Monday, April 25, 2011

Some Garden Beds In the Backyard


Looking southwest from the deck. Note the two 'brides'. The 'Vanhouttei' spireas that flank the pathway to the deck.


Rear Center Garden

Deck Garden


Perennial Border alongside the Vegetable Garden


Another view of the Perennial Border.


More perennials in the Perennial Border.


The new 'Non' Pool Garden looking down from the deck. We'll see it again below. It has really worked out the way I planned it last year with the exception of two hydrangeas dying and several grasses dying. I replaced the grasses by dividing others in my garden, but the hydrangeas lost their spots to irises. Disregard the plant pots scattered about. The dogs use them as chew toys. Sometimes with the plants still in them. Bad dogs. 


Woodland Garden looking toward a camellia with a ground covering of lamium.


This garden bed is on the northeast corner of the house. It got a complete rework when I buried the downspouts back in February. Due to the intense shade and moisture in this bed the only things that really grow here are hydrangeas, the 'Sango Kaku' Japanese maple, a ligularia, hostas, ginger, brunnera, and some astilbes.


Another shot just across the pathway from the above garden. This is the Heuchera Garden that is minus several heucheras. Most of my heucheras died out last summer. I have not replaced them because I'm thinking that if they want to die out then I must plant something better adapted to the dry conditions under the cedar tree. Hellebores, goatsbeard, daylilies, hostas, and turtlehead all do well here in this bed.


This is kind of a new bed. I can never grow anything in this area due to the large cedar tree and the two mature oak trees. I did decide to extend it and backfill it though and that gave me a bit of extra room. In the new area there are hostas growing along with some pulmonaria and wildflowers. The next layer inside has a few 'Annabelle' hydrangeas, though they don't show up in this picture. I will not plant anything inside of the bed due to the cedar tree and the fact that the back side of this garden opens to the 'Secret Patio' garden and I wish to have a view to it.Can you see Mr. Fix-it in the picture? He was busy fixing my riding lawn mower and his chainsaw. Both have seen better days.


This bed is just across the path from the previous garden. Here we have the 'Non Pool' Garden. It is doing spectacularly. So far just about everything has worked well that I planned for last summer when we removed the pool and I redesigned this area.


Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes' is still a stunner in spring. Here it resides in the Rear Center Bed.


Another shot of the Rear Center Bed looking west on the southern edge of the bed. This bed has a few mature oak trees and is undergoing a major change due to a new patio area. It is a unique bed in that one side gets pretty good sun whereas the other side gets barely any sun. The center has a row of shrubs and the above 'Wolf Eyes'. I am having fun with this bed and being that it is the rear center of my yard and very visible from the house it must look great all the time. It is a challenge due to our hot long summers. Spring always has gardens looking good for some crazy reason.


Now this is what I call the 'Garage End Garden' looking up toward the house and the 'Rear Center Bed'. Someday we will make an addition on our garage extending the garage to this bed. For now it seems to float in the lawn. It is basically a 'catchall' garden. I do have a J. maple, doublefile viburnum, hearts a burstin shrub, the Korean maple, a 'Summer Snowflake' viburnum and several perennials growing in this bed but basically it is a holding or overflow bed.


Here is a secret little spot hidden behind Mr. Fix-it's garage. Once I built the privacy fence it was a simple matter to place the swing and find a nice sitting spot when I wished to reflect. Okay, when I wish to look at the garden in peace. Can you note my neighbor's horses behind the fence? They were probably heartbroken I put the fence up. They can't eat my shrubs anymore. Ha! I was happy to block them out as I like to be the only one in this yard that prunes shrubs.


Still behind the garage looking at 'Daylily Hill'. Another overflow area. There are a few asters, winged sumac, and several 'Goldsturm' flowers growing here as well.


The NonPool Garden looking up from the shed toward the house. David's bicycle sits happily in its spot amongst the shrubs and perennials.


Now we are walking up the pathway between the NonPool Garden. There are two parts. I was faced with a gaping hole once the pool was removed. We needed access to the shed but how to design it? Finally I put the pathway in the middle with a nice curve toward the shed. I was able to plant a bunch more plants, shrubs, and two new trees (sourewood and stewartia).


This is the 'Natural Garden' area. I have a spicebush, Blackhaw viburnum, and a Japanese maple 'Bloodgood' growing here. There are a few perennials as well. Namely: astrantia, bouncing bets, columbine, hostas, cannas, mums, heath aster, and great blue lobelia. It does look a bit bare though.


The Secret Patio is looking great. It's so secret you can barely see it huh? The gardens surrounding it are coming into their own after two years of growing here.


