Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, February 11, 2008

Evolution of a garden/gardener

I am learning to look at my yard in a different way. Not too long ago when friends would ask me about my yard I would joke that it was a clown pants garden. It had a lot going on...native garden, cottage side garden, wild flowers; but not much cohesiveness. I kind of have a good eye....I mean I can tell you what works, but I have had a difficult time getting things to work in my yard. I love plants way too much... I kept getting more plants and then there was my inability to edit. I just couldn't bear to throw out anything. So you get clown pants. Clown pants looks great during the flowering season but not so great in the winter. So after years of trying to rework the garden myself I decided to hire a landscape designer.

But a little history first. We had a screened porch built onto the front of our house. Screened porches are wonderful and this one is terrific. It sits about 4 feet above the yard and over looks the gently sloping yard. Right in front of the porch is a garden bed, in fact most of the front yard is garden bed. There are too many trees and too shallow soil to grow grass. So I decided to have a big wildflower garden in the middle of the yard. It was a great idea but I just couldn't get it to work.

Back to the porch. To cut costs we decided to wait to redo the sidewalk. As you can see the sidewalk wasn't attractive and did nothing to enhance the yard, the house or the new porch.
It's like the suspenders on my clown pants. So after trying for longer than I care to admit to figure out how pull it together, I asked Sarah Scott, a landscape designer to help.

Because Sarah lives in the neighborhood she knows that we have harsh growing conditions and needed tough natives for our Cedar Glade Zone yard. She drew up a beautiful plan that had all the elements needed to give my yard cohesiveness.

We told Sarah we didn't want a traditional sidewalk. Because we had lots going on in the yard she suggested we use large flagstones for the sidewalk. She found a flagstone called Doe Skin at Jones Stone Yard. Sarah's design called for small curved walls. The yard needed hardscape and the curves in the bed helped with the sharp lines in the house. We were lucky not to have to purchase stones for the walls...because I had spent the last 20 years digging them up. We also had some large boulders that were unearthed when we had new water pipes laid. If you look closely you can see why I call it the Triceratop, it looks like that to me!

After three days I had a new look for the front walk and a plan to bring cohesiveness to my garden. I will post about the long range plan in future days.

Please bear with me as I learn this new blogging format. I hope to figure out how to place the photos correctly before too long.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Gail,

    And welcome to the world of garden bloggers. I grew up on the red clay of Alabama so I know whereof you speak.

    I'm also a garden designer and it appears that the hardscape you've added will certainly make a great addition to your garden.

    Look forward to reading more on the development.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson