New, in VA, and an intro!

aviastar 7A VirginiaMarch 28, 2013

Hi All!

I'm new this season to the GardenWeb forums, but I am really excited to get into gardening!

My husband and I are rehabbing an 1840's cabin and it's accompanying 3+ acres which have been sadly neglected for at least 30 years. And by neglected, I mean some addicts were living in the house sans running water- they obviously didn't mow the yard, although they did leave three generations of beer cans instead.

We've gotten the house liveable, and the yard cleared and fenced- about an acre of it- and we're slowly working on the rest of the property; cleaning, restoring outbuildings, planting. We've made some purposeful decisions, like a bulb bed that will hopefully one day run the length of the original stone wall and some fruit trees. But we've also made some wonderful discoveries, like the beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes stuck in an overgrown mess of prickles on the bank by the road.

We're in the Appalachian foothills in the northern part of VA, so I am lamenting our lingering winter. I had big plans this year, that I think I will have to scale back a bit, but I do have some climbing roses, some glads, and some dahlias on order. My very first bulbs- crocus and daffodils- are coming up/blooming and it's giving me hope!

So, just saying 'hi!' and hopefully you'll be seeing joyful posts about my progress soon!

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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Welcome! Your place sounds wonderful. I am in Alexandria and we are also unhappy with the lingering winter. I mean really, the first snow of this school year for us arrives during spring break? We only have a 1/2 acre, but we dream of a place like what you have described. Not likely we will ever move at this point, though.

Be sure to visit other forums. This one is not as busy as, say, Cottage Gardens, Perennials, Hosta, Trees, Shrubs forums. Lots of wonderful people.

Congratulations on your new place. It sounds like a marvelous adventure!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:15PM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

Thank you! I'm in Loudoun, so not too far!

The nice folk over in the Roses forums have helped me select my first roses to go in this year, too.

Looking forward to exploring more!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:32PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

Welcome.

Your place sounds wonderful.

Be sure and consider coming to our spring swap in Burtonsville, MD. We have lots of members who come from as far away as you would be or further. See the swap threads below and on the exchange page.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:21AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

Your place sounds beautiful. I envy you the beer cans. When I started in 2004, I simply had poison ivy convering every fence, every shrub, and the house. I'd trade 'ya!

Definitely try to come to the swap. If you don't have anything, (but beer cans -- someone will make sculpture!) bring chocolate or burgers or something nummy.

You'll be so pleased you found these boards. I wouldn't have 3 acres (of 6.5) landscaped if it weren't for the generosity and advice found here!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:33AM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

Thank you, kimka and CEFreeman!

We deal with our share of poison ivy, though we put then fence in AFTER we cleared it, so thankfully we didn't have to deal with THAT!

I do have the swap in the back of my mind, and you're right- I have very little to trade. Maybe some ancient lilac and some un-named Rose of Sharon, but I do make mean burgers! It will depend if I can get someone to help out at work (we own our own shop) on that day. I really hope I can make it out!

This is where my husband started with the yard back in '07 (yes- that's a shed roof!):

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 6:28PM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

And here's where we've gotten to; mostly cleaned up inside the fence line, new just started this year beds along the stone wall, around the house, and along the fence in front. So it's time to start actually *landscaping*!

(Yes, that's the same shed from the other side!)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 6:43PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

If you can make our swap, don't be afraid of asking for things as prearranged trades (even if you don't have anything to offer in trade but your friendship) if you see somethig you really want.

You've made remarkable progress and what great possibilities!! You've got sun and shade to play with. What a great place for a diverse fruit and berry orchard.

Is that a manure/compost pile decomposing right along the fence?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 11:43AM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

Thank you!

No compost, that's our 200 year old original stone wall; it runs the length of the property on that side and the fence is just on the other side of it. The field on the other side is not ours and it goes back and forth between corn, cows, and soy beans depending on the year; cows are great neighbors!

We have put in apples, and peaches. Too young still, even for blooms. And there are two ancient giant pear trees that do bear fruit, but it isn't very good; I am going to try jam this year with them- the sugar might help!

We've found numerous blackberry and chinaberry bushes (I think chinaberry is a colloquialism- I can't figure out what they are really called!) and have added some red raspberry, though that hasn't borne fruit yet either. All the berries are out side the fence so we do fight with deer, black bears, birds, and racoons for them!

I'm looking forward to being able to chat with everyone here (in all the forums!) about specific plants, beds, plans...I have LOTS of ideas but have a few spots that definitely stump me...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Brigids_Ember(7)

Welcome to the forums, and wow! You and your husband have done an amazing job so far! It sounds like you're on a magnificent property that needed just the kind of tlc you're giving it; your before-and-after photos speak to the beauty of your land and the dedication you're showing it. What an adventure, getting it all cleared & cleaned up & domesticated (so to speak)!

I look forward to your future posts!

-- Nora
(soon to be in Maryland)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:35PM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

Thanks, Nora! I feel lucky every day to live where I do!

Welcome to the neighborhood! The tri-states around here are pretty fun!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 3:20PM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

I'll see if I can dig up some of (Vlad's) thornless blackberry for you. You've got a lot of picky stuff happening.

I wanted to share a poison ivy tip with you that I figured out myself, the hard way. Poison ivy is an oil. Urshol, I think it's spelled. You might have gotten rid of it this year, but it's tenacious!

Anyway, a degreaser addresses oil. Not bleach, sand, or other caustic stuff. They don't cut oil.
So take Dawn dishwashing liquid and liberally spread it all over yourself like suntan lotion. Pay attention to neck, ankles, wrists, etc. Let it dry.
Go do your thing in the garden.
When you come in, either smear yourself with more soap and let it sit for a few minutes, or use Lever 2000 or Lava in the shower. (Also degreasing soaps.)

Don't put the same clothes back on for any reason -- I've also made that mistake. Wash 'em.

If you find you've actually gotten some PI, if it's still burning you still have the oil on you. I've gone so far as to just smear soap on me and continue what I was doing since I wasn't able to hop into a shower or something. If you do get some, it'll still itch some, but not insanely.

Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:18PM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

Thanks, CEF! I'm not going to be able to make it out to the swap this year, unfortunately. I can't get out of work that day :(

Dish soap for poison ivy? GOOD TO KNOW! I am very lucky- I don't get it, even if I eat the stuff. But DH can look at it and break out so this is great info!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Adlen

Hi Everybody!

I am Adlen. I am well.I love to make discussion with peoples and found this forum very rare. Here I just want to extend my appreciation to the admin for accepting me here! Thanks guys, hope to spend a good time with you all.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Adlen

Hi Everybody!

I am Adlen. I am well.I love to make discussion with peoples and found this forum very rare. Here I just want to extend my appreciation to the admin for accepting me here! Thanks guys, hope to spend a good time with you all.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:38PM
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