Forest Gardening PART I

happy_jamma in Randle,

My husband & I have lived in the forest since 2006 and we are in the process of embellishing our property. My DRAGONFLY FOREST GARDEN will be a playfully lush place for dragonflies, fairies and grandchildren.
I will add photos as we make progress on a project that will probably take many, many years to complete.
Janet Drake

Firepit Flower Close-ups Forest Garden Fun for Kids Garden Hardscape Huge (Half Acre Plus ) Large (5,000 - 10,000 sq ft.) Other Yard Water-Wise

1 of 30: This 2009 photo of the garden shed shows the proximity of my forest garden to our home.

2 of 30: Thanksgiving 2008. On the deck of the Kids' Cabin is a launch for the ZIP LINE which my 5 year of grandson loves.

3 of 30: Our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter is fearless on the zip line... not to mention independent about pulling it back to the launch pad.

4 of 30: March 8, 2010. We just completed two short trails made of Fir rounds.

5 of 30: WHAT'S THIS? It's going to be a Cowboy Cabin! Instead of lumber for the support posts, Von cut down small trees then peeled off the bark.

6 of 30: March 8, 2010. William, our youngest grandson, likes to help his Grampa....

7 of 30: March 22, 2010. We're using Fir rounds as a border for the stone pad Von laid in the Fall of '09. The rounds were laid in cement to make them secure for little feet to walk upon.

8 of 30: April 24, 2010. The Cowboy Cabin is starting to take shape. We'll also put a campfire ring in this open spot in the forest.

9 of 30: June 1, 2010 Mother nature is finally gracing our forest with the Spring surprises. I've planted Columbines here and there in sunny spots.

10 of 30: All of the plants in this photo are native to our area but I had to buy some Vanilla Leaf (right corner) to get it started in Dragonfly Forest.

11 of 30: Orange Azalea blossoms along my forest trail make me feel joyous every time I walk by them. This plant is much happier since I moved it from the yard to the forest.

12 of 30: Another Azalea I transplanted from the yard is also VERY HAPPY.

13 of 30: I transplanted this wild False Solomon's Seal into Dragonfly Forest.

14 of 30: June 16, 2010 With the excessive Spring rain, my hubby has had lots of time for the inside finish work on the Cowboy Cabin.

15 of 30: July 26th. The Cowboy Cabin is finished! Now we just need to get our grandchildren here for a few nights of roughing-it.

16 of 30: Want building plans for this cheap garden chair? It's designed to be build out of an old pallet! Contact me and I'll e-mail the step-by-step directions!

17 of 30: An old porch swing that hasn't seen daylight in a few years is now looking for swingers in Dragonfly Forest. It proudly hangs from a new HUBBY-hewn log stand!

18 of 30: Pachysandra is NOT supposed to be on the deers' Favorite Foods List so I'm trying some in my forest garden.

19 of 30: August 15, 2010 No time to sit... but I truly enjoyed planting a new variety of bleeding hearts around the outside of the fir rounds.... BURNING HEARTS!

20 of 30: Our private road passes this s/w corner where I've planted a Clematis 'Rooguchi' to grow up the rustic obelisk that Von built.

21 of 30: September 7th and it's almost chow time at the Cowboy Cabin.

22 of 30: How sweet it is!!!

23 of 30: September 9th. This is my Birthday present from my sweet hubby, Von. It's a mini outhouse....

24 of 30: I'm going to have to make sure the grandchildren understand it's ONLY ORNAMENTAL. :)

25 of 30: Six year old Isabella spent 5 days alone with us in December. Despite bitterly cold weather we enjoyed the forest while she was with us.

26 of 30: This big winter puddle is perfectly located next to the Cowboy Cabin.

27 of 30: All the kids LOVE to feel the bear pelt.

28 of 30: Warming up by the wood stove.

29 of 30: It's COOKIE TIME and Flash wants his fair share.

30 of 30: It's these treasured moments that make ALL THE HARDEST WORK so worth it. -THE END

Comments / Questions

Pocahontas 4 years ago

Love what you have done! We also, albeit on a much smaller scale, are trying to create a woodlands wonderland for our grandkids. Once you cleared the underbrush did a lot of the native plants emerge or did you find you had to plant to fill in the bare spots?

Deb W 4 years ago

This is paradise! You have created a haven for your grandchildren and yourselves, you should be so proud. Stunning!

happy_jamma 4 years ago

Mattemma 4 years ago

I love the cowboy cabin! Where did you get the iron stuff for over the fire? Would love that for mine to cook. I only have one little corner of woods,but you have given me ideas once I get rid of the poison ivy.

marilyn schell 4 years ago

WOW, Love it all. So many great ideas, I can't wait for spring to try a few of them out. Thanks for sharing !

Fox Gardens ALASKA 4 years ago

Very nice work! Your garden has our vote for #1 out all we've seen this season! Thank you for sharing, please keep us posted with new pics. Most enjoyable walk.

Barbara Stanley 4 years ago

Your forest garden is amazing, and I know that all the little sprites (of fantasy and family!) absolutely love to play in this magical place. We also have our home in a clearing in a forest, some 25 acres in the southern Appalachians. I have fairies here in Faeryhollow, but alas...no little grandchildren. You're very fortunate and blessed. You've really inspired me to try to do more with my gardens in the forest as well as in the cleared areas.

Kristie Rogers 4 years ago

I so enjoyed these pictures. We just bought 25 acres in the mountains and have our own forest. I have a lot of plans to make park-like trails through out it and was so impressed and inspired by what you have done!

Mark Delepine 4 years ago

I like this a lot and am sure your grandkids and the local wildlife will like it every bit as much. Gardens which work with nature rather than totally subduing it are what I like best. I've been working on my garden for about 17 years and am not at all anxious to be finished. I can tell you enjoy designing each project as much as I do. It will be interesting to see how your plant choices change the site over time.
No garden can be wholly natural; with the first pathway it shows the hand

cusoli 4 years ago

You have a vote from me to keep you in the running!

Coastal Gardener 4 years ago

Thanks for your kind words, Janet, but I'm not the person who left the comment about dogs not peeing on my lawn. However, I do share your commitment to gardening in concert with Mother Nature and creating a place that attracts wildlife -- in our case, mostly birds and butterflies.
Coastal Gardenere

Larry L Mills 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. You have takin a wonderful yard and made it even more special by adding your creative touches.I think your granchildren will be telling there childern and grandchildern about your paradise you have created.

Lark 5 years ago

WONDERFUL pictures! I enjoyed my walk through your forest...you did a great job at naturalizing. Your husband did fantastic at building the little shed and the stonework. Your Grandkids will ALWAYS remember the special areas you created for the garden faries, critters and THEM. Are there any wildflowers? Two thumbs up from me!

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