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A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Posted by ApprenticeGardener 7b or 8 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 15:48

The front yard at noon today. The entire area was re-landscaped, which involved the removal of several trees, all the old grass, recontouring of the slope, installing new Zoysia sod, shrubs, and a Japanese maple and weeping cherry. The only original items left are the azaleas ( at the left of the picture) and the tree they surround (just out of the frame on the left).

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 19:01


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Another view of the plantings in front, taken from the other side of the tree (which is now just out of frame on the right). The lot slopes down both across the front of the house and from the house down to the street. The upper windows are on the main floor and the lower in the downstairs living area. The weeping cherry can be better seen in this view. The trunk of the Japanese Maple overlaps the downspout at the corner of the house in this view.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The first two photos were taken from the driveway, at a point where it abuts the landscape. This shot is of the area on the other side of the drive. The car is parked in an area where "crush and run" was installed. The area to its right shows some other plantings our neighbor installed after we did our landscaping. At the street to the right of the fire hydrant is a smaller planting area around the mailbox, where the primary planting is a crepe myrtle. We are thinking of enlarging that area.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The initial photos show the "good news" part of the landscaping and plantings we have done. We'll now shift to the backyard, which, as you will see, needs a lot of work.

The photo below is taken from the edge of what we term our "lower deck" at the point where stairs lead down to the back yard. As I mentioned, the land slopes side to side across the house. The "lower deck" is at ground level. The "upper deck", which is at the same level as the "lower" is about 10 feet off the ground. This "upper deck" is shown in the middle of the picture. Beneath this deck is a concrete pad that serves as a combination patio/work area. A door to the downstairs living area is in this area.

At the left of the photo are some of the windows in the sunroom. Below the sunroom is a storage room, accessible from the patio/work area. My "potting bench" is currently in the storage room, but will be moved to the patio/work area in a few weeks.

Redtip photinia can be seen in the middle of the picture. They have been "trimmed up" some and primarily screen the side view of the "upper deck". Although it may not be evident, the neighbors yard seen behind the photinia is 10 to 12 feet lower than our ground level.

The planting bed at the lower left is almost totally in shade. We will be trying some 'aucuba japonica' and plum yew in it.

The large brown area with the "dead" wheelbarrow adorning it is where someone at one time had planted some Red Fescue ("Creeping Charley"). It has long since ceased to creep. This is a fairly flat area that we want to redo primarily in gravel or mulch and some slightly-raised beds for perennials, small shrubs, and low groundcover. We're also considering moving our firepit to this area (it's about 35' wide and 30' deep from the edge of the "upper deck").

The side and back of the yard will have a privacy fence erected. The fence will end even with the back corner of the house (can't be seen in the shadows under the deck) and will go behind the stems of the photinia and the trees (one behind the other) at the extreme right of the photo, continuing on to the back corner of the lot and then across the back.

This area, believe it or not, is one of the easier parts of the back to envision and plan.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 21:19


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Now comes the fun part. The next 4 photos show what we identify as the "lower" part of the back yard. This area is directly behind the house and the "upper deck" and extends in a 20' to 30' wide band all the way (almost) straight back to the back property line. You will note in these photos how close an adjacent condo development is to our back line. The distance from the back wall of the condos seen to our lot line is roughly 20'. Hence the need for a fence.

The photos are shown in sequence from left to right. The later several show our neighbor's fence, which we will tie into on that side of the yard (he has a pool and has had his yard fenced in for several years for safety purposes).


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Without much comment needed.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Moving right.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Continuing to the right.

The basketball goal is not part of the decoration, but just behind it is a small hill that rises about 5' to the level of the planter that supports one side of the "lower deck" mentioned before. This part of the "lower yard" has the steepest slope, so we are planning on extending that area to the (photo) left and curving its side to flow into the path leading up the hill in the center of the photo. The tree immediately to the right of the basketball goal will be coming down. It has several dead limbs, some of which have already fallen on and around the "lower deck".

Also note the neighbor;s fence coming into view and how much the lot slopes side to side (very evident at the back of the picture where the condos are seen).

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 12:28


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

One more view, this time of the "lower deck" taken from the "upper deck" showing the stairs leading up to the "lower deck". The area behind the "lower deck" is higher than the "lower yard", so of course we call it the "upper yard".

The neighbor's fence, which we will tie into on this side of the property can clearly be seen.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A view of the "upper yard" with the approximately 30 year old Japanese Maple in front center, accompanied by gardenias. A pathway is planned to meander to the back lot line and the fence. There will be a gate in the fence so that a friend of ours who lives in the condos does not have to walk an extra mile around the block to visit us (or vice versa). On the left side of the photo, although not very evident, is a relatively flat area where we may put some seating.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 21:02


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

There are several more photos to post showing the side yard and an area which we are jointly planting with our neighbor, but I'll post them at a later time..

