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Earl K
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RG, I'm definately working with what I've got.My back yard has become my little jungle.All my containers inside the pool enclosure,outside that ive added a raised bed of strawberries,2 25 gal. pots 1 with yellow zukes,1 with 3 cuke plants,greenbean growing on side fence.Its coming along.Out front ive added ixoras,marigolds,vincas and a small ficus tree.Just think that i had no interest in plants at all untill i found this site in march while looking up pepper plants.I'm hooked now and im not stoppin :D Keep up the good work :D
Florida porchgrown veggies
USDA zone 9

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Diane
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It is amazing what you've done with your land. It looks so natural and woodsy.
I always thought retaining walls saved the soil from sliding downhill when it rains.
What an effort that must have been to carry each and every stone down an uneven hill.
Bravo. You're returning to nature what was once there.
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

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rainbowgardener
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retaining walls

Yup, that is the point of the retaining walls, they "retain" the soil. As it is, everything I plant, has a little semi-circle of rocks around the downhill side of it, to retain the soil around it.

I didn't terrace, that is make flat areas behind the retaining walls 1) it wasn't practical on such a steep slope-- I would have had to have at least twice as many or they would have had to be twice as tall, which you can't do with the interlocking blocks. 2) It wouldn't look natural and woodsy as a series of flat terraces.

But it does mean even with the retaining walls, I still have to work to help the plants hang on to soil around them.

And yes it has been a bunch of work getting all those blocks to where they were used, etc etc. Not so bad on level 1, but getting to be a big deal where I'm working now! :D

Thanks for the kind words everyone! Part of why I love this forum... Somewhere to show all that work where people understand and appreciate what went in to it.

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rainbowgardener
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tulip poplar etc

A friend gave me a tulip poplar that volunteered in his yard, so I planted that in Level 4 also. I think Level 4 is now crammed with as many trees as I can put there. So the oak tree (I haven't yet figured out what variety) that the friend also gave me is going to have to be the beginning of Level 5. Since level 5 doesn't exist yet, that means hacking out a clearing in the jungle of japanese honeysuckle, english ivy, trash, wild grapes (some with vines thicker around than my wrist)... Sometimes I wish I had a machete!

In order to plant the tulip poplar, I first had to haul up a 10 foot section of rusted iron (steel?) box gutter, way heavier than they make that stuff now. It was occupying the spot I wanted. It was full of dirt and overgrown with ivy, I had to cut it all loose, obviously had been sitting there for years... It's a very weird and neglected little property I'm restoring!

I may let the oak sit in its pot until spring! :)

a0c8c
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Machete's aren't that expensive, you can get one from a gun store for around $15. Just make sure it's got a tang that's the full length of the handle, which should be true for any good knife.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

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Diane
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Maybe a folding garden saw would do a good job. I use mine to prune my Lilac tree and my mother's crab apple tree.
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

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gixxerific
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First time seeing this post.

I'm jealous RG. :oops:

orgoveg
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Rainbow -

I'm most impressed with the natural collection on your property. It's really cool, especially considering that you don't live on sprawling acreage out of town.

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rainbowgardener
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thanks, orgoveg.. I consider it sort of a demonstration project of what can be done to restore what people would usually consider an utterly worthless little piece of steep, overgrown, trash filled city land. The previous owners just put a fence around the patio to block the view of the hillside and continued throwing trash over the fence (it had already been land fill in the past, for sometime before that)...

When I moved in there and started clearing the trash, my next door neighbor was watching. I told her "someday this will be beautiful." She laughed then, but she's not laughing any more! :)

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rainbowgardener
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MORE TREES!

More trees, gimme more trees, gotta have more trees !! :)

A good friend (?) of mine who knows my tree addiction and also happens to be a naturalist in our county park system told me about their native tree sale (I call her my tree pusher!)

So I bought an American hornbeam, sycamore, buttonbush, and dogwood. the dogwood is baby, just over a foot tall, the rest are decent sized, 3-4' and very healthy looking. Total cost $67.

