In the beginning, our house was surrounded on 2 sides by forest.
(The pine tree to the right, which looks as though it was gauged by heavy machinery when the site for the house was cleared, is doing just fine. It's actually a very picturesque tree. Loblolly Pines can take a lot of abuse.)
There were trees on each side of the long driveway.
From 2004, taken with a film camera and scanned in. The garden was in its infancy. Now we park
our cars where the horse stalls were then.
The big perennial bed was behind the house and backed by thick woods. Below is a snapshot of the big bed in 2005. The house is just out of sight, to the left, and the red haze in the background is Eastern Columbine. The bed by the pasture isn't planted yet.
Our passalong white iris and Climbing Old Blush its first spring in the garden.
Jesse's Song and looking toward the woods behind the old house site.
I wanted a large sunny stretch of perennials, surrounded by pine woods as we were. That was then.
This is now.
April 2010, to be more precise
The house was moved in Nov. '06 and we were able to get back into it April 1, 2007. Much more open space!
There is so much extra to mow that another bed is in the works. Thankfully the rose seedlings I put in there last January grew this year, so the bed should not look so raw next year.
The vegetable garden is half rose garden.
Now that the house has been moved and there's a lot more open space in which to garden around the house, I don't have a need for such a large perennial bed. Weeding and compost I will do but I don't want to water it. I love perennials except when they're not -- perennial. If I plant drought tolerant plants we get buckets of rain. If I plant wetland plants there's no rain for weeks. The garden is in a floodplain that's often as dry as the desert. There are a few perennials tough enough to take those conditions; for example Baptisia, if protected from voles, who love it. One time I accidently mowed a 'Purple Smoke' in August and it came back the next year.
I was even able to divide it when I moved it to a safer place. lol Lucky for me that it had already formed growth buds for the next spring. Amsonia tabernaemontana is a survivor too; it goes underground when the weather is very hot and dry.
But plants that go dormant just leaves more room for the ultimate enemy in a sunny Southeastern garden: bermudagrass. Resistance is futile. It's relentless unless shaded out. Baptisia will shade it out for the most part.
So the current plan is conversion of the big perennial bed to a big bed with shrubs and perennials. This conversion has been happening anyway, only now it's a plan conconcted from necessity.
To be continued...