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?