Garden progress

A little before this time last year, the “landscaped” area in front of our row house was occupied by one extremely overgrown evergreen bush. I wish I had a proper “before” photo, but I was able to swipe an old image from Google maps.

Last spring, I chopped literally half of the bush off. I ended up sawing away large sections of trunk to get the whole thing down to a manageable size. It is not a pruning technique I would recommend, but I started trimming and one thing sort of led to another and before I knew it I was angrily driving to Home Depot to buy a pruning saw. I also added the four large planters (which sit on a graveled area inside a ring of bricks) and the rectangular raised bed last year.

So far this year, I added a small brick path/patio in front of the whole thing, which curves around slightly to meet a stepping stone path into the back yard. I also added a narrow border bed along the edge of the brick path. The various flowers I added to it haven’t really taken off yet, but last year’s plantings in the other areas are doing quite well. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I haven’t been gardening for long, so I didn’t realize it would take a year for many perennials to really situation themselves and get going. I’m looking forward to seeing all of my lilies bloom for the first time.


There are a few irises in each planter. The first planter contains black eyed susan and rosemary. The second planter has sage and a mysterious red flower that I can’t remember the name of. It hasn’t come up yet, so it might not have made it. The third planter contains chives and strawberries, which have gone absolutely wild. In retrospect, I should have given them a larger area somewhere to take over. The third pot contains oregano and a delicate white flower I also forget the name of. It definitely survived, but hasn’t bloomed yet. Underneath the planters is gravel. Coming up through the gravel are lilies of the valley, which also fill up much of the expanse underneath the large bush. They existed before I put down the weed cloth and gravel, but the ones I covered came right up through it. This year, there also seems to be a hosta coming up there that is about to bloom.

The larger raised bed which you can see in the previous photo contains a row of lilies in the back. The rest of it is planted with lavender, dill, thyme, parsley, tarragon, feverfew, and some lettuces. To the left of the planters and to the right of the raised bed are daylilies, which my parents divided and transplanted from home for me. I haven’t seen any of the lilies bloom yet.


Flowering chives and strawberry leaves


Lawn berries, not strawberries. These grow wild in the shade on the side of our house. They taste like nothing, I know because I’ve tried them. But they are very pretty ground cover.


Iris- I can’t remember exactly what kind, but these are on the small side and came from bulbs. I think they’re different from the massive, quickly multiplying variety.


Very first foxglove blooms. I planted these along the side of the house. I didn’t learn that they’re biennial until after I planted them, but it looks like the plants I ordered were already a year old, since they’re blooming now.

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3 thoughts on “Garden progress

  1. Oh wow. that’s lovely!
    The biggest (literally) lesson I’ve had to learn with gardening for a ‘whole’ townhouse yard instead of a tiny crowded deck has been to get bigger pots and bigger plants than I think I possibly have room for. A hundred tiny planters don’t fill vertical space. Looks like you are not at all having this problem šŸ™‚

    • I sort of have been having that problem, but I’m starting to think beyond it now. There’s actually an azalea and a hydrangea behind the raised bed that will eventually be taller and fuller, but are tiny now.
      My someday goal is to landscape the entire front yard, although I’ll probably continue adding to the area on the side of the house before I add anything farther out in the front.

  2. There are biennial, perennial and annual varieties of foxglove now. You may have bought the annual type.
    Those lawnberries are called, (surprise), false strawberries.
    The iris is an Iris cristata, smaller and less spready, yes.

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