Busily moving forward with planting the Brooklyn garden, and preparing for a local garden group to visit next Wednesday, I put together a photo timeline to show the path from the destruction last August, when Hurricane Irene blew over an 80-foot mulberry, thus changing my future garden from shade to sun, to the present.
August 28 - Mobile phone photo sent to us in Boston (we thought we were on vacation) to show the fallen tree
December 21- the future garden, now a construction staging area for the house extension
January 15 - extension structure nearing completion
January 28 - new fence installed and some cleanup begun
February 3 - pool complete, terracing being installed
March 26 - fence stained, terracing complete
March 26 - view from above (photo courtesy of Michael of Bramble & Bean) - it looks clean, yet many onerous bricks, stones, and large tree roots lurk beneath the surface
April 11 - Gledistia triacanthos 'Sunburst' planted as tall whips, box woods being positioned
May 3 - gathering clutter as I put too much "stuff" in the gravel area (bad idea), Japanese maple (an impulse buy) planted at back
June 1 - clutter removed, yews planted across back to make a continuous hedge (as soon as they grow together), Gleditsia well leafed out
June 1 - bed on "shade" side being planted (all remains experimental) - I secretly want to remove all perennials and have only ground cover and box, perhaps something as simple as ivy and box, but don't yet have the courage or self-control to try that. First I overplant!
June 1 - Smilacina racemosa, Astilboides tabularis, Ajuga, Darmera peltata (dug up at Federal Twist garden), Galium odoratum (also from Federal Twist), Cornus canadensis, further back Ligularia japonica, Disporum cantoniensis 'Night Heron' (from Federal Twist), other shade plants - all intended to evoke a look of tapestry - a suggestion of the Medieval hortus conclusus
The "sunny" side will be grasses, sedums, Pycnantheum muticum (a favorite for its late summer silvery foliage), bronze fennel, Tetrapanax japonicus, a Cotinus, and some other plants such as a black ajuga ground cover. It will echo the shady side, though with different, and I hope complementary, plants. Think of music; a theme is "spoken" then is "answered." Planting to start this weekend, I hope.
I want to keep the back very simple and am trying to root plain green Euonymous (nurseries don't sell plain green Euonymous anymore, only variegated forms).
All is tentative. But that's life. Isn't it?