A few thoughts:

--The back yard needs to have about 85 % of the English Ivy removed.
--Drainage in the back is very good, thanks to some grading and drain tile which have been installed over the years.
--The lower yard area will be almost completely stripped of Ivy and will be redone in some kind of natural or plant cover.
--The ivy will go first, then the tree (or trees if necessary), then the fence will be erected. We will still have ingress/egress on both sides of the house at that time, and will not "button up" the fencing and install any other gates until all the plant materials are in and installed.
--I'm thinking of building a simple Torii gate at the beginning of the path "meander" and am drawing up plans for a post shaped Japanese lantern to accompany the gate.
--We are thinking of 'Arrowwood' viburnum along the back fence line to soften the lines, and dogwoods (Kousa and Stellar) to intersperse in among the trees.
--All in all, we want to make the area look cleaner, more natural and with a much wider variety of plants, trees, textures, and colors.

There's a lot I've left out, but I have a lot more to add.

Your comments, suggestions, observations, and musings are very much welcomed.

Best Wishes--Carl and Margo
Atlanta, GA
Inside the Perimeter (ITP)


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Looks like a fun project that will surely yield big rewards. Please be sure to post progress and "finish" photos so we can see how it turns out!


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Wow, what a lot of English ivy. There is no doubt you are "inside" the perimeter where ivy infestations are at their worst.

I would certainly suggest some native shrubs like sweetshrub and mapleleaf viburnum - they are shade tolerant and help hold the ground (they are colonizing shrubs which mean that over time they sucker a bit to create a colony).


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RE : A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@esh_ga

You should have seen the Ivy before we got it down out of the trees!!! It's starting to go up a few again, but not near as bad as before.

In my comments I referred to an area we are jointly planting with our neighbor. He had 3 large pines taken down at about the same time we were doing the front and side (haven't put up pictures of the side yet) yards. One of the Ivy stems going up one of those trees was as big as a healthy arm.

I really like the sweetshrub (calycanthus) idea and will consider the mapleleaf in lieu of arrowwood viburnum, although I really like the structure of arrowwood.

Thanks for the great ideas.

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

I mentioned earlier that I had not shown the side yard. The next three photos are of that side yard. This was part of the re-landscaping project that included the front yard.

On the side, we had to fairly severely regrade so that the soil sloped away from the house (our neighbor had already informed us that he was removing the trees whose roots were growing in the area, so we also had many of those roots removed). The retaining wall was built, old sod removed, a layer of new topsoil added, and new sod laid. New landscpe timbers were installed to outline the existing planting area next to the house.

Note that you can walk right off the side of the "lower deck" on this side of the yard onto the lawn. Another example of the drastic side to side elevation changes in the back yard.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Photo taken from the "lower deck" of the back of the side yard. The neighbor's fence makes two 90 degree turns to accommodate a joint planting area that has reportedly been in use since both the houses were built in the mid-'60s.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Pretty good depiction of the new retaining wall. It bends at the bottom of the picture to follow the path around the "lower deck". The bend encloses a small planting area with drip watering that currently hold some azaleas. This bed will be redone.

Our neighbor had three large pines cut down, leaving several old dogwoods, a lot of English Ivy, and in the distance, his new plantings that were seen in one of the first pictures I posted. We have yet to decide how we are going to address this area, but it at least looks decent right now.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The third photo of the side shows the Zoysia lawn and the border of the planting area next to the house. That planting area currently holds several mature nandina and a mature camellia at the front corner.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 14:53


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Some folks have asked about the tree in the front yard. At least here's a picture of its trunk.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

This belongs in a different forum, but I'm really pleased with how well it is blooming.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Went out today and got some nice looking aucuba, rebar to use as stakes so we can plot out the shape of the area in the "lower yard" that may be devoted to the fire pit, a chalk line and line level to aid in that process, a two gallon "herbicide-only" sprayer, some 1/4" mesh hardware cloth to put under the composter, and an inexpensive garden cart that was cheaper than buying a new tire for the "dead" wheelbarrow that appears in some of the previous photos.

Also ordered 2.5 gallons of "generic" 41% glyphosate herbicide for less than half of the cost of RU. Had to order it on-line, but got free shipping to the house, so I can't complain at all.

Cranked the Craftsman mower set up to high cut (about 4") groundcover . Started well, but ran very fast, so I've chosen to rebuild the carb, do an oil change and install a fresh oil filter. SInce the Final Four is tonight (Go 'Cuse) and tomorrow is "Check the 1040 Day", I may not get around to actually getting out in the landscaping until one evening later this week.

We're going to bring the potting bench out from storage tomorrow though, so I'll try to take a pic or two of it for later posting.

Thanks to all those who have commented here, in other parts of the forum, and via PM & e-mail on this thread. I really appreciate the encouragement.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Got a few things done today outside before it's time to button up the 1040.

Made a start at "eating into" the Ivy with a Weedeater. Didn't get very far before running out of line, but you get the idea. My plan is to cut the top leaves off, exposing the lower, newer, more tender growth and stems, then RU them until no more leaves sprout. Compare this pic to the previous ones of the same area and you'll see the method in my madness.

