Judy's Place, Bellewood Garden

Judy Glattstein jglatt@ptd.net
Tue, 08 Apr 2003 10:48:01 PDT
We moved to New Jersey from Wilton Connecticut in September 1993. Located
close to the Delaware River, the property is almost 9 acres, wooded with
Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus borealis, and overshadowed Juniperus
virginiana that are dying out. The land slopes to the north/ northeast, with
an intermittent drainage channel more-or-less along the eastern property
line. The soil is clay laced with shale, everything from gravel to
one-woman, woman-and-man, to too big to budge. Weeds abound - everything
from Rosa multiflora and Japanese honeysuckle to Alliaria petiolata and
Japanese stilt grass. There are deer, woodchucks, voles - lots of voles,
white-footed deermice, and a few rabbits. There are also wild turkeys,
bluebirds, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, turkey vultures. One spring
there was even a bachelor black bear who hung around for a few weeks (seen
by neighbors, not me.)

Weather is widely variable. The winter of 93/94 was quite cold and snowy,
rather like the winter of 02/03. The previous winter of 01/02 wasn't - less
snow than the 5 inches we received yesterday, 7 March, and quite mild. Some
summers we have rain, others are dry. The summer of 2002 was record setting.
I would prefer that historical records remain history, rather than be
superseded. Since we have a well I do very little supplemental watering.
Hoses can only stretch so far. The well is over 500 feet deep I add, a fact
we know to be true for the well pump went out last summer and had to be
replaced. It took almost 2 hours to pull the pipe. On a weekend of course.

I knew, leaving the garden of my heart after 25 years in Connecticut, that
unless I did something PDQ spring would be disastrous. That fall I planted
8,000 bulbs - daffodils and scads of little 'uns - chionodoxa, galanthus,
scilla etc. I've kept it up, more or less, and there are now about 40,000
bulbs here at Bellewood. Bulbs need to be self-sufficient, deer-resistant,
and, preferably, capable of naturalizing. Fritillaria meleagris does quite
well, as do the camassia I moved from Connecticut and others that I've
added. Hyacinthoides hispanicus is welcome to strew itself around the
woodland - there is room enough for it to multiply. Leucojum vernum, moved
from Connecticut, is quite happy. Leucojum aestivum appears to be settling

Daffodils range from cyclamineus cultivars - 'Dove Wings' is perhaps my
favorite, to 1,400 poeticus - everything from 'Old Pheasant Eye' to
'Felindre' and 'Cantabile'. 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' is nodding under
snow today, as is 'Dutch Master' (aka 'King Alfred'.) There's a tiny little
thing, perhaps 'Mustard Seed'? that I moved from Connecticut.

This message is already long enough. Perhaps when we get closer to summer
I'll add some more. But you could always visit my web site,
http://www.bellewood-gardens.com/ for an (admittedly irregular) update.

Judy Glattstein in the Garden State

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