Garden design for historic log house

teabag(z5 Pa)October 24, 2005

We are selling our wonderful farm of 30 yrs. with extensive gardens we love, and will be moving to a historically reproduced log home in Pa.zone 6 which will be in the woods. I haven't paid attention to how these places are usually landscaped and want to design my landscaping so as not to detract from the simple style of this home. I tend to be over-zealous in my planting ;-D Any books you can think of or websites that would be helpful in keeping me in tow? I'm thinking simple raised beds surrounded by picket fence. Perhaps boxwood along a path, or is that too formal.Help please. Teabag

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saypoint(6b CT)

I don't know anything about log homes, but if you know the year that a home like yours would have been built, you can do some research on the gardens of that period. Keep in mind that someone living in a log home would not have been on the cutting edge, stylewise, so move backward a bit. Any built objects, like fences, beds, etc. would likely have used straight lines rather than curves.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 9:50AM
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nandina(8b)

A part of my growing up was in a log cabin in the woods. We returned there a few years ago. Had not seen it in more than 65 years. The cabin was there in good repair, unchanged in any way and still occupied. The old iron wood cook stove works, warms the cabin and the owner loves the way it bakes. We did not have any landscaping, nor does the present owner due to deer. It is still just natural with a small lawn, native wild flowers, shrubs and trees plus very large glacial erratics placed by the retreating ice shield. I used to climb on them and took a few minutes to sit on top of one of my childhood favorites and review the passing years that have been my interesting life's experiences.
So....in my roundabout way...I am suggesting you live there a bit and study the local animal scene before making landscape decisions.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 1:53PM
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inkognito

The two are anethema historically but this should not stop you from doing your thing I don't think. "Over zealous" sounds like a plan to me.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 6:56PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Living in an area where log houses are relatively common, I find it hard to believe that this house is going to have much in common with a historic log cabin. Their place in time is from about 1985 to whenever.

So plant whatever floats your boat. Modern eclectic sounds about right.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 11:19AM
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ginny12

I agree that a historic log house was subsistence living and any garden associated with it would have been the same. Hard to imagine boxwood parterres in such a locale.

That being said, I agree as well with "whatever floats your boat". But if you want a sympathetic garden, shall we say, I would create a fenced-in garden with raised beds in squares or rectangles. Materials should harmonize with the log house.

Early gardens were always fenced, by necessity. And the rectangular (or convenient geometric shape) raised beds were functional and used in most early gardens of which we have drawings.

Of course, you could juice it up a bit with an arbor, bench, or other ornamental features. Just not too fussy or upscale, would be my suggestion. Then post a pic!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 12:14PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Hi, I just started lurking on this site. When I saw your post I was very interested. We have a historic log cabin on a lake in Minnesota. The number one thing to learn is don't plant next to the foundation. You don't want the lower logs to stay damp.

As far back as we have been able to get information it has had a mown grass area around the house about 50' front and back with 10' on each side and then woods. There are wild flowers and grasses and that is it. When we had a new septic system put it was the kind with a mound so we have planted wild flowers there.

As far as I can tell most people that lived in log houses had simple gardens. Mainly a vegetable garden behind the house with flowers like cosmos, sunfowers and hollyhocks along the fence. As they became more established and had the time and money a cottage flower garden was added to the front.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 8:05AM
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