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Gardening is the most relaxing hobby I have. Watching our families garden mature over time has been gratifying to me and my parents. We don't even have to go to a nursery anymore, since we have enough perennials that can be divided. I also like to see our plants reseed themselves in the garden like Phlox and Black Eyed Susan. In the Spring, Pansies and Johnny Jump Ups grow in the cracks of the bricks, and stone pathways in the court yard. Wild Ferns and Moss also grow under the cool wet shade of the Boxwood hedges. Hens and Chicks profusely multiply in this Ironstone English sink. The sink was a find at Brimfield.Antique Show.
The urns were purchased at Brimfield. We change the urns through the seasons for color and interest. Christmas time we add an Alberta Spruce with small white lights. Spring and Summer we like bold colors that intertwine and hang over the edge. When Fall time comes, we place Mums. We like to buy hanging baskets that are already planted. It's cheaper and makes clean up easy. The urns can also be used for more exotic plants such as Palm trees or Orchids. Tropic plants in the urns can add a whole new level to even a country garden.
The Irises blooming were bought from White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut about 15 years ago. When Irises get over crowded, they need to be divided. I like to divide and replant in the Fall. The rhizomes should be exposed slightly above ground to winter over. This plant will be here forever as long as its probably maintained.
The Frank Lloyd Wright inspired planter was a find at Brimfield. The Granite bench was given to my parents, by a nice couple who live across the street.
The hanging basket will soon be planted with Impatiences and hanging on the front door.
This garden below was a shade garden which was anchored by a 100 year old Horse Chestnut tree. The tree was taken down in September 2012. The timing was crucial because The Blizzard that hit in October 2012 would have caused the tree to split, and hit the house.
The garden planted is still a top notch shade garden with over 100 Hostas. Many are special because of their super size or mouse ears size. A few have a light fragrant bloom or just a single white bloom like a Lily. Others, were bought because of the shape of the leafs and color combos, such as aqua blue green with a splash of lime green. The visual is rich with color and texture. We have one of the best Hosta collections around. I will probably need to transplant these shade loving plants to the other side of the property, since these plants are in full sun. Other plants that compliment the Hostas include Ginger, Cultivated Ferns, Evening Primrose, Tobacco (annual) and Astilbies.
The color of the bench is a historic teal blue color bought at The Seraph in Sturbridge, Mass. The color stands out against weather beaten shingles of the house and arbor. The climbing rose is a called New Dawn and will bloom after posting. I'm sorry to miss this display. The day Lilies, Coral Belles, Black Eyed Susan, Phlox, Lavender, and rambling English Boxwood look full.
The brick edge was inspired from Martha Stewart's house in Westport, CT years and years ago, Turkey Hill. She had a rose garden with a brick edge. My mother and I hauled 100's of bricks that surrounded the pool in the back yard to the front court yard garden. I then removed 8' long Carpenter ant infested rail road ties from the garden edges and replaced them with bricks. The flower beds looked natural with soft curves instead of sharp angles. The brick color contrasted with the stone compliment each other without overpowering the garden. It looks like it has been here for a 100 years. Every winter the ground will heave, and I have to reline the bricks and add more stone.
This garden is so nice to sit in during the early morning. The sun warms this part of the property first. I like to sit with a cup of coffee and watch the birds that come to the feeders. Peaceful....
I stood on part of the roof to get this shot of the courtyard. This garden is sheltered by the house. The courtyard garden is a nice surprise when you walk up granite steps from the driveway. Its an unexpected garden. Friends and family will sit on the classic bench and drink their coffee. There are lots of bird that visit the birdbath and feeders. The birds visit in the morning around 8 am and then in the early evening 5 ish.
This is our street garden. We have so many plants in this garden I even forget. It gets overgrown quickly. Despite our digging, dividing and pulling this fertile ground keeps growing and growing. I recently made space for a tree Peony. It will do well in this spot but one Hosta plant can grow a mound as big as a 5 foot round kitchen table. I will have to do some dividing. We have Bleeding Hearts, Lilies, Poppies, Hens and Chicks, Pansies, Golden rod, Phlox, false snap dragon, Irises, carnations, lavender, Columbine, Black Cohosh, wild Geranium, Aster, Boxwood, Alberta Spruce and many un named plants I need to learn.
The front of the house looks pristine for an old jewel. This old cape, farm house has seen many families come and go. This house has never had a garden like this surrounding all its sides and nooks. This house would of had a couple of trees to offer shade, high grass and maybe a stand of Lilacs like any old New England home would have. The owner back in the 1700's might of had a small kitchen garden with some herbs out of necessity. If he or she saw this house today with all these plants they would hardly recognize the house. They wouldn't understand why? the purpose? Its a romantic notion to have a garden. What do you think?
The side garden was a barren dusty area. The only thing that grew was some hard core Spiriea. The soil was enriched with buckets of rotted manure, peat moss and mulch. Now, we have Hellabores, Blue Salvia, Day Lilies, Golden Basket, Black Eyed Susan, Ornamental Boxwood, Volcano Phlox's, and thistle to name a few. This has been a learning experience of trial and error. We transformed a barren area to a
lush perennial bed. We like perennials because they can be divided and planted else where. Perennials come back yearly for several years. Its okay to add an annual here or there, but buying perennials is the way to go.
The Koi pond garden has gone through some changes. My mother has added a mass of cat nip. It will bloom spires of vibrant purple blue and make a big statement. After it has bloomed, my mom will cut it back for round two of blooms. The plants she picked are robust bloomers and arranged in clusters of 2 to 4 plants for max impact. There are Hostas, Grasses and Ferns for foliage interest. The swamp Irises are going to send up a mass of tall purple beackons anyday now. Then an area of Phlox will explode with color. In the Fall a mass group of Sedium will pop with a rich color of reddish orange attracting last minute Bumble bees and Hummingbirds. THE garden shed is finally covered with Boston Ivy and Climbing Hydrangea. The Rhody looks beautiful with its pink blooms. The Weeping Hemlock has been transformed. During a garden tour my mother was told how to trim this variety of Hemlock. I think it looks terrific. I like the use of the Olive jar and bird baths for focal points in our garden. THE garden whimsy was made by my father. I really love this place. Someday my parents will move and this garden will hopefully live on.
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