The single best landscaping decision we ever made was to plant big trees on a new lot. Like many new homes, our house was built on a former cornfield. It had been terraced, but it was bare. At the suggestion of our landscaper, Leif Knecht of Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping, we planted six large trees, as well as eight smaller trees. The picture is of an Autumn Blaze maple I grabbed from Leif’s web site. I’ll post one of my maple when it turns color.
The big trees had to be moved in with a special tree-hauling truck. The six we planted were:
- An Autumn Blaze maple
- A Pin Oak
- Two White Pines
- A Swamp White Oak
- A Marshall Seedless Ash
With our other plantings and the small trees, our lot looked “full enough” from the beginning. Now it looks great. Some of the trees are taller than our house, which helps to keep the house from looking like a huge box as so many new homes do. They also provide shade and privacy. Big trees can be expensive, but if you consider the difference they make in the appearance and your enjoyment of a new home, they are worth it.
The September/October issue of Northern Gardener has been available for a couple of weeks now. It’s a great issue with articles on the trouble with bees, using golden foliage plants in your garden, shrubs and trees with ornamental fruit, and an article about Living Legacy Gardens in Staples. It’s available on the magazine racks at Byerly’s, Lunds, and Barnes and Noble stores. Or, subscribe with MSHS.
Even though I edit a garden magazine, I’m not an expert gardener. My mother has a green thumb, but I was not one of those gardeners forced to pick beans or hoe weeds as a child who cannot get gardening out of their blood. For years, I refused to have houseplants because I killed them so efficiently. As a young woman, I had a small community garden plot, which I neglected. Total harvest: Three yellow beans and a melon the size of a ping-pong ball.
The first home my husband and I owned had a mature lot with beautiful trees and a dozen or more hybrid tea roses. One-by-one, the roses died, but as I learned about gardening, we were able to grow asparagus, herbs, tomatoes and a big old-fashioned rose–Sir Thomas Lipton. It still towers over the fence in that yard.
I’ve moved on to a different house and garden now, and I am still learning about gardening. I’ve learned a lot since I started editing Northern Gardener magazine in 2005. This blog is an attempt to share what I’m learning with readers of the magazine and anyone else who gardens in the north.
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