Monday, October 12, 2009
When we built my house on a wooded lot, only the trees that stood directly in the perimeter of the house were cut. After I cut out all of the privet bushes in front and back of the house, it only rained twice before I realized the top soil was washing away.Prior to this, my gardener experience had been limited to filling my various apartment courtyards and balconies with lots of pots of all sorts of houseplants. These I moved from city to city as I changed jobs several times in my leap up the corporate ladder in the world of fashion.So things were different now. The houseplants nestled cozily in places of honor on the deck doing absolutely nothing to stop all of my gorgeous topsoil from washing down the hill. I had to do something fast!I went to the library & checked out everything they had on shade gardening. I bought liriope and mondo grass. Then I began creating paths through the trees. I met my neighbors when I knocked on their doors asking if they had any extra monkey grass. They were only too happy to let me dig it up. They found monkeygrass annoying-I loved it!I added hollies, Hydrangeas, azaleas, camellias and pittosporum. I even have all kinds of antique roses blooming beneath the trees.I didn't have a plan when I started the garden [I still don't] But I absolutely love it! The birds and the butterflies love it. I have a big, fluffy possum that loves the garden. I love her-especially since I found out possums are immune to snakebites and they consider snakes to be very tasty.I don't use any pesticides or commercial fertilizers and everything is flourishing. We survived Katrina and the drought that came after, as well as the hottest summer I can remember this year. The roses are blooming one more time and we are hoping for some cool weather. Then it will be time to plant more shrubs and bulbs. We will be loving every minute!