thequeen770's blog

Building a retirement landscape.
Posted on Sep 21, 2016 4:40 AM

Ok, this is my first entry of my first blog. My goal is to chronicle the progress of my yard. So to bring you up to date, I will show before and current photos in general and later more specific beds.
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This is our retirement home so I want all the shrubs to be naturally small or easily pruned. So out come all the Helleri Holly, the mostly leafless azaleas are moved to the backyard and the camellia is drastically pruned.
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This is a southern exposure so I put in marigolds and vinca. There are a few other plants but their season has past so I will see if they make it thru the winter for a spring photo.
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East side…the house is on a downhill slope with several houses above us. Water during a downpour can be a problem and this is the shady side as well. My solution is 16” stepping stones and Mondo Grass. The black iron is to keep deer from walking to the backyard and having a midnight snack along the way.
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Now to the backyard and I use the term yard loosely. Once again I am striving for a low maintenance landscape so no grass on the sides or in the back of the house. We really enjoy cooking and eating outside so that is what I have focused on in back.
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I will decide next spring if the azaleas are taking up too much of my good garden space. I can always move them to the back of our property to create a hedge to block the deer entrance.

The bed beneath the sunroom windows only gets late afternoon sun in August. It also holds a great deal of water. I have placed the Meyer Lemon tree and bush here. They are happy and the cuttings from the tree rooted in the same pot. With fall coming I am trying to figure out how to winter these citrus plants. Still working on that. No room in the garage or the house. This little outbuilding gets very cold. It’s a problem. I love dwarf mondo grass, it slows down the water and soften the brick edge.
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The terraced area is still somewhat under construction. Right now in the middle terrace I have Mexican Petunias, Blackberry Lilies and half of a poor Cone Flower. (a deer pulled out the other half) I put in a couple of Savoy Cabbage on the lower level. I’ve never grown cabbage so we will see what happens.
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This photo on the right shows my dedicated vegetable garden area. This is full western exposure which is why I planted the Arborvitaes. Most vegetables we enjoy do not require late afternoon Georgia sun. Too hot!
My vegetable garden was a big disappointment this first year. Between the deer eating the green tomatoes and the tomato worms eating the plant and green tomatoes I just gave up and pulled them out. I'm amending the soil and will plants my winter crops. I still have the bell peppers that look good. The trellises are working as gates to keep out my unwanted guests. There is armadillo that is giving me trouble.
I had planted asparagus from a nine pac into a large pot then put parsley seeds on top. Everything was looking good until the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars came. Fortunately I enjoy the butterflies more than the parsley so they were very happy. The end of August I moved the asparagus into this raised circular bed for long term growth. I hope there will be enough sun. Those are pole beans on the trellis.
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The front west side had a beautiful four truck River Birch that loved all the water coming down the hill. Unfortunately the builder also put the water meters and the sprinkler system valves at the base of the tree. Who knew a River Birch would seek out those water lines!!! Really?? What were they thinking! I just finished this raised bed in August so haven’t planted much but I did put in a sweet potato, I am enjoying the leaves in my omelette each morning. The marigolds are from seeds out of the vegetable garden space. The Japanese Maple has more than doubled in size with the added sun and water. I planted daffodil bulbs underneath, a gift from my Mom’s garden in Nebraska. Her green thumb go all the way up her arm! Wow! So much info in my first post!
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There is a burn pit area in back that I will report on soon.
As I said this is my first blog and I expect to get better at posting at least to keep current on the exciting happenings in my yard.

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