Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Garden Tour Part One: front yard

Isn't the above garden dreamy? I love this type of garden. Now, formal gardens are beautiful. But I really love a garden that makes me feel like curling up with a book on a comfy chair, or one my kids can run barefoot through chasing butterflies. I am on my way to creating this sort of look at my cottage, and I would love to share!

With half of the flower beds mulched... I thought now would be a nice time to do a Garden Tour. Things are not that pretty right now, but give me a few weeks and things will be bumpin' !! I thought it would be nice to show how gardens start sparse and then fill in. This is why gardeners are always watching things closely and making edits when necessary. Not just pruning, but moving things around and shaking things up.

I will try to sit down tonight and create a garden map, so you can get an overall idea of the layout. I think that will help you get oriented better.

So, for now, let's start with something easy to figure out... I have a long bed that goes all the way across the front of the house.

When we bought the house, there were a few scraggly junipers planted along the front. Now, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings who love juniper. But I am not a fan. I think they smell like cat pee. Literally. Like you are walking along and think, oh, what is that smell? It smells like cat pee! And you look down, and sure enough, there is a juniper. So, out when the juniper. Below shows the juniper, and the slate sidewalk before I put in the lavender:

I did the front of the house in 3 vignettes. I marked the beds in swooping curves since straight lines don't happen in nature. Steven got to work, tilling and putting in the edging:

Now, eventually this edging will be replaced with stones. Anyway, the 3 swoops make up 3 vignettes. No, it's not your eyes... we put the mulch down at different times, so some have faded a bit. Mulch stays pretty and bright for a week. I don't care what the bag says.

Now I will show you a picture and give the description below so you can follow along!

Across the front of the house, as if you are standing on our slate sidewalk you get the view above.

This bed is on the leftside of the house (in front of the porch on the corner of the house). There are 3 Sarah Bernhardt pink peonies in the back row, just starting to send up their red shoots, like little missiles. The bigger mounds in the middle are purple catmint. Catmint is a favorite of mine... and I soon found all the cats in the neighborhood love it as well. Around the front arc are pink purple salvia. The metal structure you see is one we welded ourselves. On the left side, up grows sweet-smelling honeysuckle. On the right, wildly fast growing (yet to bloom yet) wisteria in a tree and a vine form.

In the middle vignette is another of my very favorites. Front and center here is a Nikko Blue hydrangea. It is flanked by pink potentilla, a.k.a. buttercup shrub. The potentilla are, in turn, flanked by pink petite bee balm.

And the righthand vignette. Far left, tree peony. On the trellis, pink dawn climbing rose. Next, pink flowering almond. Far right, lilac. Across the front are pink and purple veronica.

Soon, this scruffy little garden will fill in and look great. I actually overplanted it slightly so that it wouldn't look so sparse the first couple years. I may edit and thin out as the seasons go on.

Stay tuned for the next installment - the garden beside the front porch stairs. Later will be the rose garden, the sitting bench garden, and the washbasin garden. The garden surrounding our new tree (replacing the dead plum) will be a bit later as it will take significant plantings to repair the damage.


carla said...

ohhh! pretty!!!!

Cote de Texas said...

it really IS a stone cottage! so charming - anything will look great planted there!!! how lucky you are.

Livinia Redlips said...

This looks great & your house is gorgeous (I just found your blog via Anna)!