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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Work Day in the Garden

I think I have mentioned I'm between jobs (still) at the moment, so yesterday I took advantage of the beautiful weather and tackled an eyesore in the garden that has been bugging me for years.

This section of bare wall at the end of the garden is UGLY!!!  I've wanted to do something about it since we moved in, but since there were originally three pine trees outside the wall, the whole area was so chock full of roots it was impossible to dig.

Obviously, the trees are no longer there (thanks to the developer not taking care to protect the trees in the neighborhood while putting in walls, utilities etc) so I decided that the time had come to tackle the issue.

Up until now, the area has been home to a selection of containers (more or less empty at present), but I wanted to add an evergreen that would (a) HIDE THE WALL and (b) offer some habitat to the birds who visit.

I found what I was looking for in this Hollywood Juniper.

According to the tag, it's a fast grower and will fill out to 30' tall and 10 feet wide.

Getting it in the ground was a bit of a battle. In addition to the tree roots that I knew were there, there's a hard layer of clay about a foot underground.  We broke it up as best we could using the auger that my husband uses to aerate the lawn and filled it in with good soil before planting.  Looking at this photo of it in place, I can see that when it's mature it should fill the area nicely, hiding that ugly wall and offering us some privacy if the field across the street behind the wall gets built on, as I'm sure it will.

Today I refreshed the containers with some cool weather color - white and purple alyssum and some snapdragons, and arranged them around the birdbath.

I also added some alyssum, dianthus, stock and salvia greggi to one of the island beds (the other one will have to wait).  

After all that I took a well earned break on the patio, and look who paid a visit...

These are Cedar Waxwings and I have never seen them before!  I've added them to my "Life List" now.  Amazing to think I might have missed them - I just happened to look up and there they were.  I wonder if they will stop by and be counted at the weekend, during the Great BackYard Bird Count.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.