Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Garden that wasn't on the Tour

This is the garden that wasn't on the horticultural society's tour. It was across the street from one of the gardens on the tour.

The neat courtyard-style front garden caught my eye first, and like a moth to the flame, it beckoned to me to cross the road. The homeowners were very busy that afternoon, but graciously agreed to let me take pictures.

For those of you looking for inspiration on a small scale, this garden certainly fits the bill. 

The house is made modest two-story home made from local quarried stone. The front yard is tiny. Rather than trying to maneuver a lawn mover around such a tight area, the homeowner decided to dispense with grass altogether, and opted for a circular courtyard of pea gravel instead. 

The plantings next to the house are older and are more mature. The plants on the other rim of the circle are more recently added. 

That is a Climbing Hydrangea right by the front porch. It's a great option to consider 
if you want a vine for part-shade.

Along the front of the house blue-green and variagted Hosta mix in with Ostrich ferns, Heuchera (deep burgundy leaves peaking out from under a Hosta) and  Pulmonaria (the spotted leaf tucked under one of the Hosta). All these plants are great options for part-shade and shade.

Peaking out from under this large hosta is Lady's Mantle, Alchemilla Mollis. 

Lady's Mantle, Alchemilla Mollis has rounded soft textured foliage. Raindrops cling to its leaves and sparkle. Sprays of chartreuse flowers appear in early summer. (This plant is a good self-seeder, so remove the spent flowers if you don't like unwanted seedlings). You will sometimes see Lady's Mantle on lists of plants suggested for shade, but I find it much prefers part-shade rather than full shade. This plant will grow in a variety of soil types and likes conditions on the average to moist side. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.

The pea gravel courtyard at the front of the house extends into a path that leads you around to the backyard. 

This is the first view you see as you turn the corner at the side of the house.

Under the shade of tree, there is a little patio area. The cafe-style chairs and table
gives the area an almost Parisian feel.

Here Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' sits in front of a yellow Baptisia (unknown cultivar).

Hanging across the yard are strings of Tibetan prayer flags.

 Penstemon 'Husker Red' has foliage that is beet-red in spring and fall and somewhat greener in the summer. Butterflies love the flowers which are such a pale pink they are almost white. Full sun. Normal, sandy or clay soils are all suitable. Average to moist growing conditions. Height 75-90 cm, Spread: 30-45 cm. USDA Zones: 3-9

Pink Peonies bow down to the ground with the weight of their many-petaled flowers. A Miscanthus (ornamental grass) and Ostrich Fern are just in behind them.

The view down the length of the property.

 An old metal bucket is a water feature or container planting in the making.

The back garden is a work in progress. This courtyard area next to 
the fence isn't quite completed.

You'll note that the homeowner has used vivid blue ceramic pots as a recurring theme. It's a smart design decision as it links different areas of the garden into a cohesive whole.

This garden might be small, but it's charming. It is amazing what you find when you are looking for something else!


  1. I agree with you Jennifer, it's a lovely peaceful garden! Healthy plants, tasteful accessories, no clutter. Thank you for the tour!

  2. Such a beautiful harmonious darden with all its textures and shades. Feels very peaceful!

  3. There are so many little details here, that make this such a special place.
    You can see the love that went into creating this.

  4. Lovely garden! I like the house too. Thanks for all this inspiration - I want an obelisk now...

  5. Completely charming! I love the blue pots. How fortunate for you to discover this unexpected garden on your tour. One can tell a lot of love has gone into the space.

  6. Jennifer what a great find and I can see why you were drawn to this magnificent garden.

  7. What a charming garden...I like the mix of plants - yellow baptisia with the purple salvia. And the fringe of lady's mantle is sweet. I have a big blue pot in my shade garden - after reading this, I need to get more for each area of the garden. Thanks for sharing this garden.

  8. I loved it all. They have made the front look particularly impressive. It has given me so many ideas!

  9. What a lovely garden! I love that they removed lawn from the front and the back is so intimate and inviting.

  10. Lovely garden, especially nice to see all that greenery in a hot Aussie summer.

  11. You're givin me the itch. So lush and pretty. Is it spring yet?

  12. The climbing hydrangea is gorgeous. I love what they've done with their yard. The back yard in particular is so charming.

  13. A very nice garden. I like it and many of the plants grow in our garden too in the north of Sweden.


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