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Author Topic: My Bit of Heaven - by Kristl Walek  (Read 278954 times)

johnw

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1125 on: September 22, 2011, 01:29:13 PM »
Gillie:

re: The Ilex glabra are pretty tough but may not due well in stinking hot summer areas.

I should have said "Nova Scotian clones of Ilex glabra are pretty tough but may not due well in stinking hot summer areas."

Very difficult to determine as you go north if the plants are genetically dwarf or just responding to colder winters by staying under the mean snowline.   You should try to find some superior plants to propagate.   They seem to need a severe haircut periodically when they get lanky in the garden.  Also make a terrific hedge.

johnw
John in coastal Nova Scotia

ChrisB

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1126 on: September 22, 2011, 07:03:38 PM »
Hi Gillie,

Yes, its showing up nicely now.  Thanks so much.  Lovely part of the world you are in!
Chris Boulby
Northumberland, England

Gillie

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1127 on: October 16, 2011, 01:39:11 AM »
Just heard- a new native shrub discovered in Nova Scotia: Maleberry Lyonia ligustrina . Kristl, you will have to track down some seeds :)
Gillie (Eugene Quigley)
Hilden, Nova Scotia, Canada

Kristl Walek

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1128 on: March 28, 2012, 10:56:09 PM »
2011 disappeared last year soon after my July Newfoundland trip---and so did my posts.

Sometimes a new relationship, especially when combined with a new garden to work on will do that.
Add to the equation a new doggie to love and I think I was too happy to think about much else.

I should at least end here, in this 2011 slot, with telling you about Henry....and my exciting new garden, because the two are intertwined.

Henry had worked for me since my arrival in Nova Scotia (primarily with the heavy work related to landscaping my new property, constructing the greenhouse, etc) and we became friends. The relationship had a very sweet beginning this year when he brought me, in late spring, a beautiful large pot of Epigaea repens in full bloom. A week later, a truckload of Cypripedium acaule arrived. These gifts required us to drop everything and build a small woodland garden where they would be happy.

That small native woodland nook took on a life of its own and bit by bit I also learned that behind Henry's tough exterior was a lover of the forest, and the plants that grow there, which he knew intimately. And so we continued to work in this garden together, expand it bit by bit, intuitively. Almost daily Henry would arrive with the truck full of moss, logs, rocks, trunks of trees and plants and we would get to work placing the natural elements and plants where they felt right. He made it clear this was not being done for "pay", but for pleasure and so we became emotionally bound together through the experience, one I looked forward to each day. By the end of 2011, our relationship had begun in earnest, with the most wonderful of memories of the garden building to sustain us and new ones to build on.









« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 03:07:22 PM by Kristl Walek »
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

Kristl Walek

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1129 on: March 28, 2012, 11:41:19 PM »
Very few people understand why one would want to plant a native woodland garden when the species are all around us. For me it is perhaps the most wonderful and intimate kind of gardening; to have the plants I love very close by and to give them as much as is possible, the natural setting they have in the wild.

Although it is not obvious from the construction pictures posted, but the new garden has already been planted with most of my favorite woody and herbaceous plants (Cypripidium, Trillium, Epigaea, Chimaphila, Mitchella, Clintonia, Pyrola, Oxalis acetocella, Coptis, Gaultheria hispidula and procumbens, Cornus canadensis, Maianthemums, all the great native ferns; masses of Ilex verticillata, Viburnum cassinoides, Cornus alternifolia, Aronia arbutifolia, Clethra, etc.

And I learned from having moved Epigaea unsuccessfully too many times. The best time for this is anytime after seed production (when vegetative growth begins again) through very early spring.

This morning Henry and I moved many more clumps of still frozen Epigaea into the new garden and I am confident they will settle well. The clumps planted last year are still winter-bronzy, but have multiple flower buds, which will open soon.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 11:46:34 PM by Kristl Walek »
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

johnw

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1130 on: March 29, 2012, 12:37:54 AM »
Those mossy logs are spectacular Kristl and will make quite the statemnt in the garden!

johnw
John in coastal Nova Scotia

cohan

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1131 on: March 29, 2012, 05:29:26 AM »
Kristl, I'm really happy to hear of this turn in your life, and what better way to become happier and more at home in your new home?  ;D

The woodland garden is looking great even those few images so far, and you know I share your passion for native plants- in situ and up close in the garden :)

Paul T

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1132 on: March 29, 2012, 06:28:25 AM »
Well done, Kristl (and Henry).  Congratulations on a job well done (but of course still continuing, as is the way of a garden).

Those mossy logs are brilliant.  As a foundation for a woodland type garden, they give instant age to it.  Brilliant!!

