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A Woodland Backyard that Takes Inspiration from Nature

Nice gardening doesn’t normally contain reinventing the wheel. The design methods, plant mixtures, and hardscaping additions that can take your backyard from good to nice probably exist already in another person’s backyard. Bonnie Plikaytis is aware of this nicely and takes full benefit of all of the plant and design concepts that different gardeners, and even Mom Nature, have to supply her.

Backyard at a look

Measurement: 1 acre (1/2 acre cultivated)

Location: Huge Canoe, Georgia Zone: 7

Circumstances: Full shade to full solar; clay backfill near the home and wealthy humus soil across the perimeter

Age of the backyard: 7 years


gardener with her dog
Inspiration can come from surprising sources. Bonnie received concepts for her naturalistic beds and borders whereas strolling nature trails along with her canine Cody.

Top-of-the-line examples of this are Bonnie’s lovely stumperies. These distinctive backyard preparations include tree stumps, root balls, or different woody supplies that create a habitat for fungi and woodland vegetation corresponding to ferns. A visit to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Backyard in Federal Manner, Washington, impressed Bonnie to create the 2 stumperies in her backyard, they usually’re now two areas that always appeal to probably the most consideration from guests.

However the stumperies will not be the one stars that shine on this backyard. Bonnie makes use of a large number of evergreen vegetation to create curiosity year-round, including occasional pops of colour with daring blooms. “The backyard depends closely on shapes, textures, and hues of inexperienced all year long to supply curiosity with solely accents of colour,” she explains. Whereas strolling within the backyard, one notices three varieties of vegetation which might be repeated all through: ferns, Japanese maples (Acer palmatum and cvs., Zones 5–8), and rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9).

woodland garden stumpery
Stumperies add curiosity. These natural outcroppings are surrounded by an array of ferns and different treasures, corresponding to redvein enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus, Zones 4–7).

redvein enkianthus

How did Bonnie study to create such a various but distinctively woodland design? As soon as once more, she discovered gardens and gardeners that impressed and knowledgeable—this time a lot nearer to dwelling. “I’ve a buddy and gardening mentor who has been designing and putting in landscapes in Huge Canoe for over 25 years,” she says. “Finding out the designs of her landscapes has influenced my capability to create a backyard that’s harmonious with the woodland surrounding.” She additionally discovered invaluable assets whereas organizing an annual group plant sale as a part of the native gardening membership. Working with nursery distributors, she realized extra about vegetation that develop nicely in her space and was inspired to diversify her plant choices.

Certainly one of Bonnie’s largest inspirations and sources for backyard data, nevertheless, is her personal pure environment. “Each morning I begin the day with a stroll on the paths of Huge Canoe with my canine Cody,” she says. “Throughout these walks I used to be launched to a few of my favourite native ferns of Georgia: the noble royal fern (Osmunda regalis, Zones 3–9) and cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Zones 3–9) with its plumes of cinnamon-colored erect fertile fronds. I’ve included each in my backyard.”

Apart from creating a superb backyard, all this time finding out vegetation has taught Bonnie to work with nature as a substitute of in opposition to it. She understands that we stay in a linked ecosystem and that we should study to stay in concord with the vegetation and animals with whom we share this surroundings.

Kaitlyn Hayes is a digital content material manufacturing specialist for Fantastic Gardening.

Photographs: courtesy of Bonnie Plikaytis

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