The turning circle garden… past present & future

You know…I’ve been watching and agonizing over this area for a long time. I’ve thought about it for at least 3 seasons so far. It’s a not-so-blank slate. I just didn’t know what I wanted. This is the place that passerby see. I want something really special. So I’m going to talk myself (out loud) through the creative process.

I recently attended a talk at the Valley Gardeners club that was really inspiring in terms of really thinking about what purpose we want, and how to cultivate a place we REALLY love. So It’s back to the ol’ drawing board (in my head).

View from the driveway.

So what is here right now? There is a Physocarpus (Ninebark), Wiegela, a few Euonymus fortunei, Peonies, a lot of bulbs, weeds, an oak, a maple, two spruce trees, 4-5 suckerin’ Sumacs, and a mystery tree, and a lot of overgrown grass because we sort of neglected it a little bit last summer. The area is fairly large, actually. So I can do a lot with it!



Potato quality sketch. This would make any designer cringe. But in my past experiences, the more I make a drawing to scale, the more I wish to deviate from it. So I made a flowery vague sketch instead.

I had originally sketched out the desired look for it, but now I’m not sure I like all of what I had. We discussed at length the fate of some of the trees in here, and how much of the terrain is pretty much governed by roots, so unless we remove a few things, there will be little change. This means the removal of a few Sumacs that seem out of sequence. There are a few here, and they send up suckers OFTEN.

What I can tell you right now, our turning circle is VERY difficult to mow. Heck, I don’t even want to bother. I leave that to my manimal. So the first thing I want to do is eliminate the need for that as best I can. It will probably be the last step in the process, but I will replace whatever is left of the lawn as various ground covers.



View from the road

It’s a very mosquito-riddled part of the property, and it is also not terribly private, as our driveway touches the neighbor’s driveway (and we’ve bore witness to some very disturbing behavior/rowdiness) so I will not likely be devoting much or any of it to seating or reflection. However, I do want to use it to draw in either customers for my small business, or guests who want to come in and have a wander around on the property. When I come home, that’s when my mood instantly changes. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to see a finished and beautiful turning circle to greet me? Ahh..yes. So it doesn’t need to be so overlooked. It’s also fairly shaded, and will remain as such. There are two fairly healthy spruces here, and I wanted to eventually run some power to this part of the property so maybe I could wrap them in lights over the winter, and possibly also power a subtle water feature in the summer.

The original consideration involved the addition of a Myrica pennsylvanica (bayberry) hedge along the perimeter to close it in a bit but still be low. Inside of the bayberry hedge, I am considering more Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and I might move my Hydrangeas here too.  I will be removing the Ninebark and Euonymuses (Euonymi?)  and instead have a nice specimen of a Cornus alternifolia (Pagoda dogwood).

So this is going to be an expensive and labor intensive process, I stepped it out into phases.

Phase 1: Removal – dig-up of the shrubs, and the removal of some of the deciduous trees, and one sumac. Anything we decide doesn’t get to stay will be removed. I haven’t begun yet, and this is what I would consider the toughest project I will undertake. It’s almost as dreadful as the days I realize I need to still pluck rogue grasses from my rock garden. It will get done though.

Phase 1.2: Hardscaping elements decided upon and added (I want a boulder, and we want electrical here). Would probably also erect the garden/business sign and do the front garden bed.

Phase 2: Plantings of small trees, shrubs.  (Hopefully I will have gotten my hands on a Pagoda dogwood by this point)

Phase 3: Beds dug around added trees to allow for gardens to be planted.

Phase 4: Removal of lawn, addition of flagstone or concrete stone, and groundcover to area.

So that’s all there is to it! Snappy! Haha. Yeah, I’m really actually very excited about this garden, but right now it’s just a dirty beast in the corner that I try to pretend isn’t there.

Next post I’ll tell you what I’m up to from early to mid June. Here’s a hint: I’m still weeding but I’m also seeing crops in the veggie beds start!


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