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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Hanging Gardens - Part 2

It is April 2, 2006. We are standing just inside the edge of the Flagstone Terrace that is mulched with crushed limestone (visible in the foreground). The Terrace Path of crushed limestone dead-ends at the old worn downhill path. In the distance is evidence, still, of the February 2003 ice storm damage, plus the disarray of cleanup and work areas - that storm just about did us in. This photo also gives one an idea of how steep The Bank is. The fence is where we have grown vining plants such as sweet peas (the flower), and string green beans (the food vegetable), blue morning glories, and vine-form nasturtiums. The pink flags on The Bank are marking Lycoris bulbs that I hoped to protect from weeding blades. The tree stump has now rotted away.
(April 2, 2006)

For years the head of our driveway has been a storage area for supplies used in several projects - to our neighbors' dismay. Here shows a small amount of the blocks used in this one.
(July 31, 1906)

As usual, I forgot to take photos from the beginning. The project is well underway by now (Aug. 17, 2006). As you can see construction is on-going, but some of the beds have been filled and iris plants moved into them. Some of the worn path is still there. In the right of the next photo the Rockery begins, the Terrace is out of view to far right.
(August 17, 2006)

The fill for these beds was a major project of its own. We used every smidgen of suitable material I had on hand from making on site or saving for this purpose: piles and tubs of compost, leaf mold, humus from rotted wood; we even put in some old rotting branches. Mixed with those were several pickup truck loads of purchased top soil, compost, mulch, plus bags of gypsum, bonemeal, soil conditioner, a little blood meal (not much, irises do not like much Nitrogen; they rot), alfalfa (the best Nitrogen source for irises) pellets (horse food) for slow-release Nitrogen, and honestly I don't remember what all we mixed together - it's been a few years now, and I forget.

I'm not sure how to organize the photos in this post. The next three move from left to right. The fourth is a center view.
(January 3, 2007)

Neal at work.

The steps are in and coming down. Later they were filled in with more block.

Neither of us knew what we were doing. As usual for me, I read up on the subject... a lot. I mentioned the proposed project to a man who came here to trap groundhogs. He gave me a little advice and suggestion. Then I would tell Neal what I had read and heard. Sometimes he didn't agree, and then I would say, "You are the one doing the work. You do it the way you want to." He would give it a try, then start over with my suggestion, example: does one start moving the dirt at the bottom and go up, or, start at the top and go down?! He wanted to start at the top, but once he tried that, he quickly realized it should be started at the bottom. We just took one step/stage of the project at a time and figured it out as we went. It was quite fun, actually.

Looking toward the Rockery with the Terrace on top.

(March 2007)

It just kept growing,

and growing!

I think I will stop here for now, because so many photographs will make the post slow to load. Next time there will be some flowers in the photos, so it will be prettier. See you then!

To Be Continued

9 comments:

Balisha said...

What an undertaking. I'm anxious to see the finished project. I'll bet those two blue chairs got a lot of use during this project.
Balisha

Norvona Jackson said...

B,
I am remembering more resent photos and realizing how much work went into making it what it is today....so beautiful! How wonderful that you have these progression photos. Well done...both of you. :-)

Barbee' said...

Hello Balisha, whew! yes, it was. I wouldn't do that now days, I'm getting too old for such challenges. Sorry I'm so slow about getting posts up; it's just that I am busy training and managing five new workers. I have to stay right with them, then I come in exhausted.

Thank you, Norvona. I have a lot of help with photos. The challenge is weeding them out and down to just a few. It surely is helpful the way cameras automatically put the date on them.

Bob said...

Wow, Barbee! It's going to look fantastic, when finished and flowering.
Oh, how lucky you are to have the land to do it.
Congrats!

Barbee' said...

Good morning, Bob. It is now 5:46 AM and your comment is the first thing I have read this morning. I know your day is well advanced by now, however. Wish you could send us some cooler air. Thank you for the positive feedback. There are many days I wish the property were level and therefore much much easier to work on and live with. But then, we wouldn't have gotten to have this huge work party. HA!

Lucy Corrander said...

It's such a tremendous project - both in bursts like this and over the years.

What does your husband make of it?

Lucy

P.S. The WV is 'fingumsh' - what a wonderful word!

Barbee' said...

Lucy, Hi! 'fin gum sh' I guess this would be the way to say it. It is fun to look at the word verification combinations.

Sometimes I think this place was my destiny. My husband enjoys it very much. He isn't a gardener at all, but he has always been quick with the camera, way more than I. He drags people (neighbors who walk for their health, etc.) in off the street to come look at the flowers. He invites people to come over and take a tour. He parks his car a certain way so that when he drives in home, he can see his favorite view. Then when I verbalize my worries and concerns about the monetary cost of it year after year, he comes back with: I still think it's cheaper than a psychiatrist. (I'm prone to depression.) He knows how important it is to me. When I say maybe I should just let it go; he comes back with: But, this is what you do! I am so so lucky!

Vetsy said...

Barbee's that's a lot of work, but it is going to be so worth it and so beautiful once you are done.

I like it because its hardscaping that add interest. Cant wait to come back to see the final project.

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Vetsy, I am working on the next post, but I think it will need to be a few more before we get to this spring's pictures. You are correct in thinking it was a lot of work. Neal gets all the credit for the construction manual labor, plus students helped a lot with the fill that went into them. Being a gardener yourself, you know the work never ends in maintenance. It was beautiful this spring. My posts will get your there eventually :)