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Posts Tagged ‘hostas’

Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

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New Hostas planted in the fall of 2011 (before losing the shade of some tree limbs and neighboring trees due to a storm).

When looking at our property on Google maps, I found photos of our yard before we bought it 3 years ago. The bird’s eye view is from about 2 years ago. It’s fun to see how it use to be and how it is evolving. It is still a work in progress. Most of the plants are in (there is always room for more) but they will begin to grow and change and the garden will mature and become a more peaceful, relaxing place.

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Front yard before 2009

 

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Front corner by the stop sign before 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Front corner and sidewalk 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Front corner with picket fence and Apricot trees 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard before 2009

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Sidewalk on south side of house 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of back yard before 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of back yard May, 2012 with peach trees over fence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard August, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bird's eye view of our yard about 2010. Large tree on left was taken out 2011. The grape arbor (or pergola) had just been built and the deck wasn't built yet.

 

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Master garden plan (North is on the left and South is on the right). Green shows the flower beds to be planted.

 

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South east corner of the back yard 2009, before garden planted, arbor and deck built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South east corner of back yard 2011 with deck, peach trees, raised vegetable beds and roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arbor site - Grape Vines planted before arbor built. 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grape vines reaching the top of the arbor 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take lots and lots of pictures. You’ll be glad you did. I wish we had taken more, especially of our lawn being carted off. We rented a sod cutter and cut up the lawn. Then we put out a huge “Free Sod” sign and our lawn was hauled away by many neighbors. They were happy and we were left with a clean slate.

A Cottage Garden May Be Just Right For You…But Don’t Plan a Cottage Garden

If you like a lot of different kinds of plants…

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Asian Lilies, Delphiniums and Hollyhocks

If you like a lot of flowers blooming…

If you don’t want to worry about strict, formal lines and forms…

If you want your garden to feel natural, like it all happened on its own…

If you like using vintage pieces in your garden…

If you like the idea of plants seeding themselves or multiplying on their own…

If you want a garden that make you want to just hang out and relax in…

Maybe a Cottage Garden is just for you.

A cottage garden is loosely planned, and heavily planted. I think that most gardeners are a lot like me when it comes to plants. It seems that I’m a plant-aholic. I can’t seem to ever have too many. Even when I’m sure that I’ve maxed out the space available, I can always squeeze in one more specimen I’ve found.

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2011 - perennial bed beside deck

Plants that bloom, smell good and re-seed or spread will eventually find a way into my garden. The great thing about having such a variety of plants is that most of them bloom, but not at the same time. So I have something blooming somewhere all during the growing season. If you have all the same plants then the blooms are all done with at the same time.

I did lay out a plan of the yard but only loosely designated a certain area for “flower bed” or “berry patch”. I paid attention to the height of the plants, so they would all fit together nicely, and to the sun and water requirements. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the bloom time but I didn’t really do that, and most of the time I was lucky. The blooms for any season, spring through fall, are spread around the whole yard pretty evenly.

If you follow the planting guides on most seed packets or plant instructions, your garden will look good eventually. While the plants are growing and reaching their full potential, there can be a lot of empty space to fill. It can either be filled with annuals for a year or two…or three, or with mulch. I like to plant things much closer than the instructions say because I like a very full garden. If the plants get a little crowded, it’s okay. If they ever get too crowded, I divide and move some or share with friends.

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Loosestrife and roses by garden gate

I like blooms. I love having flowers in the house, so I plant plenty so that I can cut plenty to use and to share. Try some of the cottage garden favorites like hollyhocks, foxglove, phlox, daisies, roses (of course), peonies or lilies.

It doesn’t take a lot of room to have a cottage garden either. A tiny plot by the back door will do. How about a 3′ border down the side of your lawn? I’d rather have the 3′ lawn and the rest in flowers, but that’s just me.

Mix in some vegetable plants along the way. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, squash and many other beautiful vegetable plants will fit right into a cottage garden.

