Welcome back friends…. It’s a chilly, but mild winter day here in Indiana. The ground it too wet to even try to play in the garden, so it is a good time for us to chat. I have been thinking about my garden style, well… our life style as well. And have came to the conclusion, that we live a supersized life. Really, we do. I think everything is big around here. Big house, big dog, big truck, tractor, kids…. EVERYTHING! But lets talk about the garden….
Here is where we started, in 2006 after construction. Nothing, nada, just my rocks and a path to the front porch…. a blank slate. Which is a gardeners dream of course, but it was almost too much possibility. Where to begin? We are way up on a hill and you can see it from a mile away. I love that we are up high and have great views of the water, but it tends to dwarf everything around it at the same time. Some times all you see is the lake. Which is why we live here, but then again, I am a gardener!
Now, I have been planting trees every year and I know in time I will have grand maples in my front yard, but they are all under 12 feet tall and thin…. but growing…. slowly…. But as you can see, it take a bunch of plant material to make an impact from these distances. Here in the house from the front last summer. You can definitely tell there is big progress, but even the tall arbor looks tiny from the road.
Once you get closer to the house, things look much different. Here is where my supersized dream is more reality. It feels lush, you feel you are in the garden, the plants encircle you like a warm hug. Okay, maybe that is just me…. I love to be surrounded by the plants. One of my favorite titles of a blog is Cielo’s “A House in the Roses.” I want my home to be “A House in a Garden.” Doesn’t everyone?
But if I had to tell someone about my garden that has never seen it before it might just be “SUPERSIZED.” Lush does not cut it, full to the brim, bursting at the seams might be more like it. And to me that is perfect. I find that any place I struggle with in new areas it is not the plants, it is wanting an instant look of an full, mature landscape.
One of the main reasons, beside the look of course, is…. I find it much easier to garden in “full” garden border. There is not as much room for trouble like weeds. It is survival of the fittest, and you have to be firmly planted to survive. I laugh and say there are weeds in there, but they have to be taller than the flowers to be seen!
That is another point, l tend to love large, tall plants. I love to sit in the garden and watch the movement of the birds and bugs and the sways of the breezes. I actually spend hours just sitting in the garden with a good book or enjoying the many animals that play around me in the foliage. With having an very open piece of land, it is a challenge to me to create nooks and corners…. Tall plants, especially fast growing shrubs give me that opportunity.
That has been key for me and my garden plan. Finding reasonable plants that give big impact in a short amount of time. Some I highly suggest are crepe myrtles, butterfly bushes, knockout roses, hydrangeas, viburnums, dogwoods, spireas, ornamental grasses, sages, coneflowers, daylilies and irises.
And one of the things I did have was a borrowed view of trees. They may not be on our property, but they are on the big hill behind the house. It makes the landscape feel more done having a vista of woods in the background.
I could talk all day about lush borders. One way I think you can add so much interest is by adding different foliage colors. I love plants with variegated or dark leaves they add so much beauty with dramatic highs and lows. This works with any size garden.
As I have often said, what helped me with plant costs is starting things from seed. I love annuals like candytuft, moss verbena, marble salvias, sweet alyssum, stocks, baby’s breath…. they all bloom for months on end and are so easy from seed. I will be planting seed directly into the garden from now until early April. I do not mess very much with indoor seeds, I prefer to just scatter them right into the garden like fairy dust…. then be fascinated when and where they come up in a few weeks. Mother nature scatters them where she wants… and she is a much better gardener than me!
So, I guess I should state, this is not my husbands dream garden. He is not “in love” with plants “getting him” when he mows. And I often hear “Do something with it…” (meaning it is in his way). His big joke is if something happens to me he’ll mow it all down. I have no doubt my garden club friends would be here in droves with their spades and buckets! But he married me for better or worse… and I came with a garden. Now if “Hoarders” gets a call from my husband----I’m up the creek…. because those people clean out their houses (somewhat)…. but I’ll be *amn if I am giving up one single plant out here! Lol…. Wouldn’t that make for good reality TV!
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