We long-ago dubbed the northwest corner of our lot “Elk Corner” because it was always the preferred spot for the elk to enter our yard, even after my initial attempts to fence them out. We solved the hooved intruders problem a few years ago with our eight-foot high fence but that corner was never a very attractive area. The cranberry viburnum and osmanthus we planted there in spring of 2011 never thrived and the spot just looked kind of drab, especially after the an ice storm last winter kind of mutilated the Washington hawthorn.
So out came the hawthorn and osmanthus. We added another variety of cranberry viburnum, native snowberry and some small rhododendrons near the neighbor’s fence and some ferns and hosta under the old dogwood. We widened the gravel path and added a bench and bird bath. It’s really a pleasant little retreat now and should be really nice in the fall and spring as leaves, flowers and berries add seasonal color.