Too early

A long ago constructed section of the dry stacked stone wall retaining the lower end of the koi pond leaned, then collapsed a few months ago. The soil is stable so there is no rush to restack the wall. Access is complicated by a wide spreading spruce (Picea abies ‘Acrocona’) with pendulous branching, and earlier in autumn by a variety of perennials that would be trampled in the process. No doubt, the repair must be done before spring. There will be a mild winter afternoon when I’m anxious to get to work, but not today.

With the start of the new year, planning for spring planting has begun, though with few specifics and to date, only a few confirmed orders scheduled for spring arrival. Despite a thirty-one year start, the garden will never be complete. Always, there will be a hole to fill, an area to be rejuvenated, or just a new discovery that must find a place. Several recent arrivals are stashed in the small greenhouse waiting for suitable temperatures for planting, but also I must figure spots for two requiring part sun that is very limited in this mostly shaded garden.

Certainly a trivial matter, but an annoyance, something must be done to encourage more vigorous growth from the yellow wax bells (Kirengshoma palmata, above), a persistent and nagging failure. The Korean species (K. koreana) grows exceptionally in one location, and acceptably in drier shade, but the longer established wax bells struggles in soil that is less than ideal. Two weak divisions have been dug and transplanted in hopes that better ground will reward with increased vigor, but several back ups have been ordered that will allow planting in varied conditions in hope that one (at least) will thrive.

Following a second year with increased rainfall, I regret that the lower third of the rear garden seems destined to remain forever swampy. Even if more normal rainfall returns, I fear the ground will remain damp. A newly planted, nearly evergreen sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana, above) is ideally suited to the moist soil, but I struggle for answers to minimize weedy growth until the magnolia and a wide spreading, pendulous branched bald cypress (Taxodium distichum ‘Cascade Falls’) cover more area. I’ve considered many possibilities, including several that might be too vigorous.

I expect that more priorities will develop through the winter when more time is devoted to pondering, and less to doing, but that is the case every year.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    That is a magnolia that I am not familiar with. It looks like the Southern magnolia.

    1. Dave says:

      Our native sweetbay magnolia is a shrubby small tree, fully deciduous to partially evergreen. Its leaves are smaller with less substance than evergreen Southern magnolias.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Since it is blooming now, I am guessing that it bloom sporadically like the Southern magnolia does.

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