The orchard is blooming. Dogwoods are blooming. Hostas are coming up.

The orchard is what I see from the kitchen windowOrchard April 2015

and what a lovely sight it is now.  Every one of the flowering Crabapples I put in is blooming.  I did three different varieties, thinking that they would grow at different rates (which they have) and that I might lose some (and I haven’t).  They’re still small of course, but it is looking like a defined space.  It looks as if most of the grass growing in that area is – as I hoped – the No-Mow, which will remain short and a little rough.  So later this spring I’m going to put in a scattering of low-growing summer-flowering plants – possibly some red Daylilies, to further define the space.  And this fall I think it will be time for bulbs.

Dogwoods April 2015

The Dogwoods – all but one – came through the winter beautifully.  I was a little nervous, because I had been advised to wait until spring.  But I didn’t; and it worked out.  What I did do was water.  Every time there was a winter thaw I dragged out 350′ of hose and watered every tree and shrub deeply.  I think that did help.

And the Hostas, six big, beautiful Sum & Substance, are all up.  I planted them bare root, which I have never done before.  They are much less expensive that way – and it worked.  I highly recommend this as a way to save some money.  And the way they are coming up looks as if they are the same size they would be if I had planted gallon-size containers.

To Life!

There are some heartwarming and oh-so-welcome sights in the newly planted garden.  Some of the new plants are showing soft, plump buds – and in one case, the first FLOWERS!  (Though you have to look closely to see those).

Wisteria Buds 1.27.2015 20150127_121509The Wisteria are covered with buds.  So next year the pergolas won’t be quite so naked.

  Dogwood Buds full close up bids 1.27.2015 20150127_121851And most of the Dogwoods have buds.

The luscious little upward facing ovals in a few months will be dancing white and sparkling against the blue sky.

Witch Hazel Buds Closeup Pale Yellow visible 1.27.2015 20150127_122131

And also the Witch Hazel.   Jelena, with its copper colored flowers is actually flowering a little as well as being covered with clusters of fuzzy, pale, pale gray-yellow buds.

Embryonic Woodland — Starting with the Bones

We’ve planted most of the trees and shrubs that will make up the main structure of the Woodland garden.

First autumn. newly planted woodland

The Pines and Maples will give the shade that defines a woodland.  And eventually, if all works well these will also give their name to the area; it will be a Pine and Maple Woodland.   Redbuds and Dogwoods will form most of the understory layer and give their own softer shade…protecting the  Fothergillas (35 of them) and Oak Leaf Hydrangeas (12).  And these shrubs will lead the eye through the space, their human scale showing the size and form of the Woodland.  And of course they will add their own spring flowering, summer form, and autumn color.  A grove of Birches acts as an entry to the Woodland as well as providing more four-season beauty.

Once these trees and shrubs grow and start to give enough shade, it will be time to plant some of the shade-loving groundcovers that will help define the space: Tiarella, Gingers, Trillium, Solomon’s Seal…masses of each to help keeping you moving through the space.

It is so exciting to see some of the spaces actually taking shape, not just in my mind, but in reality.