Thursday, March 19, 2009

As it was

Two years ago our house was moved out of the floodplain. We had to clear a 50-60 foot wide swath of woods in order to make a path for the house up the hill. Below are some "before" shots of the garden, most of which were taken in the spring of 2006.

The first shot shows Mermaid, the house, and the woods behind the house that were later cleared. This picture was taken in 2002; the rest were taken in 2006, with my old Pentax 35mm film camera and scanned in. I was glad to see those woods go, actually. Not only was there the matter of moving the house, which was a great relief, but those woods in reality were rather a mess: loggers had cleared the trees about 25 years before we bought the place, leaving huge mounds, and there was the typical lowland coastal plain tangle of greenbriar all through it. In addition, the pines blocked the sun in winter. (I love pine trees, but not when I am north of them in wintertime.) Now that the house has been moved all we have behind us are tulip poplars, which is wonderful.

Mermaid and the house before move, 2002

We had Florida azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) planted in raised beds in front of the house. I loved them there, because the fragrance would come in the open windows in the living room, but they were simply going to get too large. So I moved them to other areas of the garden before the house was moved. The Florida azaleas were underplanted with Southern lady fern from the farm, toothwort, and white wood aster.

The big perennial bed and Eva's White iris with Climbing Old Blush. House is in the background off to the left.

Jesse's Song and Eva's White

Jesse's Song and looking toward the woods behind the old house site.

Pink Confetti

Eva's Blue-Violet

Dusky Challenger

Looking up the hill, towards where the house currently sits. We now park our cars about where the horse stalls are situated in the picture. I believe the perennial bed is about 3 years old in this picture.

A noid iris, probably in the intermediate class and definitely of pallida descendant, that I found growing near the mailbox. It didn't bloom last year and I hope I didn't lose it, as I adore this iris.

To be continued...


  1. I love iris too. Yours are beautiful.

    All of a sudden I found myself with hundreds of Superstition (which crowded out other colors.) I'll rework my beds and replace some this summer.

  2. wow, this story sounds interesting...i'll be waiting for the next part! the iris are beautiful;-)

  3. What a beautiful area you have there. Those iris' are lovely, especially that last one.

  4. Marnie,
    Iris are my #1 favorite flower.

    All of those Superstition must have been beautiful -- I'll have to look into that one. I'm always looking for uber vigorous iris.

  5. Hi Jan and thank you. It is an interesting story; I just some parts could have been left out, even at the risk of losing a story!

  6. Thank you Susie. That iris is a beauty, isn't it? I wish I knew its identity, so that I could order more..

  7. Sweet Bay,

    Nice irises you have! Been to Mrs. Powell"s Gardens in Princeton, NC? My grandfather had over 300 varieties of irises back in the late 70s he gave them all away when the state bought his land to build a state park.

  8. Thank you Randy. No, I hadn't heard of Mrs. Powell's garden. Does she have a website?

    300 varieties... your grandfather's iris garden must have been magnificent.

  9. Beautiful Irises and a heavenly corner of the world you have! sending sunshine and smiles..Happy St. Patty's day!NG

  10. Randy, I have a new destination spot this spring. I did not know that Powell Gardens even existed, but now I have to see it.

    I found these links:

    I did not know that Lloyd Zurbrigg was from Durham either.

  11. Thank you Naturegirl. Happy Patty's Day to you too -- that reminds me, I must put on something with green. :)

  12. Alicia, How exciting...I've seen houses being moved off property and then Macmansions built on the property. This is a much better story and I love the happy ending! Your iris are fantastic! gail

  13. What a great amount of space you have to 'play' with (speaking as someone living near the centre of a city). I love the irises - I've never seen ones of that dusky blue shade before.


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