Tuesday, December 30, 2014


     This shady woodland bed is planted with Autumn brilliance fern, violas, Japanese iris, and hellebores.

November was cold by North Carolina standards but December more than made up for it with mild, sunny days and plenty of rainfall. I had 5 yards of a custom blend of topsoil  ( compost, manure and gray sand ) delivered and spread some on the various flower beds and created berms as well.  Spent a great deal of time shredding and incorporating leaves into the existing soil in the beds.

It was warm enough to plant so I visited the garden center and selected a gorgeous Mahonia, White 'japonica ' camellia and 'christmas jewel ' holly.   I planted them near the large picture window which has a lovely view of the bird feeders and houses.

I finally had to cut back the ginormous elephant ears that I planted in the Spring.

I dug up and divided the bulbs which I spread around the shady areas of the rock garden.  I also planted a lot of daffodils and alliums in the roadside garden beds so Spring should be quite colorful.  

Since my front garden is not fenced in I plant only what the deer are not supposed to like.  As extra insurance I have been spraying faithfully with Liquid Fence which stinks to high heaven until it dries, which can take about a day.  I've found it very effective in keeping the deer away, but winter will be the real test.  

    My roadside wildflower garden, started with seeds, looked good through late Fall.

Christmas snuck up on me and it was time to retire the trowel for awhile.  Lea's grandparents arrived from Cork, Ireland for the holidays and I've spent time visiting with them as well. They were impressed with the garden I've created thus far, having seen the blank slate it was during their visit last year.

This was a very special Christmas for Lea as she gets to share it with her paternal grandparents.

As the year draws to an end I'm already looking 
forward to my plans for the garden. My first priority is a fenced-in backyard so that I can garden without worrying about deer . I want to naturalize lily of the valley, hellebores, sweet woodruff and ferns in the woodland areas.  I want to create a privacy buffer near the main entrance to our property but I don't want it to be hedges in a row -something mixed with both deciduous and evergreen shrubs.

I wish all of you good health and happiness in the coming New Year.  

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