May in the Gardens-Updating the Design

We are still supposed to get more rain but the area has a deficit so I’m not going to complain…I quickly went out to get pictures of the gardens, and Glenn on his birthday, today between clouds.

We need to make up for last year when we could not work much in our gardens. I ‘ve had Bartlett’s Tree Experts here already to cut one of the white pines down in the rear wind break. It was bare of branches at the lower half so didn’t keep out the wind! Just 4 more to go…$$$

We will be replacing them after choosing the best sunlight back there. Our neighbor has a huge willow oak that not only shades the gardens in that area but whose roots take up half of our back. They live for 100 years so it has 35 more to go before it  (or we) expires.

I can’t wait for that tree and will have to devise a different wind break for the very bad cross winds here. Right now we are removing them and the ivy ground cover. I hope that by fall we will be able to plant a few other trees and shrubs back there to get a start for 2013 season. We do have a second row of deciduous shrubs which will filter the wind somewhat this winter.

Generally the windbreaks are of several rows and protect up to 2  1/2 x ht. of the trees. Our white pines are kept pruned by Bartlett’s every couple of years so that they grow thicker and are kept lower at about 20 feet. Given that the property is about 200 feet wide from the pines, at least the back of the house is protected by the 50 feet. (2 x 20 =40 +10=50 feet).

The shorter rows have additional purposes. The one facing the farmland is called a “snow catcher” and does a fine job. It is the first thing that I planted here in 1996. The next row is the white pines, Norway spruces, and fir trees. The inside row is made up of deciduous shrubs tall, short, and not in an exact row.

Inside I’ve designed island to channel the winds in summer and winter. Complicated! In summer we want the shade and cool breezes and in the winter it’s the opposite. What bother with all that planning, etc.? $$$

Yes, everything boils down to money. Heat and air conditioning. But that isn’t all, without the windbreaks strategically placed, we would NOT be able to use the gardens, sit out behind the house, and more. The wind across the farmland is coming to us from the NE. The wind on the other side of the property, at the front corner, comes to us from the SW.

These are stong storm points. The SW corner, is being redone so that is open right now. AND, yes, we are in somewhat of a hurry to close it as this wind is sometimes worse. In the middle of the gardens, around the parking area, is lattice. This was the second thing installed here in the spring of 1997. Immediately we felt the effects. I can take our guests inside that parking area and then stand on the outside, and they feel the strong, icy winds even in the summer.

Take a look at this corner property that we have, it’s almost an acre, and see how we have closed it in leaving gaps for air and sights. It will be 16 years in Sept.

This year will be 16 years since we started all the construction and planting but well-worth it. Now we maintain it as much as we want and leave the rest. It’s a low-maintenance design and can be just kept up as we feel like it in the summer and winter.

Glenn is always outside even in the winter. We do love it here!

(Note: The pictures are in a separate post as I have too many to insert.)


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