Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Ah, Jan­u­ary. I have cre­ated a new folder in Pho­to­shop Bridge enti­tled Gar­den 2011. I have one sin­gle photo in it, but it’s an impor­tant one—a shot of where we’ll be cre­at­ing a wood­land garden.

Out of neces­sity came oppor­tu­nity. We had the local tree guys out to take down a large tulip tree that was in immi­nent dan­ger of falling onto the chicken coop and across the dri­ve­way. It was a tricky under­tak­ing because of its loca­tion. The older of the father/son pair is in his 60s, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he scam­pered up that tree. Start­ing at the top he sawed off limbs and then he topped it. I was in the house when the top 10 feet of the tree came down. There was a huge crash, which I would have been wor­ried about except I heard the two men erupt into whoops of glee. Isn’t it great to take joy in your work?

Any­way, the rest of the tree came down, as did another in the way. I will also have to move a lot of the hostas I planted there in the past two years since they will now likely scorch in the sun. I’m not show­ing you pho­tos of it all because the whole process made a humon­gous mess that I will have to deal with when the ther­mome­ter climbs above freezing.

While the tree guys were here they made me a good deal offer to clear some of the woods. I hopped on the chance to get this sec­tion of the woods cleared of under­brush and trash trees. It is the area near the house that we look on when we eat din­ner out­side in the sum­mer. With­out all the tan­gle of under­brush and trash trees, we’ll get a bet­ter view into the woods. We’ll also put in a path and a bench to over­look a ravine that you can’t see very well in the photo.

What­ever else goes in the wood­land gar­den, I am deter­mined that it will be low main­te­nance. We already have a healthy crop of moss. I like moss. Some of the hostas will also find a new home there. Then there will be bulbs. And a ham­mock. And my bot­tle tree.

So here you have it, the first view of the new wood­land garden.

Robin

Does any­one do hos­pi­tal­ity bet­ter than South­ern­ers? Per­haps. But I can’t think of who right now because last week I was in David­son, NC, speak­ing at the David­son Hor­ti­cul­tural Sym­po­sium where the mem­bers of the David­son Gar­den Club rolled out the red car­pet. It’s very fresh in my mind. And, oh my!

I was there as one of the guest speak­ers talk­ing about the “Art­ful Veg­etable Garden”—once again rid­ing my hobby horse about how edi­ble gar­dens don’t have to be util­i­tar­ian look­ing. I rubbed elbows with fel­low speak­ers Allan Armitage, W. Gary Smith ,  William Welch and Pamela Baggett. The David­son Gar­den Club mem­bers arranged for our trans­porta­tion and accom­mo­da­tions, flow­ers in our rooms and for our lapels, escorts to make sure we didn’t get lost, fab­u­lous din­ners and lunches and one very spe­cial gar­den tour.

The gar­den sur­rounds the Ital­ian Renaissance-style home of a pri­vate cou­ple who have cre­ated a very approach­able and walk­a­ble gar­den on acres of pro­tected land in David­son. A path­way cir­cles the perime­ter of the house and is planted with fab­u­lous spec­i­mens that are evi­dent even in the still-chilly weather of early March.

Care­ful atten­tion to plant selec­tion, art­ful cre­ation of path­ways to give long views of gar­den sculp­tures, cre­ative use of ele­ments for a rus­tic touch and even mossy paths, con­tributed unasked, cour­tesy of Mother Nature, made this a fab­u­lous and mem­o­rable gar­den walk.

You can see more of the gar­den here.

I appre­ci­ate my new friends in David­son and their fab­u­lous South­ern hos­pi­tal­ity. Thank you!

Robin

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.

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