Friday, July 6, 2012

Taking Stock From Above

While on the roof nailing down shingles (I mean, while my dad was nailing down shingles), I decided to take some overhead pictures of the back yard and see how little actual "design" is going on on the Garden. The oldest parts of the garden were already there when my parents bought the house 34 years ago-a small bed now a part of the Shade Garden, a bed at the end of the patio, and the old vegetable garden that is now the Berry Patch/Cutting Garden. Next came the conversion of our old sandbox into another shade bed, followed by the Long Border and four evenly (at the time) laid out perennial beds on the South half of the yard.

Gardening is not a hobby where you can, on a whim and with changing tastes, change things up in a big way. I mean, you can decide to add a bed and dig it up and plant things, but it takes time to really fill in. Not a lot of instant gratification (unlike when you decide to change the color of your living room walls and grab a can of paint, or change the look of your bedroom and buy new sheets). Always a work in progress.

So from above I've learned that (naturally) the parts of the Garden I have most recently been working on the hardest are also the parts that I am seeing come together the way I want. So now I really need to redo the North half of the yard...


Looking down at the (quite blurry, sorry) Shade Garden to the left and White Garden to the right. Here I can see where my grass path is a bit off, but I do like the way things are coming together. I really need to move that pile of wood...

The White Garden from above. It is actually filling in much better and faster than I had anticipated. We lost a lilac, but have found a surprisingly abundant amount of white flowering plants this summer. That big pile of mulch needs to be spread after the weeding is done, but I tell ya, 100 degree days is not the time to be spreading mulch!


I LOVE this. The path between the Shade and White Gardens to the Kitchen Garden. See! Once that wood is moved, the path will be a bit nicer.
The Kitchen Garden. The front four raised beds were put in about 8 years ago (I think) with the large annex to the rear added last Spring. Still not enough room, but I'm learning to plant things elsewhere (like the melons in another bed outside the Kitchen Garden).


To the South of the Shade Garden to the rest of the yard. Looking desperately dead in this drought. We don't know yet if that old locust tree is coming down after the derecho (the adjuster comes tomorrow), and that will really dictate what happens over here next.

So maybe it would be wonderful to bring another bed in from the South that would sort of curve around the way the Shade Garden does on the North! There is the "Bird Seed Patio" to deal with (some pavers put down so we can "easily" sweep up birdseed). Behind the pergola is what I call the Ramble, because I pictured some larger trees and shrubs growing in as a sort of natural fence blocking out the neighbors. I mean, we like our neighbors, but really... There are lilacs and forsythia back there now. (I hope Cottage de Haven doesn't notice the third large clump of  cannas that is still not in the ground-it's still growing!)

See! A round bed for the copper birdbath in the center, and another bed curving in on the left... Right now the birdbath keeps the hose in check while dragging it from one corner of the Garden to the next.

And then there is this mess. Part of my great dislike is the weather. Everything is dry and brown rather than lush and verdant. The Berry Patch/Cutting Garden is fine. The berries were wonderful this year, and the cutting flowers are really beginning to come in. The two beds in the foreground, usually full of daylilies about to bloom, are a mess. I need to rake out dead Surprise Lily leaves, and re edge EVERYTHING! Look how pear shaped that bed on the right has become! What the Hell?? 


At least all the patio containers are doing well!



Another look back at the half of the yard I love. I should have totally brought the curving edge of the Shade Garden out farther (where the decapitated in the derecho birdbaths are sitting). Scale is something I have a real problem with. I should always go bigger when I start to dig. God. The yard is a mess! This WAS taken the day after the storm, though, so many things are out of place. But that's alright, right? I mean, a Garden is never done. It's always a work in progress.

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