Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Tour of My Garden


Some people have asked to see my flower
beds around my home.
I must admit that I seldom take pictures of
my whole beds or home. Some reasons are
for privacy since I live in a well known location
and the other is that my flower beds as a whole
are just not that impressive. They are constantly
evolving and changing  for the better but there
is always more time than money and much needs
to be done, thus it is a constant work in progress.
Like most gardeners we are never satisfied and
like to change things up always adding and moving.
So I have many flowers and I am always adding
more. My house is an old one that was built out
of materials from an old house so it is many years
older than I am so it is really, really old. ;-)
It has changed over the years with additions and
some remodeling just like the flower beds but
sometimes in life you just have to deal with the
life you have been handed so I am content in my
small old house and it is good enough for my needs.

So I really had to dig to find a picture of the whole
house and it is an old one.


This is the house in 1966 when it was bought
after a flood had went through a house we were renting.
Looks bad here but for the price and moving to higher ground
in a low income county obtaining our first fixer-upper
and land was exciting.


IMAGE040-Lona Stevens-1

This is the house in about 1995.
The maple trees in front were planted by us and
replaced the front trees of Sassafras. Now who in the
world plants Sassafras trees as shade trees? So I really
think the house was built in this field that had Sassafras
trees on it.  A bathroom and washroom was added on the
back. Believe me after years of outhouses this was a major improvement. I learned fast that higher on the hills away
from water meant you had now had no water. Water wells
were about four hundred feet deep here so few had or could
afford drilled wells.
Instead rainwater was caught from the roof and filtered
into cisterns so I learned long before green was the fad
that water saving was a must. I got a drilled well about
ten years ago but I still use the cistern for watering my
garden. The rain water now goes into a rain barrel which
has an overflow pipe that I ran straight to the cistern.
So as long as it rains I have water for the garden that my
plants like better because well water at four hundred feet is
really cold water.

The house has been remodeled over the years as have
the garden beds around it.
The garden beds are now all around the house
and a garage that was added a few years ago.
The walkway stones in front I laid myself.
The Rhododendron trees have grown a lot bigger
since the picture above and the  vinca minor I am still
pulling out in places behind the bench and this ‘middle bed’
as I call it between the house and the garage on the right.
This bed has seen a big transformation over the last years.
Last summer I dug out the Rose of Sharon hedge in front of
the porch and redid it.


I mulched along it and I am trying to find plants
to grow along here so if anyone has any shady plant
ideas I would welcome them. Last year I just added some
yard ornaments and set pots of impatiens there.
I did plant a Jacobs Ladder plant right on the corner.
It made it through the winter and I am now waiting to
smell the blue flowers that smell like grape.
One of my fellow bloggers wrote about the grape fragrance
the flowers emitted and after a sniff test at a local nursery
she was right so one followed me home. Who doesn’t like
grape for pity sakes or blue flowers.
Isn’t that right Catherine.



Along the walkway in front as you come upon the front
door is a shade bed on the right that over the years
has changed and been added to. Brunnera, Wood ferns,
Hosta’s, Japanese ferns, Columbine and a baby
Hellebore now grows here with one very gaudy primrose.
The Sedums were moved to the sunny part of the woods
bed it was just too shady here for them to grow well.



Of course i have to add my baskets of impatiens  here
to add some summer color.




Here also I built an old fashioned pump pond.
I love to set on the front porch and listen to the
water pouring into the pond.
Toads like it here and the cats and raccoons get
at them. I also gave up on goldfish in the pond after one
summer. Even hiding under the pump did not save them.
A new Toad house is now waiting to be set
near there now but those toads won’t stand a chance with
all of the critters around here.


I love pieces of drift wood and the rock pond and
walkway I added here. The look just goes better here
in my area and looks more natural and woodland in
this corner.



Also there are two window boxes here in the shade
that are filled with impatiens, coleus or other
shade loving flowers every summer.

Fairies live here  and keep watch.


