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Report From PIA – July 9

I’ve started three landscapes “from scratch.”  We purchased all three houses already finished, but they had minimal to non-existent landscaping. I made all the usual beginners mistakes on the mid-Hudson valley property: I planted things too close together, I didn’t have a plan but would plunk anything in any empty spot, I bought pass-along-plants (aka pass-along-problems) at plant sales, and discovered that weeds will grow everywhere.

On the second property I was more discerning…sort of. I remember that one of the first inspirational garden books I purchased was Nigel Colborn’s Shortcuts to Great Gardens. It was a bit deceiving, because all of the gardens pictured took years to develop and grow – no shortcuts here – but it remains inspiring today.

Now into my third summer on Poison Ivy Acres, I am using what I’ve learned and making new mistakes.

When we begin any new project, inspiration is good, experience is valuable, but errors will be made. That shouldn’t stop us. Have the courage to start down a path without shortcuts, hopefully with a plan and the help of others, but always with faith, hope and determination.

The landscape wasn't completely bare, mind you.

But here you can see that we extended the patio, planted the perennial border, and...

moved that cement square out into the fragrance garden in hopes of a future hot tub. (There's a tiny corner of it showing on the left side of this photo) Then we (my husband) built the grape arbor, that is connected to the house by the new patio area.

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