Earlier I was able to start the old Craftsman and adjust the throttle cable to even out how fast it ran. Great--might not have to do a carb rebuild!!! Shut it off and filled with fresh gas. Went and used the weedeater on the Ivy. Went back to start the Craftsman again, going to mulch the Ivy leaves more and bag them (use a mulch blade but not the baffle). Fuel line started to leak. So much for the best laid plans for the rest of this weekend.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 15:25


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Set out some rebar to serve as measuring posts to see how much "cut and fill" we would have to do to level out the "lower yard:. This post is near the path that goes uphill to the "upper yard" next the the basketball goal. The line is attached to the post at ground level.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A second rebar post was set near the corner of the "upper deck", diagonally across from the other post & near the dead wheelbarrow. We wanted to see the difference in elevation across the greatest distance (diagonal) involved. We were surprised that it was this much, but feel we can work with the amount of work potentially involved, particularly if we downsize the area to be leveled.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

These are the aucuba japonica that we picked up yesterday. Had wanted 'picturata' but found these very healthy looking 'gold dust' for a reasonable price. Also wanted to bring home a plum yew from the same nursery, but DW spoke most eloquently about how "unattractive" she felt they were (somewhat close to "...not in my yard."). A hosta perhaps!?!

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 22:22


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Will be looking for a shade tolerant evergreen on-line tonight. DW may need to change her mind about the plum yew.

She also suggested I buy a new potting table. I turned that suggestion down and ordered a brush cutter instead. We went down just a few minutes ago to move the table out, only to find that it was in really sad shape. So we'll make do until that project is really necessary.

The brushcutter, by the way, is a 4-stroke gas model--no more mixing of oil. It comes in two parts--a power unit with string trimmer and a separate bladed brush cutter assembly. They were on sale, but no nearby store had both parts--one is waiting within a mile of home while the other will take a road trip to get.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Shade tolerant evergreen - Florida anise (Illicium floridanum).


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Generic RU has arrived and I've picked up the brush cutter (two separate pieces). Also selected a shrub to accompany the aucuba in the small raised bed. Will post pic tomorrow and see if I can also make a further dent in the Ivy.

Best Wishes--Carl

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 9:45


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Great stuff here. For Hostas, just make sure they will get little to no direct sun. It can burn the leaves.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@buford

Decided against hosta in this bed, but will include them in the overall plan.

Fortunately, George Schmid is a long-time acquaintance, and I'm hoping to "impose" upon him to help plan out a "special" hosta area.

--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The Japanese maples have started to leaf out. Here's the one (acer palmatum dissectum of some kind) in back in the raised bed at the back of the "lower deck".

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 13:45


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

...and the one in front. (acer palmatum 'bloodgood').


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Now to the other plant to go into the bed beside the stairs. Found this Japanese andromeda locally. It's touted to be fine for part shade, hardy to Zone 8 and a dwarf, so we'll give it a try. (pieris japonica 'yakushimanum') Interesting counterpoint to the aucuba.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

In the last hour and a half I've unpacked the two parts of the brush cutter, partially disassembled the power portion, installed the accessory adapter parts on it, and installed the brush trimmer. Filled with pre-measured amount of oil & put in some 93 octane (plus gas conditioner) fuel. Read the starting instructions about 8 times and kept that sheet next to me as I tried the sequence. Success on the first try.

I'd post pix of what I actually cleared out (in about 30 minutes), but they would not look much different than the ones already posted--the brush cutter cuts the Ivy runners and tends to stack them as it sheds them, so the cut Ivy lands back about where it came from.

The brush cutter is a HUGE improvement on the string trimmer. Although it cuts a narrower swath, it does an area faster and cleaner, handles small (1/2") sapplings, kicks back less "flak" from the cutting area (still wear steel toes and eyewear), and (in my case) requires no 100' length of extension cord to deal with. Assembly quality was very good and no fittings worked loose during the "shake-down" trip into the back yard. Handy "kill" switch.

Downside?? A little heavy, but the cutter came with a support strap that can be adjusted to take the weight off your arms and keep the unit balanced. Also somewhat of a gas hog (the Honda mower is still worse).

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

In quick response to an e-mail, compare this "before" photo...


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

...to this "after" brush cutting photo relative to the outline of the Ivy bed on the left and starting up the path on the hill to the left of the basketball goal. All the Ivy closer to the camera than the bed is "loose" and can be mulched and bagged. I guess you can tell the difference.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

No actual gardening today. Planning for next weekend's Georgia Native Plant Society sale.

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Good plan, Carl, hope to see you there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sale details


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Dang, you're tearing it up and doing a NICE JOB!

BUt.

HEre's what I got to say.

That picture you posted onTue, Apr 16, 13 at 14:53 that shows that thin stip of grass next the air conditioner, I don't know why you would not do a block of corn there.

Also, why not plant blueberry bushes instead of the others, and fruit trees instead of maples.

BUt that's just me, I'm a farmer and also a gardener, but I like to use all my space to grow food!!