If you're really worried about it no longer being 2011, you can always make it "..... 2011/2012" instead. 8)
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

annew

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1133 on: March 29, 2012, 12:33:43 PM »
It looks great, Kristl. Well done to you and Henry!
(Any man who would bring a truckload of cypripediums is worth his weight in gold.)
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

www.dryad-home.co.uk

Kristl Walek

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1134 on: March 29, 2012, 06:45:35 PM »
Lest anyone wonder---Henry's family owns a large tract of woodland on the North Mountain, and this is the origin of the plants and other natural materials. A few tree seedlings (Fagus grandiflora, Tsuga canadensis, Amelanchier laevis, Acer spicatum, Betula alleghaniensis) also came from the side of roads and highways in the areas that are usually cleared. It was easy to obtain permission for this from the Department of Highways.

The other part of my "rear garden project" I have not talked about is the .5 acre of intact woodland at the very rear of my property, adjacent to the new woodland garden. That "little forest" is a long term project that will eventually become a natural destination and end point of the current natural landscaping.

What I found most disturbing about the little forest after purchasing the property was the entire lack of even a SINGLE native plant (either herbaceous or woody); yet the entire area was impenetrable with exotic invasive herbacous weeds. And, overhead, all the mature trees were non-native English Oaks, Pinus sylvestris, Acer platanoides, etc. This is understandable, I suppose, considering to long history of settlement of this tiny town, and the origin of most settlers.

I am sure the time I am spending determined to turn the "little forest" back into something "native" would be seen as a huge waste of energy by most people; but it gnaws at me. I obviously had to make a first decision about the trees---and obviously one does not cut down healthy mature trees, no matter their origins. But I did spend the first year (one of Henry's first "jobs" for me) clearing the area of "weed trees" (mostly poplars), and opening up the understory so that what was left could grow in a more healthy manner.

Year two and three I aggressively began eradicating the exotic herbaceous plants on the forest floor. This year I will continue that task. In between, in areas I felt where "clean enough" I began to scatter the remnants of my seed cleaning (all the chaff of native woodland species), as well as seed that remained at the end of any particular seed season. I already have large areas full of Clintonia seedlings and Allium tricoccum is firmly entrenched.

Large flats of Hepatica, Asarum canadense and Sanguinaria have begun germinating in the unheated greenhouse to be added to the equation.

Last year I also began planting the understory with typical woody species---Cornus alternifolia, Acer spicatum and pensylvanicum, etc, and at the fringes Fagus grandiflora and Amelanchier.

I will post more pictures as I keep working the area.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 06:47:29 PM by Kristl Walek »
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

ChrisB

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1135 on: March 29, 2012, 06:57:12 PM »
What a huge task, Kristl.  But its very clear, a labour of love....
Chris Boulby
Northumberland, England

Kristl Walek

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1136 on: March 29, 2012, 09:51:47 PM »
And before i make the official switch to 2012, let me bring you up to date on the progress of the (non-native) parts of the garden (mostly fronting the street).

I moved into my tiny bungalow on 3/4 acres at the end of July, 2009.
The first two pictures show the front, as it was.
The only flower bed was in front of the house, mostly full of weeds and plants I had no interest in keeping.

Phase one autumn of 2009, soil and building rough planting areas; at this stage, just to heel in all the plants I brought with me, which had been sitting in pots since spring of 2009 before being moved across the country.

Plants were roughly designated spaces and quickly planted before winter.

Simultaneously I also constructed a rock garden of whatever rocks I could find and drag home (all way too small).

In 2010 I continued on the side yards, and put up a greenhouse. This fell down immediately during a bad storm in the winter of 2010-11.

In 2011 the fallen greenhouse was re-built and I constructed a side fence to shield my back yard from the street.
The fence will be continued this year to the front, to shield me a bit more from the street and traffic.

The last pictures is the front garden as of late 2011, and where I will begin again this year.






« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 05:50:33 AM by Kristl Walek »
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

Paul T

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1137 on: March 30, 2012, 04:24:06 AM »
Brilliant, Kristl.

I can understand why you had the non-native forest as a bug bear..... it would get me too.  While I would quite probably make a mix of exotic and native if I were to own a forested block, I'd likely keep those as separate areas.  Admittedly though, my "native" would probably include the majority of stuff that wasn't local native but from other parts of the country.  It will be fascinating to see what this becomes over time.  I look forward to your pics.

And doesn't your front yard look wonderful now!!  :o
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

fermi de Sousa

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1138 on: March 30, 2012, 05:41:59 AM »
Your place looks amazing, Kristl.
I hope if we ever get across to Eastern Canada that you'll allow us to visit!
cheers
fermi
PS as you know, I've succumbed yet again and put in another order to "Gardens North" - prompted by the notice of your April Sale! ;D
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Tim Ingram

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Re: My Bit Of Heaven....2011
« Reply #1139 on: March 30, 2012, 11:57:21 AM »
What a lovely scene that last picture is - the neighbours are likely to have a fun time watching all those unfamiliar plants appearing! Very grateful for the fascinating seed I had earlier; with our warm early spring weather quite a bit is now germinating. Look forward to seeing how the garden develops.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

 


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