Monday, March 21, 2016

They Came Undone


The hilltop has an unusual and beguiling feature: pine trellises. They line one edge of the driveway, creating a dramatic screen. Below, on the ground, are three raised flower beds and a small rose garden. Installed by a previous owner, the vines and shrubs were mature by the time I came along, and they trailed fetchingly over the lattice boards. The trellises were a marvelous structure, adding privacy and beauty: the neighbors' yard was only a few feet away, down a small embankment. 



Crepe myrtles and evergreens added another layer of privacy. All of the vegetation provided something far more important: an animal habitat.

Even in winter, the landscaping offered a spare, skeletal beauty, and it was a marvelous perching spot for birds and small animals.

Then, all of a sudden (or so it seemed), the trellises began to fall apart. The pine was lovely, adding an elegant, rustic feel, it hadn't held up.

While the trellis boards were coming undone, the posts were, for now, still intact. I hadn't quite expected to replace them so soon, but, as my Mimi would say, "There's nothing for it." We had to work quickly, because replacing the boards would be difficult when the vines began to grow.

After a little research, we decided to replace the trellis tops with treated cedar. One trellis was disassembled, and a template was made. That took nearly all day. 

The feeders had to be moved, and the poor birds were frantic. We tried to save as many vines as possible, and the crepe myrtles were left alone (the Master Gardener instructor calls it "crepe murdering" and suggests a light hand when pruning). Also, I'll have to wait and see if the knock out roses are healthy. If they have the dreaded rose rosette disease,  they'll have to be removed and burned, which sounds horrid, but it's necessary. I hope they're okay, because our instructor put all types of roses on the "don't buy" list--until a solution is found. Are you a rose fancier? Southern Living has an informative article about this disease.

At last, all five trellis tops were replaced. 
On the first warmish day, I'm going to prepare the beds. I have a few weeks to think about what to plant. This area receives full sun. That eliminates many hydrangeas (I'm not sure if Annabels or Limelights will flourish here), but lavender might work, along with black-eyed Susans, salvia (I think), butterfly bushes, and foxglove. I adore zinnias, too. So I may not pay attention to color combinations at all, just adding whatever catches my fancy, such as rosemary and basil, maybe a clementis (feet in shade; head in the sun).
Do you have suggestions? 

Shared at:







12 comments:

  1. I'm glad you were able to rebuild the trellis tops. It's going to look spectacular when the everything comes alive. I hope your roses make it without the disease. I use "Rose-tone" by Espoma which is a slow release organic fertilizer. Perhaps just keeping them healthy will be enough to keep them from catching that disease. Sounds like you've got some nice ideas for plants/flowers for the planters. I myself would put in some perennials and mix in annuals for that continual pop of color. I also like the plant Autumn Joy Sedum for some height and a shrub like look. They look good with pretty flowers near them and are very reliable and you get their flower late in the season that the bees love too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your trellises are so beautiful. I can see why that area becomes an oasis for song birds. I think I would spend far too much time there. ;-) Can I suggest the Lemon Symphony to add to your garden. Gorgeous addition to any garden. http://cdn.naturehills.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/200x200/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/d/a/daisy_lemonsymphony_1_3_1.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now, that was a job! So worth replacing, though. I have not seen the rose rosette disease, and sure hope I don't. I like your ideas for the area. With your crepe myrtles as a backdrop, a combination of dwarf butterfly bushes (purple), with black-eyed susans in middle and poppies (orange) staggered in front, in between, could be a nice bloom timing/color combo. That would be an excellent area for lavender, too, I bet. I've been wanting to do an autumn clematis (white), but they need to be pruned to stay contained. That could be a nice vining option. I have the Jackmanii (purple) clematis in one corner of my garden - blooms twice - May and September - another beautiful climber. Or, you could try an annual vine like mandevilla. I plant several of those on one of my arbors each year. Walmart sells them inexpensively ($20-25/gal, 3') just before last frost (usually April here in my 7a region). So many options! Can't wait to see how your garden grows, Michael Lee.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am on the side of...what catches your fancy! I can't wait to see what you do. Sheila

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a wonderful project ahead. It is going to be lovely, and planting those beds will be fun. I can see lots of color. Good luck with this project.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Michael Lee! Oh, your trellises are so pretty and I can just imagine how they're going to look once everything is popping out and blooming! You're going to have so much fun planting. I'm sure anything you do will look beautiful. We have so many trees, when summer gets here, we're mostly in the shade. I need to take a Master Gardner course so I can learn what to plant!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I began reading, I thought of cedar. It will last as long as you want. I can't wait to see what you do with this area.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh what a job! But it is beautiful and will last too! As far as planting options, I, too, am learning about sun loving things. We lived in the woods/shade for 30 years and now have NO shade. My zinnias do really well, and I hope your crepe myrtles are OK. I can't wait to see what you do and it all blooming, thriving!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh everything looks great. Lavender will do really well in the sun - mine grow like crazy. All the flowers you mentioned sound good. You might like to add some Sunflowers (Chocolate Cherry) and Cleome's hummers love these), Black Watchman Heirloom Hollyhocks, Antique Apple Green Bells of Ireland and Persian Violet Nigella (Love in a Mist) these will re-seed. These are all by Renee's Gardens (seeds). I think they will do well in your area, but you may to check it out. I am planting the seed tomorrow. Good luck! I am sure they will be beautiful.
    I finally cut my Crepe Myrtles down as they NEVER bloomed. My roses are really pretty this year.

    Have a wonderful Easter.
    Mary
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh dear, those poor confused birds you've been nuturing! but the new trellises are great, hopefully the birds will settle back down and everything will grow grow grow-I'm sure whatever you plant will be beautiful,
    Jenna

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glad you decided to replace them. They will look so nice here shortly!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hope you can get a coat of preservative on them before everyone moves back in and the vines begin to grow. We will be doing a similar thing to our garden trellis in a couple of years. Maybe even next year, thanks for the share, Sandi

    ReplyDelete