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Old 01-23-2016, 08:35 PM   #31
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In my (former) woodland garden (my ex is still there, so I still have access), once I cleared out a substantial Norway maple stand, I got a lot of volunteers. This was really satisfying. Pignut hickory, Black walnut, Sycamore, Pagoda dogwood, Tulip tree, several oaks, Black cherry, Green ash. I planted a few. But understory was really the main project. So I put in more than I'll be able to remember. But Spicebush was a natural choice. Chokeberry, several viburnums. Ilexes, Summersweet, Elderberries, etc. Ground covers were important to help keep the soil in place since the Norway had left it kind of bare. Foamflower, Creeping phlox. And a bunch of woodland floor plants. Jack in the pulpit, wild ginger and certain wildflowers that don't mind the shade, like black snakeroot. I get to visit. It's nearly 15 years on now since I started the project. Impressive what some of those volunteers have done! But I must say, I miss my old garden very much. Visiting is just not the same.
It would be hard to move away from my plants! It's nice that you can visit, but surely not the same. I'm trying to get spicebush established here. It's been a slow process, but they are hanging on (I think I've planted at least 7 in various parts of the yard).

Hubby and I talk about one day selling the house and doing the motor home life for a while. I'm not sure I'll be able to walk away if we actually decide to do that. Time will tell.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:35 PM   #32
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I planted three. One is doing surprisingly well - as in, it's gotten HUGE!!! I really thought it would struggle and want more moisture than it gets in the place I planted it. But, it's growing very well and it's so pretty early in the spring. I can see it from the kitchen window when I stand at the sink and wash dishes. The other two are not as happy. One was totally destroyed by rabbits and the other is struggling a bit.
I lost my post.

I was saying that I'm glad at least one grows well for you in less than ideal moisture.

I have a mature one that came with the house. It is growing at the top of a slope in moist, well drained soil.

I bought some alder (Alnus) that I plan to plant farther down the slope. They normally grow at the water's edge. I'm hopeful that the will grow for me...I also plan a wetland (with liner...so, I guess I can try to grow it there eventually as well).
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:52 PM   #33
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Ok so that is your meadow project. It is wonderful that you are doing that. Please give us updates on your progress. I am involved with educating children about nature. I think it is so important that the next generation appreciate nature.
Yes Ellen. And I agree about the importance of educating, and in this case, even just exposing children to nature. Their lives seem so much more structured now, around school, activities and screens. They seem much more disconnected from nature than I was as a child.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:57 PM   #34
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Your meadow garden project sounds like a great challenge which will reap great rewards. Being so public maintenance will be a big factor so it all looks neat while the garden is maturing. Have fun with it and post pix!
Yes linrose. All the more so since it is my first project of this kind. (My friend seems to have a naive faith in me. ) It will be important that it look neat since it will be, strictly speaking, on the property of a business. So, here's hoping that I'm up for the challenge!
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:01 PM   #35
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It would be hard to move away from my plants! It's nice that you can visit, but surely not the same. I'm trying to get spicebush established here. It's been a slow process, but they are hanging on (I think I've planted at least 7 in various parts of the yard).

