Early May shade pix

Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)May 8, 2006

My front yard is fully shaded by end of May (80' oaks) with the southern exposure of the neighboring property allowing for filtered light late afternoon (this courtesy of nummer 'prior' neighbors who took down 3 similar 80'ers in order to expand their driveway.

I've been here 7 years and have continued to take up most of the front lawn in order to provide a stratified understory (redbud & dogwoods) to a complex shrub layer (many natives) and groundcovers (sweet woodruff, jack in the pulpit, tiarella, astilbe, various ferns, asarum, columbine, etc).

Pix can be found @ http://tk154.photosite.com

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waplummer(Z5 NY)

You've accomplished a lot in just 7 years. I've been here 41 years and have done essentially the same. My canopy trees are red and white oak, shagbark Hickory and white Pine.I have over 100 rhodies plus mountain laurel, native shrubs and flowering trees, ferns, wildflowers. right now I have some 200 Trillium grandiflorum in bloom. I also used to sail and into birding.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 9:33PM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

Hi Bill. Your post and subsequent "read" of your profile "warms my heart" this morning.

I know that you are enjoying, embracing the fruits of your garden as I write this morning. Spring in our Eastern woodlands; nothing could be finer.

I too, love Mountain Laurel and the 8 or 9 cultivars that I have do a marvelous job 'infilling' with color after the peak mid season rhododendron bloom is finishing up.

Do you also grow native azaleas? Or does the amount of shade preclude you from doing so?

Living as you do upstate, finding quality stock is a problem? NO? I'm curious. Where did you purchase most of your shrubs, etc? Mail Order? Carlsons? Betty Cummins? Greer? as you've developed and planted what I envision being a beautiful beautiful garden.

If you're ever around the Central Jersey shore (near Red Bank) email me. Birder/gardeners/sailors are far and few between and I'd love to have you walk my gardens, etc.

All the best


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:50AM
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pennyviolet(z5 CT)

I'm quite amazed to find this thread! You both have accomplished what I am trying to do in my front yard. I also have enormous oak and shagbark hickories that I'd like to sub strata with mountain laurel, rhodies, andromeda etc. to provide a nice atmosphere for the birds. Any advice for someone just beginning? Incidentally, I too, am a sailor as well as a former sailmaker!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 4:45PM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

Thanks Penny. You can do it, and I welcome any correspondence "off line" should you ever need to ask.

The best advice I can give you is the investment of a rototiller, or if that's not financially feasible, having a friend who has and can be borrowed (my case). Creating the beds, tilling the soil is the first point of order, even if you don't have the plants to put in at first.

The 2nd comment is to allow nature to take it's course. You have everything you need upstairs (the canopy). That's going to be your mulch. That's also going to be the goodies that you till into your new beds if you still have leaves on your property.

Plant material has become extremely expensive, especially if you're attempting to begin a new garden with all that space to fill. I don't play the lottery, gamble, etc. so this is where my $$$'s go. And there's a "right" time to purchase plants (now is when they're most expensive; the best time is end of summer sales, or in the fall, when either they move the stock or lose it). And as you become more involved in the process, you'd be surprised how fellow gardners around you will "gift" you plants.

For what it's worth, you can revisit my photosite album again, and see about a dozen more rhododendron species that I've postedd last nite & which I took over the last week. There's a bit of WHITE OUT (via flash) as I took them in the early evening with this week's cloud cover and rain.

Mountain laurels (about a dozen different cultivars) are budded and ready to go. They will be part of the next batch of photos.

As for the sailing, I do love it and wish that I could do more. I have a dear friend who is a Mgr up at Pilot's Point Marina in Westbrook. A boat builder and their main master carpenter for any of the custom work they do up there.

All the best and don't hesitate to reach out to me with any inquiries you may have.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 10:35AM
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Using a rototiller would be akin to cleaning the pores on your face with a wire brush.You may want to reconsided that advice.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 2:51PM
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