Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Big Picture

From the patio door in our family room

It's been awhile since I've posted long views of the garden - hope you enjoy the big picture as much as we do!

From the guest bedroom

From the far east side of our yard

East side of the patio border

From the middle of the lawn

Angel's trumpet and assorted pots outside the back door as seen from upstairs.

View from the guest bathroom

West side of the patio border

Our garden is eight years old now. At times it seemed like we'd never get here. The first three years, most of what I planted was dug up by squirrels, eaten by rabbits, or died for reasons unknown. It was discouraging at times when I first came here, planting this gracefully-curved, beautifully-shaded large bed that was mostly empty except for a few struggling hostas, a small group of struggling pink pumila astilbes now long-gone, a thick layer of pine nugget mulch, and a tangle of silver maple, serviceberry, and arborvitae roots.

Although at times I felt like giving up, perseverance stubbornness won out. Through trial and error we've found native and cultivated plants that thrive here. We're fortunate having beautiful, loamy black soil that has been enhanced even further with the addition of lots of organic matter from leaf mold, home-grown compost, and occasionally, some store-bought mushroom compost added to planting holes. Already an experienced gardener when I came here, and even realizing no matter how much I knew there was always more to learn, this garden has taught me more than I ever wanted to know, and for that I'm very grateful.


  1. How lovely, my beautiful Garden Girl. And to think, it all started with a baby girl playing in the dirt and pouring it in her hair! Blessings on you and your own corner of the world.

  2. You should be very proud! It's important to step back and take the long view sometimes, and your garden is beautiful!

  3. Hi Linda,

    What lovely views you have, so lush and peaceful. I wish I had some of this shade for my back garden, faces west and no large trees. Many of the large elms that lined our streets are gone because of the Dutch Elm Disease.


  4. Thank you Mom! In spite of the heat, this has been the best season yet for the garden. Yep, I never have outgrown playing in the dirt (but now I mostly leave the clothes on! ;)

    Thank you Rose. Yep, it's really easy to get caught up in what's wrong or what we want to change. Taking a step back helps us appreciate the way things are.

    Thank Eileen. This summer especially, I'm very grateful for the shade!

  5. I love your graceful beds, especially I appreciate the effort it took to line them with the stone edging! That's a long hard day! I had the variegated angel's trumpet in Memphis, but they didn't survive the move to Illinois...Such a gorgeous plant!

  6. Your garden is beautifully peaceful and serene. I love the privacy all the way around the yard and the expanse of grass. I am trying to do that in our yard. It's good to know it's a process. My neighbors will be glad when it's done. :-)

  7. Anonymous7:15 PM

    You've put alot of love and hard work into your garden, it's very beautiful! :)

  8. Look real nice and lush, Linda. I really like the way you use smallish pots around plants. So much so that I potted some plants in small pots after seeing your post to tuck among my containers. :0)

  9. Thank you Sissy. My dear Lawn Man had landscapers install the edging shortly after I moved here. It really helps keep the mulch in the beds (and off the lawn, which is his baby.) It helps keep the lawn out of the garden too! ;)

    Sorry about your angel's trumpet. I lusted after them for a long time - so happy to have this one now. And the blooms are intoxicating!

    Welcome, and thank you Cotehele. You've described our garden exactly as I wanted to create it - peaceful, serene, and private. It's our oasis and retreat from the busy-ness of everyday life.

    It's definitely a process. Even now that our garden has filled in and most of the plants are pretty well established, editing here will probably never cease. I'm not sure it will ever really be done. It didn't look like much here for a long time. I'm sure our neighbors must have wondered what I was doing with all those scraggly little plants at first. Now they love it, and invite their visitors to a peak at our garden through the shrubs.

    Thank you Racquel. We are really enjoying it. Sure took a long time to get it looking like a garden!

    Thanks MBT! I like having color beyond what the perennials can provide, and with the dry soil (and how tightly-packed with plants the area with the small pots is :~O ,) those small pots work very nicely. I squeeze in more plants with the little pots than I could with the plants directly in the ground. Glad I gave you a little inspiration!

  10. I always enjoy seeing "the big picture." I have trouble getting long shots of my garden without having something in the photo that I don't want, but it's so nice to see the whole garden and not just a few plants. Your garden is beautiful, Linda, and you should be proud of all you've accomplished in 8 years. I know there is always something to do in the garden, but it looks like you can just sit back and enjoy!

  11. Hi Gardengirl
    Wow! You definitely got a wow-garden! It looks gorgeous. Ehm, and yes my garden taught me also more than I ever wanted :o) but it's fun too, to experiment a bit with plants. Well a bit expensive probably but fun :o).
    Take care

  12. Congratulations!

    (More years, more plants, to come!)

  13. Me too Rose! I tend to take more closeups, but it's also nice to have the long shots. It really helps to see how far the garden has come from its humble beginnings!

    Thank you, and yes, we do spend lots of time just sitting on the patio and enjoying the view.

    Thank you Alex! It's more fun to me now that it's established. I used to spend far too much time fretting over how sparse it was. It's also much less expensive since I'm not buying so many plants anymore. This year I mostly just got seeds, and many of them were free!

    Thank you Esther! I'm sure there will be more plants! New ones will likely be mostly natives started from seeds.

  14. It looks so lush and inviting. A nice spot to garden for sure and you've done great in eight years. Lucky you to have great soil too.

  15. I think so too Tina. I sure appreciate gardening in the shade, and we're fortunate having such nice soil. It's an advantage of living in older home, since for a few decades now, most new construction involves trucking out existing soil and replacing it with poorer quality soil that's often mostly clay.

  16. I'm glad I made it here for the tour. Your place looks awesome!

  17. Thank you Sue. We sure do enjoy it!

  18. How lush and lovely ... wonderful gardens, Linda! Thank you for sharing.

  19. Everything always looks so neat and tidy in your garden. :) I like the long view, esp. out of the guest bedroom! :)

  20. Yep, I like the view from the guest bedroom Monica! (I'm a bit anal about the neat and tidy thing. . . ;)


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