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Garden Tour III-'Let's Talk About the Plants, Conifers, Flowers, Blue Stone Paths, Deer Prevention

Updated on September 15, 2014

This Tour is one of three. If you haven't seen Tour I 'The Beginning' or Tour II 'The Process' please do visit. I set up the guitar so you have peaceful music throughout your journey. Go ahead click and take a stroll.

The Old Timers Stand Tall

RHODODENDRON (Yak) Dear resistant
RHODODENDRON (Yak) Dear resistant
RHODODENDRON (Yak) Dear resistant
RHODODENDRON (Yak) Dear resistant

Grandma and Grandpa

Some of the older plants have been part of the transformation of this garden from the very beginning. They stand tall showing off their age, a dramatic view from the balcony. Here their presence calls to you addressing their stand from the very beginning.


There are many rare varieties of evergreens riddled throughout this garden peaking at you from the sky. They consist of miniatures and dwarfs. These varieties include, Cedars, Cypress, Cryptomera, Chamrasiparis, Firs, Hemlocks, Junipers, Pine, Spruce and Yews.


BUSH CLOVER: This wonderful plant was a mystery to me when I bumped into it during the construction of a raised bed garden behind the canopy Sergeant Hemlock. There it was in full bloom showing off all its glory. Never recognizing it before I did my research. Mass pink/purple blooms gives way to A breathtaking August show.

This year 2011 it bloomed late so if you are thinking about planting one be patient with it. What a great plant showing off massive color. The flower resembling the appearance of the snapdragon. It dies back in late fall. Just cut it down to the ground during your cleanup. In mid summer it grows to 7' tall and 5'. To grow this yourself, you'll need plenty of space and some sun. In one season this plant grows enormous.

It really needs that space or everything in its path around wide of 5' or more will be devoured so be careful when selecting a home for it. You can think out side the box on this one. So not to waist too much garden space, maybe try growing it in a tall cement container with an open bottom. This will raise the plant up some allowing more room below and around it for other plants to show off their statement before the Bush Clover takes center stage and show off its glory. Otherwise, A perfect place would be a clearing. Once established a show all on its own emerges. A nice addition for the appropriate area.


With the Bush Clover you just cut it down to the ground every fall and it emerges in the spring. I suppose you can wait till early spring to cut it down so you can keep winter interest dancing about. This is a difficult plant to join forces with something of winter interest. Once it dies back there will be little interest in the space it once surrounded. Be creative. What can you plant around it to take over the show and give you joy in the winter? What can you place underneath?

HOSTAS - Easy, durable plants for shady places. handsome clumps of foliage ranging from tiny to tremendous, slender to broad, bright yellow to deep blue. Spikes of lily-like blossoms in summer.


IRIS CRISTATA - Dwarf eastern American species. Mat forming rhizomes. Soft blue or white flowers crested in gold. Tolerant of dry shade. Low maintenance.

Shrubs - Azaleas, Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia), Pencil Holly, Rhododendron (Yak), Boxwood, Mountain Laurel

YAK RHODODENDRON - Look, touch, turn the leaf over. Feel the fuzz? This deters the dear from munging. A wonderful feeling as you pass and enjoy the flowers.


Oh to Be Young Again


BRUNNERA - A young picture. Large, heart-shaped hairy leaves. Brilliant blue forget-me-not flowers. A beautiful sky blue. May - June. Non-invasive. Slowly grows into its space. This is the beginning.

A mass of Brennera spaciously spread commingled with evergreen Euonymus, variegated winter creeper, the streaked and speckled green and white leaves are smaller and more delicate than the common 'Emerald Gliety' making it a good choice for smaller areas. It spreads as a ground cover, but given a vertical surface it is a vigorous and a willing climber. Foliage best in light shade.

More plants that have no pictures and are honored by their glory include Sweet Woodruff, Helleborus, Snow drops, Fox Gloves, Phlox, Alpine Willows, Blood Root, Japanese , Solomens Seal, Climatis, Cleome, May Apple, Echinacea (Stop Back, pictures will be uploaded periodically as they make their day view)

Chicken grit is a good base to sprinkle over the succulents. It acts as a protective barrier allowing the little hens and chicks and assortmants of sedums to breath and multipy much faster. Applying a very graceful layer dresses up your beds and troughs.

Rhubarb grows independently on the pond base.
Rhubarb grows independently on the pond base.


Living through the garden in 2011 was wet, very wet. The Foxgloves did nothing. The Purple Cone Flower (Echinacia) said hello to me the very first time.

