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Help to restart an old garden

Help to restart an old garden
Posted by Cindy (chuckcin@midtel.net) from NY - Zone 5 on 2002-02-24 00:11:55

In 1999 my husband and I purchased a home in the country West of Albany, NY in a high rock territory of the mountains. Originally there had been beautiful gardens throughout the 10 acres surrounding our home with rose bushes and many lillies which even survived in the shade. The land here had not been farmed on over 20 years so for the past 3 spring/summer seasons I have been busy trying to restore the flower bushes and trees, yet, it seemed as though I did them more harm then good since now I don't get the larger blooms; and some of the bushes and trees which were in desperate need of trimming have died back. Where did I go wrong? I've read a million gardener books; tried everything under the sun to revitilize this garden and with such a short growing season here - mid-June to the end of August it is so frustrating to have a beautiful garden. We have an additional 100 acres across from our home which we want to do a lot of landscaping to but I'm a bit intimidated by the seasons here and kind of thinking I should have left well enough alone! Some help or advice would be wonderful in trying to rebuild the beauty this property has the potential for. Any answers please? Helpless in Summit (literally-a town named due to being at the top of a mountain)!

Ye Ole' Oliver Farm

  • Help to Restart an old garden
    Posted by Newt from Maryland zone 7 on 2002-03-25 04:35:20

    Quoting Cindy: ------------
    -In 1999 my husband and I purchased a home in the country West of Albany, NY in a high rock territory of the mountains. Originally there had been beautiful gardens throughout the 10 acres surrounding our home with rose bushes and many lillies which even survived in the shade. The land here had not been farmed on over 20 years so for the past 3 spring/summer seasons I have been busy trying to restore the flower bushes and trees, yet, it seemed as though I did them more harm then good since now I don't get the larger blooms; and some of the bushes and trees which were in desperate need of trimming have died back. Where did I go wrong? I've read a million gardener books; tried everything under the sun to revitilize this garden and with such a short growing season here - mid-June to the end of August it is so frustrating to have a beautiful garden. We have an additional 100 acres across from our home which we want to do a lot of landscaping to but I'm a bit intimidated by the seasons here and kind of thinking I should have left well enough alone! Some help or advice would be wonderful in trying to rebuild the beauty this property has the potential for. Any answers please? Helpless in Summit (literally-a town named due to being at the top of a mountain)!

    Hi Cindy,

    I know that your growing season is short, but I truly envy you. I grew up not terribly far from you in Monticello and have often been to Summit, as well as Albany. My brother went to college in New Paltz and I miss 'my' mountains. I tried to click on the link for Ye Ole' Oliver Farm, but it says that there is no name specified. Maybe you forgot to put in the URL. Anyway, I would love to see the site. It might be helpful.

    I would love to know exactly what you did to the shrubs and trees. Did you limb up the trees to let in more light? Did you prune the shrubs to the ground or did you only remove some of the older stems? If you are trying to rejuvinate old shrubs, it is a process that has to be done over time. Each year you can cut down to the soil a maximum of one third of the shrub.

    What plants are you not getting larger blooms on? Maybe you have given them too much sun and they are woodland plants. Have you thought about consulting with a landscape designer that is knowledgeable about your particular type of site? They might be able to help you draw up a plan where you could do the work and they could consult.

    There is a WONDERFUL site called The Garden Web. I'm including a link to it. They have forums on 'Woodland Gardening', 'Landscape Design', 'Northern Gardening', 'Native Plants', 'Shrubs', 'Trees' and sooo much more. I would suggest that you visit and do some reading there. Maybe you might be able to post some questions on some of their forums.

    If you do post on more than one forum, be sure and change the title of each post so that their computer doesn't think you are spamming and block you out. It's a fantastic place with lots of wonderful people who should be able to help you.

    Try and be as specific as possible as to what is happening and exactly what you have done. If you know the names of the plants, shrubs and trees that are problematic, do give them as well.

    Good luck and say "Hi" to 'my' mountains.

    Newt

    Garden Web Forums

  • Restart old garden
    Posted by Daryl from Ga/Zone 7 on 2002-02-28 09:52:37

    Quoting Cindy: ------------
    now I don't get the larger blooms; and some of the bushes and trees which were in desperate need of trimming have died back. Where did I go wrong?

    Cindy,

    Are you saying that you don't get the larger blooms that you saw the first season, or that you expected large blooms and don't get any? And on which plants. Let's take them one by one.

    Also, when you say "some of the bushes and trees which were in desperate need of trimming have died back", are these trees and bushes which you *did cut back, or those that you didn't get around to doing? And did they need to be trimmed because they had a lot of dead stuff, or because they had just gotten too large? Again, let's take them one by one.

    Daryl
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