“A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure, above all it should be an inquisitive, loving, but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.” ~H.E. Bates
Each autumn, as I clear away the brush and weeds, and clean out so many volunteers, I see my garden in a new light. The current state is analyzed, and gratitude is spoken for all it has given me… many little surprises hiding under the overgrowth.
And I see all too clearly what must be done to allow for the garden to keep growing. Gardens expanded, plants moved, new plants added….and I begin to take notes, and make plans for spring chores. Those that are essential and doable before other work can commence.
Going into my garden anytime of year gives me this critical eye. Planting my foot and taking a good long time viewing it from the soil level to the top of the trees and bushes. Looking at it all. I call this process Stuck Foot which came to me from Lucy@Loose and Leafy with her idea of a Stuck Foot meme which happens around the 21st of every other month.
This month we are headed to The Wall Garden. When we moved here, the garage side of the property had a steep grade from the garage down to the property line. So I had our brilliant mason construct a wall that would ease the grade. And I wanted the wall to be curvy and on multiple levels.
I also wanted to bury the downspouts into the wall garden by French draining them….it is a type of rain garden. The water goes from the downspout into a perforated hose into a hole filled with gravel and covered by soil. Then it is dispersed out into the garden.
And with this added moisture in the soil, I had to carefully choose plants. Of course in the beginning, I was not careful and plonked in anything….like mint, monarda (not good choices especially in a moist spot), and the Oakleaf hydrangea pictured here which has grown quite large. I also constructed a small garden outside the wall where it curves in….and that is where we are headed today.
To get to The Wall Garden, you can enter from the front or back garden. For this post, we’ll leave the house by the front door…..
…..and go down the sidewalk, past the Sidewalk Garden, across the driveway and…..
…..here we are at the top of The Wall Garden. I decided to wait to clear this garden so you are seeing it in all its fall decline.
As we come around to the Wall Garden’s curve you can see the bright yellow leaves at the bottom of the Wall Garden. That’s where we are sticking our foot…in the small garden in front of the curve right up against the wall.
Facing the bottom of the Wall Garden, we see my little Witch Hazel or Hamamelis. This was supposed to be native H. virginiana, but it turns out it is not. Still it is lovely in its autumnal coat of yellow leaves. You can see a close-up view of this tree at the top of the post. At its base is Pulmonaria and daylily. To the right is a native Swamp Rose, clematis ‘Belle of Woking’ and a species Oakleaf hydrangea.
If we look beyond the Oakleaf hydrangea, to the top of the Wall Garden garden, we see the seedheads of Monarda didyma, grasses and Heliopsis.
And there are still flowers blooming, at the top in mid-November…red Knockout roses, remnants of Allium (lots in this garden), an unnamed aster now called Symphyotrichum and Lonicera sempervirens ‘John Clayton’.
Shifting my gaze further to the right, there is Turtlehead or Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’, Phlox paniculata and Echinacea at my feet in front of the wall. In the Wall Garden, are some peony (bottom right) and more views of Oakleaf hydrangea (top right-it’s a big bush).
In this same area is mint, lavender and hardy geranium.
Directly at my feet is lots of oregano, fungi and some bearded iris now gone until spring.
Making the full circle, and back up in the Wall Garden, to the left of the Witch Hazel is this fast growing native Baptisia. Behind it is some more Monarda didyma, Heliopolis, astilbe and Phlox paniculata . I love the seedheads of Baptisia in fall.
Stretching my view beyond the Baptisia, is the Deer-Resistant Garden, on the other side of the gate across from the bottom of the Wall Garden. More lavender, hardy geranium, dwarf monarda, Echinacea, daylily and another Knockout rose, called Rainbow, are growing there.
We cleaned up this garden and the Wall Garden a few days later and here is how the Wall Garden looks now….
Even with cutting so much back, it still looks messy and overgrown especially in the setting golden light.
This garden has been a plonking ground for so long, it needs some changes and a better design plan. I am not sure what I want to do here, but cleaning out the many volunteers and overgrown plants is the first step.
With my profile of this garden, I will be linking in with Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd.
Have you ever stuck your foot in your garden or any space and looked closely to see what is there? Give it a try.
In A Vase On Monday
I was amazed, when I was cutting back some of the garden at the beginning of November, that there was lavender still growing along the driveway. I decided it had to go into a vase. And I knew which vase too. My delicate little Belleek vase. I checked the weather to make sure there was no frost predicted as I waited to pick the lavender for this week. And luckily the weather has continued warm and the lavender is growing like it is summer even with chilly, frosty nights.
And as I was examining the Wall Garden, in this Stuck Foot post, I noticed Knock Out roses budding and blooming. So I added both Red and Rainbow Knockouts. I also found a few Knautia macedonica still blooming in the back gardens with a bit of Lemon Balm growing here and there….making a wonderfully scented vase.
I wonder if there will be flowers still blooming next week? With this November weather, you never know.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.
Join In The Seasonal Celebration:
As I feel winter’s tickle, it tells me it is time to celebrate the coming season. I know winter is not everyone’s favorite season, but I hope you will still join in. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of summer to join in too.
The Winter Seasonal Celebration kick-off post is coming on November 30th.
Next up on the blog:
Monday, I will have another native plant profile…do join me.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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