Also before you get to the porch this is my middle
bed after I tore out the vinca and redid the bed.
So many plants were added last summer and fall
since this picture was taken. Now besides the ferns
there are flowers that  will bloom at different times of
the seasons.
There is Astilbes, Heuchera’s , Anemones,
Plumonaria, Candytuft, Columbines, my Bleeding
Hearts, Hellebores, Bellflowers, Brunnera and Tirellia.


The big maple tree along the front walkway is
also home to the elves and gnomes.
I am going to introduce Bilbo to them when he
Maybe they are related. LOL!


Down the rock pathway along the house side of the
middle bed sets my now red bench. Brown was just
too boring for this shady location and it got lost in the
I have Campanula, Astilbe’s, two hydrangeas and
Queen Charlotte Anemones planted here.


This bed along the house is so pretty in spring when the
Rhododendrons are blooming.


There is a PJM, an unidentified red one and the
poor yellow Capistrano on the bottom left here.
Capistrano blooms earlier than the other two and
is a sad sight this spring with two limbs remaining
after last winters snow but those two limbs have a few
blooms that are now opening on it .



This is looking down the rock way to the back yard.



This is looking from the back yard at that same
middle bed after the redo. I have different colors
of tall phlox, Coneflowers,Veronica, and Delphiniums
planted on this end of the bed which is sunny.
I added some purple Monkshood and Nikki phlox
to the pink I have here this spring. So I guess this
is going to be my shocking pink bed. LOL!


Down farther on the right along the bathroom side
and back step corner is what is slowly turning into a
butterfly bed. There is Blue Hill Salvia, Astilbes in the
spring. Summer brings Bee Balm, Yarrow, Pestomen,
Dianthus, Evening primrose, and last year I seeded
Lupines and added them to the mix.



In this bed at the corner of the back steps is my bed
of despair. The clay is so hard here that the only thing
that will grow is Bellflowers, Burgundy Gaillardia,
Wild phlox, Shasta Daisies , Yarrow and Echinacea.
Also some ground phlox which will grow anywhere.
The leaky birdbath was turned into a planter and
flowers get added to it in the summer.

Trailing lobelia is usually one of the plants put in it.

This is looking back to the steps.


Also back here in the back of the house is the cistern.
The cement top of  the cistern makes a sweet place for
the potting bench I built and my little green house.
Everything is really close to the water here. In fact on
top of the water so it may be a good thing I can swim
if the old cement top falls in.
This is also where I have a grill and I hang out
some evenings reading and watching the birds.
Good hiding spot behind all of this.LOL!


This also looks out into the side yard which has woods behind
it which I am trying to create a woodland bed clear along it
and where I fight with the deer over the ownership of my flowers.


Looking toward the woods and the long bed I have a bench,
birdbath and the Tipsy pots is the starting point of the
woodland bed. Along the front of the woods in the shady area Hostas, Ostrich ferns, and Astilbes have been planted.
Further along where it gradually goes into sunlight lilies,
Irises, Echinacea and Hydrangeas grow.
In the sunny part beds of yellow, pink and blue flowers
were planted last fall. There also is my Magnolia Jane
and some Peonies and further up is a  Mimosa tree.
There is also an old dug well top out there that I have
planted Yarrow, Lilies, Gaillardia and Raspberry
Parfait  hydrangea. (Finger crossed it blooms this summer).



Also in the back yard is my old shed and never blooming
Star Magnolia tree on the right. 
This shed got a new paint job this spring and a change up.
With a new coat of tan paint the fence got taken away
and in front of the mailbox on the left is where I dug up
a new bed for my friendship garden. I will add plants
this spring from seeds and plants from my blog buddies.
also by the two front doors I placed two large tan pots
which I planted Dahlia’s in. A New Dawn climbing rose
grows over the shed on the left and a Silver Moon Clematis
on the right corner.



Also in the back is my monster Oak tree which
was home of my Sweetpeas.
The arch and  Sweetpeas were moved to the side along
the shed after the paint was dry.



Now at the Oak tree is a trellis with a new
Autumn Clematis.



Around the back and to the other side of the house
is this fence which hides the filter to the cistern.


All kinds of flowers are grown here all along this side
of the house and over the basement doors is a arched trellis
where a Star Clematis and Red Blaze Roses grow .



Shasta Daisies, Echinacea, tall phlox, hydrangeas, roses,
lilies, clematis, coreopsis, mums and spring blooming bulbs
are some of the flowers that grow here.



Window boxes have pansies in the spring and fall
and summer flowers change with the seeds that
I grow in winter but there is always a geranium in it.


Along here too is the drilled well pipe which I hide by
making a bed filled with junk garden decorations
and planters.

And now we have went clear around the house and back
to the front porch again on the left corner area.
Here on the corner is a Rose of Sharon bush that
is mixed with three different colors of Rose of Sharon
bushes grown all together to form the look of one bush.
I have multicolored blooms.



Here to along this corner of the porch is a window box.
Echinacea and a Double Delight Rose grows here.
Ground phlox grows around the Rose of Sharon
bush and there is a Sorbet Peony here for spring
blooms too.

Now on to the garage.


Along the middle bed side of the garage is Salvia,
Nepta, blue Veronica and this is where I have
been working this spring moving things around to
make my rose garden bed. On this banking along the
garage there is good sunlight and the roses like it here.
The banking which is clay also drains off better here.
A Sunny Knockout and an Easy Does it well join the
Iceberg rose I planted last week. Also an Albany 
Clematis was moved to vine up the big red rose bush.
After all of my roses turned red last summer some
pinks, yellows and white roses had to be added.
I love all of the red but I missed my Irish Yellow rose
that is now red in the far right of the picture.



This is from last summer when the roses, Blue Hill Salvia
and white Dianthus was blooming.



In middle of the garage doors in front is a planter
which changes every summer.



   Around to the other side of the garage on the
corner is a red Crape Myrtle bush.


While off to the right in a small corner yard is a Mimosa
tree. I am hoping it is big enough this summer to get its
first blooms since the big Mimosa tree in the back yard
had to be taken out last summer because of drainage work.


On the right side of the garage the banking is filled with
ground phlox which is so pretty in the spring. Last winter did
some damage to it so it is having to come back in spots again
this spring. Tulips and lilies also are grown along this side.


The back of the garage is the same only it has Creeping Myrtle which is now crowding out the phlox but not the Crownvetch
of which I am constantly pulling up.



There is another small bed at the back of the garage.
This is an old picture. There is an old clothesline
pole here which I have planted around.
This bed was revamped last fall.
The Irises were divided and moved to the woods
bed. There is also a wisteria here and one on the
other clothes line pole which is down from the cistern.
This one is smaller than its bigger sister of which has
never bloomed for me and it does not look to promising
this spring either. Clematis vines have now been planted
to grow up the wisteria vines. Good grief something should
bloom in all of that space and they were planted with a
final warning to the wisteria. “Bloom or your axed”.

In the revamp last fall of this round bed.
I decided to go into the area of color that I shy
away from.  Orange! But I must admit I am still leaning
more towards the peach color here.
Red Helenium, Apricot Achellia, Burnt Sienna Coreopsis,
Sundown Echinacea, peach lilies, yellow Tiger Lilies were
planted here. Also some garden buddy Marigold seeds
are now growing to add to it.

The raccoons tore the back off of my old chair
trying to get to the Oriole  feeder nectar which I hung
above it. So all that is left is the seat which I do not think
I will plant because it looks too much like a potty chair.

So this is the tour of my flower beds and yard
such as it is.

Happy Gardening Everyone !

 Until Next Time,  Lona


Bangchik said...

A very beautiful garden indeed, a good space to start with and a beautiful collection of plants. I love to have that to play around gardening!! ~bangchik

The Gaudy Garden said...

Lovely, Lona......

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, your garden, home and all of your points of interest look wonderful.

Are you the fern expert? I have one that I cannot identify and it looks prehistoric.


Jim Groble said...

Wonderful. What a nice tour. jim

The Redneck Rosarian said...

Lina, what a beautiful garden you have! Thanks for sharing it with us. Your roses are beautiful. ...