This is a way back bed I call the Dogwood Garden. It is a challenge because not only are there two dogwoods growing in it but a huge black tupelo grows here. This bed is too far away to water so I've converted it to a natural garden. Plants growing here are Solomon's Seal, monkey grass, and I will soon be adding yuccas to it as well. It will be a dry bed for sure. All the greenery is the dying foliage from daffodils.


Here is the Garage End Garden again looking west away from the house. This bed is very close to the Dogwood Garden. That big 'shrub' in the front is a St. John's Wort. St. John's Wort is one of the few sub shrubs that does okay in shade.


This garden is called the 'Rear Sidewalk Garden' and is immediately visible once you enter the backyard. It is anchored by a 'Vanhouttei' spireas, ornamental plume grass, crepe myrtle, and a cryptomeria 'Nana Gracilis'. There are also perennials growing here as you can see.


Another shot of the Woodland Garden looking down the path behind the greenhouse.


There are a few more backyard gardens not shown in this post. Namely the Rear Cutout Garden, the Wisteria Arbor Garden (coming up soon in another post), the Spa Garden, Oak Tree Garden, the Picket Garden, and the Rear Corner Garden. 

This last picture is a teaser. Can you see where I am extending the Rear Center Garden as I mentioned above? More to follow but while Mr. Fix-it is on vacation, he, the Jimster, and myself are planning a big project that of course affects the gardens....

in the garden.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Good day, Tina!
    I've been ogling at the photos for quite long. I would love to settle myself in that swing with a nice novel. That would be the perfect day for me.
    I'll be checking back to see what you have planned for this wonderful garden of yours!

  2. Tina,
    Your garden is very much like Meg's except it is bigger and looks like you weed it. I'm jealous of your bowling balls. What a great tour!
    BTW crested iris do best with at least 4-6 hours of sun, they bloom in open patches in the woods. Many places fill in and they cease to bloom.

  3. Wow Tina...such big lush gardens...I love the natural feel and the way you reuse wonderful things as supports and garden art...beautiful and peaceful as well

  4. Tina, Seeing your beds makes me SO anxious for warmer weather here! Between the cold and rain, I've not had a lot of opportunity to work the beds.

    I think your rear center bed is my favorite (although it's really hard to select just one).

  5. That was a great tour. I really got a sense of all your beds. I'm sure I could wander around your garden for hours. I like the secret patio and your little hiding spot. Funny about the horses pruning your shrubs. Can't wait to see what you're up to next.

  6. Wow, I feel like I've been there now! I'm going to have to find a place for 'Wolf Eyes'. The variegation is very neat! What hydrangeas did you lose?

  7. I love your bottle garden. This is something I really want to try. Just need to get the hubby to cut me some rebar and away I go!

  8. Tina,

    What are the empty bottles for? Butterfly drinking spots? I also like the fullness of your gardens. Nice to see a bed of mature plants.

  9. The garden where you buried the downspouts, Impatiens would probably do well there, sometimes they reseed, mine have...your have a lot of garden areas to keep up with, now I don't feel so lonely.. :)

  10. Tina your gardens never cease to amaze me girl. They are just so darn full and lush! You have such a knack with your gardens. Spots of interest with ever turn keeping the eyes moving. I could spend hours upon hours strolling your gardens and chatting about the neat things you have going on. I am always anxious to see your next garden! Have you ever counted all the different garden names? I wonder how many gardens you have???

  11. Tina, Beautiful! I love your beds and you have some marvelous borrowed views~The field and is that a pond? Btw, are you doing okay up there~Your part of the world has sure seen a lot of rain! gail

  12. Chandramouli, It would indeed be a welcome spot to relax and read a good book-gardening preferably!

    Randy, I'm still hoping those iris bloom. They have spread like crazy and do get some sun. Yup, I'm a great weeder for some reason. It's easier in the long run. Go to your local bowling center and I suspect they'll give you all the old broken/cracked bowling balls you want. This is where I got most of mine.

    Donna, Thanks so much. They are all definitely natural and fit in-like a European park for me.

    Rebecca, I think spring must be most near for you and soon you'll be enjoying the same.

    GOSS, Our property is one acre and the backyard is really quite big. Sometimes pictures don't show the scale. Yup, horses love red twig dogwoods. Poor things are so deprived now. Their pasture is quite small so not much vegetation there and my yard is closed now:) Their mommy is over here now talking with us about them.

    Dave, It is a big yard like yours and lots of gardens and shade. I lost two 'Tardiva' hydrangeas. I had transplanted them to the new Non Pool garden in August-a bad time. I was shocked they died. One survived and the Limelights all survived. Oh well.