SOLOMON SEAL leads the way in the spring
SOLOMON SEAL leads the way in the spring
  • Perennials Eatables - Rhubarb, Mint, Grape Vines
  • Vines - Climatis, Hydrangia, Wisteria, Euonymus, Myrtle
  • Ground Covers - Ginger, Ivy, Myrtle, Sedums, Thyme, Euonymus (Moonlight), Camilian, May Apple, Winter Green, Grasses, Sweet Woodruff, Creeping Jenny
  • Trees - The Sweet Pea, Contorted Baby Locust, Red Buds, Vibernum, Chinese Oak, Witch Hazel, Elm. Magnolia, Frosty Japanese Elm, Styrex, Sweat Gum, Apple, Verigated Oak, Ginkos, Larch and Maples. The older trees, as old as the first sign of the garden, speaks out telling their story. Each visitor interprets it in their own light and mind.

The Mighty Weeping Katsura Tree Leads the Way to One of Many Entrances to the Gardens


The living drapes grace the entrance to this magical garden. So worth the vision when first planted. Beneath its feet a variety of Hellebore make their day view in the early spring replaced by a charming variety of Hostas blanketing the garden floor in late spring to early summer.

The raised bed tufa stones puzzled to one side aged with moss show off its nooks and crannies, varieties of sedums and hens and chicks.

As you make your way into the patio your attention envelopes the antique iron forges made into tables standing strong allowing many varieties of newly purchased conifers a resting place. So vibrant, the variety and colors and textures call out to you as they wait patiently for their day to come when they are selected for that perfect location.

A Special Space Is Your Garden

Your breath so real turning yourself onto the teak rocker love seat amongst the cool shade canopy provided by the old Sergeant Hemlock. What a cozy place for a rest to collect your new thoughts. Every gaze takes you deeper into the unknown. A question surfaces. Which way do I go from here?

The Seargant Hemlock Divides the patio. Behind it another outdoor room that awaits your arrival. This vidio explains how you can divide your garden into priva

The First Sign of Spring the Witch Hazel in Bloom, a Promissing Sight

WITCH HAZEL ' Arnolds Promise' One of many varieties
WITCH HAZEL ' Arnolds Promise' One of many varieties

The Sun Garden Lures You Through Shades of Natural Arbors

As you make your way through the gate another Sergeant Hemlock tunnels your way and a weeping Larch leaches out lending a hand guiding you through to the sun garden.

If you are lucky enough not to have knee deep snow beneath your feet the Arnolds Promise Witch Hazel drizzles a sweet fragrance as you pass under. The Witch Hazel show cases its vibrant, fragrant beauty during the first to second week of March.

Boulders make up a raised bed riddled with a variety of Kingsville Boxwoods, each a different age growing in bonsai form.

The purple Columbine show cases a bright yellow Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, 'Everitt Golden', a bright contrast in early spring.

A walk forward gives you peace. Don't hesitate to look back the picture will allure you. You will surely question yourself as to which way to proceed. Take your time, breath in the shades of color and stroll the other way once or twice if you feel you must.

Turn Around, Another Picture Tells Another Story


Sedum, 'blue Carpet'

Yellow blooms in spring from this sedum 'Blue Carpet' lures you to the ultimate grind stone center piece. A wonderful colorful ground cover planted within the nooks and crannies that requires virtually no attention, keeps down the weeds and shows off its warm strength. Among the Blue Carpet is a more invasive sedum Some gardeners consider to be a weed. It likes to travel and can interfere and drown out other ground covers that aren't as invasive growing amongst the path. It also blooms yellow in the spring. The way I see it, once it reaches the places that cause havoc I just scrape it up and find another home for it. It's that easy, no planting involved. You can throw this variety down and it will take off in the shade or sun where it will run even faster.

Use Carpet Instead of Landscape Fabric or Plastic


This area, in the rough, has layers upon layers of carpet beneath the mulched grounds. The carpet here serves many purposes. The first and foremost is that it deters deer from nibbling everywhere. They cannot stand the funky scent that only they can smell. The countless layers of carpet in this area was also used to provide water retention to accommodate the Bald Cypress' need for moisture. This is the sunniest part of the garden and the Bald Cypress thrives here.

I have to tell you a secret. At least 80 percent of the garden floor is riddled with carpet, top side down, under the mulch. When the weeds get out of control in certain areas carpet is draped over it and mulch is splashed over that. The tenacious weeds like dandelions, thistle or poison ivy don't stand a chance using this method. When the birds drop the seeds and the seeds go to town germinating, they are easily managed by raking your fingers across the top. The weeds just cannot penetrate the weave.

Deer occasionally pass through the garden and sometimes even take a nibble here and there, and for the most part make their way out rather quickly. I was a skeptic at first but soon climbed aboard when asked to do this dirty job. Once I saw how easy the weeds were managed and how healthy the plants were able to grow deterring the deer and giving moisture to the plants that thrive on it, I was sold. I will dumpster dive and garbage pick any time for carpet. It's free and it works. The only disadvantage is that you have to cut the carpet to plant a plant and sometimes in this garden you have to cut through multiple layers. Thank God there are sharpening stones riddled amongst the garden path. Keeping your knife sharp is the key to keeping your frustration level down while doing this task.

