New member in Virginia, from PacNW....

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Articulady, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Articulady

    Articulady Member

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    Location:
    Lake Monticello, Virginia
    Hi all,

    I joined the forum a week or 2 ago and thought I should say hello formally and introduce myself. I am originally from Seattle and have lived in the South for a shred over 3 years. I've been a gardening hobbyist (is that a real term?) for 25 years or so, but pretty much all in Seattle and parts of Coastal California. Down here, I am learning all over again it seems, about native plants, the humid summers and very cold winters, new bugs I've never seen before and all sorts of other climate related issues - including my own inability to handle humidity. How does one do landscaping and other gardening from June until September without going outside??

    My husband and I bought a house about 6 months ago, and I have been desperately dividing my time between getting the house together, taking care of our 3 year-old, running my part-time home-based business, and landscaping. The lot was "blanked over" with mulch some months before we bought and there have been a number of surprises struggling up through the deep mulch - a thus far unidentified lily which looks like it'll be blooming within a week or 2, a daylily also unidentified, multiple blueberries, blackberries, a few sad glads, tulips, daffodils...and of course quite a few "native' species that I know almost nothing about yet, plus loads of mature hardwoods - red oak, white oak, numerous maple varieties plus again, some species I am not yet familiar with.

    My biggest issues are TICKS and humidity. Neither obstacle have I encountered in all my years digging in the ground and I am not happy about them AT ALL. Despite the heat and bugs, Virginia's hard, red clay soil is quite fertile, although it stains the clothes and is difficult to wash off skin. It's surprisingly lush around here, and I look forward to watching my new garden grow as I keep acquiring more things to plant than I have time for.

    Right now as I type this, I have impatiently waiting for my time: a bucket of grape cuttings, loganberry cuttings, a couple of wild rose bits I nipped along the highway, black-eyed susans, white yarrow (although I may rethink actually planting that...), creeping white phlox, lily-of-the-valley, and a yellow raspberry (fruit, not the leaves lol), several bamboo culms that are awaiting a barrier installed first, a 5 gallon bucket of daffodil bulbs (no idea what they are, exactly, they were a gift), day after tomorrow I am going to dig up some black bamboo (yes...another barrier)... plus I have tons of seeds that I wish I had time for but...there's always fall and spring. A bit ambitious, yes... but I love plants and all these were divisions from various gardeners in my area..free! Hard to resist "free" when landscaping a mostly blank lot.

    I really enjoy this board, and hope I can be of some help too, since I've broken an awful lot of fingernails digging in the Pacific Northwest soils and investigating every PNW native plant that caught my fancy. I look forward too, to perhaps getting some advice on some of my future issues in my new environment.

    Thanks for reading all this!

    Elizabeth
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hello Articulady (Elizabeth), I can relate to the gardening in the South for the first time. I moved to Atlanta GA after gardening in Seattle for 11 years. It sure is a different game. Many pants seem to grow quite vigorously, but I found the heat and pests to be big challenges. You haven't gotten chiggers yet? Hopefully you will not have to experience that.

    We have a good number of members from the southern USA and other similar climates, so you should find answers on the forums if you have questions about your new environment. We look foreward to reading your stories as well.

    Welcome to the forums,
     
  3. Articulady

    Articulady Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Eric, and thank you for the welcome! No, I haven't encountered chiggers yet, at least not attached to me. But, we really don't have any grass to speak of, and since I do know about chiggers, our days of sitting on grass are long gone. My 3 year-old is a tick-magnet though... we have to do a thorough check every single day, and I pick one off every 2 or 3 days, today included. Once I get all of the last 10 years of dead leaves up off our mini-forest floor, I'll cut back a little of the undergrowth and consider some kind of pest management... I am really hating this tick thing, enough that I am willing to risk killing some of the good bugs in order to lower my out-of-control tick population.

    Thanks again for this great board!

    E
     

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