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Identify my mystery yard


By Harli

Washington, United States Us

My first time here, so forgive me if I don't understand the protocol. I have never enjoyed working outside, but we just bought a home where someone spent their heart and soul landscaping and planting.
We have an apple tree, a pear tree, raspberry vines, and a large fence of concord grapes that I don't know hot to care for. Plus I have many many flowers/plants that I need to know what they are so that I won't kill them. Any help is greatly appreciated.




A warm welcome to GOY, Harli.
I joined the forum quite recently and found it to be a great place to be, friendly and very supportive whatever level of gardening expertise ( or lack of it in my case) brought to it.
How exciting to have such a well loved garden, I assume your photo was taken in it.
I think most people would advise just getting to know your garden and the plants in it during your first year together, I suspect there are dormant plants there that have yet to make their presence known. Keeping a month by month record of what the plants are doing in your garden may help in getting to know it and later in planning its development. Digital cameras are a Godsend for this, and there are many of us here who will be delighted to help you to identify plants and suggest how to care for them.
No matter how skilled we are as gardeners we all have failures as well as successes, don't be downheartened if something doesn't work ..... put it down to experience, we all learn that way. Your garden is there to enjoy, and I for one am hoping you will share it with us.

9 Mar, 2008


Easiest way forward is to do nothing for a year and make of a note ot what flowers when and whether you like it or not. Most gardens will be ok if ignored for this length of time. As said by Xela, photgraph every thing as it flowers with some indication of size of leaf and flower and no doubt someone will be able to help id etc.Close ups of either a very useful rather than general scenes.
Above all, have fun!

9 Mar, 2008


Hi Harli! I can almost guarantee you will come to love your new garden!

Ditto to everything Xela and Owdboggy say.

In your picture, the thing in the foreground is a rose - just cut those stems back to a nice strong fat bud about 1 foot from the ground and look forward to lovely home-grown roses in the summer. The thing in the background looks like Viburnum tinus, which needs absolutely nothing doing to it, ever. There, you see, gardening's easy isn't it!!!

9 Mar, 2008


Good morning, and thank you so much for the warm welcome and the information. There is a reason I have silk plants in my house, LOL and I just don't want to kill anything.
My biggest concern is the concord grapes. We moved in Oct. and huge clusters were hanging off the vines and the vines themselves are so pretty and twisted at the bottom. I looked up pruning and it said to find last years growth,count 4 nodes and cut. What is last years growth and how will I recognize it?
I think for the most part I will do as you suggest and leave it alone, at least until I find out what things are.
I had a stroke last year and can't do a lot, but I so love this yard.
I've never worked in a garden ever, first spider and I'm a gonner (Yes I know spiders are our friends). But my Mothers greatest moments in life were in her yard, and I picked up a few things. I will be posting more pictures as I can (just got home from the hospital yesterday) and I look forward to getting to know you. We really do have a lot more in this state than rain.

9 Mar, 2008


Hi Harli and welcome to GOY. Sorry to hear about your health problems and hope the beautiful photos on here help cheer you up. Sounds like you have an intriguing garden and no doubt it will be full of surprises for you as the year progresses. Please share it with us as that's half the fun on here!!
Working in a garden can be as difficult or simple as you want - from a gentle potter on a summer day deadheading or cutting a few blooms for indoors to double digging your whole plot! We all prefer the former but most will have done the latter too. You have a lovely mature plot with wonderful plants - apart from a bit of judicious pruning just enjoy it this year.

10 Mar, 2008


It's too late to prune your grape vine now so that's another good reason/excuse not to do it. It should be done after the leaves fall but before Christmas because if you cut it back any later, the sap will be rising and it will bleed to death. Not many plants react this badly, but vines and maples are two that do.
Most plants won't be killed by pruning at the wrong time; the worst you would do is lose one season's flowers.
There are two blogs on the site I wrote a few weeks ago that will tell you more about pruning.

10 Mar, 2008


Hi Harli, sorry to hear you've recently been in hospital, hope you are feeling better and getting stronger every day.
I have just started using GOY's calendar to keep a record of what needs to be done in the garden and when. The system is simple to use and highlights the reminders with colours showing whether it is a job that should be done now, is 'x' months overdue or due to be done at some time in the future. I am trying to manage two gardens and the calendar has been a great help. You may find it useful too.

10 Mar, 2008


Hi - welcome to GoY. Nice to meet you and sorry to hear that your health is not so good. You have already had some good advice, so let me just add - don't get disheartened by the amount of work you see in your new garden. Just look at it as 'eating the elephant' - you can't do it all at once, so do it in small bites! Maybe a few minutes weeding each day, especially if you see one with flowers on it - pull it out or use a trowel to get it out before it seeds! Walk round your garden and see what's happening each day. Get to know it and where the plants are, then for those you don't recognise, ask on the site (with a photo) and someone will tell you what it is and how to deal with it! Good luck!

11 Mar, 2008

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