Fall In The Woodland Garden

Fall Cleanup At The woodland GardenWith Fall in high gear my trip to the woodland garden today did not much surprise me. Most are the leaves are down now so cleanup will begin.

Today I was able to clean up about 1/4 of the lot starting in the front. I will be going out about 4 more times between now and Thanksgiving to get all the leaves up off the lawn area and beds..

While certainly the leaves in a woodland garden would normally be left to decompose and feed the soil the woodland garden is more of a landscape park area and requires a lot of maintenance to the lawns and planting beds.

This Was A Lost Year

While normally we would be at the woodland garden every weekend from April through October this was actually my first trip this year. Due to family issues we had to attend to and the extreme heat we had this summer the woodland garden was put on hold.

One Season Of NeglectSo now this Fall i will attempt to make up for lost time. I must admit that it was a bit overwhelming at first glance and I was a bit annoyed at myself. Last year I talked a bit about letting a good portion go back to it’s natural state and just maintaining a portion of the property.

Well as you can see it does not take much time to become overgrown. Having seen the property in this state made me quickly re-evaluate my idea of making the woodland garden more natural.

So out came the chain saw and the weed eater and off to work I set. It will take some time to repair what I neglected but the place would just not be the same. I must admit that partially it was laziness on my part for not taking action sooner.

As humans we all seem to be good at justifying or actions or in this case inaction. One thing I always have prided myself in was to be sure to go above and beyond with any work I have done. After my visit to the woodland garden today then watching Holmes on Homes tonight  it really did bother me. I am a big Mike Holmes fan because I truly believe that he is one of those people that wants to make things he sees wrong made right. So when he said Do It Right The First Time tonight it struck me that I was slacking off that principal so hence the work will be done this fall.

My Inspiration

So this is My  Inspiration after cleaning around the bench sitting area above I realized that it was time to get up off my butt and get the place back into shape.

If you are not all in then I feel like you are just wasting time and I guess this was a rude reminder. While raking leaves is not all that exciting if you focus no the end results than the job becomes much more important and you can easily motivate your self to get it done.

It is a process when you set out to build a garden and when you skip a step or do not do it well the results always show up in the final product

So now that I have been motivate I am sure you will see a big improvement in the woodland garden in the next post as I set about making things right.

The Way It Should LookFor Those Who Were Wondering

Thsi Is The Way It Should Look

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Spring Is About Four Weeks Ahead Of Schedule

Some Early Spring VisitorsWow the weather has been crazy last two weeks I thought it was summer. With record breaking temperatures as much as 35 degrees above average This is certainly nice but I hope we can sustain the weather. A freeze could really do some damage to tender perennials and stress out the trees and shrubs.

The grass is greening up and the spring bloomers are starting to bud up. In another week the trees will start to put on their leaves and it should become pretty active with the birds out doing the mating rituals and building nests. Cleanup from the winter is underway and should be completed by 2nd week of April if the weather cooperates. It is too wet today to do much because of heavy rains yesterday.

As you can see from the image on the right the geese seem to think it is okay though.

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Rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

Rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)Low growing plant 2 to 8 inches tall the flowers are white 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide in clusters of two to three.

It grows in rich woods areas and blooms in April and May. Rue Anemone dies back in mid-summer to appear again the following spring from it’s tiny tubers.

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White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)

White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)White Baneberry is one of the tallest natives for shade,found in many woodland gardens grows up to four feet tall. White flowers bloom in spring, followed by glossy white berries on red stalks in autumn.

The berries are highly poisonous, and the entire plant is considered poisonous to humans.

Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

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Preparing For Spring At The Woodland Garden

Woodland Garden springPreparing for spring at the woodland garden is always an exciting time and one that keeps me going through the long winter months.This year things will be a bit different than past years. Certainly it will be exciting but it will also be a bit of an easier time as far as weather is concerned. This week the weather will be in the 70’s all week and certainly 20 to 30 degrees above normal for this time of year. This means a lot of the early blooming plants will be up and growing several weeks early.

As with most years it will be a lot of cleanup but once done the rest of the year will be enjoying the beauty of the woodland flora and fauna. The true enjoyment of the woodland garden for me is the chance to get away and spend time in a more naturals setting enjoying the plants and wildlife that you do not find in the city and the suburbs.

If you are contemplating a woodland garden of your own the best piece of advise I can give you is that do not try and get too neat and orderly. The native woodland plants are very aggressive and they will constantly be battling to take over cultivate beds. This is a major time consuming task trying to keep beds clean and free of plants that you did not plant there. My philosophy is that as long as the plants that are growing are not harmful (poison ivy,poison sumac, etc..) or causing problems that keeping them under control and working around them is a lot easier and more natural than trying to eradicate them.

Spring Cleanup woodland gardenThis year my first trip to the woodland garden will be this weekend if everything goes according to plan. The time there will be spent in removing lots of fallen branches and limbs and then cleaning of many cubic yards of leaves. his is the most time consuming maintenance of the year. All in all it will be a two day job but once done the rest of the maintenance through the year can be handled in just a couple of hours each visit. As you can see in the photo there is never a lack of leaves or branches to be cleaned up in the spring.

While certainly there is some work involved but there is always the possibility of just scratching out a walk path and small clearings if you want to go all natural. The design of your garden is totally up to you.

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