Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weeding the Garden: Before and After

This is the year that I'm learning how to keep a real garden. 
In the past, our homes have had "yards."  Lots of grass, with a few azaleas, boxwoods, and prickly holly. I would always mess up the design by planting what I wanted, such as butterfly bushes and even tomatoes.
Will and I have planted vegetable gardens, of course. Some were huge; some were small.
But we had little experience--or luck--with flowers,  unless they were potted.
Rattlebridge Farm came with ready-made cottage and herb gardens. 
My gardening buddies offered advice. And I also read as much as I could.
Before I'd gotten my footing, I added another garden, a surprise potager for Will. 
He immediately drove to Home Depot and filled a cart with vegetables and bug-spurning things. 
He bought tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, fertilizer, and water hoses. 

I decided to add a few perennials to the cottage garden. So many choices and so little garden knowledge (from my end). But first, I had to get rid of the darn weeds.
When we bought the house, the gardens were pristine, but after a hard winter
nature began to reclaim the territory. Here's a "before" picture from early spring, 2013.

I didn't know where to begin.

What to do?
Weed. Mulch. See what survived the winter.
Take stock.
Take a deep breath.
And here are a few "after" photos:

Lots of empty spaces.


 Before and after.
A "before" of the front flower beds.
Another, bigger "before."
The hydrangeas were engulfed by shrubs.

And a few "in between" photos, taken with my iPhone.

Will loved his garden but thought the hedges needed to be moved back, so he'd
have more room to plant. He's so happy to have a little plot of earth.

Not too big.
Not too little.
Just right.


Pin It

Social Bookmarking


  1. i am so jealous of you planting on nice level land, i am back to cliff side and miss the ease of the good level living! your gardens look wonderful, after you get your veggies in get yourself to the nurseries tomorrow and start loading in MORE PLANTS IN YOUR BORDERS! for easy care see if you can find a local nursery that specializes in local perennials, then you know whatever you buy will excel~

    1. Those empty spaces are driving me wild. Last year, someone stole the statues and some of the prettier irises that the owners had left us. :-( I liked your earlier idea of a gazebo and a path, too. Though I don't think Will would be gaga over a gazebo for his birthday. :=) He's already talking about adding a second vegetable garden. I love it! I have not shown you my pitiful shade garden, which is just beyond Will's space. Such a tangle. We have wonderful local nurseries, and I'll have fun loading up my little red wagon.

  2. It's lovely, the walkways are divine. So much potential for adding to the gardens.

    Mary l

  3. I was at Home Depot today too. I love perennials - best investment!

    1. I have a wonderful list to take with me to the nursery.

  4. So pretty!I really like the manicured/clean cut design! Love what you changed!

    1. Thank you, Glenda. We're getting a late start, thanks to the cold, rainy spring. Better late than never!

  5. Very pretty. And, so much work! I remember it well. Before I began to travel with my husband for his work, I kept the garden very pretty. Now, though, we are lucky to be able to keep the grass cut.

    You've done such a beautiful job with your garden!

  6. Loveliness all around. I wish I had the space, but I would have to hire someone to help me.

    Where do people display stolen statues? Do you tell the garden club I stole those iris from that writer, Michael West? Hmmm....

    1. I doubt they know I'm a writer...I'm just someone with a frog statue. :-0

  7. Your home looks beautiful, and I like what you've done in your front gardens. I found it interesting that you have a gravel walking path in your veg. garden - a novel idea!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Beth. I sprayed the path regularly with Roundup (aiming carefully), and that helped keep the weeds away.

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you, Shirley. I remember your deer screen--that is on my list for sping. The deer picked us clean, lol.

  9. Lovely! I just want to be a little "frog" inside your oh so creative mind. The beauty expressing itself into the world, is truly a blessing. You have so much curiosity going goin' on in there girl :-) Love it!

    1. Thank you so much for your message. Your lovely words reminded me that winter won't last. And soon, we'll have weeds (but warm days). :-)

  10. You’ve really come a long way from that initial state of your garden. I hope that it continues to shape up within your expectation. That being said, have you added any new plants recently? I would love to see how it is doing now. Good day!

    Raymond Quinn @ RiverOaksPlantHouseWestheimer