In other gardens I use smaller pieces of carpet to save me from cutting. If I do not intend to plant anything in the weed infested areas I throw a runner over it and mulch the top. This really stops the weeds like poison ivy and dandelions. After the mulch it would be a good idea to periodically apply a pr-emergent to stop the weed seeds from the birds and other plants that blow in the wind from germinating. If you don't use chemicals periodically just mix up the mulch to kill any germinating seeds.

Draping carpet on problem areas full of weeds and not mulching is another option. After a year or so you lift up the carpet and moss a bed of moss blankets the area. Some people don't like moss. It's better than weeds any day, especially if it is in a shady unused area around your home. Combating the weeds and switching it up to moss. Not a bad idea.

This gal is on to something because she wants to kill grass. Carpet kills grass and starts a fresh garden too. Just lay it down like she did the cardboard, mulch over it and leave it for a couple months, the longer the better if you plant on picking it up later. I don't see why you would want to do that though. When you want to plant just cut a whole in the carpet and dig a hole in the dirt Walla, no weeds and no deer.

Continue Your Journey or Rest for Awhile and Admire Your Surroundings

Which way should you go from here?. Well, if you go right before the old millstone table to the upper patio, you will find yourself under the souring Sweet Gum dazzling the sky. Sit on the love seat and admire a long drinking trough used as a planter for sedum. Admire the white phlox making its way to your feet. Wonder how in the sunniest part of the garden the varieties of Bald Cypress shows off their growth habits.

It's Getting Late and the Sun Is Setting, Fire Anyone?

Follow the yellow path around the mill stone table to the Delaware River fire pit patio. Gazing in awe to the left stands tall a 40-year old Dawn Redwood showing its great strength. The Contorted Baby Locust welcomes the visit showing off yet another arbor drizzled with young grape vines. The young leaves tells time of spring as the vines get ready to produce lush concord grapes in late summer. Rebar is the perfect reinforcement material for arbors twined with vines.

Route 23 patio has accommodated Pamsscaping throughout this project. The large seat at the fire pit, the stone for the patios and blue stone were delivered from them. They were great to deal with while creating all the spaces in this garden.


Fire pit laminated with left over blue stone from walkway and river stone acquired from Rt. 23 Patio in Sussex and some hand picked from the Delaware River.
Fire pit laminated with left over blue stone from walkway and river stone acquired from Rt. 23 Patio in Sussex and some hand picked from the Delaware River. | Source

To the right stands solo a 40-year-old Himalayan, the backsplash to the three pillar natural stone table and a 15' Variegated Ginkgo? The Himalayan was trucked in at a mature age of 35. With love and care it survived the move and dazzles us every time the wind blows showing off its golden green foliage.

We Better Go Check on the Fish, It's Feeding Time

To the pond and admire the fish and their unusual home riddled with tufa rock covered with sedum?

A Home for the Fish, a Quiet Place to Meditate

Juniparis 'Nana'  The early stages.  THE POND TAKES SHAPE
Juniparis 'Nana' The early stages. THE POND TAKES SHAPE | Source
Juniparis 'Nana' all grown up.  The Rhubarb decides to make a home by the pond.  The sedum riddles the tufa rock
Juniparis 'Nana' all grown up. The Rhubarb decides to make a home by the pond. The sedum riddles the tufa rock | Source
Cobweb Sedum in bloom at the base of the pond.
Cobweb Sedum in bloom at the base of the pond.

Our next venture will be to the swing where you can gaze around and admire the Styrex in bloom in the spring, the Rubarb at its prime in the summer and the Larch and Ginkgo interest all year long?

Be aware while you're at peace admiring all to be seen, taking in so many interesting sights. The black bear loves this area of the garden, especially during apple season. If you hear an apple drop it might not be nature in plants, you better look up. The mom and two cubs often dine on the apples above before retiring to their resting site. Oh see, they are so busy eating. Back away slowly.

Don't Ever Look a Bear in the Eyes

Back away slowly. Put your head down. Slowly that's right. Go on take a walk through the remaining part of the garden. Go towards the house to the back where you havn't been yet. Once you are at a safe distance relax and admire your surroundings.

Follow the path that leads to the house. Walk around the artifacts and iron implements.

Keep following the path and it will lead to the raised bed water retention. Check out the frogs.

See all the frogs. They are home to a man made raised bed to accommodate water run off from the gutters. When it reaches its capacity, the water slowly leaks out of the holding tank. This is a perfect way to slow down water run off. The frogs love it.

See the stairs to your right? Go ahead look around the corner. There they are. Go ahead down the stairs. This is the back of the house.

Check out the miniature hostas. If you follow the path towards the breeze way it will lead you to your car.

I hope you enjoyed your journey.


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