Formal gardens are pretty but they don’t draw me in and make me feel as happy as I feel when I’m in my (slightly messy) cottage garden.

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Agastache, Sedum, Phlox, Roses and Rhubarb

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Phlox, Echinacea or purple coneflower by birdbath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Planning Your Garden…Consider the Leaves

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Colored foliage for the garden

I love a garden full of flowers, flowers everywhere. But even the best of best plants don’t have flowers on them all season. Besides, all those flowers need a little background music.

For colors and contrast in the garden, some plants have foliage that can compete with flowers.

As you look through all those gardening catalogs, or as you stroll through your local plant nursery this spring, have a look at the foliage plants.

Hostas are nice because they come in blue, blue green,deep green, lime green, yellow green, not to mention all the variegated ones.

Heuchera, or Coral Bells, is another nice plant. The leaves can be beautifully green or a rainbow of colors.

For more ideas, check out this post: http://wp.me/p1OXDF-Xy

 

Paying Attention To The Foliage In The Garden

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Leaves contrasting in size, shape and color.

Sometimes, we focus so much on the flowers in our garden, we forget to notice the foliage. The variety of shapes, sizes and colors that leaves come in, is amazing. If you plan it right, you can have a very beautiful and colorful garden using plants that have no, or insignificant, blooms.

The foliage has always been important as a backdrop for the flowers. Can you picture a garden with just stems and flowers and no leaves? Leaves have always played an important part in the design of the garden, but I’m just saying that they don’t have to be just in the background.

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Colored leaves of Coleus

By placing plants with contrasting leaves, whether is size, texture or color, near each other, it creates interest. In some shady gardens, it is really hard to get light and color in with blossoms, but some plants, such as coleus, can add color to the shady garden, and by using the light colored coleus, can add light to a darkened area. Coleus do bloom, but the blooms are incidental and usually pinched off to help the plant.

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Strappy, spikey leaves in the garden

Have a look at these pictures and see if you get any ideas of ways to get more texture and interest into your garden.

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Beautiful color and texture

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good contrast in hosta and fern leaves

 

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Beautiful colors and patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Elephant ears

 

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Curly leaf parsley is beautiful in the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Delicate leaves in the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shady Spaces in the Garden

 

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Hosta bed with 6 varieties of Hostas

Like a lot of others, we have a yard that has a combination of very sunny to very shady areas. The sunny areas are easy because so many plants do so well and have to have full days of sunshine. The challenge is finding plants that not only will tolerate the shade but will thrive and bloom in it.

Some shade loving plants are Astilbe, Ferns, Hydrangeas, Japanese Anemones, Bleeding Hearts, Rhododendrons, Pulmonaria, Lamium, Hostas and Japanese Maples. Then there are annuals like Tuberous Begonias and Impatiens that bloom in the shade. All of these plants are wonderful and we have almost all of them in our garden but I’m going to just focus on Hostas and their big, leathery leaves. Hosta foliage ranges from amazing blues through some of the most beautiful greens, all the way to yellow/green. Grown mostly for their beautiful foliage, they also bloom on tall stalks, some even have fragrant blooms.

Hostas vary in size from very large to pretty small so there is one for about any space available in the shady garden. A lot of people love these plants, but so do snails and slugs. The pests are easy to spot and pick off or justĀ  put out bait for them. Left alone though, they can turn hosta leaves into Swiss cheese.

Hostas like a moist (not wet), well drained soil and can take a few hours of sun, (morning being better than afternoon).

We have about 12 different varieties in our garden but my 2 favorites are Blue Angel, which is a giant, blue hosta, and Guacamole, which is a bright, beautiful shade of green and works well in darker areas to brighten them up.

Now is the time to plant hostas so they will be all ready to come up in the spring. Like any perennials, they will continue to get bigger and bigger and more beautiful each year.

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by Eliza Osborn

Our Garden Gate
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