Saturday, April 7, 2012
Adventures In Gardening: Bloomin' Beginnings
(Due to technical difficulties, the slideshow is brief)
Hello from my northern garden here in Northwest NJ Zone 6a in the Kittatinny Mountains. Yes, NJ has mountains! In fact, the Appalachian Trail is just minutes from here. We're in what's often referred to The Skylands Region of NJ. We may live down on the Coast full time, out of necessity, (and appreciate that Blessing) but this is Home. I had hoped to show you what was blooming here, but Spring is taking its' normal time to arrive in these parts and things are much farther behind than down on the coast where things are way ahead of schedule.
We first bought our tiny slice of Heaven on Earth back in July of 2009 to get away to on weekends, some holidays and most vacations. It's funny, you would think that by now, two months shy of our 3rd anniversary of being up here, that I would have gotten more done gardening-wise, but as Hubbs would jokingly say, "That's what you get for thinking!"
It took a lot of work initially to get the small lot in shape and Hubbs did an awesome job of it! I pruned and cut back what I could to help things get healthy again. The first year, I wanted to wait, to see what was here already, to see what bloomed and what didn't.
Daffodils and tulips around the flag pole. Varieties of phlox, sedum, iris and other perennials along the front side. Two enormous rose bushes, lakeside, I've affectionately named Thing 1 & Thing 2 with the tiniest white & pink roses I've ever seen and the most fragrant I've ever smelled! (Their bloom time is short and I finally caught it early last Summer!) A mystery bush in front of the roses and a few along side that don't seem to be coming back (and will hopefully be replaced this year). Large white water lillies with yellow centers. A small rose bush out back that has yet to bloom though it's now growing by leaps & bounds. The most unique irises I've ever seen that bloom right up out of the lake in front of Thing 1 & Thing 2. And lastly, the fruit trees out back, one pear and three peach (two different kinds I'm guessing since their flowers are different colors), which the deer, bear and chipmunks love. (Yes, we have bear here in NJ too and this is definitely bear country, not to mention rattlesnake country as well, which I try not to think about).
Admittedly, I have made attempts. Year before last I tried a wildflower garden with seeds galore but they never grew. Last year that area was taken over by milk thistle but attracted so many butterflies, moths, bees & gold finch, I let it be. (No pun intended!) Often, as I washed dishes, I got lost in all of the activity & the sweet scent as I watched from the kitchen window. The resident swan ate my (then new) magenta butterfly bush down to a twig and it has yet to recover. And the resident Mallard ducks love pansys! Here the soil isn't so much rocky, as it's, well, mountainous, and if I didn't know better, I'd think I was growing boulders! One thing I don't do is shop for things to plant up here while I'm down in the coast, I stick to the local nurseries up here. I'm still amazed at how incredibly different the overall climate is up here vs 85 miles south on the coast.
But, every garden takes time to come into its' own; it's all about trial & error and learning. What do you love most about beginning a new garden? Share with me below in the comments!
To everyone celebrating/observing Passover and Easter this holiday weekend, I wish you a Blessed holiday and a lovely weekend to all!
Until next time...
NJ Zones 7a? 7b? & 6a
New Jersey Through My Eyes