It's kind of too late to be planting, hard frost predicted tonight and tomorrow night, so I just dug all the pots deep into the ground and mulched well. Plant in spring... Once I get all these planted, my reforestation project will be well underway with 28 trees planted (and baby ones starting to volunteer) plus a bunch of shrubs and understory stuff and a big variety of different types represented.

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applestar
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Sounds terrific and great buy! (I LOVE native plant sales) You probably know this already, but of the new acquisitions, make sure you keep the buttonbush in a moist area where it won't dry out and the dogwood in a well drained area where it WON'T get waterlogged. :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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yeah... for the winter once they are dormant, which will be very soon, I'm hoping they won't be too picky and the tree nursery is right by the house so I can take care of them. Once transplanted, the thing about gardening on such a steep slope is that it is very well drained! In drought times, it's hard to give them lots of water, because it runs off rather than soaking in. So the dogwood should be ok. But I might need to make a bowl around the buttonbush...

My theory is that I just plant a whole big selection of stuff that is original to this area and see what takes. Eventually I will have a colony of native plants that are at least reasonably adapted to my particular conditions. I do give them some help, especially getting started, but once established, the point is not to baby them. So some things spread and others don't. Appendaged waterleaf and wild ginger love it back there. The wild ginger is slowly spreading and I keep moving it to new spots. The appendaged water leaf was spreading itself wildly, but the groundhog that has her home on the hillside, unfortunately decided it was her favorite treat, which slowed it down a lot.

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Sage Hermit
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Now I miss Ohio very much.

I read buckeyes in there. Too much nostalgia. Looks great I am ipressed and a little homesick.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, the buckeye is a cool tree and it is starting to volunteer on my hillside... baby buckeyes popping up without me planting them. That's very satisfying to see as there was nothing native back there when I started (well one old hackberry and some pokeweed and white snakeroot, but hardly anything).

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applestar
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That hill side is going to be an explosion of color! Gorgeous! :D

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rainbowgardener
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fall/ spring on my hillside --pix

(Applestar's comment above this actually refers to this. I had posted it, then I decided to organize my collection of Photobucket pictures into a couple of different albums, not realizing I was breaking the links. So then my post lost the pictures so I deleted it. Redoing everything now)

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/Oct09-10.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/Oct09-11.jpg[/img]
red maple

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/Oct09-5.jpg[/img]
spicebush

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/Oct09-8.jpg[/img]
just planted baby sassafras

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/Oct09-9.jpg[/img]
carolina allspice (with variegated solomon's seal)

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rainbowgardener
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spring on the hillside!

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/hillside4-10JPG.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/hillside2_4-10.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/hillside3_4-10.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/hillside4_4-10.jpg[/img]

A few pix of spring on my native woodland shade plants hillside garden, featuring virginia bluebells, woods poppy, solomon seal and not as visible wild ginger, trout lily, bedstraw (cleavers), cutleaf toothwort, squirrel corn, red trillium (wake robin), bugbane and others.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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applestar
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Rainbowgardener, I love the photos, but I don't know what they all are and it's killing me! Yellow flowers are Woods Poppy and blue flowers are the Bluebells I assume. I recognize the Solomon's Seal, and I have the exact same 3rd photo plant which I believe is Foam Flower/Tiarella.

In the second photo, that tree with long leaves like fingers is buckeye, right?

Squirrel corn? Funny name! I'll have to look that one up. :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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You got everything right, including the buckeye, our state tree.

Squirrel corn is a species of dutchman's breeches. Squirrel corn is dicentra canadensis; dutchman's breeches is dicentra cucullaria. Both are sometimes called wild bleeding heart. It is squirrel corn, because the little tubers look a lot like corn kernels and the squirrels like them (and sometimes plant them by burying them for later). In the second picture you can just see it at the far left edge, just above the block wall.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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