Woodland shade gardening with a purpose – pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
This began as a single post, sharing with you the process of creating a new entrance for the west end of The North Trail. As I perused my collection of pictures, I realized what an ongoing process this north side of my back gardens has been, mostly during the last year. This trail remained in a rather rough, unaddressed state for many years – simply because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Necessity was the catalyst for change. Suddenly I had free-flowing ideas and a feeling of excitement and creativity. One necessity was a new entrance that didn’t have large, exposed tree roots on top of the ground, causing me to trip often, no matter how much attention I tried to give to this possible danger. Another necessity was a new entrance that didn’t include a maturing cypress tree blocking the path.
The North Trail has always been, and will continue to be, a place with a feeling of stepping off into the wildness of the forest. My neighbor’s truly natural woodland, immediately outside our fence, enhances this feeling.
Last fall, my decision was to move the entrance to the opposite side of the large forest tree. This involved removing quite a bit of variegated vinca (periwinkle), and many jonquil bulbs, to open up the entrance, using clay from another excavation to build up and level the now-elevated beginning of the pathway, and placing a retaining wall of concrete pavers along the front so the soil wouldn’t be washed away with each rainfall.
This spring we were surprised by a bountiful display of jonquils, IN THE PATHWAY, whose existence were missed during the removal of plant material to open up the entrance. These were enjoyed at the time, and have now been relocated.
I used more clay to form a berm on the uphill side of the curve between the new entrance and the fence. This is the natural path of rainwater flow from my neighbor’s downspout on the back corner of her house. I am grateful for this extra rainwater to nourish my plantings, and this new berm will catch and hold that beneficial moisture.
Low-growing plant material is subtle, on each side of the entrance, to quietly announce this as a beginning to somewhere else, and tease the walker to venture along the pathway.
The passionate gardener may install the basic bones of a garden, and be compelled to make changes based on many factors, including changes in personal preferences. One of the undeniable traits of a passionate gardener is the satisfaction of tweaking the basics. Yes, a new entrance can be created, and stones placed to eliminate erosion. But that is only the beginning. A passionate gardener sees these basics as a chance to let imagination and logic spin into more and more design possibilities and gardening project delights.
My feeling about this new entrance is that it is complete and will grow into its more mature look quite beautifully. Of course, I’m making no promises! Who knows what additional details I may imagine, to tweak it a bit more!
Woodland shade gardening with a purpose - pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
THE JOY OF GARDENING IN THE SHADOWS
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