Stevie Tries Gardening | Part Two


Wow! To everyone who came to my rescue with feedback on my first gardening post, I can't thank you enough! You all brought up so many ideas and considerations that I never would have thought of. Aside from a ton of great perennial and annual suggestions, I received so many great tips like:

  • You have to research the mature size of each plant you choose, you can't just design a garden based on the size you want it to be. (i.e. interior designers do not make the best landscape designers...unlike furniture, plants have a will of their own!)
  • Allow room for growth and fill in with annuals while your plants are still small. 
  • Measure twice, plant once
  • Less is more, and mulch is your friend
  • Consider the blooming season of your flowering plants so that you can have blossoms in spring, summer and fall. 
  • Plant tall things in the back, shorter things in the front

I've been thinking about my garden plan pretty much non-stop since that last post and I've come up with a second draft that I think will work way better. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Over the last week, I've been going back and forth about what type of garden I want. While I considered planting a tree to provide some shade, after looking at the space between my house and our neighbors to the left, I just don't think there is enough room. If you read Part One, you know that I was having trouble finding plants I liked that were sun tolerant enough to thrive in this south-facing flower bed. But since there are two sun-loving flowers that I do love, hydrangeas and peonies, I think I'm going to go all out with them.

As a designer, I'm drawn to more symmetrical, formal arrangements. But I also love the sort of wild, English cottage garden look that my mom and some of my friend's mothers have created for their gardens. So my new plan is kind of a mash up of the two. Romantic, cottage garden style plants but placed symmetrically across the front of the house. 

The thing I like the most about this plan is that the bushy plants will create more of a buffer between my porch and the sidewalk. The porch is on the same level as the street, so I think having a denser garden will make it more enjoyable for this introverted lady to spend time out there. In order to do this, I'm going to have to dig out another foot or two to expand the width of the garden from 3' to 4.5' or 5'. 

Again, the triangles are supposed to represent space for annuals. This drawing shows the mature size of each plant, so for the first year I'll have a bit more space in between for annuals. I'm hoping that the white candytuft will eventually all grow together to form a more or less solid border across the front. 

After I saw the inspiration photo I used at the top of this post, I started to think it might be nice to instead plant blue or purple salvia in the middle ground between the candytuft border and the peonies and arborvitae bushes (not cypress! I looked at too many plants before writing my last post and got confused). The salvia would help to add color while the peonies aren't in bloom, which I've found out will be most of the year. That's ok with me though, I don't mind have a mostly green and white garden. It's worth it for the couple of weeks I'll have peonies to cut and make bouquets with! Also, I do plan on eventually extending my garden around the side of the house. I'll have room there to try more varieties and colors in a more free-form layout. 

What do you think of my new plan? Is there anything I'm missing?