear in the future.
To finish up this overly long and image heavy post, I really must post more often, we bring you Xena. She is a young female Eastern box turtle who showed up last fall and then disappeared into the brush pile. We had a nice family of these turtles at the old garden which can be viewed by clicking here. Awake from hibernation and looking for adventure, she will lead the way with her bravery. Onward.