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@herboil

I've posted on the "Farm Life" part of this forum about my experiences helping my grandfather and great-uncle tend their "hobby" farm (both were raised on farms but went into other lines of work). Unfortunately, the veggie genes didn't pass down. After my last harvest of $8 tomatoes, I decided to quit trying to raise my own crops. (When I was a kid, my bedroom was across the back yard from the row corn. I grew up thinking that corn was a normal part of the landscape). Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Thanks to a very kind fellow member of this forum, I've just come home with a dwarf crepe myrtle, a diablo ninebark, a vitex shoal creek, an oakleaf hydrangea (that will need some close attention), and a very healthy blue salvia cutting. I really appreciate his sharing from his very beautiful garden. Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Some pix of this afternoons "acquisitions"--

All just unloaded from the truck--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The diablo ninebark--


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The dwarf crepe myrtle. About two feet high and won't get much higher--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

These "new to me" shrubs will go into this sunny raised bed that is at the end of the space shared with the neighbor. The bed itself is entirely on our side of the property line. We will either be elongating it or planting more around its perimeter. We'll have to make up our mind quickly, since we'll need to get the new plantstock into the ground by Saturday afternoon (it's Thursday PM now). Best Wishes--Carl

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 22:39


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Convergence of a number of things caused me to skip the Native Plant Society sale, but I did manage to get the pieris, one aucuba, the diablo ninebark, and the dwarf crepe myrtle planted over this past weekend. Also heeled in 6 bare root items that came in from the Arbor Day Foundation early Saturday morning. Ran into problems with the site originally picked for the other aucuba.

Had hoped to be able to plant the vitex shoal creek, but I overestimated the room I had. It is sitting safely heeled in at the moment. I'm awaiting word from a co-worker as to whether she and her husband want to "adopt" it. I may "gift" them the salvia whether or not they do.

The oakleaf hydrangea is responding well to some special attention. It's in a large pot and I'll leave it there until it grows a bit.

Cleared out some Ivy by hand in the areas around where the new plantings were placed. After that experience, I ordered a new hand trowel and a Japanese weeder--the former to replace a cheapo I damaged over the weekend and the latter to make the next hand clearing process a little easier.

Also want to comment on the quality and balance of the Clarington Forge strapped spade I got myself for my last birthday. Exceptional!!!

It's rainy and overcast here so no pix of the progress, but I'll post some when I can.

BTW--I have no interest in ANY of the brands I may mention. I just like their quality and the fact that they are doing what they say they would do.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
Inside the Perimeter (ITP)


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Had a chance to use the Japanese weeder on a small area of Ivy. Took some getting used to perfect a "technique", but it can go through most non-woody roots like a "hot knife through butter".

I'm also pleased to report that the diablo ninebark, about which I was really concerned, has responded well to daily watering and has definitely "taken" to its replanting location.

Since it's again overcast at the moment (and getting dark), photos of everything will wait until tomorrow (assuming some sun).

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The vitex 'shoal creek' and the salvia cutting have been successfully transferred to their new owners (with a bag of fresh planting mix). I've been promised pictures as they mature.

Glad they found a new home, particularly with younger folks who are embarking on the great gardening experience path.

Best Wishes--Carl

Atlanta, GA

PS--Have I mentioned it's been overcast here for the better part of a week?


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The planting area around the mailbox in front. Clematis and salvia blooming, crepe myrtle is leafing nicely and the lillies are looking healthy at the base of the post. Right now the clematis is tied to the post, but we're looking for a small trellis.

Note also the neighbor's recent plantings coming into bloom (ignore the grass if you would) and the "Chinese Chippendale" railing on our front porch.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Fri, May 3, 13 at 18:00


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Very poor picture, but hopefully you can see the first spring blooms of the "Knockout" roses, how well the Weeping Cherry has leafed out, and the first Camellia bloom or two.

A Japanese design "sleeve fence" will be erected at the corner of the house, extending to the left a couple of feet to hide the gas meter.

Best Wishes--Carl

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Sat, May 4, 13 at 15:01


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

My wife has been sharing all kinds of info on potting benches with me over the past several weeks. I've finally taken the "hint" and ordered one in cedar from a Texas company that has an excellent reputation. It may be up to two weeks before it arrives.

As impressed as I am with my Clarington Forge (CF) strapped spade, I've found I also need something with a smaller and more concave & pointed head for my planting (as opposed to edging/shaping/landscaping) needs. As a result, a CF Rabbiting Spade is on the way.

I appreciate, as always, your comments and assistance.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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"Stock" photo of the potting bench we ordered earlier today. Should arrive in a week or so.


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Boy, that salvia looks very happy! How nice it will be to have potting bench. I should get around to that one day. If I'd ever get organized.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Atlanta continues to be rainy (the ball game scheduled for this evening has already been postponed) and overcast today. No gardening--again.

Below is a picture of some of my favorite hand tools.

Clockwise from upper left:

AM Leonard "Soil Knife" & Sheath--based on a Japanese 'hori-hori'--wicked sharp, takes out weeds and volunteer seedlings with little or no effort, nice for potting tasks;

Felco No. 11 Pruner--blades attached with screws rather than rivets--worth the price because the blades always stay in side-to-side contact while cutting;

"Mystery" Japanese weeder--has become my favorite small area clearing tool, not really useful on anything woody; and

DeWit trowel--this will be used by my grandchildren--it will definitely outlast me.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Sat, May 4, 13 at 14:58


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Missed if you've updated the ivy removal. IF Roundup kills it, that'll be the first time I've heard of success against ivy. All I've read says that the waxy leaves will not absorb it. I dig mine out, after weedwhacking so I can see what I'm doing.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@rosiew

You haven't missed anything about the Ivy. Since the "generic" RU arrived we've been involved in a number of other gardening projects, but I have continued to clear out areas of Ivy by "wacking" it and sometimes removing it by hand.

