Home Improvements

IMG_0816THIS MORNING I WAS GREETED BY A SURPRISE VISITOR: a 4-foot foxglove in sudden, outrageous bloom in the woods just beyond my property line. Reading up on it, I came upon the phrase “naturalistic woodland garden.” That’s what I want to create here; that’s what’s suited to this site, which, though south-facing, has very few spots for plants that require full sun.

Shade-tolerant and deer-resistant will be my watchwords as I figure out what to plant. Columbine is easy, self-sowing, as I learned upstate. Meadow rue I’ve never tried, but here in Zone 7 I might, along with chartreuse bursts of spurge, which I love (hope the deer don’t) but have never had any success with.

Yesterday, with the help of a pickax-wielding friend, I did further battle against wisteria roots, uprooted overabundant barberries, moved ferns out of the area where I want eventually to put a patio and into what I call the ‘fern glade.’

Over the past few days there have been quite a few vital home improvements. I now have HEAT, for one. Yes, it’s June, but on Tuesday, when Charles the plumber made my furnace operational for the first time since I got here in mid-May, it was chilly and raw, and I immediately put the thermostat up to 70 and basked in the warmth. (That was too warm; I soon put it down again to 65.)

Thanks to Tom the electrician, I now have a light at my front entry. I have a washer and dryer – oh, the convenience – and a stove. The refrigerator question is still open; Sears is coming to pick up the noisy Whirlpool beast on Sunday, and I will replace it with something quieter and more high-end, as soon as I can focus on it.

Read up on foxgloves here.

2 thoughts on “Home Improvements

  1. Wow – no surprise that foxglove is used to make the heart drug “digitalis” – I had serious cardiac symptoms when I saw that beauty on your website– it is gorgeous! And a “naturalistic woodland garden” will be a great goal to strive towards…. I can hear Little Red Riding Hood walking through it now! Glad to hear you have heat and electricity to keep the wolf out though — all the comforts of home! Hope you find a good fridge – that blue Smeg was sure oomphy! Hope you are enjoying the process as much as we (lucky readers) are!

  2. Sounds almost civilized! For your “naturalistic woodland garden” that is deer resistant I suggest some astilbe, hellebores, epimediums. ligularia, cimicifugia, pulmonaria, chasmanthium & Japanese forest grass (hakonechloa macro – my favourite!).

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