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Munchkin Place Gardens Origin
The garden began literally by accident in 1984. I was riding a lawn tractor, attempting to mow on a steep hillside, when the tractor began sliding sideways.
An old cedar stump stopped the tractor from continuing over the cliff edge, preventing serious injury. Mountain goats refused to go up there to nibble grass without a parachute, so I decided to plant the area in trees and shrubs.
I then made the mistake of requesting gardening catalogs so I could purchase a few shrubs. The rest is history, as they say. My addiction to garden catalogs and gardening only grows stronger with each passing year.
My first attempt at garden design was creating an English cottage garden. Plants were ordered by looks only with no knowledge of their needs.
Uvularia and Mertensia
I killed more plants than survived through my initial ignorance. Those disappointments led me to read gardening books while looking around to see what grew naturally in my area.
An interest in native species growing in nearby woods became a passion. Once I reached the point where more plants were surviving than dying I looked around for related species from other parts of the world.
The garden is a reflection of my tastes and sense of design along with the desire to collect. Jack-in-the-Pulpit now has companions from China, Japan, Asia, and the Himalayan Mountains. Trilliums accompany the spring blooms of Virginia bluebells and their relatives.
Species iris have a special place along with the continuing collection of Polygonatum. Hellebore is finding its way throughout the winter garden. Gentians and toad lilies are filling the fall garden.
The desire for something different or unusual continues to fill and enlarge the garden each year. When I pass away I want remains to be placed upright in the garden so everyone can remark about the unusual "Bush" beside the garden gate.