Garden Party

Did you bring your giant hat and your cucumber sandwiches? Are you wearing a conservative floral print tea length dress? Are you prepared to stand around in the grass pretending not to be just a liiiiittle too drunk for 3 pm on a Monday? Welcome to the party!

Ok, so it’s not THAT kind of garden party. In the spirit of the Twitter Home Tour a few weeks ago, Little Boy Green set up a garden/window box/house plant/flower/veggie/sand/rocks tour and of course I jumped on the bandwagon. Because hellooooo have we NOT learned that I am a)incredibly nosy and b)willing to post 80 bazillionty pictures of my house on the internet just to get out of writing about bodily functions for one day?

May is still really early for most plants here in New England. Well, really early or too late, since my bulbs and flowering trees have already faded and my actual flowers are only juuuuust starting to bloom. My goal has always been to have one of those continuous color gardens you see in the magazines but who am I kidding? I can barely identify half the crap I’ve planted in the past three years, and Google isn’t very much help with questions like “greenish yellow plant with sort of spikey leaves purple fuzzy flowers blooms in august smells funny”. And also, make sure you have safe search on if you ever need to confirm what a “grape hyacinth” looks like. JUST TRUST ME.

Our very tiny front lawn

My mother once told me my grandma doesn’t believe in planting flowers in front of your house. Something about it being gaudy and tacky and the only things you should see from the curb are evergreens or bushes. Apparently the previous owners also subscribed to this school of thought, since the front of our house is kind of boring, other than the ten minutes that the rhododendron is blooming. I usually make up for it with half a dozen flower pots on the front steps and some impatiens in the stone flower boxes in the front but it’s a) too early for most annuals and b)I can’t afford flowers right now because of something called MY MINIVAN. (Sidenote: I talk out of my ass a LOT when it comes to gardening. I know just enough to be dangerous and just little enough to blow a couple hundred bucks a year on plants I have nowhere appropriate to grow. Please don’t take anything I say seriously.)

Facing the house, this is the right side. The left side has an ugly chain link fence and the tiny side yard where we keep the trash cans and dog poop. You won't be seeing that.

The vine on that arbor is a wisteria, which makes beautiful purple flowers. Or at least it WOULD if someone could remember to prune it before it uses all it’s energy double it’s size and attempts to strangle the rest of the plants. I do this almost every year.

Despite the fist-shaking I did at the previous owners regarding the inside of the house, I can’t complain at all about their landscaping. They spent THOUSANDS of dollars putting in a ton of perennials that require no effort on my part and creating a beautiful, mostly private yard in a crowded neighborhood.

View through the arbor. Also, I TOTALLY photoshopped that grass to hide the big dead spot. And spelled echinacea wrong.

There's also a hardy hibiscus plant over by the poppies. It makes huge tropical pink flowers even though it looks dead every spring. The rest of the stuff is weeds. This side is sadly neglected.

Clockwise from top left: rhododendron, bleeding heart, wisteria, honeysuckle

Worst place to plant a rose bush ever. Despite pruning the CRAP out of the hydrangea every year it keeps getting bigger.

One of the best things about my landscaping is the large number of cutting flowers – lilies, hydrangea, irises, roses, lilacs, daffodils, tulips. I can almost always have a bouquet or two in the house without spending a dime.

More honeysuckle, lily of the valley (one of my favorites, my name means lily-of-the-valley) and irises

This bed was originally totally empty (previous owners used it for veggies) but I like flowers too much to dedicate that much space. I planted the blueberry bushes in honor of Baby Evan just a few weeks after he was born.

I planted the radishes to mark the rows for the carrots, as suggested on the package. They're the only thing I'm attempting from seed this year - seeds and I don't really get along.

The previous owner told me this was his "friendship garden" because the plants were all gifts from friends or cuttings from their gardens. I've added a few but mostly left his work alone.

