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Thread: the 'before' photo

  1. #1
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    Wink the 'before' photo

    Here it is..the challenge..the jungle...It's a scary place: japanese lilacs, wild grapes, golden rod, bluebells, honeysuckle, volunteer mystery saplings--damp soil because the house next door slopes towards it--too much overhead shade---OH MY !
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    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Add ferns, Astilbe, "Goatsbeard", Toad Lilies. Cut down the mystery saplings and mystery weeds, prune the lilacs. Oh! and chop that wild grap out of the ground and burn that sucker. Hire someone to come in and limb up the trees so more early morning and late afternoon sun can get in as well as air circulation. Plant Hosta on the high side so they get better drainage.

    There are all kinds of shads loving perennials you can get as well as native wild flowers that will do really well in such a damp area. Jack in the Pulpit, Trillium, Dogtooth Violet, Trout Lily, Azaleas (native species in particular).

    Close to the edges where they will get more light you can try species iris, Louisiana Iris, Japanese Iris as they all love lots of moisture and somewhat boggy areas are great for them.

    Remove all but a couple of the golden rod - butterfly attractors in the fall, thin out the Virginia Blue Bells.

    Leave room for a bench and you have a hidden garden to escape to.

    I should be so lucky as to have a spot big enough to be a "rain forest jungle"!

    Right now if I don't get some guppies or a goldfish for the pond I'm going to be in big trouble with the entire neighborhood. In just a few days it has become "skeeter central". Now that's a challenge! Where would I put my lone water lily if not there?


    Rebecca

  3. #3
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    Mid project

    I cut tons of saplings and grape vines. Somehow it doesn't look like I did but believe me I did.
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    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    midproject photo #2

    mid project phot #2
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    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  5. #5
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    Cathy,
    My shade garden should look so good. After several years of neglect while I was renting out the house it is unbelievable what all has grown into it. So far I have cut down 3 cedar saplings several maples and still heve many privet shoots to whack down. Honey suckle has covered everyting. I have been cutting, spraying and even burning. When I sparayed and burnt the honeysuckle and wild roses at the back of the bed I found a whole large tree that had fallen years earlier. What a mess. I am slowly bringing it under control little by little. Some of my original plants have even managed to survive. As embarrassed as I am I will show a before picture to make you feel better about yours. Hopefully I will be able to post some after pictures before the summer is over.
    Don't laugh, here it is.
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    tennessee sue

  6. #6
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    The brown foliage is where I have sprayed. The whole thing is covered with vinca which I need to pull out. ANother view:
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    tennessee sue

  7. #7
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    Are you feeling better about your area yet. If not here is view no.3:
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    tennessee sue

  8. #8
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    So see yours isn't so bad afterall and I know you will having it looking beautiful before long. Mine is too dry and like all my yard it is clay. The soil is getting better slowly. When I get it cleaned out I hope to get some more compost into it and lots of organic matter. I have bunches of wildflowers and shade plants ready to go in there when I get it all fixed up. The front edge is curved and I want to put scalloped edgers along the front. It is a pretty good sized area so I still got a way to go. I went and bought a bowsaw the other day so I could make faster progress with the privet and I forgot to mention the sassafras seedlings everywhere.
    Plants that survived are siberian iris, hostas, ferns,jack in the pulpit, lily of the valley and solomons seal. That is allI have found so far anyway.
    These are a few of the plants I have witingto make it their home:
    foam flower
    more jack in the pulpit
    trilliums
    twin leaf
    2 kinds of violets
    false and dwarf solomon seal
    spider wort
    bleeding heart
    lung wort
    3 kinds of ferns
    ragwort
    primroses
    And probably some more I can't think of right now.
    The maple in the center is dead so it will be replaced either with an amor maple or maybe my contorted redbud (Lavender Twist) even though it is still very small.
    Have you decided what all to plant in yours yet? Remind me this fall when it is cool enough to ship plants and I'll send you a few things that I have multiples of.
    tennessee sue

  9. #9
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    Wow Sue Thank you ! This is like a support group for those unruly garden spots that we know we need to tame !
    In every photo, I kept looking at that very nice hosta. It looks like the one I bought on Friday--Elegans.
    I identify with the sapling cutting. My saw has become dulled which made it harder to use. I traced that dran grape vine to its source and cut every branch coming out of it that I could see. Somewhere along the way I saw, and ate, two berries. They were either wild grapes or wild mulberries. Tasted fine to me.
    My nexr chore is to pull weeds, honeysuckle, etc.
    I actually have to raise the part of the bed that is in the yard because my neighbor's yard slopes and drains into that spot. I lost lots of lily bulbs, good lily bulbs, due to that. I realized what was going on too late. For now, I will weed and maybe raise but wait til fall to plant. As for what will go in there--I'm going to have to watch that area and figure out if it is shade or sun. Sounds strange but I'm not sure. The pin oak may have sealed its fate as being shade. It may be filtered sun which osn't bad at all.
    The jury is still out on that one.
    You have an amazing assortment of plants--your area will look lovely.
    Gee, it kinda concerns me that some stuff is immune to even burning---egads.

    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  10. #10
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    I've been trying to spray and let it die before i burn. Some areas I can't burn because of the other plants and the utility building. I have noticed the wild grape vines don't die as quickly as other things I've ben spraying. I hope it kills then eventually. I cut the ones in the front before the grapes got ripe as I knew the birds would sow them everywhere, and I have lots of them everywhere already.
    I don't know the name of the hosta but it has the biggest leaves of any I have seen. My neighbor gave me that one years ago when I first made the shade garden. I have another that has large leaves but the leaves are much darker. I like this one best.
    I'll post more pictures when I get it more under control. I can't wait to plant all my babies in there. Keep us informed on your progress.
    tennessee sue

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