Monday, October 27, 2008


We have a guest post from our oldest sister, Daughter #1 (that's a chronological ranking not a ranking of favorites....). She lives in Westchester County in NY and has named her large property Boscage. Carolynn writes:

Boscage is an old French word for a mass of trees or shrubs; wood, grove, or thicket. And, indeed, we have a bosky patch of land. We have done a lot to it over the past 24 years, but every time I look, there is more to do. It is compelling and giving shape to my retirement years. We have left most of the property wooded. Over the years we have fenced in a series of raised beds, cleared some of the shrubby growth away from the stone walls, installed a mucky little pond for the spring peepers,and established garden beds around the house. Two years ago, we put an addition on the front of the house and changed the foundation planting. Now I am making lazy beds in the front yard and planning gardening projects for next spring. The expanded deck on the side of the house is almost done and I have plans for planting around it.
Ongoing Challenges~
How to garden on the edge of a woods challenges me. First, the woods harbor deer. As you know, they make their rounds nightly. I am not interested in fencing the property although I am planning new kinds of ways to fence off smaller patches inside the vegetable/nursery garden. The 5' fence surrounding those beds was effective only when we had a dog. Deer can jump 8' from a standing position. I understand that that they are leery of a series of barriers and that is what I intend to create. I am not interested in spraying my plants to discourage the deer. My primary defense is to plant deer-resistant plants. My garden, like any garden, is always an experiment.

The second challenge is the invasive plants: garlic mustard, Japanese stiltweed, oriental bittersweet, barberry, and Winged Euonymous. Japanese stiltweed seems to be winning. This year I am aggressively addressing this problem. I am trying to wipe out the plants before they seed. If only I could convince the deer to eat these plants!
The third challenge is to keep the yard and garden manageable. I am not getting younger and I am concerned about creating something that I can't manage in the future. In my favor, and one of the joys of Westchester (NY), is the lack of manicured lawns and gardens.

Thank you Carrie for this journey through your peaceful surroundings that provide tranquility to all those that happen by.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I really like the wildness of this garden. Gardening is like housekeeping-always more to do, but way more enjoyable!
Kathy L

La Tea Dah said...

What a beautiful 'woodsy' garden --- the best kind. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. I understand the 'deer' problem and have also been seeking more plants that they do not like (and have given up on the ones they do!). Additionally, I am dealing with elk who also love to eat my flowers!


La Tea Dah said...

BTW, congratulations Susanna and Nancy, for a wonderful first year anniversary! I'm so glad you started a blog. Yours is one of my favorites and I appreciate it very much and always learn from you. A huge THANK YOU from me --- and much success in the future. Keep up the fantastic work!


Marilyn Miller, the Marmalady said...

Love to be in your drawing tomorrow.

Congratulations on 1 year of blogging!