THIS 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.