Stay tuned.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Want to give a "shout out" to the good folks of the Georgia Hosta Society (GHS), including my friend and GHS co-founder George Schmid. George is a noted authority and author on both hosta and shade perennials.

The GHS Leaf Show and Sale (hosta and companion plants) is upcoming on May 11.

I'll be using hosta in the back portion of the "lower yard" area of the garden.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
Less than 5 miles, as the crow flys, from the Leaf Show

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia Hosta Society (GHS) Leaf Show


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Carl, I think you missed the point of my post, which is that Roundup will not kill ivy. Lots of discussion about this on GW which you should read since you want to get rid of the ivy.

Rosie


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@rosiew

It's hard, I know, to keep up with all the posts on any forum thread, particularly one like this which has "grown".

As I mentioned in an earlier post,

"Made a start at "eating into" the Ivy [with a gas trimmer and hard blade]... My plan is to cut the top leaves off, exposing the lower, newer, more tender growth and stems, then RU them until no more leaves sprout".

This is a plan that Walter Reeves uses and one which I have successfully used before to control Ivy in larger areas. For smaller areas, I have and use a variety of hand tools and do tear in out, leaves/stems/roots and all.

Thanks for the thought.

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

In addition to the potting bench mentioned earlier, I've also ordered some pots for tree/shrub/plant starts and a variety of zinc labels.

The recent rains have kept us out of the garden, but have done wonders for the lawn, the plantings, the "volunteers" and the weeds. Spent about three hours outside today and accomplished a good bit. (The rain also helped make the soil very easy to work).

--"Heeled in" the 10 dogwood "babies" that came from the Arbor Day Foundation yesterday.
--Pruned all the Loropetalum in one of the front beds.
--Pruned about half the azaleas in the front beds.
--Removed almost all the Liriope that is "volunteering" in the bed around the oak tree, as well as any stray weeds.
--Weeded the one corner area of the Zoysia sod where the pre-emergent apparently either wasn't well applied or washed away.
--Spent some time tending to the Oakleaf hydrangea which is now looking very healthy and should be able to go into the ground in a few weeks.
--Confirmed that all the shrubs planted last year were doing well except for one poor Forsythia. Fortunately, there are two stems that were previously "heeled in" which are now leafing out and should be ready to put in its place soon.

One of my favorite "other" parts of gardening is collecting and wearing different garden-themed t-shirts. Below is today's attire. It could be a throwback to my misspent youth, except I spent that time volunteering for the Infantry and not as a "flower child". Come to think of it, the motto on the shirt was very appropriate for the Infantry.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
SP5 US (Regular) Army Infantry 1969-1971

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Sun, May 5, 13 at 17:47


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

These are the tools used today, "resting" after being used and then cleaned. I think I've mentioned most of them before, except for the Fiskars extendable lopper and the No-Name kneeling bench.

I usually wash the dirt off with a hose, them dry them with an old towel. I actually used the dryer vent on the left to dry off the tools today since the dryer was on at the time.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A brief update--

Naturally, since I spent time over the weekend weeding, the lawn service came today to apply pre- and post-emergents.

Potting bench arrived today. It's still in the box, but I'll carve out some time this weekend to make a start on it.

Our son has agreed to mow the lawn tomorrow. It's totally "greened up" in the last three weeks and looks, well, "lush"...

In my spare time I've been "studying up" on hosta in preparation for the Georgia Hosta Society Show & Sale this Saturday. The FAQs in the 'Hosta' forum have been of great help in identifying characteristics and providing suggestions of specific cultivars to plant, while the on-line "Hosta Library" is a nice visual resource.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

In an earlier picture of the mailbox area, I'd confessed to not knowing what the planting right around the post was. Turns out that they are lillies. Here is a closer picture of one.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The sunroom and den smell like fresh cedar. We've unpacked and inspected the potting bench. First-rate item, many parts pre-assembled. One small part is cracked and I'm awaiting word on a replacement, but I can make-do even without the new part. Considering staining it dark and light like this Stickley chair. [Chair photo below, bench in next posting].


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Unassembled potting bench.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Specifically, they are day-lilies.
Bench looks promising!


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The Georgia Hosta Society had a nice show earlier today. I decided not to buy any yet because the plot for them isn't ready.

Have just completed ordering two sleeve fences from a bamboo products supplier in Seattle. After searching, I found only two merchants who advertise sleeve fences, the one I'm dealing with and another in Auburn, WA. A "stock" photo of those I ordered is shown below. One will be used at the front corner of the house to screen the gas meter and the other in the back yard someplace (there are at least three places to consider, so it will be used).


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The pots I ordered from Hahira (Georgia--less than 250 miles from here) finally arrived this past Saturday. They were shipped 8 days previous, on May 3. In addition to going from Hahira to Jacksonville, FL, they spent 3 days here in Atlanta at my area post office, having been identified first as being in a package having an "insufficient" address, then having had a delivery attempted to an address where a notice was left (not my address), and finally being delivered. [All this info available via USPS Tracking).

