Saturday, January 30, 2010

Starting in October

So whats a girl to do when you don't step foot in your new garden until October 5th of the year? A heck of a lot of dreaming, of course. It didn't hurt that the entire house needed an overhaul, and still does, so as much as I wanted to sip my cool lemonade out in my new back garden, it actually made things like painting, sanding, spackeling, and electrical work a little easier to hack.

Not that I did nothing, because there was a heck of a lot to do on those gardens before plant one made it in there. Here's an idea of what was awaiting me in November in the back garden (trust me the other 2 sides looked identical):
Thats right, 350 sq feet of unadulterated magnolia leaves. All totalled, it was 23 extra large black trash bags of magolia leaves. And now everyone don't go and kill me, but I had the magnolia tree removed. I really can't think of a tree I like less, due to copious amounts of shedding leaves year-round that in the southern heat create an oven for anything underneath, able to kill plants quicker than roundup. It also leaned towards the neighbors house, blocked both our gutters, and clogged the drainages systems, which are way way important here. I felt a little bad, but truth be told, as the light shone on the cleared flagstone a week later, I didn't miss it one bit, and I regret it even less.

The front garden wasn't so bad, but it had 3 unknown bushes that had not been trimmed in many years, height 8 feet, 1 camillia, full of scale, and 6, count 'em 6 lantana's all but one of which were over 5 feet in height and covering about 25 sq ft of space. They are a wee invasive here, I hear. I have 'removed' 4 of the 6 lantanas, and shall hope that they stay removed. And those other two better think about their next moves if they plan on staying unmolested.

Despite the look of the wreck of the backyard, there are a couple of plants I did inherit that I plan on keeping. If you look into the far back of the picture behind the back rocking chair, you can see a bunch of Japanese Holly Ferns. They are beautiful large specimens, 7 in total. I am planning on digging up two to make room for something other than holly ferns back there, and they will make the journey up to Virginia to join the 7a gardens. If they transplant well I might move the rest of them elsewhere in the back because they are located not in the greatest spot for something 8 inches tall but 10 feet wide. Also, because of the removal of the Magnolia, I think the spot might be too sunny for them come summer.


  1. I pitty you Jess, yes that is a lot of work. But you will be stronger physically by then with the lots of exercise you will be doing while overhauling your garden. I am sure it will come out beautifully and i will be waiting for the outcome, here in your blog.

  2. I actually don't blame you one bit about getting rid of the magnolia. Sacrilege though it is in the south. I have a magnolia (Southern Magnolia) in the front yard and it sheds its gigantic and hard to compost leaves into my rose garden. I've already committed the southern sin of removing the azaleas. The neighbors my string me up for removing the magnolia!

  3. It is really weird that when people find a flower/small plant that isn't were you'd like it, or you don't want it, its a weed. If its a bush or tree though, they really do have a cow. I am so glad its gone. I will not be rid of all the leaves for another couple of you mention, they don't rot. I think a lot of people who 'love' magnolias don't have one near their house.