The Iris Garden

In our front yard is a triangular shaped area that for now I'm calling the Iris Garden.  In a week or so after the irises finish blooming I'll have to change the name to something else but for now the Iris Garden works!  I actually began this garden area as a winter color garden but soon realized that winter color should be interspersed everywhere and shouldn't be all by itself.  So I redesigned the garden to be what it is now.  At different times of the year this garden provides different types of interest. The Trees On each point of the triangle design is a tree. The largest of which is a Yoshino cherry that provides some powerful spring color with its white a pinkish colored blooms.  Two small redbuds anchor the other points.  They were transplants from my in-laws property.  Redbuds are tricky to transplant but with some care…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Something is Wrong With My Front Garden Plan

My garden is made up of a series of island garden beds. Each one is "designed" (I say that very loosely) to create the pathways that appear in between the gardens. To me a pathway is what really makes garden. A good path let's you see everything there is to see, leads you down unexpected turns, and really enhances a garden. Plants are integral for a garden and structures are important too but you don't go anywhere without a pathway. But this post isn't really about pathways, it's about one garden bed in particular that I need help with. You see, there's just something wrong with it. Maybe it's the plantings, maybe it's the size and shape, or maybe it's something else entirely. In this bed I've brought lavender plants from my in-laws garden.  They were the result of the natural layering of several lavender plants. I also have several…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

The Front Sidewalk Garden in April

There are few things a gardener appreciates more than see the positive results of his hard work payoff. Over the years I've moved plants, added plants, trimmed plants, propagated plants in various areas and in some places I'm just now beginning to see the results. One such location is my front sidewalk garden. It's the garden between the house and the sidewalk and a narrow strip of garden that runs the length of the sidewalk. In the beginning - no we aren't talking the book of Genesis here - there was nothing, well nothing of appreciable value. Several Japanese hollies had just bit the dust in the freeze of 2007 and the only other thing to make it through was the Nandina. Negrita We quickly removed the hollies and tossed them. I found a deal on some densiformis yew. I know yew is rather common but you need some sort…

Continue Reading

Over the Weekend

The weather this past weekend was perfect for outdoor gardening activities! Unfortunately we are still a good six weeks away from safe outdoor planting and many of the tasks on my long term spring agenda need to wait until the frosts are done, but there is always something that can be done! Garden preparation! By far the biggest job my garden requires in mulching. It's essential. Mulch keeps the weeds at bay, keeps the water from evaporating from the soil too quickly, breaks down and feeds the soil, and looks pretty spiffy too! On Saturday I picked up two yards of mulch and began the cleanup and mulch process. Each ornamental garden bed was weeded, edged (I did that prior to this weekend), and mulched with a fresh layer of hardwood mulch. You can use stone mulch if you like but I always prefer the organic mulches that feed the…

Continue Reading

Mulching a New Garden

This weekend's weather was a sign that there really is a light at the end of this dark tunnel we call winter - and it's not another trains headlight! Spring is coming and the warm weather that we're having this week has me itching to get in the garden - which is exactly what I did over the weekend - without the itching part! I managed to accomplish many of the clean-up chores that I've been putting off for weeks due to the cold weather and I even mulched up a new garden area. The new garden is in our front yard and was mostly planted back in the fall. I moved transplants of coneflowers and Russian sage and also put in a few discount plant dwarf crape myrtles. I hope they made it through our winter - right now they look quite rough! We'll see how they do when…

Continue Reading

Front Porch Garden Remodel Part 4

Today I thought I would show you the before and after since yesterday I teased you on the details of the front porch garden remodel. It's current state is still classified in the unfinished category but it is well on its way to becoming a welcoming front porch garden. First let me show you the before pictures: The crabapple is front and center in the garden with the hollies along the porch. Two ragged Russian sages that need moved are standing on either side of the crabapple. The 'Powis Castle' artemisia is a bit overgrown but we kind of like it there so it might stay! Please ignore the weeds. I've kind of let this garden go since I was planning on re-doing it eventually! Here's the other side of the garden with the same plantings as above except for the crape myrtle on the left. Irises and daffodils will…

Continue Reading

Front Porch Garden Remodel Part 3

Today I started another segment of my Front Garden remodel. If you recall from my previous posts on this particular garden I wasn't pleased with the builder's special hollies and the crabapple I had there. The crabapple was free tree from Arbor Day that I planted in a completely wrong spot. I do that sometimes I get a plant going then just stick it in somewhere only to have to move it somewhere else later. My plant was to attempt to save the hollies and move them elsewhere in the yard. I also wanted to see if I could move the crabapple. Unfortunately the crabapple turned into an exercise in futility. I had so much trouble digging around the base of the tree due to the clay and gravel leftover from construction that I kept finding everywhere. I also kept running into daffodil bulbs that I didn't want to damage…

Continue Reading

Beginning the New Front Garden

I mentioned several weeks ago (a couple months ago) that I was wanting to remodel my front garden. I was mostly speaking of the area directly in front of the house but since then an additional idea popped up. There is a small area around a Bradford pear tree that I envisioned an elongated oval shaped bed. Eventually that ornamental pear tree will be removed (it's bound to split one of these days!) and I'll replace it with something else but a little farther away from its current location. Making this new garden bed will create a wide pathway between our front garden and the hillside in the front of our house. The pathway will direct the view toward the arbor and the self-sowing garden. It will also give me a place to move several of the plants that will be coming out of other areas. Here's another view of…

Continue Reading
Close Menu