I have plans, BIG PLANS. Well, no, maybe medium sized at best. But my plans involve getting some planting done. There’s a few areas around my house that need sprucing up (although not with spruce trees, they are too big), and I want to put in plants around the barn. I’m not very good at selecting plants to make a beautiful space, but I’m going to try. My main issue is that I get a whole bunch of flowers, and then I just have flowers, which fade away over the winter, and then I have no plants. Just a barren landscape.
But I’m going to try to fix this, starting with the areas that have no plants, because ripping up my beautiful flowers seems like a really dumb idea right now, even if I will have nothing there in mere months.
When I need trees or bushes, my first stop is the Arbor Day Foundation. I love trees, we need more of them, and I love their mission. I will gladly put my dollars towards helping spread trees, so I try to get my plants from them first. The only downside of getting your plants from them is that they are quite small. It takes them a while to get big, and they are prone to being run over with the lawnmower in the meantime (whoops). But I have patience, and they are easier to handle when they are little.
With my new barnyard, I have an opportunity to put some plants in around the barn and not have the horses immediately rip them out. It’s
kind of an ugly barn, which I am working on, but putting some nice plants will help. I want to have whole little garden in my new fenced area, but that’ll have to wait.
Getting a membership to the Arbor Day gives me 10 free trees. I selected the “Wildbird Garden” option which gives me a bunch of trees I can use around the barn. The Northern Red Oak will be outside the pasture, but provide some share. The River Birch can go right in the pasture – I have a few of these around and they’ve done well. I may add a few more to my order to make a nice cluster of them in the pasture.
The gray dogwood will go inside the fencing, next to the barn. Eventually I want to put a stone patio and bench there. It’ll be a nice place to sit while waiting for the farrier or vet.
It also comes with some other shrub and decorative trees, but I think those will do well placed closer to the house.
My shed, located near the barn, is bright white. I originally choose this because I thought it would look so clean and lovely, instead it’s a massive highlight on my property. It’s the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. I want to get some evergreens to hide it a bit.
|I am a big fan of evergreens that grow as columns, so I’m going to add some Emerald Arborvitae to my order. Thinking in the future when my barn may be visible from the road eventually, I’m going to get enough of them to shield both sides of the shed. Eventually I’m going to clear more for pasture, and I’m just imagining the horror of revealing my bright white shed to the rest of the valley. It would be an eyesore for all my neighbors instead of just me. If I’m really ambitious, maybe I will go out and make trim them into lovely shapes. I mean, maybe. If I’m not too busy, or just have better things to do.|
I also want to get a row of these to line my arena, but as always, it’s a work in progress. That’ll be the finishing touch once everything else is completed.
The rest of the Wildbird Garden, the Arrowood Virburnum, Sargent Crabapple, and the Washington Hawthorn, will go by the house. There’s a blank area of foundation that needs to be covered, directly outside of Bridgette’s room, and facing the road.
The tulip tree and the blue spruce will go somewhere in the yard, but I really don’t know where yet. I guess I’ll figure something out.
In addition to planting trees, I need to remove some trees. I recently discovered that black walnut trees are poisionous to horses, and I have them everywhere. I feel like I should point out that they are only poisionous when ingested, so simply having them doesn’t mean the horses are going to die. But I’m splitting hairs here – having them where the horses can access them, and if they are really hungry or stupid… well, it could happen. Plus I even have video of Vintage eating a black walnut tree. I have no idea why she choose to eat it.
No one has died yet thank goodness, but I’ll be removing a bunch of these guys soon. It’s chainsawing season!
What gardening or planting have you done around your barn? Any recommendations for inspiration?