As the old saying goes, “When the forsythia blooms, it’s time to prune the roses.” Before I learned this bit of advice, I tended to wait too long to prune our roses. Now, I have an automatic alarm clock right next to our rose garden to remind me. The timing has been perfect.
Throughout the year, this is one of my favorite scenes. In the spring, the freshly pruned roses compliment the flowering star magnolia and our forsythia tree. In the summer, I overlook the colorful roses with the birch trees as a background. In the fall, the changing color of the birches and our neighbor’s apple trees add to the remaining roses. In the winter, I enjoy the contrast of the stark rose canes with the bare white limbs of the birches. And all year along, our neighbor’s white fence and pasture provide background interest.
This is one of the areas that we will be trying to “finish off” during our 2021 landscaping project. Our plan is to fill in this center section with additional perennials and ground cover. We will create a natural path through the area and add some specimen conifers. This image was taken from the location of our Adirondack settee viewing position. Behind and to the left, we will replace a large Zelkova which did not make it through the previous year. This will be a great place to sit down on a hot summer afternoon in the shade, enjoying a cool glass of ice tea (or other beverage).
Spring planting is underway! We have set an ambitious project for this spring. However, it is much, much smaller than our projects over the last two years. The major hardscape projects have been completed. This year’s project is to fill in around the design that we have currently have in place. We will be adding about 40 trees, 150 shrubs, and a lot of perennials and ground covers. Gradually we will be filling in the understory of the garden. We hope to finish the bulk of the project by mid May instead of having it extend through the summer like we have for the past two years. We hope to spend much more time enjoying the garden as opposed to working every day developing it.
For the section shown in this image, we will be adding shrubs and ground covers to fill in the open barked areas.
Spring highlights always get me excited for new garden projects. We planted these Siberian iris last fall. Their first spring bloom exceeded our expectations as they highlighted the Yukimi Japanese lantern and our pond and stream. Finishing this area of our Japanese garden will be one of our major spring projects. Our focus will be to transform this area into a protected contemplative sitting area where Mary and I can enjoy an afternoon glass of wine together or with a couple of friends.
Our plan is to add a couple of trees around the sitting area, stone paths leading to the pond, and unique plants and ground covers. We will be adding plants along the edge of the stream and pond that will extend over the rocks to the water. Additional shade trees will be added to help separate the stream and pond from the other parts of the garden. Over time as the trees, shrubs, and plants mature, we hope to have a semi-secluded place to sit and reflect on the wonderful world that surround us.
The daffodil bulbs we planted last fall broke bloom this last week. Our plan is to ‘naturalize’ our crabapple grove with spring bulbs and ground covers. We now need to find the appropriate ground cover to hide the daffodils after the blooms have expired.
Several of the crabapples are starting to leaf out. Later this month they will sequentially break into their spring bloom.
Perrotia Persica ‘Vanessa’ Bloom Heatherwood Spring
I thought the perrotia blossoms I posted several days ago were the the mature bloom. I was totally surprised when I saw these little flowers. What I had seen previously were only the red tips. Like I have said many times before, I discover something new every time I walk through our garden. Now I know what a mature parrotia bloom looks like.
The clouds make this infrared image of our neighbor’s pasture. We “borrow” this scene for our lower Heatherwood garden. We are surrounded on three sides (N,E, and W) by hills and look over a valley to the south. In the design of Heatherwood, we have opened up and framed vistas of the surrounding countryside. There is always something interesting to explore with our eyes and imagination.
“Overlooking Heatherwood and the Valley Below” Heatherwood Spring
It was a sunny late afternoon. The lower yard was in bright sunlight and the valley below was covered with clouds. I had not photographed in infrared in over six months, so I decided to grab my IR camera and play with the light and shadows.
Spring is the time to work with infrared photography as all the green emerge from the deciduous trees and the spring grasses. I look forward to experimenting and improving my IR skills as the hills turn green around us.
I take a stroll in our Heatherwood garden almost every day. As I walk around I casually enjoy the garden surroundings. I am always looking for something new emerging. I have had my eye on this Perrotia persica for about three weekends waiting for its tiny flower buds to form and bloom. We planted this tree last summer after it had bloomed. Seeing these tiny one-half inch flowers is a real treat. They are very short lived, my daily “inspections” paid off!
In our previous garden in Pennsylvania, we had a Perrotia for over ten years. I never saw the full bloom. Thank you Heatherwood!
Our Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) is the fourth major tree/shrub to bloom in our Heatherwood garden. The stellata follows our witch hazels, the cornelian cherry dogwood, and the forsythia in our late winter/early spring blooming cycle. Its sensitive blossoms are subject to evening freezes, the wind, and rain. Some years the bloom remains crisp for only a day or two. This year we have had very mild spring temperatures and no rain. The wind has been moderate. We have been blessed with blossoms that have lasted several days now. It is shaping up to be a beautiful spring!