View from the back steps. Please excuse the EIGHTYBAZILLION helicopters (seeds from the tree) on everything.

Damn tree. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice enough tree, it just shades a lot of my garden and drops helicopters everywhere.

From top left: Poppy, rose (I BEGGED it to open), columbine, herbs, sweet william

LOVE my clothesline, especially now with all my diapers to sun-bleach.

The dead grass and empty space on this side of the yard is going to be a patio. Some day. It was supposed to be this year’s project but the cost of the materials might be more than we can afford this season. Luckily I have a wonderfully handy father who will come and do all 50% off the labor for free and who knows how to build patios.

This space - the back edge of our property - gets forgotten a lot. Luckily it's pretty self suficent.

I REALLY REALLY wish I could afford a garndener, just once or twice a season, who would come in and clear out all prickly stuff.

Sad, forgotten herb garden behind the garage. My mom and I cleaned it up a couple years ago but it gets overgrown REALLY fast. I only go back there now to hunt down chives.

And just in case you needed proof my garden is just as messy as my house, here's the back steps, "vintage" wagon, dirty grill and sad empty hanging baskets.

So there you go! My garden. And I always refer to it as “the garden”, just because I feel like “yard” is sort of a lie and, truthfully, “garden” just sounds nicer. Have you seen the cat? Oh she’s in the garden. Honey, I’ll be out in the garden reading. No Baby Evan, stop ripping up the garden! Besides what you saw, there’s also a grape arbor over the ugly trash can side yard (although it didn’t make any grapes last year) and two kinds of clematis on the ugly chain link fence. Plus probably a bunch of other flowers I forgot about/don’t recognize/can’t remember.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit the rest of the Garden Party participants!

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8 Responses to “Garden Party”

  1. The Mother says:

    I’m sooo jealous of your wisteria! I planted one when we first moved into our old house. we lived there five years and never once saw a bloom!

    What is your trick to growing lily of the valley? I’ve tried a few times they just won’t grow!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lisa says:

    The big giant tree looks like a silver maple to me (maybe you knew that already… just wanted to help and that was the only one I could identify).

  3. Merin says:

    So many nice plants! Mystery plant #3 looks like sedum (blooms in the early fall?) and mystery plant #4 looks like rose campion (blooms little hot pink flowers soon?). Did I get 3 and 4 mixed up? Too hard to scroll back on little iPhone. Love the tour and don’t be surprised if you find me under the cover of darkness in your garden with a trowel and many plastic pots. When exactly are you traveling again?

  4. bebehblog says:

    The Mother – I have no tricks. The wisteria and the lily-of-the-valley were there when I moved in. I actually TRIED to plant more lily and failed miserably, but the ones I have keep multiplying on their own.

    Merin – YES! I knew that was sedum, I just couldn’t remember what it was called. Weird waxy leaves, right? And I think you’re right on #4 too, since it does make hot pink flowers, but I’ve never heard of it. I have seen it at the nursery though so I’ll check the tag next time I’m there. Thanks for your help!

    Oh, and P.S. My neighbor actually had someone dig up his hostas and his day lilies during the middle of the night right out of his garden. So there really is a plant thief here in Norwich…WAS IT YOU?

  5. You have a really nice garden. I has a jealous. There should be a summer garden tour though, because then I can actually participate, though i’m not sure how well my container garden in my concrete courtyard would stack up to this.

    But right now those containers only have the dying spring flowers, the just popping up day and asian lilies, and a bunch of dirt. But they look nice in the summer when I, you know, plant stuff in them.

  6. Merin says:

    Too funny! Now I know I can do it but blame it on the other guy.

  7. Beautiful pictures of very nicely maintained garden. You are very good gardener and it looks you are crazy about gardening. Really nice work and thanks for sharing your beautiful garden with us.

  8. […] a complete rundown of the plants in my garden (pre-patio) here. Wow, I have spent WAY too much time documenting crap about this […]

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