I’ve been gardening this one acre plot since 1988. When I look at photos from the early years I’m amazed at the open pasture land, and minuscule plants that tower over the garden today. The space filled quickly with a few shade trees (a magnificent purple beech, katsura, and black gum), flowering trees (magnolias, dogwoods, redbuds, crapemyrtles, and so on), Japanese maples (more than I can recollect), a splendid green leafed weeping beech, and large evergreens (a collection of hollies, cryptomerias, Alaskan cedars, Blue Atlas cedars, Colorado spruces, and a variety of blue and yellow cypresses). Beneath the trees are stone patios and paths, five ponds, and shrubs and perennials far too numerous to mention.
It all happened a little at a time, sometimes even a bunch at a time. About 1996 my wife said “no more, enough plants”. Of course I didn’t disagree, but each spring the compulsion returned and I continued to purchase and plant. Today a reasonable person might wonder where another plant could be jammed in, but I can easily see room to plant for years to come. I will admit that there’s not enough space to add another redbud or Japanese maple (unless the septic field were removed), but a few aucubas with bright gold splashed foliage for the deep shade, a couple hardy, spring blooming camellias for the forest’s edge, the yellow flowering sweetshrub ‘Athens’ (above), a few more hydrangeas, liriopes, hellebores, and ligularias will fit with ease.
There is little doubt that another hosta or several will always be welcomed, and sedums and dwarf nandinas, toad lilies and red hot poker consume so little space that the point shouldn’t even be argued. More clematis (in the garden today, above and below) are essential to climb through the tall nandinas and low branched trees, since I have only a handful (or two) and they don’t take any space at all. As you can plainly see, much work is needed, and I should have no reason to be content until these areas are filled.