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Gardening, fishing, birding, jazz, sailing. Live but a mile from the ocean in a tall oak stand in Monmouth County NJ. Now here 12 years, I've converted most of what stands for a typical suburban landscape (cursory foundation plantings and 95% lawn) into something a bit different (and to hell with the neighbors continuation of that mindset). The canvas of 16 oaks in the 60-80' class anchoring a property is something that every homeowner should have. I'm blessed in this regard.

Out went most of the grass on my 1/2 acre. Native azaleas/rhodies have become an even greater passion for me with this property as it's far easier to allow the oak leaves to carpet my gardens and thus allow for the many native that I now grow to prosper. I have well over a 120 different rhodies/azaleas as I write. What's not to love with the myriad of colors and the fabulous fragrances produced by our "own American azaleas". The property abounds with woodland perrenials (trilliums, columbine, sweet woodruff, ferns, mayapple, cimicifuga, solomon's seal etc), spring ephemerals, rhodies/azaleas, mountain laurel (10 different cultivars), viburnums, itea, magnolias, clethra and ornamental trees on the property.

Spring here is spectacular. Migrant warblers, orioles, tanagers, vireo, flycatchers and thrushes use the gardens to feed & rest amongst flowering redbud and dogwood trees, and dozens upon dozens of flowering rhododendrons at any given time; I've had days in May when I've had upwards of 18 species of warblers using the property, feeding (on insect hatches), bathing, resting.

I live in: United States

My zone is: 7/Northshore NJ

My favorite forum 1 is Azalea & Rhododendron.

My favorite forum 2 is Native Plants.

First registered on April 25, 2005 .