Heather Bell said...

Hi Lona - the rhodos look great. You have lots of intersting things to add to the interest in your garden. Thanks for sharing it.

tina said...

You have a lovely garden. Even the shed blooms with wonder. It is incredible.

Amy said...

Lona ~ You have such a variety of pretty blooms! The rhododendrons are beautiful. Also, your light blue house makes such a pretty background for all your flowers.
I remembered seeing your baskets in an early post and I bought some the other day to hang on my wrought iron fence to fill with blooms...not sure what yet.
Your love of gardening shows. Enjoyed the tour!

A Garden of Threads said...

You have a beautiful garden. Thank you for the tour, I enjoyed it very much. take care:)

Sue said...



pogonip said...

Thanks for the tour! Your home is darling especially with all the history behind it. Your flowers are just wonderful and make me long for warmer weather, fast!

Tootsie said...

I loved this post!

Anonymous said...

Lovely Lona !

The garden the plants everything is so beautiful!

I loved your planters specially the one in front of garage door with pink geranium in top and you old shed and the fairies gnomes and water features and ... oh should i say i love it (each and every thing)


Stephanie said...

I had a wonderful tour of your beautiful garden :-D Saw your myrtles... nice! I like the way you painted the old shed with the pretty butterfly attached. What a marvellous job!

Floridagirl said...

Oh, I love your house and garden! So pretty! Those rhododendrons are amazing! I also love all the benches and fanciful creatures decorating your garden. And that is the way to deal with a garden shed! Love that paint job!

Kiki said...

Wow Lona...your whole MAGICAL!! What a little paradise of beauty!You have charmed my heart with your garden...LOVELY!What a wonderful spirit you shows through your garden!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good morning, Lona. I enjoyed your garden tour so much. Love the fairies around the pump! What a good idea setting baskets of impatiens around to add color.

I wish I could keep my beds as tidy as you do.

Dirt Digger said...

Love the photos! Wow! Especially the huge rhodie. And I couldn't agree more with the sentiment about never being satisfied. That is how I immediately know someone is a true gardener in spirit.

JOE TODD said...

Lovely post a better tour than the Garden Show..

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Wow Lona, your garden is magnificent, thank you so much for taking us on a tour. Your walkway with the rhodos on either side leading to a mature tree is just breathtaking, and it's lovely that you have a bench along side, it must be a lovely place to sit. Your elves are adorable, and I look forward to seeing them meet Bilbo.

Darla said...

It is very impressive Lona. Just beautiful and I adore the whimsy here and there.

Kimberly said...

Lona, what a PRETTY garden you have! Your choice of flowers is just perfect for each area, and you whimsical art adds the finishing touches. I'd find it difficult to do much of anything else if I could hang out in your space!

The Garden Bell said...

Lona, my dear, my new muse. What a delightful garden you have. I have no clue how I hopped over to here, but am so glad I did. Hope you don't mind if I follow along on your 2010 garden. Hope you can stop by my little patch and have a cup of lemonade sometime and introduce yourself. I love new friends.

So for now, I'm off to look around here in your patch. Charming, simple charming.

Kate - The Garden Bell

Debbies Doodle said...

WOWOW I love your gardens. Fairy gardens!! cool.. what do you use for mulch?? do you lay out plastic under it?? Your house is the same color as mine..
Thanks for visiting my blog..
You would have loved the floral room at Sylvan springs. The nuns put fresh flowers in all the rooms every day.. The gardens must have been something.

Jenni said...

I love being able to see the history and progression of your gardens. I am hopeful that someday I'll have a similar story to tell!

Kate said...

Wow. I'm speechless! You have such an eye for detail. And, everything is so cute and cozy. I could relax in these gardens all day long. (Please note: I said relax. Perhaps with a nice cup of tea. Please don't ask me to do any weeding... :) Just kidding. What a great post. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia said...

love to visit your garden. I don't think you are a stanger to work. Well done! What is the music you have installed? Very nice.

noel said...

aloha my friend,

i'm so glad you also use a catchment/cistern like we have no choice but to collect water from the roof to use. i love all the whimsey and art views you instill in many parts of your garden, it really gives such a wonderful view of you and thats really great!