The "insufficient" address, by the way, contained only my full name (including middle initial), my full street address (including the quadrant designator used when you live inside the perimeter), and the city, state and 9-digit Zip Code. One of these days, I guess after the Post Office goes "belly up", I'll find out why it took so long to get here.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

PS--Not really a complaint as much as a sad observation.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Clarington Forge Rabbiting Spade arrived today while I was at the office. Beautifully made item and well worth the 12-day wait. (If you e-mail me, I'll tell you where NOT to buy it.)

The first day-lily bloomed today also. I'll wait for a few more to bloom and provide a picture.

In the "2 Steps Forward-1 Step Back" category--Work on the Ivy eradication program has been temporarily sidetracked. The old Craftsman is off to Mower Menders in Tucker for a complete tune-up, new fuel line and shut-off, and possibly a new fuel tank. The ethanol in the gas around here (Metro Atlanta), has really led to some serious deterioration of some of the "accessory" parts of the engine. It's a Briggs 6.5 hp, a strong engine, but in need of some TLC.

As I type this, I'm watching "Victory Garden" on RLTV on cable. I hadn't seen the program for (literally) years until we recently changed our cable service and there it was. Kind of miss the old, more "eccentric" hosts, but the title and transition music is the same as it has been for the history of the program.

Finally, to the person who e-mailed about the hand tools (my return e-mails keep "bouncing")--they are resting in/on the drawers of a cherry Gerstner tool chest. My grandfather had one (with the black "leather" covering) years ago, and I had a chance to pick up a genuine US-made one from "Woodworker" magazine several years ago.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A week of rainy weather coming up. That will give me more time to work on the lawnmower (there is an enclosed storage/work area under the sunroom) and the potting bench (currently in the sunroom). After test-fitting by hand, the cordless screwdriver/drill is being charged for an initial full assembly.

Yesterday we moved all the "houseplants" outside where some of them will remain until Fall.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Photo of the assembled potting bench situated on the "low deck". It may stay here or go to the "patio" area under the "high deck" and next to the storage/workroom. I kind of like it where it is, but my wife will make the final decision.

The working surface is right at 36" high and has an area into which soil. etc. can be swept. Will need to get a container of some kind to put under it. Still trying to decide whether to stain it or let it weather.

Resting at the left corner are the Clarington Forge Strapped Spade and the slightly shorter Rabbiting Spade.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Day lilies, Clematis, and Salvia resting comfortably at the mailbox.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A very nice combo.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Sleeve fences arrived from Washington this week. Beautiful items now resting inside the sunroom until I can construct bases for them (I'm not intending to attach them permanently so they can be removed easily for maintenance).

A resin reproduction of a Japanese teahouse lantern distributed by a Georgia company also arrived. It's 17" tall and quite representative. It will look even better after being "weathered: with some paint.

The rest of the weekend tasks include mowing the lawn, continuing to "tinker" on the old Craftsman mower (still not running), potting some of the trees that have been heeled in and are "coming out" of dormancy, and placing the "houseplants" in their Summer locations.

Trust everyone will have a great long weekend.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

You're near Tucker ITP; I'm in Lilburn, the other side of Tucker on Hwy 29--almost neighbors.

I also have a shady area of my garden. I have various ferns, but have best luck with Autumn Fern. I have several colors/varieties of coral bells (huchera) with a variety of green & mottled green, purple and mottled purple which add interesting color and texture. Lace leaf bleeding heart adds interesting leaf texture with pink blooms. There is also a yellow variety that I want. I bought the above from Growers Outlet in Loganville (take Hwy 78). But they close on June 9 for the summer and reopen August 22 for fall planting.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.growersoutlet.com/


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RE: Does your hill need a waterfall?

Carl, when I saw the photo of your "upper garden" in the back, that hillside screamed, "I need a waterfall and koi pond." If I had that hillside, I'd be putting one on it. Just something to consider.

If you want to get some ideas for a koi pond, on June 22 The Atlanta Koi Club’s bi-annual pond tour event includes 10 gorgeous ponds located on the NE side of Atlanta. This tour is self guided with a pond tour booklet; spend a leisure Saturday visiting local ponds and koi owners. Learn the in’s and out’s of building a successful pond and raising these living beautiful works of art. The tour starts in the Briarcliff Road area, travels north east to Snellville and then finishes with ponds in the Norcross area. $30 per car of up to 4 adults includes lunch.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.atlantakoiclub.org/


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@ esh_ga

Thanks--the day-lilies continue to bloom as the salvia wane. Continue checking for photos of the new hydrangea that are just starting to "pop".

@ railroadrabbit

Appreciate the suggestions for plantings. When we get that far (still trying to "tame" the Ivy), we'll explore them.

We have considered a water (or waterfall) feature, but are putting off further consideration until the basic "structure" of the area is better defined. We have friends who have a hillside backyard where they have installed a waterfall feature and large koi pond. It is magnificent. We'll keep this under consideration.

@ everyone else

My wife really likes the potting bench (it was ordered, arrived, and was assembled while she was overseas on vacation) where it is on the deck, so that's where it will stay.

The old Craftsman mower continues to evade starting. The repair shop charges $62/hour plus parts, which is why I did not take it there after all, but after $30 for parts and about 4 hours of my time, I'm close to buying a basic push mower to take into the "wilds". If I wait too much longer, I may not be able to see the back of the lot for the new growth.

