Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Look Backward 1

I have a couple of flowerbeds that I am going to revamp this year. While the ground is frozen I am  trying to make a plan that will help with my remodel. This brings me to the photo files.  I was surprised about how it all used to look. I thought those of you who have followed my blog the last 9 years might like to see what I started with back in 1996.

 Step through the garden gate with me into the back garden. The back garden was wide open when I came here. Mishka my chocolate Lab was used to living in the country and having a whole lot more room to roam. We had to add a fence to curb his urge to roam especially after he came home with someone's frozen turkey. They had obviously set it outside to thaw??
 Anyway, I wanted a nice big round herb garden to welcome people into the back garden. I had a path that would take you around the herbs and then direct you into other parts of the garden. No, there wasn't much else to see as yet.
The herb garden was a success in that everything grew but I didn't like the way most of the herbs looked more toward the end of the season. So I decided to grow the herbs in different areas of the garden and turn this into a more neat looking space.
 I got string, measuring tape plants and here was the second go at this bed.
 I am not one that likes things too neat and tidy. I chose plants that would contrast and yet look like they should be there.
 The big jar was purchased that spring and made a fine anchor in this bed.
A single brick edge has kept this garden within bounds for quite a few years. Unfortunately the plants that were in here didn't like our winters despite being marked that they would survive.
That lovely jar weighs a lot. I put it away during winter. Over the years the center square of Boxwoood got so big I couldn't heft the jar in and out of the circle so I had to do something else in the center. I tried a tree in a planter. This tree didn't like it in the planter.
The tree didn't like it in the ground any better and the plants on the right side died during winter. Another reincarnation was in order. I took the remaining euonymus and planted them around the outer circle.
The remaining plants were actually beginning to almost come together. I was getting excited. Then we had the coldest longest winter in memory with lots of snow,  Boxwoods did protest. All but a couple of them died. Arrgh... I was beginning to think I should give up on this odyssey. As simple as it is you would think I could make it grow. 
In the picture above you can see the dead Boxwoods. You can also see a tray of geraniums sitting there to be planted someplace. In this photo you can also see how the garden on this side has changed  with added beds. It has certainly filled in through the years.
 Let us go back through this gate as it is today, or at least last April.
 And yes, we do still need the fence as Princess Annie is bound to go wandering the neighborhood.
I realized as I was doing this post that I don't take many pictures of this part of the garden. As you can see I am trying the Box once again. 

Those big strappy leaves are Naked Ladies that I thought I would like dancing around the circle but have started taking them out. This time I put a whole lot of compost and planted the tiny shrubs closer. Too close as some would say but I am tired of waiting. 
If you want to take a closer look at anything you can click on the pictures to make them bigger. I hope you enjoyed my stroll down memory lane. I meant to do a more overall post but I kept going around and around here. I might get to it another time.
Try to stay warm out there.


  1. Ah, what a lovely stroll.
    The frozen turkey..... HAHAHAHAHA that's hilarious....did your neighbors know it was your dog?

    I love your garden. :)

  2. Jess, I don't think anyone ever knew it was him stealing their stuff. He brought home a big, I mean huge roast one time too. After that there wasn't any more "food" brought home. Either they learned they couldn't put out any meat to thaw or we kept him in better. It was embarrassing. I didn't know where it came from, hence the fence.

  3. So great all the work you put into your garden areas, Lisa! I know you HAVE to love it, with all that you do! It's just lovely!!!

  4. All I can think about is that frozen turkey, which immediately made me think of "A Christmas Story." Wonder if your neighbors wound up eating at a Chinese restaurant instead, hahaha:) I loved seeing this garden evolve and especially seeing the way your back yard looked when you first began. Having seen your garden a few years ago, I know how much work you have put in to make it as beautiful as it is today. I had to chuckle at the boxwoods and the tree dying, although I'm sure you weren't amused at the time. It just demonstrates the constant struggles and changes we gardeners must endure. But part of the fun of gardening is changing things up, isn't it?

  5. A roast AND a frozen turkey!!
    Oh that is FUNNY.

    i guess having a wonder-dog like that is a way to save on groceries... :p

    Do you have a pic of your dog showing up with massive pieces of frozen meat?


  6. I love it. The final scene is gorgeous. I tell everybody who gardens to always take photos. You will be amazed at the change when you go back and look at them.

  7. I really enjoyed this post and they way you show the evolution of this bed. I agree about planting stuff "too" close - life is too short! As for Mishka, that was one powerful dog!

  8. Jess, I don't have a picture of Mishka and the stolen food. I was too busy trying to hide the evidence. It was before digital cameras and social media.

    Rose, I agree that the fun part of gardening is changing things up. I am always moving something. Often it is listening to what the plants have to say about their surroundings.

  9. This is a wonderfully real post about the ways a gardener's mind works, Lisa... the tweaking and experimenting and thinking of new angles without ever giving up. It's hilarious that a stolen turkey was the event that jump-started your garden and we're all glad you took photos over the years!


  10. These "before" and "after" posts are so fun! Very impressive design. Wow--nine years! That's impressive!

  11. What a treat to see how your garden bed developed over the years! And I had a laugh over your lab bringing home a frozen turkey! We had a lab named Jasmine who once wandered into a neighbor's yard. I soon got a phone call. It seems Jasmine had climbed into the front seat of a pickup truck that belonged to a guy who was doing some work at her house. When they found her she had eaten his carry-out lunch and had also consumed most of a loaf of bread he had bought for his mother. Jasmine should have brought the goodies home like your dog and maybe she would have gotten away with it.

  12. Hi Lisa,

    You've sure made lots of changes. I've done the same thing here, but what I really am impressed with is your ability to keep the bed's shape. I love your side yards, too. And your dog stealing a whole turkey--I first pictured a live one for some reason--the two of them strolling into the garden together. Congratulations on the nine years of blogging!

  13. Ah, this is a blast from the past, Lisa. I do remember your first herb garden vision :-) Aware too if the relaxed habit of some herbs I'm being 'picky' about which ones to add to my sunny front garden. I had a box strip there but pulled it out as I feared it had the disease box blight and it might spread to a curved established strip in my back garden. I've replaced the box with lavender which I'm aware, like you that it is an ongoing planting experiment. I go on the theory that I can enjoy it a while and I'll probably change it all again too.I did enjoy your round and round stroll tonight :-)

  14. Buy Plants online from Athelas Plants a plant nursery near battle East Sussex offering a wide range of beautiful Acers tree, Arid Plants, Bamboos, Ferns, Grasses, Palms & Shrubs. Buy online or visit our nursery.

    Plant Nursery Sussex.

  15. Great photos and what a creative garden you have!

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

  16. Hi Lisa, first thanky you for your visit and leaving your kind comment. It was a pleasure and very interesting to read your post, telling us how and why your garden has changed in the last years. You seem to be a very creative person, never tired of moving plants in order get an improvement. I liked the former herb garden as well as the gardenbed is looking now. Gardens (and gardeners!) seem to like do i!
    Happy Spring,


New Blogger, Old Blogger

     All I can say it is difficult to deal with change. This new Blogger format is not as user friendly in my opinion. I guess I will get us...