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A Window On My World

This is not a daily blog.
Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hanging Gardens - Part 1

A few years ago, my amazingly talented and energetic young helper, Neal, undertook yet another major project - the largest yet. This series of three posts will be about that project.

I will give you a little background: Long before we knew this place, there was a limestone quarry in what is now the lower part of our back yard/garden, the section that I call "The Dell". Previous owners of our house had 600 loads of soil hauled in and put into place, resulting in what I have called 'the bowl effect'. When our friend, Mary, from whom we bought the property, lived and gardened here there was grass on the slope and her husband mowed it with a riding mower. There was a path from the upper back yard going down into the dell.

Here, we are just beginning to walk towards the top of the path. There is a slight curve to the left that takes us to the top.

In the next photo one can see the edge of The Rockery. Neal created the Rockery as per my instructions. Originally, it was just a limestone outcropping with some invasive plants. He totally remade it to the way I asked (another of his large projects).

Part of that project required the installing of a low retaining wall. Day after day as he worked and the little wall grew and grew, longer and longer, the other young men began to jokingly call it The Great Wall of China. The name stuck and I still call it that. In the photo one can see the path that came down the slope running alongside The Great Wall of China. I hope that will give you a sense of how much slope there was.

Here, we are almost down the hill and are looking up toward the top.

Over the months and years of so many people going up and down daily as they worked here, the grass died on the path exposing clay soil. It became quite slippery and because I fell a few times it was apparent something had to be done about it. And too, I needed additional level areas for plants.

If you remember there was that project "Cataloging the Irises" which was preparatory to thinning the spring bulbs that were under the irises. That second stage was described in the post "I Think I Killed It". All of those irises had to go somewhere temporarily while we thinned the bulbs. They went into the new project that I will tell you about in this series of posts.

It was 2008 when I cataloged the irises, and we reworked that bed, moving irises down into the new project. Spring bulbs and iris plants were given away en mass. That left a reasonable amount of bulbs and irises in the large bed, and way, way too many irises down in the dell.

If you have experience with tall bearded irises you can predict what happened. The irises put back into the bed had not been divided since that 2008 project until now. By this spring they had multiplied unbelievably! Especially the very vigorous dark yellow (almost gold color) ones. Yesterday, I gave away 135 plants of that one color to the helper I mentioned above. He worked here as a college student for a few years. Now he has his own water- & land-scapes business. He lives on a farm and has an enviable amount of space. He has planted them on his farm.

This story is far too long to put into one, or perhaps even two, posts, so it will have to be continued. I will leave you with a link for anyone who is interested enough to pursue a tour of Crocker Croft while you wait for the next installment of this story.

For the tour go to my website The Garden At Crocker Croft When you get there find the bee. Click on the bee. The bee will take you from one section of the garden to the next and will lead you all the way around until you come out where you started.

For the rest of you, I will say: Goodbye for now.

To Be Continued


Lucy Corrander said...

Have just 'done' your tour.

That's a cleaver idea with the bee.


Barbee' said...

Thank you, Lucy. I didn't know if anyone would be interested enough to do that tour.

Balisha said...

All I can say is and old fashioned comment...Why I never!
I just took the half hour tour and found that I never knew you had such a lovely place. I enjoyed every twist and turn that the path took me. I'm saving this for when the snow blows here....and I need something to take my mind off of the weather. Thanks for the perfect beginning of my day.

Barbee' said...

Ha,Ha, Balisha, I hadn't heard that in ages!! Glad you enjoyed it. I've worn myself out on this place. Sometimes I really do wonder why.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lucy. I too took the pretty tour and the bee was a quite helpful fellow. Your story was interesting too. Iris do have a way of getting out of control. I just gave away quite a few myself today.

Barbee' said...

gardenwalkgardentalk: Thank you! I have a friend who got rid of all his iris plants. He said they are too much trouble for the few days of bloom. Times, I agree with him and have been tempted to do the same.

Canyon Girl said...

I'm on my way to do the tour. I know you have a beautiful place and can imagine all the work that went into it.--Inger

Canyon Girl said...

I just took a part of the tour and will be back for sure to finish it. What a gorgeous place you have and I can't believe all the work that went into it. If I feel down about something, I think I will take the tour all over again, knowing it will cheer me up so much.--Inger

Barbee' said...

Canyon Girl, that is so sweet! Thank you. We were visiting our son's family in the Atlanta area this weekend and I told them about Samson.

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Lloyd, I'll be right over!