    Nancy, I got the rebar at our local hardware store. Not so much money. Just pounded them in and put the bottles on top. Be careful though-I broke one when it slipped from my hands. The bottom came off pretty as you please.

    Wendy, The bottles are purely for decoration. Once the cone flowers grow up they will be nestled among the bottles but the bottles provide color all year long. Just a way to reuse. The garden is on average 8 years old and very mature now. I'm so happy I can 'shop' my own garden now. Sure saves money.

    Darla, Yes! You do have a large garden too. I don't know how you do it. Gardening takes so much time but is so worth it.

    Skeeter, You know it does take a long time to go through these gardens. Sometimes too long even for me now. It used to be a half an hour in the morning and evening. Now more like an hour plus. Boy can one get lost in a garden. Yours are quite large too girl! Tiger lilies are doing well.

    Gail, We are quite lucky with our lot. A wonderful spot and yes that is a cow pond in Mr. C's field. We are so spoiled. All is well here. Storms but no damage. I have my yard set up pretty well for protection even with the trees. But one never knows with tornadoes going through. Then I only hold my breath! More weather coming through to your area too so be safe!

  13. Love all of your garden pictures. I love to garden too. I am a new follower from northern Wisconsin. Thanks so much for sharing. My blog has some gardening pictures on it. My husband and I like to add antiques to our gardens and some goodwill and garage sale finds. If you get a chance sometime stop by my blog.
    Becky at Ginger Creme Hollow

  14. Hi Becky, I love the name of your blog. Ginger Creme Hollow just gives me vision of delicious cookies. I'm on my way to visit you and thanks for stopping by! Do you have your blog networked on Facebook? I decided many years ago that following all the great blogs out there would be too much for me but I do follow on FB. Let me know. I have added you to my blog list page. There are a few other Wisconsin bloggers there as well. I always enjoy hearing what is going on in the cold north. I'm hoping that snow melts soon and spring will find you all!

  15. Stunning tour this morning. I do not know how you do it all. Jack brought his tiller down yesterday and he tilled my veggie garden so I am ready to go if it ever warms up. Actually I probably could get quite a bit in the ground now if we could get thru a couple of days without rain but I am scared of everything rotting right now.

  16. Great tour... so many plants, so many concepts. It must be quite a task to get rock borders in place..

  17. Afternoon All.
    Tina I don't know where you find the time to do all that lovely gardening. It made me tired to think of weeding. I can't keep up here with my small ones. Dollar weed here drives me crazy. Wish I knew how to get rid of it & not hurt my flowers & lawn.

  18. Mom, It has been most rainy this year. But rain is good. Once it dries out and it will, the beds will be nice and warm for those yummy tomatoes! Things are suffering a wee bit here now that I'm so busy but hoping to find a good balance soon. Or at least put it all in perspective.

    Bangchik. The rock borders took a lot of muscle to get in place but they are easy now! No dividing, moving or weeding. I like them a lot. The garden plants-well-I'll talk of them another day.

    Lola, I am most lucky in that I don't have a major issue with tenacious weeds like dollar weed. I'm not sure I could handle that or creeping charlie. Urgh. Had it at a house once and no luck. Time certainly does not seem to be increasing so all we can do is what we can do day by day. Hang tough Lola.

  19. Look at all that fresh green growth! Love the brides :-) And how convenient that the wimpy heucheras are making room for more hellebores . . . I was surprised that even Home Depot had some fancy pink hellebores this spring. The interesting shapes and colors are becoming more easily available (though maybe you aren't as obsessed with them as I have been lately).

  20. Tina, Thanks for such a great tour! I didn't stop to add them all up, but how many garden areas do you have? I think after the tour, I need to sit awhile:)

    I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but I would suppose it would depend on the time of year and what is blooming at the time. I love those blue bottles on stakes--very attractive glass art!

  21. VW, I love the hellebores for sure! They are such stout plants for presence and reliability. I plan to spread mine everywhere so the heucheras may yet have to go. They don't do so well here with our hot dry summers. Once you get the hellebores going there is no stopping them.

    Rose, As best as I can count there are about 26 or 27 beds in the backyard. The smallest is about 15 x 8 and the largest is about 40 x 25. I haven't yet gotten around to mapping my property but one day. They do take a long time to traverse so if folks come over they usually know they'll be here for awhile. Lots of good spots to sit too:)

  22. Your backyard is so big, so jealous of all that garden space you have! :) Can't wait to see your big project...

  23. I enjoyed the tour! Your garden looks great and your neighbors' green fields are the perfect backdrop.

  24. Hi Tina, I added links in my post so you can hear the songs and calls... I got them from the Cornell Lab, which has pages on many birds.