Lets take a walk through my garden - 4 months old

ricksample(6)July 24, 2011

After spending the last 3 years planting perennials and buying pretty much anything I could find at the Big Box stores this year I've decided to tear it all up and turn my entire yard into a Conifer Garden.

Over the next several years I'll plant mostly conifers and Japanese maples. Then I'll fill in with a lot of ground covers and colorful perennials so I can have a colorful 4 season garden. I also plan to add statues, birdbaths/feeders, benches, etc.

So far this year I've done all the work myself with only a shovel. I planted around 75 plants, dug and hauled tons of dirt and spread 18 yards of mulch.

Lets start the tour at the front door and walk around back...

I just put this Arbor up last week. Will plant climbing red roses on each side. A huge bed will also be to the right of the arbor as outlined with the rope on the ground. The arbor looks a lot smaller than it actually is. It's 9' high, 13' wide.

This picture is a little older, I recently extended the bed out a little and moved some plants around

This picture is also a little older, I have moved some plants around

I ran out of mulch for this bed, will continue next year.

Some pictures of a few conifers/Maples...

and of course, the plan... You cant really tell the names of the plants and I don't have them all added just yet. The path after entering the arbor and wrapping around back yard is 9' wide. This is just what I plant to do over the next 5 years or so, more will be added along the way I'm sure.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Nice stretch of land. Your autumn moon just might have sold me one!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 3:43PM
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    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:04PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Great thing going there ricksample. Looks like a plan to me.

'Skylands' looks good. You will be glad you used the shade cloth for several years till it acclimates.

The stainless tags are forever. When you add new tags all species names are lower case.

Thanks for the tour. Keep us posted.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Very nice selection of conifer cultivars! ....congratulations!

One that surprised me a bit was your P.x schwerinii 'Wiethorst' -- I also got one this spring, about the same size, but much more dense branching & foliage, plus a few cones (yes, already !)
....as Ken would say, "what's up with that ?"

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:30PM
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@ toronoado38000 - Autumn moon is on of my favorites. It's probably tied with my new Picea pungens 'Hoopsii' (not pictured). I plan to get another Autumn Moon this fall.

@dcsteg - Thanks! A lot of hard work, but on the weekends when I sit outside and watch the sun rise with my coffee, it's priceless... worth every penny and hour I put into the project. I will take note for the species names on the tags, I never knew this.

@ jaro in montreal - Thanks! 'Wiethorst' is amazing. I actually have a small cone on the very top that just formed a couple weeks ago. I think this one got a late start this spring since it was very cold/wet. It should become more dense once the needles on the top and to the sides fully extend and fill in.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 8:11AM
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Wow that's one heck of a start. I love every selection too, we share tastes in conifers and plants. Your bark, signs, etc. are all basically exactly how I would do it. Needs some rocks now! :)

You also did something a lot of people wish they did, photograph the beginning, extensively. Cheers to watching it all grow John, you've come a LONG ways in four months.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:32PM
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This is really nice. I look forward to more pics as it develops!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:55PM
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Thanks Will! That means a lot coming from someone with a garden like you have. More rocks are definitely in the works. I keep my eye on craigslist to get them cheaper.

I photographed almost every step. I also have pictures before I started when I just had the rope on the ground outlining the beds, digging the paths for the pavers & river, etc. I'll be crazy looking back 5 years from now to what I have done.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


such potential ... i remember those halcyon days ...

i see the garden gate is freshly installed.. what are your ideas about the well head???

keep the camera handy.. and document it forever..



    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Thanks Ken!! I'm not to sure what to do about the well head, any thoughts? I was thinking of adding a couple low mounding daylilies or something that doesn't get to tall.

Definitely, I will keep the camera handy and post new pics each year as my progress progresses.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:32AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Hmm wonder what happened to my post from a day ago? Must be lost in GW space. I had to comment though since this all looks so great and I am so impressed at what all you have accomplished. Can't wait to see all the follow up posts over the next years.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:49AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how about you mirror the foundation bed wall .. on the opposite side..

and put in a 40 foot spraying fountain .. lol ...

its hard to tell from the angled pic.. would need a new post.. and a straight on pic ... perhaps from both sides.. etc ...

wait.. on the map.. is there a future round bed???? away from the house???


    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:06PM
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And I mispoke; Rick, not John!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:23PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Rick, you've a nice piece of land, you can create your own Arboretum :0)
That chair in the 4th and 5th pic is a good idea, you can watch your investments grow ;0)
I'm so glad that all your name tgs are written in the good way, exept for one:
Picea abies 'Wingles Weeper'
This must be written as 'Wingle's Weeper'...
Good luck with your future garden plans!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Thanks Cher, that's much appriciated =)

Ken - Most definetely, I'll get some better pics this week and post in a new thread. I have a semi round bed to the right of the arbor that I'm working on for fall plantings. Right now I have roundup down waiting for the grass to die.

coniferjoy - You never know... I'm not sure how large this project will get 15-20 years from now =)... If I run out of room in my backyard, it'll be time for more brush cutting lol. I have another 200 x 500 feet on standby just incase. I actually took my yard back 50 feet just to make room for those beds.

I'm relieved I didn't spell any of the other names wrong. Will get Wingle's Weeper fixed.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 8:00AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Your designs are very Ken like, lol. In 5 years that place it going to fill up nicely. You have SO much room for future growing plans.

I've been at my place for 7 months and I'm out of room for anything beyond an intermediate for width.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 1:43PM
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