The Garden is a Canvas

The most dynamic and challenging aspect of the garden at Valley View is securing and taming the slopes.  When I arrived in 2004 the only gardens  present were foundation gardens and one surrounding the light post adjacent to the driveway.

My first attempt at adding a new garden was a second adjacent to the driveway.

It was not until 2006 that I begin my obsession with rock-terraced landscaping.  My garden became my canvas.  My first attempt at hardscaping was on our second level under a pine tree. 

In the photo below, the ladder is used to weed the slope.  In all other attempts I would slide down!

For the next 6 years my obsession grew as I pulled out raspberry bushes and scoured the fields and roadsides for rocks. 

Each year another area was claimed as weeds were removed, rocks and mulch added and finally shrubs and perennials planted.

As I eagerly wait for an area to reach its full potential I remember the words of Rebecca Cole, ” First year they sleep, second year they creep and third year they leap” when referring to perennials. How true!!!

All the ferns in the picture below , with the exception of the Christmas Fern, grew from spores introduced by the wind.

The first spring  I received two estimates to secure the slopes.  One landscaping firm could not even tackle the job.  The second estimate was 22,000.00 dollars for just the upper slope near the house.  Not having the financial means, my education in dry stacking began!


9 thoughts on “The Garden is a Canvas

  1. Sounds like it’s been hard work, but it has paid off. My sloping garden had old tree stumps for footholds when weeding, but these have now rotted away… the ladder is a good idea. Might try it in spring!

  2. I can’t believe how much you have done. It is just beautiful, I also love the quote, gives me hope for my garden, though when I look around I can see areas where I can tell I don’t know much.

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