Hubby and I talk about one day selling the house and doing the motor home life for a while. I'm not sure I'll be able to walk away if we actually decide to do that. Time will tell.
Yes kat. Leaving a garden one has tended for years is a true exercise in acceptance. One understands that some will go, but some is likely to remain. And there was grand life while one was there. And so much was learned!
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:10 PM   #36
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Yes kat. Leaving a garden one has tended for years is a true exercise in acceptance. One understands that some will go, but some is likely to remain. And there was grand life while one was there. And so much was learned!
I like that Amadeus. What a nice statement
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:38 PM   #37
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Yes kat. Leaving a garden one has tended for years is a true exercise in acceptance. One understands that some will go, but some is likely to remain. And there was grand life while one was there. And so much was learned!
Well said, Amadeus. I need to hold onto this thought in case we do move some day. I really have learned a lot and I have enjoyed every day that I've spent in my garden. Hubby still has to work 8-10 years, so this decision is still far off (or so it seems right now).
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:42 AM   #38
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In my (former) woodland garden (my ex is still there, so I still have access), once I cleared out a substantial Norway maple stand, I got a lot of volunteers. This was really satisfying. Pignut hickory, Black walnut, Sycamore, Pagoda dogwood, Tulip tree, several oaks, Black cherry, Green ash. I planted a few. But understory was really the main project. So I put in more than I'll be able to remember. But Spicebush was a natural choice. Chokeberry, several viburnums. Ilexes, Summersweet, Elderberries, etc. Ground covers were important to help keep the soil in place since the Norway had left it kind of bare. Foamflower, Creeping phlox. And a bunch of woodland floor plants. Jack in the pulpit, wild ginger and certain wildflowers that don't mind the shade, like black snakeroot. I get to visit. It's nearly 15 years on now since I started the project. Impressive what some of those volunteers have done! But I must say, I miss my old garden very much. Visiting is just not the same.
Amadeus,

I recall your story, but reading it here really makes it hit home. I feel your pain; you put yourself into that project. I'm glad that you can still visit it...seeing how it has grown and that it still provides for wildlife.

Amazing how much the Norway maples had suppressed...and how many natives volunteered to repopulate the area. Your description of what you added and what you accomplished makes me want to focus more on my woodland projects. Luckily I didn't have to deal with Norway maples, but I did remove many multiflora rose bushes--including the mother of them all--enormous...I wish I'd measured the girth of its trunk. Aside from the roses, I had to remove invasive bush honeysuckle. I'm still dealing with those and more multiflora rose seedlings keep coming up--a few I catch early, many more I don't tackle until they are probably 3 years old.

Although I do add to my woodland, I've yet to do the dramatic changes that you accomplished. My focus has been on the pond and meadow projects. I figure the meadow will make a big impact within two or three years...the pond as soon as it is dug and filled (although several years will likely be required for me to make it look as natural as I want it to look). The woodland takes longer to get the desired results.

I tend to add trees to the property each year; many of those that I put in as bare-root seedlings the first year or two are finally taller than me. I need to focus more on understory shrubs (viburnums and such) and add more trees. Filling in with wildflowers will likely be the last step--although, I've added some along the way...too hard to wait.

Your story really has inspired me to improve my woodlands (one on the side of our property, another in the back). The woodland wildflowers were my first love...I recall my parents taking us on nature walks and going to Rock Garden Society meetings in the spring where many woodland natives were also sold.

When I work, I tend to jump around a lot, so while my focus over the past two years has been on the meadow, I've still added to the woodland.

I recall how quickly my dad's plantings filled in with his pocket woodland where I grew up. Once established, trees can really fill in and attain some height in 10-15 years!--as your story shows.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:57 AM   #39
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Your story really has inspired me to improve my woodlands (one on the side of our property, another in the back). The woodland wildflowers were my first love...I recall my parents taking us on nature walks and going to Rock Garden Society meetings in the spring where many woodland natives were also sold.

When I work, I tend to jump around a lot, so while my focus over the past two years has been on the meadow, I've still added to the woodland.

I recall how quickly my dad's plantings filled in with his pocket woodland where I grew up. Once established, trees can really fill in and attain some height in 10-15 years!--as your story shows.
Hi Dap,

You are always such an encouragement, and you allow others to be encouragements too. Let's a valuable gift.

I don't know whether it's my age or what, but the years haven't seemed to go by that slowly. The progress in tree growth and the understory has been steady. Sometimes in my experience how quickly a plant would grow and mature might depend on very local conditions, presumably soil conditions. I had a Mapleleaf viburnum that was so happy, it would astonish me every year by how much it would go and bloom (once it started blooming). The thing is huge and dense. It's in almost complete shade. It seems[/I], according to my shaky memory, that it reached its max height (of maybe 12') within 4 or 5 years. I have another one not 40' away. Gets a bit more sun. It is gangly, has over-sized leaves, is generally smaller and less handsome. I would say it is still not mature. Go figure.

