Around Our Garden Landscape

This weekend after all the garden related chores were done for the day, and just before sunset came, I took a few photographs of how our gardens look this April.  I still have mulching, pruning, weeding, and many other things to do but I thought it would be a good time to share some of our garden with you.  These pictures are mostly of the backyard but there is one of our sideyard garden where the arbor is.  The first picture is a wide shot of the backyard.  The lawn in the middle is framed by the vegetable garden to the right and the birdbath garden to the left. One of these days I'll repair the birdbath and get it back out there!  This year has been extremely busy and I've put off some projects in favor of others.  The birdbath is one of the "do later" chores.  You can…

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Corner Shade Garden: I’ve Got Things To Do

It's been a while since I posted about the corner shade garden.  Last year it really wasn't anything to write about, it was a mess.  I neglected it due to other issues and now comes the time when I need to get it back into shape.  A year of neglect in the garden can mean a lot of work later for repairing the damage.  Weeds grow, produce seed, spread the seed, and grow three times faster when you're not looking!  So in today's post I'm going to make a list of things I need to do to get this garden back into shape.  With Easter weekend coming up I doubt I'll have time to get it all done just yet but perhaps next week I can get this garden ready for showing off. Here's the corner shade garden in its current state.  Weeds are all over.  Some grass type weeds,…

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Shooting Around the Garden

Yes deer season is in full swing, but that's not what I'm shooting!  The other day I ventured around the garden just to see what was growing (and what wasn't), what was blooming (and what wasn't), and what I needed to get done (or put off/procrastinate). In the latter category there is a mountain of things I could do but weather conditions and time will no doubt force me to put off today what can be done tomorrow. You've never had that happen to you have you? ;) Still there were some things to look at and some things to file away in anticipation of spring. First let's start off with something blooming like this 'Winter Snowman' Camellia.  Two of these are book ending the front foundation garden.  It is only in its second year in the garden and is blooming nicely! We'll hop around the corner to the corner…

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Corner Shade Garden Then (2008) and Now (2011)

Three years ago I redid a corner spot along our house and turned it into a shade garden. Two plants were present when I started to install the shade garden: a privet (ligustrum) and a cedar tree. I removed the privet mostly because I didn't like it and removed the cedar due to a bagworm infestation I had early last spring. I replaced the privet with an oak leaf hydrangea and plants a 'Constellation' dogwood tree near where the cedar tree was. The dogwood isn't an evergreen tree and isn't as selectable to bagworms. Let's take a look back. In 2008: Here is what the Corner Shade Garden looked like three years ago. The hostas and heucheras were very young, coleus was planted in a few locations (a great annual to add a little color to a shady area), and the oak leaf hydrangea was small, very small.  I tend…

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The Scene Around the Arbor

A couple years ago I was fortunate to participate in the Better Homes and Gardens 48 Hour Blog Challenge. Three other blogs and myself competed with projects subject to online voting to see who would win. The winner took home $5000, unfortunately it wasn't me but the whole project was fun anyway - and it paid for the arbor! My project was the front garden arbor and I've really enjoyed how it helps to anchor the gardens nearby. Three gardens come together at this point (Self Sowing Garden, Corner Shade Garden, and Front Porch Garden) and the arbor ties them together. On the left side of the arbor is the self sowing garden. The gas line is underneath it somewhere and I wanted a planting area that if for some reason the gas line needed to be dug up I wouldn't worry too much about. Poppies will be blooming in…

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Walking Around the January Garden

I'm sure you can understand why the January garden doesn't get much picture time here. It's not because it doesn't look great - even though it doesn't - it's because it's pretty darn cold! This winter has been one of the coldest we've had in a long time here in Tennessee and I like it much warmer. I remarked this morning to my wife that it feels like we've already been through the winter and now it's time for spring to start. Unfortunately it ain't so as winter has only just begun! One thing is for sure - if a seed needs cold stratification this winter it's going to have good germination when spring comes! Yesterday I took a walk around the winter garden and took a few pictures.The self-sowing garden is a mass of dead foliage, seed stalks, and left overs from the 2010 garden. I'll cut things back…

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A Trip Through the Sideyard Garden

One of the lesser shown areas of my yard this year has been the sideyard and corner shade garden. In the past I've featured it quite a bit but to be honest I've been disappointed with it this year. After I removed a cedar tree in the spring the morning sun began to cook the hostas in the garden. They weren't too happy. When you add up the flooding rains in May and the extremely dry and hot summer you can understand why the garden might look considerably less than perfection. I replaced the cedar tree with a dogwood which in time will look great but until its foliage fills out the shade garden will just have to tolerate a little extra sun. Recently I expanded both sides of the sideyard gardens. I didn't do much more than move the border stones but it had an immediate effect. The pathway…

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The Corner Shade Garden

One of my favorite little garden spots is the shade garden. It's nestled into a little corner created by the layout of our house. When I began gardening here I knew I wanted a shade garden somewhere but our options were extremely limited. Most of the yard was full sun back then, but that's changing. It's a slow process, adding trees and waiting for them to grow, so until I could cultivate some really good shade spots the corner shade garden was the best option. It gets morning sun and afternoon shade which is just right for most shade loving plants. Plants in the Corner Shade GardenOak Leaf Hydrangea Hosta 'Ginkgo Craig' Hosta 'Patriot' Hosta 'Unkown' - I have at least 3 varieties of Hosta 'Unkown'! Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls' Heuchera 'Palace Purple' Heuchera 'Midnight Rose' Heuchera 'Fireworks' Heuchera 'Mocha' Heucherella 'Stoplight' Hydrangea 'Lady in Red' Astilbe Japanese Painted Fern The central focal point of this garden is the oak leaf hydrangea.…

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Two Shade Garden Plant Combinations I Like

Here is a post I meant to publish over a month ago and it just got lost in the abundance of things to talk about this growing season! I have added a couple updated pictures.In our corner shade garden we have hostas, heucheras, an oak leaf hydrangea, coleus, and astilbe. It's fun to play around and see what plants look good together. I don't have much shade to play with and so this garden gets filled to the brim which can create some neat variations on the shade theme.The first combination here is the white flowering astilbe in front of a 'Mocha' Heuchera. 'Mocha' has some really dark foliage which would also look great next to some lime green heucherellas or hostas. The other combination I'm pleased with in the shade garden uses only heucheras. Earlier in the spring I wrote about wanting to add 'Silver Scrolls' heuchera to the…

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The Corner Shade Garden Through Time

The evolution of a garden is an interesting thing to look back at from time to time. For this month's Gardening Gone Wild Garden Design Workshop: Made in the Shade I thought I would take a look back at where my corner shade garden was and where it is now. Here it is last year before most of the work was done to it.  I removed the large ugly frost damaged bush from the back corner which left the corner bare.  Then I spent some time weeding the strawberry plants throughout the year. Those things are still coming back. In the garden went heucheras and hostas.  Eventually I added an oak leaf hydrangea. The plants gradually grew, as plants are known to do, and I added a natural stone pathway through the garden for the gas meter reader person. I thought that for the meter reader's convenience and the safety of…

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