New garden in the 'woods'

jan_on zone 5bSeptember 23, 2013

Part of our cottage lot is 'wooded' - when the kids were small we referred to it as the '100 acre woods' a la Winnie the Pooh, but it is really about 1/4 acre of wild lilac and sumac with a few ancient oaks and pines. Much if it is a hill of blasting rubble piled there about 60 years ago while installing a septic system. One would think that 60 years accumulation of fallen leaves would produce some planting medium, but one would be wrong. Hand picking rocks to excavate a depression and filling it with bags of three way and compost seems to be the best alternative. This summer I started a beautification project, and have 4 'planting pockets' prepared. I popped some late summer bargain hostas in two of them. Fingers crossed. I'll have fun next spring.

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Jon 6a SE MA

The perfect spots for some darker blue and green hosta or fairly thin or darker variegations. One of them filled with only blues (lighter to deeper in the middle maybe; or green to blue) could look like a pond.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:44AM
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You are a real fine example of the urge to garden not giving up when the going gets tough. I sure hope it exceeds your expectations. It will be different! :) And I like pushing the envelope.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:29PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Jan, way to go! Your planting pockets Will be a welcoming sight in the spring and summer for you to's to your gardening spirit..cheers all round!! :-)...

....ours sits on and is virtually surrounded by rock but its amazing how little a growing medium trees need to latch their roots onto...trees jut out of rocks all over the Lake. We've built a rock wall on top of the rock and the garden survives on its own, after a fashion...hosta remain small but get no attending to except what Mother Nature provides. A lot of cottagers have gardens although few are in ground...mostly potted.

Your beautification program will be a joy to the birds as well! :-)


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:26PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

blasting rubble piled there about 60 years ago while installing a septic system.

==>>> wow .... they blasted for the septic... crikey ...


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:17PM
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jan_on zone 5b

ken - back in the day, sewage was pumped directly into the St. Lawrence River. When the wisdom of that practice was questioned and the law wisened up, most dwellings along the river opted for holding tanks, but my handy-man father-in-law blasted enough to accommodate an in ground tank, and then built up a hill of sand between the cottage and the road for the weeping tile bed.. Must have been quite an operation, and 60 years later one whole side of our lot is 'wooded' with whatever would grow in the rubble - primarily lilac. The built up hill also changed the contour of a gentle slope enough that we enter our cottage on the second story rather than climbing down to ground level. Pretty unique.
Hopefully hostas will like living on rubble.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:59PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

Love the idea of your planting pockets. I can feel your pain with the rocks and poor soil. We plant everything at our camp (so far) in containers or on berms (we buy topsoil by the truck load - have used 4 small truck loads so far). We are currently looking at a project where there's a cavity in the rock (they used to mine copper here) and plan to fill it with a layer of fill dirt, then top soil, then plant roughly half a dozen apple trees in it. Biggest (area wise) project so far!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 7:11AM
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