Gardens change just as the seasons come and go. Ever since there was a woodland garden in the little valley on the other side of the drive leading to our house, its entrance trail was marked by several ancient dogwood trees.
I have known for several years that the ones leading directly into the main part of the woodland garden were slowly dying of old age and accumulated years of stress, but I still hated when Lou sawed the last one down this winter. Though I am comforted by the three small ones that have sprouted nearby, it will be years before they grow as tall as their parents.
So what is to take their place? Can anything take their place? I ruled out another tree because I want to give the preexisting baby dogwoods room to grow, but I needed some vertical accent here.
Here is my solution:
After Lou installed this new birdhouse for me, I thought the post was not substantial enough for the space, so I moved the stone rabbit from the other side of the path. The winter woodlands look so bare, but I know that soon the new birdhouse will be surrounded by foliage and flowers. I am eager to dress up the post, but, because it is pressure treated, I have to wait several weeks before painting or staining it. Patience! I am also thinking about putting a decorative bracket on the post with some sort of garden sign hanging from it.
The woodland entrance looks different now, but I am happy with it. At the front of the entrance trail, there still remain three of the oldest dogwoods, their curving trunks joined at the base. They are seen in the lower left photo above. They look healthy for now, but I know they too are probably beyond their life expectancy. I can't imagine how I could replace them, but that is a problem for another day.
Meanwhile, since I was in the redecorating mood, I also moved several pots to make a grouping across from the entrance. These are frost proof pots, which stay out all winter. I probably will put plants in a couple of them when spring arrives, but I like their empty appearance:
Before I close, how about some February flowers? Above left: Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection' is growing in the woodland garden. It is young but already appears to be a heavy bloomer. Above right: In a January post I showed Daphne odora 'Marginata' when it was covered with buds. Look at the blooms now! Winter daphne needs excellent drainage. I can guarantee its requirements only in the controlled environment of a pot. Usually it sits in the garden at the top of the hydrangea walk. However, because of the amount of rain we have through the winter, I have moved it temporarily to the patio, where it sits under the shelter of the eves next to the glass doors to the kitchen. A bonus is that we get to watch the blooms as we eat breakfast each day.
Have a great week! Deborah