Best WIshes--Carl
Atlanta, GA


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Carl:
May I please ask how you enjoy your garden kneeler, and if it is strong enough for you to use all your weight on?
I'm looking for something to help me get up and down. I'm not even sure I can kneel yet. The physio said I always need a flat foot under my posterior and to push up from there (to avoid breaking any more discs in my back.
However, if I can begin to manouver myself around a bit, this might be helpful provided the handles are really sturdy. I just wish they were might higher. I'm tall.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@ girlgroupgirl

Probably couldn't do a lot of the work in the garden without the kneeler handy.

Had a total knee replacement about 6 years ago and have used the kneeler since. I'm 6' and about 200 lbs, and it has proven to be sturdy both as a kneeler and as a seat.

I really don't kneel much. I prefer to use it as a seat with the pad in either position. (You flip the thing over, the pad stays stationary). With the pad low to the ground I usually "roll" forward rather than trying to stand. When either truly kneeling or with the seat in the "high" position, the frame is plenty strong enough to support my weight as I get up.

As an aside, I sometimes use a "walking staff" or a cane for balance.

Suggest you try out a good kneeler (take a friend or two along to help you up so you don't put any stress on yourself in the event it doesn't work for you). Also, check with your PT to make sure that he/she can counsel you on specific "safe" movements.

Hope this information helps.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA
ITP


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Thanks Carl. The PT wants me to use a ball in the garden. She has never seen my garden and doesn't realize how much extra work and bending it would actually take to get the ball safely to an area to work. I'd have to spread thick blankets over mulched areas to prevent the ball from getting pierced :)
So a bench is the next best. I could not sit on the bench and bend forward, but I could kneel on it as long as I can pull up on something. It's not just my back that is a problem, but my entire hip and pelvis structure (hopefully that is going to improve!!). I was thinking that a 3-4 pronged cane may work so that my poor hubby doesn't have to hang around and be at my beck and call to help me get up and down safely every time I need to move :) I'm trying to avoid undue exertion on my hips, knees and ankles. I've already been well warned about it! :)


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The result of today's quick after work trip. Will get them potted or planted tomorrow on my day off. Also got a couple of new pots for the orchids, enough potting soil for the coming work and a new Goodyear hose to replace one of the worn-out lengths.

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Another of my "garden" shirts. If you have never ordered from the Arbor Day Society, give them a try. Bare-root trees and a variety of shrubs at reasonable prices, shipped at appropriate times, and well protected (my local Post Office managed to mash the top of one dogwood in one shipment, but nothing else was close to being harmed).

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Potted and planted some this afternoon--

New Guinea Impatiens around the base of the Japanese Maple and one of the two spiral plant shelves planted with Begonias. The Gardenias are budding well, so hopefully we'll have a lot of blooms when the time comes.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

--an old concrete planter that now has Gerbera Daisies, some Pentas and an unknown (to me) perennial that has survived for several years despite being dug up, divided and replanted (as it was today).


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

--and our newest "pet". I have no earthly idea where it will go, but it was too cute to pass up.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Also potted a braided Hibiscus, a Lantana, a lovely Coleus, and re-potted a Dracenea.

Sprayed a gallon of generic RU mixed to about 8 per cent. We'll see how it does on the normal weeds, etc, as well as on the various stages of Ivy growth that have resulted from the trimming, cutting, and tearing that have been going on.

The "hori-hori" came in especially handy today for a variety of tasks.

We'll see what we can get done tomorrow.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Nice stuff! You do good work.

The golden colored perennial might be creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia. Look up pictures and see if that is a match.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@ esh_ga

Good call. It does appear to be Creeping Jenny (Moneywort).


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Been a while since we've had a wide view of the front and back yards. How about an update?


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

GGG, I got the no name kneeler at Tues Morning for $20, beats $40 from Gardeners supply. Haven't used much for sitting, but okay for most kneeling tasks, great around certain beds that that are higher or sloped, even the bed by the road to the curb. It was great for getting down to cut back some of the knock outs, and deadheading, weeding. Not so much for small tool digging, it may be better for you. I learned right away how to and not to get dwn and up. Wish I could show you, I use any sturdy tool, cane, big pot, chair, etc. even the shower chair if I drop the soap. With the support on one side and the other leg, with the knee and hip at right angles. I am able to push off, with the same hand on that leg, pushing up with the opposite foot. I could show you on skype, you can practice using a small stool with a pillow on top, sort of like a lunge. If any of that makes any sense.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

My apologies for my lack of posting(s) the last week or so. Business business, family business, and personal business have all been rather hectic lately.

Gardenias are blooming white, new front hydrangea are decidedly blue. and a new wave of knockout roses is forming.

