This is the first year in a long time that I feel my garden looks the way it should. Of course, I had to take an early retirement to get it this way :) (Just kidding - I had planned on retiring last fall)
Anyone who works full time and has an active social schedule knows that keeping up with a big garden is an almost impossible job. But this spring I was able to clean up areas that have been neglected for years. Then I edged, planted and mulched and now I have a garden I can once again be proud of.
Please come along as we take a tour.
The path to the front door is lined with a courtyard garden on one side. The other side is a narrow bed beside the garage - it contains an Oakleaf hydrangea, a climbing hydrangea and an 'Anthony Waterer" spirea as well as epimedium and bergenia.
The Courtyard garden (as I call it) was once an oval of under-performing grass, which was a nuisance to mow as well as being nothing special. Several years ago I decided to call in a landscaper to remove the sod and to add a circle of flagstones. I placed an urn in the centre and added daylilies, Lady's Mantle and Hostas all around. This is Year 4 and the plants have filled out and become lush. I always add annuals for full 3 season colour.
The view from the front door towards the street.
The Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is about 2' high this year.
Here's looking at the courtyard from the driveway
The story of this area was the focus of an earlier post about renovating the front. Basically periwinkle had claimed the area and I got help digging it out and added some shrubs, grasses and annuals for colour.
Here's looking at the other side of the driveway's garden, which contains a saucer magnolia, a linden tree, 3 Alberta spruce and a lot of junipers (plus annuals, perennials and grasses).
We continue along the side of the house where I have a huge Jackmanii clematis
Close-up of the clematis
…which brings us into the backyard. I usually do 12-15 deck containers featuring annuals and herbs as well as 2 hanging baskets.
Here's the first view of the backyard as we come in through the gate
I created a small pocket of plantings that now have expanded to make a quiet but very crowded bed
Here's a better view: junipers, blue Hosta, geranium sanguineum, Japanese painted fern and ghost fern, phlox, euonymus, 'New Dawn" and 'Blaze' climbing roses as well as annuals
When I bought this statue of a little girl feeding birds, the shop said her name was "Elaine" so I have always called this the Elaine bed. It is long but a bit curved and runs alongside the neighbour's fence.
I have a number of hostas in here as well as Anise hyssop, bergenia, Labrador violets, feverfew, Brunnera 'Jack Frost', Euonymus, (the dreaded) goutweed, bleeding hearts, clematis, Miscanthus, scabiosa, Sweet William, ornamental kale, pussywillows and a few black currant bushes that were dug up and brought from my parents-in-law's garden 28 years ago. Out of the original 4, two still survive.
Carrying on past Elaine we have my only hellebore, hostas, ostrich ferns, balloon flowers and phlox
Looking across to the other side of the yard is my bench, stone and boulder area. This is watched over by Blair Rabbit (not Brer Rabbit because I bought him in the town of Blair). You can see daylilies, lavender, annuals and the trunk of another Linden tree
On the other side of the bench I have a daylily, nepeta, junipers, sedum 'Autumn Joy' and 3 weigela bushes.
At the entrance to the pathway, please note the daylilies, lavender, boxwood, hosta and annuals
Rounding the curve before the arbor, you can see Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' and the buds of the Fairy Rose
The Fairy and Artemesia Silver king
Friends gave me the statue of a little girl reading (perfect for a retired librarian). She is surrounded by nepeta, Shasta daisies, variegated sedum, a quince bush and Euphorbia martinii 'Ascot Rainbow'
The clematis is just starting to bloom over the arbor. Also there's Lady's mantle, daylilies and yellow loosestrife
The Korean Lilac is finished but was very full and fragrant a few weeks ago
Just past the Korean lilac, I have numerous red-twig dogwood bushes, Explorer roses and Rugosa roses. Here you can see 2 clumps of Feather Reed grass 'Karl Foerster', Ajuga 'Black Scallops' and some annuals.
Now let's head to the "back forty"……..
Under a Sunburst Honey locust tree I have climbing roses, Siberian Iris, Creeping Jenny, daylilies and annuals.
This year, marigolds brighten the back corner
The 2 raised beds have tomatoes, basil, chives and marigolds. All of these are considered "Companion plantings", i.e, the tomatoes will benefit from having them grow close by.
My Dad grew tomatoes from seed for many family members
This is the bed at the back of the yard under the 25 year old Pin Oak. I have a blue Colorado Spruce, Viburnum plicatum 'Popcorn', 2 Golden elders, iris, Solomon's seal, a hydrangea, some small spirea and mugho pines
I placed a nice shiny pot on the bench under the tree this year and filled it with an apricot rex begonia and coleus
Love this colour!
On an old wooden obelisk I have red climbing roses and pink ones
I think these red ones are 'Blaze'
Now we're headed back towards the house
This bed contains a weeping Norway Spruce, a lilac bush, a huge shrub rose, an even bigger spruce tree, a Rose of Sharon, pussywillows, achillea 'Coronation Gold', Maltese cross, hostas, and annuals
My stone goldfish "swims" here as well...
And we're back to the deck and the back of the house.
There you have it!!