Noelle said...

Hello Lona,

Your garden and house are so beautiful! I enjoyed looking at each picture and saw so many beautiful plants and other things that I love. Being in your house for so long and having worked on creating your gardens is so special.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

This was so fun to get a tour of your garden. I felt like I was walking around with you on a nice summer day. You've done so much work. You have so many beds, I love that you have the woods around your house too.
I love your house, I love the homey style of older homes any day over the houses that all look the same.
Glad your Jacob's Ladder made it, mine just started to bloom :)

Happy@Home said...

I loved the tour of your beautiful gardens. All of your flowers look so pretty and healthy and I am inspired by your whimsical touches.

Jess said...

Lona, I think a lot of people don't show us their garden as a whole, and I can tell you, as a new gardener, it is so helpful to see these pictures. It gives me ideas, and it lets me better understand how people are actually growing things and with what, including walls, benches etc etc. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lona Dear, Where to start?

The transformation from 1966 to 1995 is astounding. Such a welcoming home with your eye candy decorating and gardening prowess. I've said it before but I love how you use "junk" decorations to enhance your plantings. I also love the wicker baskets and hope to use a few myself this year. The pink azalea by the pond is my color! Love it. Sorry about the coons. Cute buggers, but so destructive. Love the painted shed. it gets my wheels turning about my rusty tin box of a thing. Normally I like rust but yours gives me inspiration.

Thank you for this fabulous tour.

Anonymous said...

Lona, I am so glad you shared this tour of your lovely home and garden. Like you, I rarely give overall shots of my gardens, but prefer macros. But I guess I did yesterday with my redbud shot! It's rare though. I always feel like my garden beds are unfinished, or not at their peak. What's the secret to your rhodies? We've struggled with ours.

Dirt Princess said...

I am very impressed!!! If you think your beds aren't impressive then you would REALLY be disappointed by mine! It is beautiful and I am sooo beyond thrilled that Bilbo is coming to visit you! He will have so many friends there!!! I am sure he must have relatives living in your garden! Thank you for such a wonderful post!

Balisha said...

I was mesmerized by this post. Following along...trying to keep track of where I was. What a beautiful place you have there. Love the way you put baskets of impatiens where you want color. The roses are gorgeous.It all blends together so well. You must be at peace working in your yard.

Becca's Dirt said...

Wow is about all I can say. You have so much going on at your place. And the house - what a fabulous transformation. You have really done a lot to the place all around. Looking forward to more this summer.

Jeannie B. said...

Yours is certainly a garden to aspire to!! What a pleasure it must be to sit with a cup of tea and a book!

madcobug said...

Thanks for the tour around your home. Everything is beautiful. You have done wonders to the old house and made it beautiful. I love all of it. Helen

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I loved this tour! I will be taking it again from time to time. I have been working on our yard for the past couple of years and it's a slow process as my new husband is not used to all this planting and fiddling with the outside. He and his wife didn't do that at all. The yard was completely blank. It is slowly becoming rather pretty..but has a way to go. It really isn't all that large as we live in a tract and the home is small.
I don't think I will ever get over my longing for a little cottage. I am doing my very best with this one...
Your yard has such wonderful ideas.
Thank you so much for explaining about the mulch. I didn't know.
I have bought mulch and loved the way it looked and how it kept the moisture in..but that was all I knew...that it was pretty and things did much better with it. I appreciate you taking the time to inform me. :)

Ilona said...

Your garden is so charming- it is obviously planted and tended with LOVE. So many ideas for people who want to create lovely places in their gardens.

You are a garden artist, Lona.

FlowerLady said...

Oh Lona ~ I don't know how I missed this, but am sure glad your link at the bottom of your latest post caught my eye. What lovely, lovely gardens you have created. You have created such a happy space, filled with love, peace and beauty.


Asha Ram said...

Dear Lona,

Absolutely stunning! And I'm mesmerized by your garden and all the effort and love that's gone into making it so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.