Sunday, December 10, 2017

Plant Journal: Planted in 2017

When I bought my land (two years ago) I had made a goal to keep some sort of detailed journal of the things I plant at The Shack. Here we are, snow on the ground, and I've only documented one planting - my fig.  

I know that it is important to document what you planted and when. For many reasons. My primary reason for tracking my plants (both planted and wish-list plants) is because there are certain plants I love but then cannot recall the variety name. It is very difficult to find a specific variety if you cannot recall the exact name.

2017 is coming to an end. In this post I am going to document at least a bit about each plant I can recall having planted this year. This will likely be a "living document" and change as I find the photos and plant tags that I have scattered hither and yon. I hope to make more detailed individual posts about each plant later.

I did learn a lesson in 2017 - Protect EVERYTHING from the deer. Or try too. They are voracious eaters. They clearly view my yard as a dessert buffet. And what they didn't eat, the bucks are now using as rubs - peeling the bark from my trees. Except for the Pawpaws. Thus far, they continue to leave the Pawpaws alone. Thank goodness for that.

2017 Plantings at The Shack

Dwarf Alberta Spruce - Technically, I planted this in 2016. December 30, 2016 to be exact. This miniature evergreen had been my Christmas tree at the apartment in Baltimore. It survived the holidays and the trip up to The Shack.  I planted it in my "yard" with the plan that when I remodel/rebuild The Shack, this little tree can be my outdoor Christmas tree in the years to come.

Pawpaws - Sunflower

I purchased two Sunflower Pawpaw trees from Sun Nurseries. I bought the smallest plants I could and they lived on my apartment balcony before being moved up to the land.  The moving of them was rough on them - due to my clumsiness in moving such "large" plants in the small Jeep.  However, they are planted, the deer do, in fact, leave them alone, and they have not died where planted.

Pawpaws - Seedlings - Mango and Sunflower

I'm a little bit afraid to mention the seedlings. They are still very young and vulnerable to my non-green thumb. I had been trying to start my own Pawpaws from seed and after several attempts it seemed to be a hopeless adventure. Then suddenly this summer, in the very HOT part of the summer, I noticed that one of the seeds had started to sprout. (Honestly, I noticed when I was dumping the soil from the container back into my big soil bucket. I had given up again!).  Two Mango and one Sunflower pawpaw starts are here in the apartment - hopefully to be planted at The Shack next year.

Persimmon - Nikita's Gift

I planted the persimmon tree from Sun Nurseries the same day I planted the Pawpaws. It's branches were smaller so the actual trip in the Jeep was less traumatic for it. However, the deer stripped it of leaves the first night I planted it. Also, I didn't get this poor little tree into the ground straight. It has a significant lean. And then this fall, the bucks have clearly been using it for a rub. Poor thing. 

Mystery Japanese Maple

I have a thing about a Japanese Maple. Not all of them. Not even most of them. Just a particular Japanese Maple. I want the one that is in a friend's parent's yard. It is BEAUTIFUL and transitions from greens, to a rainbow of oranges and yellows, to a deep red through the year. I want that one. I have been searching for years to find the name of this particular tree. Do you have any idea how many different Japanese Maple trees there are? TOO MANY! And I forgot to mention that their particular tree doesn't seem to make/drop many (if any) helicopter seeds.

Finally, this year, (at a Wal-Mart of all places) I found a Japanese Maple that is very similar.  I planted it on the land and it seemed to be doing very well. However, the bucks have rubbed it.  

And guess what? I can't find what I did with the tag, so at this moment, I cannot tell you what type of Japanese maple this is. Hopefully, the tag is at The Shack in the pile of plant tags I have there.

Fig - Olympian

I planted a fig plant based on friends who love figs and who told me that I will love figs.  I planted it in the "flower garden" near the lilac and the rose. I did manage to journal about the fig already so I won't talk much about it here.  I will say that the deer have left it alone so far. 


The kind people who know I stalk their Japanese Maple have given me a crooked Seuss-like Holly seedling from their yard. I love it! I have planted it just inside the edge of my woods. Hoping it will someday attract birds that I can watch from my deck.

2015 - 2016 Plantings at The Shack

My very first attempts to plant things at The Shack began with an attempt to start a rustic "flower bed" of sorts. I chose a lilac and a rose to reflect two of my childhood favorites. I immediately learned that gardening at The Shack begins with a pick ax and hard work. But I successfully planted these two plants. And miraculously, they have survived.

rustic flower garden 2016 - lilac on the left and rose on the right


I chose a purple lilac from Sun Nurseries. Lilacs were part of my earliest memories. I caged it as soon as I caged the rose. So far, the Lilac is doing great.

Rose - Granny Grimmetts

Years ago I lived in a home that had an unruly but amazing rose bush in the side yard. The scent was so strong and wonderful that I looked forward to the blooms each year. I had no idea what type of rose that was. As soon as I bought my land, I began looking for that type of rose to plant in my yard. 

It has been impossible to find that particular rose. But I did find a wonderful place to purchase roses. The Antique Rose Emporium provided some patient answers to my questions about that elusive rose from my past. And I ordered this Granny Grimmetts rose from them.

As soon as I planted the rose, without protection, the deer stripped it immediately. I put a cage around it, and insects stripped the new leaves that grew. I was certain that rose had died. But it came up the next year. And it came up this year. I am hoping to find a way to nurture a rose or two on my land.

Assorted bulbs, perennials, and annuals 

I have planted assorted spring bulbs, perennial flowers, and annuals in my "flower bed". None - with the exception of annual marigolds - seem to have fared well. Likely, most of them have become snacks for the deer and squirrels.

This lovely marigold did great in that spot. The marigold showed no sign of pests, diseases, or deer damage.


  1. That is a good idea to record when and what you plant. I have a deer problem as well so I feel you on that one.

  2. I always try to keep track of what I plant and how it does. But like you, I often let it go for a long time and then have to rush to catch up!

  3. I've got a 'black thumb' and don't do well with plants. All attempts have gone to the great beyond except one - a Peace Lily - which 'somehow' I have kept alive for over 10 years, despite moving it across country 3 times and ignoring it for the most part. It bloomed when I received it as a gift and then not again until this year. Have no idea why... LOL. So, anyway, I admire your success with plants even with the deer for competition. Best of luck with these and future plantings.

  4. Over the last two years, I have read about your different gardening ventures but had not realized just how many different trees and bushes you had planted until you listed them all here. How very cool! I know you have worked really hard and I am thrilled that you have several success stories to share. I find it interesting that the deer don't bother the pawpaw and fig trees.