Sickness has stopped by Casa de la Vanderdogan, and hit both me and Scott with some pretty nasty colds. Now that I'm back up and running, I've taken the time to do a much needed project while Scott rests: organize the many pictures in my computer.
So imagine my happiness when I came across these shots of the house during last year's Garden Walk. My front yard, above, is partially shaded where grassy, and fully shaded where flowers are planted, so hostas, impatiens, and annual coleus are my standbys. I was so happy to find this picture.
Most of the plantings in the backyard were planted during May31 - June 8th. The Garden Walk was July 12. So, my plants had roughly one month of some rather crooked weather to acclimate and flourish. Many of them were still in their acclimation stage, and didn't provide a pop of interest until later on, in August and September.
The back porch was appointed with some pillows and bench from inside, and some linen curtains and tassels. I don't leave the porch like this year round for several reasons, but I think that for the day of the event, people bought into the idea of the space being a nice respite for those warm summer evenings.
Scott and I put in a little more than 120 sq. ft. of planting beds in the back yard last year. In those beds, I tried my best to focus on perennials, and two beautiful River Clump Birch trees. These beauties grew 3' last year, just as the guy at the landscaping center promised. Not bad for $35 trees, huh?
Garden Walk had been planned for some time, but with all that I was doing to help Scott and Allison keep up with the demands of the event, I didn't have time to plant everything. So, some things were still in pots, but in the place they were supposed to be - and I spent time - even while people were walking through, planting them. A nice touch to be gardening during a garden walk, don't you think?
We are city zoned here, and so the houses are remarkably close together, about 5-6ft. on average. I wanted to create a winding garden that would break up the yard and the monotony of side by side by side. The leaning tree of Pisa was actually planted in my front yard when we moved in - and dying. I moved it to the back yard, and it flourished. So much that it became top heavy, and drooped. I have no idea what kind of tree it is - but hope that as the years move forward, it will find its roots.
The fountain was a last minute choice, and one that I don't regret. Made from resin, it weighs about 40 pounds, base and all, and would fool just about anyone in person into thinking it was ceramic. A clearance Target buy at $109.
I felt like the garden needed a little something extra during the walk - as the plantings weren't nearly as established as I would have liked for them to be. So I moved an unused table outside, and created an intimate dining table for two. This was shot by a photographer on the walk from my porch.
Notice the little stone retaining wall in the far left corner? In front of the leaning tree of Pisa? That is genuine Niagara Gorge stone, carried up by yours truly. We live right by the Niagara Gorge, and last year, as part of our group walking adventures, my friend Margaret and Dorothy convinced me to bring along a backpack and carry up some of that great grey stone. I'm really glad I did. It adds a lot of dimension and character to the yard.
I hope that as I dig deeper into the photos I took last year, I find those from later in the summer, when the garden really grew into it's own. Until then, enjoy these photos!