The Birth of a New Garden- Step One

As anyone knows who has seen many of my posts here, I have a LOT of big gardens…. Much of the past few days has been spent doing the beginning preparations for my first New garden in over a decade. Like I really need another new garden…. Well, this one had been dreamed  about for many years, and it will be where the “Back of the Workshop Mess” photo in the previous post is, or should I now say it mostly WAS. This area has attracted a lot of birds in the past few years, but the area is full of weedy Sumac trees and have fallen over. I have always dreamed of this becoming a beautiful bird sanctuary with various trees, shrubs and perennials to attract the birds in a much prettier way.

Future Bird Sanctuary 1

Shortly after the photo in the previous post was taken, I started breaking up and piling what I could with the hour of daylight I had left after the last lawn mowing. The pile of branches in the left of the photo is from my Diablo Ninebark bush on the side of the Lilac Garden. It should have been trimmed years ago, and I finally took the pruners to it and gave it a severe “haircut”. The pile far back is what I was able to break up of the ugly Sumac trees that fell over into the lawn years ago.

Future Bird Sanctuary 2

I finally got put on Ken’s calender and Wednesday the chainsaw was put to the mess. You can see from this photo above how many of the trees were laying on their sides.

Future Bird Sanctuary 3

The bonfire…. The first day of chainsaw work we had a fire going constantly as Ken cut and we both dragged limbs to the fire. In addition to the Sumac trees, there also  was great abundance of overgrown wild grapevines. Those made getting the tree limbs out pretty tricky…. we had to cut the vines to free much of what had to go.

Future Bird Sanctuary 4A little bit later, more of the workshop trailer can be seen. We kept working till it got to dark to see where we were walking.

Fire at End of Day 1

I wanted to see what the new camera would do, and took a few photos of the fire as I left the area for the night. This one came out pretty good even with not too steady hands. One thing about all the rain we have had since August, the ground and everything else is still really saturated and we didn’t have to worry about starting an unwanted fire somewhere else.

Future Bird Sanctuary 5

By the time I got my body to allow me to get back to work the next day, Ken had gotten most of the trees cut and burned a lot more. Now most of the trailer can be seen, There are still some Sumac, wild Roses, and a lonely Ash tree left on the south end of it. The Ash tree will be the only thing left by the time all gets cleared. The trunks of the trees were left high enough for Ken to hook a chain onto them and pull out the roots. Sumac is really hard to get rid of because of all of the roots running just under the surface of the ground where new babies pop up. The more roots out the better, but I have found with the Lilac garden that if I keep a deep mulch of hay, any babies that pop up can be plucked easily and after a couple years less and less try to grow.  I am still amazed when I see some garden catalogs offering various Sumac varieties for sale…. They do have pretty fall color and red fruit clusters in summer, but they are huge invasive weeds!

Maple in Woods

Here is one of the young Maple trees that has kept growing despite having Black Walnut trees not far from it. Most of the rest of the woods is Green Ash which in some areas are being attacked by a borer, so I am glad to see other varieties finally taking hold.  I plan to find a not too big one of these Maples that might be too close to another to flag with ribbon to dig next Spring for the Bird Sanctuary garden or somewhere around the workshop to provide shade.

Baby Ginkgo Tree Leaves

Here is one of the two Ginkgo trees I purchased in the Spring. One of these will go in the North end of the new garden. They can get really huge, but that will take probably take more than my lifetime for that to happen, but I will still give them plenty of room. I also bought another Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple), a pink  Dogwood, and a Carolina Silverbell. I joined the Arbor Day Foundation and received another group of baby trees, and also have some baby shrubs from my gardens in pots. These will be used as some of the understory bushes.  I am now trying to plan how everything will be planted. Not all will fit in the new area, but many will go there. The nearly bare area after removing the junk trees is over 50 feet wide at the far end of the trailer. I have some tall trees, medium height ones, and the bushes, then will fill in with various perennials. The new garden will look a  bit sparse and the birds won’t be too happy for a while, but eventually it should be alive with them again, and more enjoyable since I plan to have some paths and seating areas in there.

Fungi on Stump

And now for some more random woods and garden pictures… Above is another rotting stump in the woods with three different kinds of fungi on it.

Steps Stone

This good sized stone looks like it has had steps cut out of it… It was near one of the old stone walls on each side of an abandoned roadway that goes through the middle of our land.

Walnut Trees

This is the back yard group of Black Walnut trees as viewed from the edge of the woods. They have really gotten huge in the 21 yrs we have lived here. The only shade that comes close to our trailer. It’s still dangerous to stand under them now with the huge crop of nuts falling, but they make the nicest shade in the summer.

Walnuts on Steps

Here on the steps that go to the back yard, you can see some of the nuts… I think this year is the biggest crop yet…. and many are Huge!

Blooming Grasses

The Ornamental Grasses in the Maple Tree garden are in their full glory! I really need to put a person in one of these photos… these grasses are huge… Miscanthus Goliath is the largest clump on the right, Pannicum Cloud Nine is the really light and feathery one, and way in the back just coming into bloom is Miscanthus giganteus…. a perfect name for it…. It is over 12 feet high. Goliath is around 10 ft high.

Variegated Grass in Bloom

Here is the Miscanthus variegatus blooming in the Arborvitae end of the Maple garden. This plant  has only been here for 2 seasons… There are two, but you can see the left one is pretty scrawny. It was a smaller chunk when I planted them and is just starting to take off.

Pink Clover

Here is a closeup of a Pink (Red) Clover flower… I keep practicing with the new camera and am getting more good macro shots.

Queen Ann's Lace Closeup

One of the last Queen Ann’s Lace flowers in the field…. We have only had a tiny touch of frost, but it won’t be long now till the flowers are done for another year….


I am a former textile artist and new pattern designer with a degree in horticulture, wishing to share my love of nature, flowers and gardens with everyone through my photos, sunprinted fabrics, and now pattern designs. Chronic Lyme Disease has caused major changes to the direction my life. I have to limit the amount of time spent digging in my gardens, and quilting has become more difficult. I discovered pattern design as a way to get art back into my life. I now use my gardens and photos to inspire designs that can be used on fabrics and print on demand items.

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One comment on “The Birth of a New Garden- Step One
  1. Ewenique says:

    What lovely photos! Glad I found your blog!