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by moondance on February 13, 2004 05:24 PM
hi ya'll. After 23 years in the Navy I finally got our own home here in Southern Maryland. 4 acreas and it is mostly clay. We have woods on 2 acres which I love. Our home is sitting on top of a hill. To tell you the truth I am preety overwhelmed with this-just where to begin? I do have some established flower beds, have started a composte pile etc. Any ideas on a ground cover for the hill that gets direct sunlight. Can trumpet vines grow in semi-shade? So many questions but this will get me started. Thanks [flower]
by Jiffymouse on February 13, 2004 05:47 PM
[wayey] welcome moondance. glad to have you. 23 years huh? that is a big adjustment for you to make. good thing you have a place to keep you busy!!

I am going to move this to the landscaping section. you'll get better answers there. enjoy your time here and come back often!
by plants 'n pots on February 13, 2004 06:21 PM
[wayey] WELCOME MOONDANCE (love that name!) [wayey]

I have been growing 2 trumpet vines over my shed for about 9 years now. They get full morning sun and then are shadowed over by the enormous trees that have been here since before time.
Have you grown these vines before?
It can take (and did for me!!!) at least FIVE years before you see a single flower. I didn't know this when I planted them, and was about to rip them out, being totally frustrated, when I noticed the very first bloom on them - and it was on my daughter's birthday! What a great present for me!!!
They have been blooming each summer since.
I have a red and yellow vine, and the hummers love them!

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by loz on February 13, 2004 10:12 PM
Moondance, just wanted to say welcome....another Marylander!!!! I'm in Western MD myself.....Keep checking in for responses.....Welcome!!!
by Newt on February 13, 2004 11:23 PM
Hi Moondance,
Or should I say 'howdy neighbor'? I live in Howard County, between Baltimore and D.C. Congratulations on your new home! My son in law is in the Navy as well and will be retiring in 2 years. Congratulations on that as well.

My first advice would be not to do much of anything but observe and try and id what you already have growing. There are many books in the library that have encyclopedias in the back of them with good pictures. If you don't get enough info from there, you can research plants at by putting the name in quotes. Best to use the botanical or Latin name as there are often several plants with the same common name.

You should contact your local extension service. They have a website.

For groundcovers for your hill try

I have lots more info that is too long for here. Feel free to send me a private message and I will send you more info.


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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
by Barb H. on February 14, 2004 05:14 AM

Good point....suggesting Moondance observe first. I totally agree with you. I know Moondance won't want to hear it....being so gungho to garden! Well, we just moved to a new home and it took all last spring and summer to see how much sun we got where and when, see what comes up in the spring...we had peonies, daffodils, lily of the valley, daylillies....lots of flowers we didn't expect when we moved in.

Anyway, Moondance....whatever you do start small..tidying up the property, seeing what has already been growing. There may be some perrenials that you may want to move, hostas to divide, etc. That can be a very cost effective way to garden your first season.

I wasted money buying stuff to plant inappropriately because I didn't do my homework. I was just so anxious to make the property my own that I tried planting everything, everwhere, and wasn't crazy with the result. Still, I learned and I guess that is the most important thing!!!

Maybe you can stick with annuals this year to have the fun of gardening and trying new things and figure out where you want what permanently.

Have LOTS of fun!

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by weezie13 on February 14, 2004 07:04 AM
Barb; [thumb] [thumb] [thumb] [thumb]
Good advise!!!

Garden in pots the first year, and get used to your "land legs and diggin' in the dirt"!!!!!!!

Barb gave you some good advice on checking your land, and where the wet spots are, and sunshine shines the most and least, where the wind blows the hardest or the salt from the salt trucks gets thrown!!!! [Wink]

Satisfy your urge to plant in some pots and containers, Try these, they sound like fun,Rue's hypertufa troughs
Gives you something to do creatively, and garden at the same time.... Pots are a wonderful way to garden, when you're not sure in the very begining, of what you like, or your tastes or skill in gardening.... and they're all moveable!
And that's how you figure out how well your plants work in hot, sunny, shade, dry, etc......

Please, spend a little time reading up a storm here, read all the ole threads, Oh my goodness, it'll take a while to get through, but hey, you
have time until spring...Read up on a few day to day, and you'll gain alot of knowledge.........
Do FORUM SEARCHES & GARDEN SEARCHES for specific items maybe that you're interested in...........

Bill has alooooooooooooooooooot of info compiled in his Garden Helper's site here.... Lot's of good reading and advise....

Don't forget to come back with as many questions as it takes for you to feel comfortable enough to start answering some questions on your own......

Reading about gardening is a powerful tool in it's self..
Hands on is also important too, it's a good lesson learner, some will be hard lessons, like loosing a plant or two, but, that's how we all
learn and try NOT to do it again!!!

Happy Gardening!
And welcome home!!!

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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by hisgal2 on February 17, 2004 04:39 AM
Creeping Thyme is nice. I like it. There are other types of thyme that work as a ground cover. We have periwinkle in the front on a steep hill that goes down to the street. It looks nice when its not in bloom as well as when flowers are on it. Be careful with ivy. If it gets too close to a house or wall, it can do alot of damage! It can also be REALLY hard to get rid of.

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