Like you, Dap, the woodland flora is my first love. In my garden, I found Trout lily. White wood aster would make a little woods edge meadow in the early fall. (The small bees in particular seemed to relish that.) The place is covered with Virginia creeper, even now where I removed so much English ivy "gone wild!" I too had a pretty mature stand of honeysuckle (amur) as well as bittersweet. (I came to feel a little guilty at how much pleasure I was deriving from taking those things out!)

I'd like to mention that one of the great influences on me so far as woodland gardening has been Rick Darke's "The American Woodland Garden." One thing he focuses on there is time and the aesthetics of coming back to the same place over and over.

Last edited by Amadeus; 02-02-2016 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Something to add
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:53 PM   #40
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Hi Dap,

You are always such an encouragement, and you allow others to be encouragements too. Let's (sic) a valuable gift.
Thank you. Kind words.

I think the older we get the more we appreciate such words...and the older we get the easier it is to share such things.

Honestly, I don't even realize it...I was just sharing my thoughts...I'm very glad that they had that effect though.


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Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
I don't know whether it's my age or what, but the years haven't seemed to go by that slowly. The progress in tree growth and the understory has been steady. Sometimes in my experience how quickly a plant would grow and mature might depend on very local conditions, presumably soil conditions. I had a Mapleleaf viburnum that was so happy, it would astonish me every year by how much it would go and bloom (once it started blooming). The thing is huge and dense. It's in almost complete shade. It seems, according to my shaky memory, that it reached its max height (of maybe 12') within 4 or 5 years. I have another one not 40' away. Gets a bit more sun. It is gangly, has over-sized leaves, is generally smaller and less handsome. I would say it is still not mature. Go figure.
Looking back, time always seems faster than while living it. When we first moved here, I put in bare-root tree seedlings and kept wishing for them to grow in and mature--then, I realized just how old I would be and decided to enjoy the process. Now that some of them are taller than me, I am feeling better--and knowing that 10-15 years should bring a much more "woodsy" woodland, I realize that it isn't all that long to wait.

I hope that I have some similar experiences with all that I add--actually, I already experienced that with my hazelnut trees--I'd added 3 in various spots in the yard--one has thrived much more than the others. The second isn't too far behind, but the third had to be moved...then moved again, and I'm not even sure if it has survived.

I really need to add more viburnum along with tons of other species.

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Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
Like you, Dap, the woodland flora is my first love. In my garden, I found Trout lily. White wood aster would make a little woods edge meadow in the early fall. (The small bees in particular seemed to relish that.) The place is covered with Virginia creeper, even now where I removed so much English ivy "gone wild!" I too had a pretty mature stand of honeysuckle (amur) as well as bittersweet. (I came to feel a little guilty at how much pleasure I was deriving from taking those things out!)
I used to feel badly removing things--I do hate to kill things...but, over the years, I've come to really just want to rid the property of these invaders that inhibit the natural habitat/natural succession.

Over the years, I've come to get great satisfaction from pulling the (amur?) honeysuckle out by their roots. (I had been calling it "Japanese honeysuckle, but apparently that is a vine--I believe I have been battling amur honeysuckle--just calling it the wrong name.)

Your comments brought to mind one of my favorite threads: Take Note: Your Destruction is at Hand I think you will really enjoy it.

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Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
I'd like to mention that one of the great influences on me so far as woodland gardening has been Rick Darke's "The American Woodland Garden." One thing he focuses on there is time and the aesthetics of coming back to the same place over and over.
The author's name seems familiar to me...I want to say that I have another of his books--or something similar. The photos in my book are very inspirational...as is a local (to where I grew up) park that was brimming with wildflowers.

Reading "...the aesthetics of coming back to the same place over and over." made me smile. I like that. I think I've been living that without realizing it. There is something to be said about becoming intimately familiar with a natural area--especially my own property which continues to improve, grow, thrive, attract, change...with lighting, season, migration, etc. So much is new despite it being the same property.

(I feel like this response is all over the place--more off a stream of consciousness post. Hope it makes sense.)
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