... well perhaps. After all, a person can only fit so many trees into two acres. Actually, my wife has been reminding me of that for years. Does this mean I'll never buy another magnolia... certainly not. On the other hand adding three or four each year really doesn't make a lot of sense any longer. Not too long ago I did count about sixty of them although I've lost a few since then... the point is that many are rather small yet and haven't even developed their first bloom. They will get large eventually and that may well create a few problems.
So I gained a new interest in conifers... it's the same scenario. In addition to all the large ones I have, there is a host of little ones waiting to get larger. Even the dwarfs will get pretty big over time. I simply have to do some reassessing and moving conifers about this spring... this is when a blank canvas would be a great thing to have!
You may ask why I'm displaying photos of the area I redid a couple of years back and call the 'rockery'. I think that this is the answer to my quest for a new direction or vision if you will. This shaded area really excites me and gets me enthused about new possibilities. As noted in a recent post, we now have a lot of shade on what was two acres of pasture forty years ago. In the future we can only have more shade which is fine since I'm past the time in my life when a tan is important. That said, perhaps it is time to do a little refining in the gardens.
For example... if you've followed my posts for a while, you know that I truly enjoy hostas and I have hundreds of them. I wouldn't part with a single one. However, what looks nice in the above photo will by August be a whole lot of hostas growing into each other. I have always done a good job of massing plants which can be effective in a design, but I'm getting to the point where I want to shake things up a bit. Mix in some woodland phlox and a conifer here and there... spread out some of the hostas so I can appreciate what is special about their individual personalities.
I suspect that is why I'm so enthralled with my 'rockery'. There is a lot of plant material in this small area. In the two photos above there is a young Fagus sylvatica 'Asplenifolia' which will provide shade in the future. There are numerous varieties of primula and hellebores. There are several very interesting clump forming epimediums, there are trilliums and phlox stolonifera. Additionally there are dwarf hemlocks... in fact I've added more than can be seen here. There are also miniature hostas. The list goes on and I will delve into that in future posts. When I first started the rockery, I thought I might have an interest in alpines and the like... I soon realized that was not where I wanted to head. I have to admit that all I really want is 'beautiful' and I really don't need 'difficult'. It's color and texture that excite me, and if something odd fits in and manages to be reasonably easy to please, then so much the better!
It seems I always have to have some new and exciting challenge in my life... I would never give up these gardens in order to start over... there just isn't time for that. I am however bent on perfecting them to the best of my ability. I have spent too many hours in the past few years walking around the yard with a plant in my arms that has the potential of getting huge, looking for a place to site it. I have even done the "walk" and ended up giving away the plant I just purchased! It is time to reach deeper into the details and that will certainly include adding even more variety, and making good use of all that shade that has arrived after all these years of planting trees.
So, with that I'll end this post. In future posts I will spend some time in the rockery looking at some of the plants that I am coming to really enjoy. I'll also share some changes that I think will better tie the upper levels with what is happening at the base of our building.
Until next time, Larry