Pics when it stops being rainy and/or overcast.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

It;s been two weeks since I last posted, so here's some new photos and some other information. FIrst will be a series of front yard photos, starting from the right and working to the left. Please note that our neighbor's yard service is scheduled to come this week to weed and apply more mulch--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Next segment--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Next segment. I posted earlier about putting up a Japanese sleeve fence at the left corner of the house. The structure to support it is almost done.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Last (far left) segment of the front panorama. The mower shown has proven to be a real workhorse. Last weekend it was used to cut the lawn twice, the second time to bring it down to "maintenance" height. Filled about 8 lawn bags of clippings. Today's cutting filled less than one bag. Between the two weekends, the lawn service came and applied an anti-fungal in addition to the regular treatment, just in case the grass got stressed from the low cutting of last week.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Some closeups of portions of the front. The Hygrangae blooming for the first time--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Knockout Roses showing the start of their second wave of blooms this Spring/Summer--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Moving to the backyard, a photo of the Gardenia in the raised deck bed. The initial wave of blooms have not been headed, so you may see some browning blooms--


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A while back I posted information about some shrubs I had received from another member of this forum. Among them was an Oakleaf Hydrangea that he had rescued from neighbors who had abruptly sold their home and moved away in the wake of the death of their son in the Middle East. He offered it to me. I had little hope for it, but took it, promising to do with it what I could, I'm pleased to share the photo below---


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

This posting has been deleted.

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 13:42


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

How is the ivy removal going? I got mine out using a grape hoe, I don't know why people don't using this tool more often.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Ivy removal thus far has been somewhat successful. Cutting it back and then spraying the new growth with RU seems to do the trick after a second application. Our main problem has been the "person-power" needed to cut back substantial portions at one time and do the RU application.

Our landscaper is scheduled to come through in the next week or two with a small crew and give it another go before colder weather sets in.

Best Wishes


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Hello again all. Sorry to have had to "drop out" for so long a time. The reasons are neither important nor interesting. Suffice it to say that I am back at it again and ready to continue on the project I first posted slightly over a year ago.

It's very overcast right now, but the next several days promise little if any moisture and a fair amount of sunshine. Will post some "status" pictures as of the present this weekend. Not much has changed, but we have made some progress.

Good to be back on and with the forum.

Best Wishes--Carl


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

The small nursery... Two forsythia, two white dogwood and a maple ready to transplant. Unfortunately, another dogwood in this group was mistaken for a weed by my gardening partner, and a group of fingerling dogwoods bedded in October of last year did not over-winter. The surviving plants are from the Arborday Foundation.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Beginning of a new planting area on the bank shared with our neighbor. Lilies, annual vinca and some hostas. We'll test these and some other subsequent plants to see what does best.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Many of my previous posts dealt with the overwhelming amount of English ivy in the back yard. Cutting and trimming it back and then using a generic RU kept it at bay, but our regular landscape man never was able to get a crew over to really cut it back to a "manageable" amount.

So we are about in the same shape we were this time last year.

Here's a pic of the area directly behind the raised planter on the "low deck". We decided to clear out this area to make it look a little neater.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Welcome back and I hope the ivy eradication effort goes well this year.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

...and an after picture. Almost finished but it rained with just a bit of the far right upper corner to finish. Surprise!!!--the variegated privet that we cut back severely are still there. The ivy was taken out the "old fashioned" way--a downward-tined fork to loosen it up and then human power to pull it out.

The plan here is to put down pine straw, "nuke" new ivy growth as it arises, and plant liriope (which we also have an abundance of) as a border.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

One of the several small multi-color lantanas we set out last weekend.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

This year's version of the concrete planter.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

This year's outdoor furniture project (pardon my finger). They have only surface rust, are not bent or missing any pieces, and all the welds are sound. It needs a larger top, but that can wait until after the paint is stripped & we repaint them in multiple pastel colors--teal, purple, blue, rose, yellow...


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

@esh_ga

Thanks for the welcome back. I appreciate it.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

A picture taken a year ago of the area behind the "high deck" .

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Thu, May 29, 14 at 12:46


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Same relative view taken earlier today. The three trees marked in red above are gone, improving the vista into the back yard and increasing the amount of daylight near the back of the house.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Some Small Forward Steps--

We were fought to (at best) a standstill with the ivy, but there have been some "baby" steps taken.

1. All the new landscape installed last year is doing well. The only loss has been six small ferns that never looked particularly healthy.

2. As mentioned above, three trees were removed.

3. The condo association behind us had their property resurveyed. The markers are still in the ground. This saved me the trouble and expense of having our lot surveyed to verify where our fence will go.

4. We've cleaned out and reorganized the storage area under the "Florida Room" (between the decks) so we can actually find things within seconds instead of minutes (or ever).

5. Lawn care and lawn maintenance have each been turned over to professionals. This is surprisingly less expensive than we first thought (when compared to getting and keeping the correct materials and equipment), and has the additional benefit of making sure our investment is preserved. If also provides us the ability to concentrate more on the plantings.

6. Our neighbor continues to be extremely cooperative in letting us plant on the shared slope between our houses. This has involved removing (what else) ivy up the bank.

7. The neighbors across the street have "spoken for" the basketball goal, which I was afraid had become a fixture.

We're feeling very positive about this coming year of gardening.


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Since I managed to miss the Georgia Native Plant Society sale, I was looking forward to the Georgia Hosta Society Show and Sale. Even marked it on my calendar..

Except I put it on the wrong weekend. It was last weekend, not this upcoming one...

Sigh...


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RE: A Once and Future Georgia Garden

Thank you for sharing your projects and pictures, Carl. I have really enjoyed reading this thread! Great stuff. :)


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