Monday, October 27, 2014

A Morning Walk in the Garden, and the Making of Hellebore Hill

Early yesterday morning, I put on my red rubber garden shoes, slipped a hoodie over my pajamas, grabbed my camera, and I headed out to see what there was to see in the garden.

The sun was bright, and the shadows were long.  I love early morning in the garden.

The English Garden has recovered really well from last winter's damage.

Many of my David Austin roses in the English Garden are flowering, though few of the flowers are picture perfect.  That's just how it is in late fall ... doesn't make them any less beautiful to me.

The little baby Noisette roses in the English Garden have settled in and grown a lot since I planted them in August. 

Mystery Noisette #1 that lost its tag.

Mystery Noisette #1 that lost its tag.

Mystery Noisette #2, with a faded tag.

Mystery Noisette #2, with a faded tag.

In another part of the garden, 'Belle Vichyssoise' has opened a beautiful spray of fragrant flowers and 'Pink Perpetue' was showing off a perfect flower that looks almost like a camellia.

Today, I worked in the shade garden for most of the day ... hoping to get the area prepped and lot of new plants into the ground.  I am calling this garden Hellebore Hill, because it's catchy and it will have mostly Hellebores in it.  Before I could plant anything, I had to clear the area of hundreds of fallen black walnuts.  I made two trips with the tractor, with the bucket full of nuts, and dumped them in the tree line at the back of our property.

I don't use the tractor a lot, so I don't get to see this view very often.

Once the nuts were gone and the weeds were pulled, it was time to plant.  This 8 x 8 foot space is thickly planted, because I want it to fill in and the plants to grow together.  It contains mostly free plants, a few bargain plants, and some great specimen plants from my garden club plant exchange last weekend ... thirteen two-year-old seedling Hellebores, two fall-flowering Japanese Anemones, two Black Arums (Arum pictum), one Heuchera villosa, and one Aureomaculata Leopard Plant.  It also has ten Colchicums (which are finished for the season) and three clumps of daffodil bulbs.

Even though I was tired after all the prep work, digging all those holes and planting the plants, I continued to work ... putting down a good layer of newspaper on the bare soil and covering it with mulch.  

I'm glad I stuck with it and finished this part of the job completely, because it felt so good to step back and see what I had accomplished.

Soon, I hope to continue the progress down this bed, weeding and planting as I can, to connect this new part of the garden to the existing part that contains mostly mature Hellebores and Hostas.  If I can do this, it means that I will have fewer plants in pots, more plants in the ground, and an awesome new garden to enjoy ... instead of the weed patch that had been there.


  1. That will be SO NICE when it is established, Connie. I can't wait to see that happen.

    Your roses are just gorgeous- even this time of year...a rose is beautiful to me no matter what state it is in (and I don't mean Ohio)

    Hope you have a great week- xo Diana

  2. The roses are looking gorgeous and I know the new bed will, too. Wish I had an ounce of your energy.

  3. Loved the report and getting to experience a gardening day with you! Beautiful pictures are a bonus!!

  4. Great job and oh the joy finishing the project and looking forward to this bed filling in as everything grows. And then the glorious blooms you'll enjoy.

    I love seeing your roses as always. I really love 'Mine Road' Noisette. Your roses are all lovely, it's just that this one spoke to my heart for some reason.

    Thanks again for sharing your bit of paradise on earth.

    Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

  5. You show us some beautiful roses the flowers of the roses are often more beautiful in fall, but that can be because they look nicer as all other flowers have almost gone by now. Your new part of garden will look so pretty next season. I smiled by seeing your black walnuts, Snarf sometimes abusively picks a black walnut instead of his tennisball.

  6. Oh how beaUtiful the roses are! *sigh, we just put up the modular green house, which means I have resigned to the dreaded cold weather and winter. :' (

  7. I have been so busy painting I've almost forgotten how to garden. I would have loved to join you in playing in the dirt! I left behind a bunch of David Austin roses when I moved from Michigan and I've missed them ever since. Thanks for the beautiful photos!

  8. You caught the early morning light perfectly, Connie. You are so good to share the splendor. Thank you.

  9. How close if this garden to the black walnut tree?
    The soil under black walnut trees is toxic to some plants.
    Just a thought.
    Amy Davis

  10. Hi, Amy! This garden is on the far end of the 'drop zone' for this walnut tree. On the other side of the garden, I already have Hostas and Hellebores and Gingers and Arum ... shade loving plants that don't seem to be a bit bothered by the Juglone that Black Walnut trees have in their roots. For what it's worth, the roses that I have growing near other Black Walnut trees aren't bothered by it either.

    It doesn't seem that these trees are as universally toxic to things underneath of them as was once thought. Now, if the plant is a baby Black Walnut, that's another matter entirely. The toxic qualities of Black Walnut trees are intended to keep competition to a minimum, by discouraging the germination and/or growth of the nuts under the mama tree's canopy. Carried elsewhere, the nuts sprout with wild abandon ... like in my pots and flowerbeds, when buried by squirrels.


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