We have just under 7 acres at the Rectory and it is daunting. Not to worry, the majority of it is woodland areas and fields of wild grass that get bush hogged ( [boosh-hawag, -hog] noun – device, pulled behind a tractor, having one or more blades spinning parallel to the ground and attached radially to a central axis, used for cutting vegetation and clearing land.) twice a year. However…we still have about 2 acres of proper lawn that needs to be maintained. Through multiple discussions with Travis over the Spring and Summer we came to the decision that in the long run a beautiful and healthy lawn would be the most economic choice, some investment up front, but ultimately easier and less expensive to keep up.

Front Lawn

Partial front and side yard lawn in the distance.

Not trying to give you a panic attack but these two photos equate to about 1/4th of the total lawn area to be maintained. Ha! (slightly hysterical out burst) As mentioned in earlier posts on this subject on our FACEBOOK page, the woman who owned the home for the last 25 some odd years was a passionate gardener and we have made a few decisions that have not gone over so well with some members of “the community”. Any resemblance to the title of an M. Night Shyamalan movie intended. These folks who whisper however are all people we have actually never met. Our friends know we have nothing but the best of intentions and that we are doing a maximum of research in order to preserve this landscape in the best way possible. Woah. I got so serious there for a moment. That brings me to our amazing tress. Yes, to benefit the greater good some (7 of over 150) have needed to be removed, but 5 of those were dead or dying. At any rate, a couple need to be replaced and we also have one area that we want to provide a natural screen for so I finally made a visit to Springtime Garden Center in Front Royal. They came highly recommended (by literally every one we know) and I was not disappointed. The owner spent an hour and half giving me the gardening master class and 1/3 of that time was after they had closed. I wouldn’t expect this level of service from a nursery where I was paying three times as much and from what I could tell at most other garden centers you can expect to pay three times as much. I think that is what happens when you buy anything from someone who is truly passionate about what they are selling…you get value.

These are the recommendations – Dramatic, fast to moderate growers, dear tolerant, and made to last:

Black Gum - Wildfire

Norway Spruce

Just a few of our trees (that we didn’t remove) that are starting to show off for the Fall:

American Dogwood


Beech and Japanese Maple

Cercis Canadensis Forest Pansy