The Front Sidewalk Garden in my garden is uniquely positioned to be a showcase garden where I can grow everything and anything-with some restrictions. Anything I plant in this garden has to be: less than three feet tall, has to bloom a long time, and has to look good most of the year. One restriction I place on the garden is that it must have interest all year long. This garden gets enough sun that I can grow both sun and shade plants and I try to maximize them all for the interest this garden provides me and my guests. As such it can be a busy garden. I thought I would try to capture the garden through the year to kind of showcase the monthly interest. Unfortunately I have done a terrible job of keeping up with the pictures and this post. Nonetheless I have a few pictures that might help to show the way this garden changes over the year. We all know gardens should change but really looking at the changes can be eye opening.
We start with a spring picture in March. This is about when the gardens here in Middle Tennessee really get going. Yes, we have many plants that will bloom in January and February but March is when you can really notice the color. The red quince in this garden takes center stage. I simply adore the quince but I must confess it is not right for this garden. Quince will grow to be big hefty shrubs over eight feet tall. Quince are also thorny. This garden is quite small and since I have the restriction that my plants in this garden cannot be over three feet tall that means I have to do a lot of pruning on the quince. But for this one plant and this fabulous splash or red color I choose to prune away for as long as I can in order to have this brilliant red in the garden. Daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, muscari, and pansies (planted yearly) round out the color in March for this garden.
March 22, 2011
By the time May rolls around we can see the ground is now covered by foliage. This time of the year is probably when we have the most color in this garden. Peonies (three herbaceous and one tree peony), lilies, verbena, 'The Fairy' rose, tulips, and irises now provide the color for this garden. The foliage of the lavender cotton (gray leaved foliage) is a great color combiner in this garden.
July 16, 2011Things have really slowed down come July. There are dayliies, Russian Sage, cosmos, and some pink coneflowers in this garden but they aren't doing as well as I'd like them to do, hence there is not so much color in this garden during the summer. That is something I'll have to work on next year. You can just see the 'Autumn Joy' sedum heads forming now and soon the asters will come into play for the fall. 'Miss Huff' lantana also graces this garden but it is not in full bloom as of yet.
October 12, 2011
It is not October and wow on all the 'Miss Huff' lantana. Lantana in my garden does not really get going until late August. This is due in part to not receiving full sun and also due to the fact lantana likes prolonged hot weather. Well this year it sure has had its share and grew to over five feet tall. The lantana is finally slowing down a bit but here you can see it in all its glory. I have been lucky in that three of the lantana in this area of Tiger Gardens have wintered over for several years now. Asters and lambs ear also provide some color for this fall view of the Front Sidewalk Garden.
May 22, 2011
Shifting gears a bit here we now see side views of the same Front Sidewalk Garden. This is the view we receive when we park our cars and walk to the front door. You can see why it must be a show garden since it is in such a prominent spot.
In May we have lots of lilies, 'The Fairy' rose, 'Homestead' verbena, pansies, a few peonies and some of the Hippeastrum x Johsonii bulbs (the red color). The textures weave together in a manner that is pleasing to me and there is something going on all the time in this garden in May. The Japanese maple that is the centerpoint of this garden is virtually invisible from this side view but it will show up a bit more in the fall. Almost all of my gardens have trees as their centerpoints. It is the way I design and garden but it was never a conscious thing.
October 12, 2011
I guess I just kind of skipped over the summer view of this garden-I told you I was very bad with keeping up with it didn't I? Well here we are in October where the lantana, asters, santolina, and sedum all take center stage. The Asiatic lilies that were so wonderful in the previous picture are now going dormant and look a bit unsightly in the above picture. I do not cut them off until they are completely dormant so I live with the yellowing.
November 8, 2011
This last picture shows the garden as it is now. There are only dried flower heads and slight memories of wonderful plants that have come and gone over this year although 'The Fairy' is bravely putting out some nice pink blooms even this late in the year. The Japanese maple is now also showing up nicely due to the red fall color of this maple.
Due to the types of plants I have planted in this garden I do very little clean up of this garden. I mainly only remove all of the peony foliage (it's the first thing to go in my garden in the fall-don't trim tree peonies though). I'll do a final clean up in early February so that when the bulbs start bursting forward we'll be all set to start another year in the Front Sidewalk Garden....
in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden