A Stuck Foot Along The Sidewalk Gardens


“Tidying is the act of confronting yourself; cleaning is the act of confronting nature.”

~Marie Kondo



When you read the title of this post, you might think my foot would be stuck to the brick sidewalk given our heat wave.  Or maybe I have been stuck in this garden so long because of the time it has taken me to get this small area cleared….way too long, but oh boy the weather and poison ivy has been fierce.  Heat expected, poison ivy not.  

DSCN5938But it is neither of those.  This is my time to show you the Sidewalk Garden, by sticking my foot in one spot and panning around.  This time though, I thought I would move around to show it from all its views.  

The Sidewalk Garden was stuffed end to end with volunteers, weeds, meadow wildflowers that spread their seed and new saplings covering everything.  It was so thick it was hard to get through the hard clay soil to hack it all out, leaving just the garden.

It is still a work in progress, but taking my time to carefully clear it has given me so many ideas for changes this fall which is a priority….including mulching it.  Yes I know if I mulched, less weeds would grow.  But I like to be tortured in the heat of summer.

So let’s see what we have…..




This is an early morning view of the Sidewalk Garden.  There are 2 gardens here…one small garden that runs from the driveway to the front step….you can just see it there where the tree on the left grows.  We’ll start there.




front driveway side

This is the driveway side of the small Sidewalk Garden.  It stays in part shade all morning and in hot afternoon sun the rest of the day.  

Starting on the left you can see lavender, dwarf Balloon Flower, a unnamed daylily, ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea and a gorgeous iris that still needs dividing.  Oh and the white Verbascum is flowering again after I cut it back a week or so ago…that was a nice surprise.





As was this lily…a great surprise.  It appears to be Oriental lily ‘Arena’, but it has never bloomed before probably because the deer get it first.  It has a subtle heady scent that is yummy.




front sidewalk side

When we step onto the sidewalk, we come to the sunnier part of this garden.  There is another ‘Endless Summer hydrangea, pink VerbascumAllium Sphaerocephalon and native Boneset that seeded here from the back garden (likely I will move it back to the White Garden).  There are also a few ground covers here….violets, Veronica and Phlox subulata, as well as English primrose and a hardy geranium.  

Soon several trumpet lilies will be blooming, if I can keep the deer away.





The Salvia, growing in the smaller garden, is done blooming, and needs a bit of dividing.





And this unnamed stunning peach and purple daylily should be spread around the front garden.  It is a showpiece in the small Sidewalk Garden.




shade side of small walk

The last view of the small garden, along the sidewalk, runs from the sunny section to the front step.  The second view above is from the porch.

This section stays mostly sunny except for the area under the tree.  This area needs more violets to keep the weeds at bay, and I am waiting for the Hellebores, I moved here, to grow in.  Once the spring bulbs are done blooming this space is bare or full of weeds.  I have several Astilbe that are being swallowed in the back garden so I may move them here.  Hostas are a no-no due to deer who come up to the front door….brazen things.

Blooming in this section are Nodding Onion, Lavender Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), lots of lavender, violets, Aquilegia and oriental lilies.  I am thinking of moving some Phlox paniculata and Echinacea purpurea in the sunnier spots.  Both are on the other side of the sidewalk in great amounts.  





Up on the porch, in my antique containers, is Proven Winners Supertunia® ‘Honey’.  I like the color, but it gets washed out on my porch and needs a companion purple petunia perhaps.  It doesn’t seem to flower as well as many of my purple Proven Winner petunias.  





This is the view of this little Sidewalk Garden, from the end of the porch.  The clematis, that is on the other side of the trellis, did not bloom this year due to the very warm March and cold rest of spring.  Oh and you can see my special Rudbeckia maxima, which I hope to divide, and grow on the other side of the Sidewalk Garden.  I will be profiling this plant soon.



Now we will move to the other side of the sidewalk where the garden is long and curvy…..and has so many views!



long sidewalk near driveway

The first section starts from the beginning of the sidewalk.  You can see that view bottom right.  Top left is the same garden from the lawn side.  Blooming here is a Lemon thyme, lavender, short Echinacea, Stachys humello, hardy geranium, a dwarf evergreen and a dwarf Forsythia with many little baby plants that need to be moved.  Also here is a ground cover rose covered up by the Echinacea, and more ground cover Veronica, Phlox subulata, as well as English primrose.   I plan to move some of the lower growing Echinacea to the other side of the sidewalk.





And a Rudbeckia has snuck into this section.  It will be removed soon as I have enough flowers that volunteer in this garden.




grass side of long sidewalk

Bottom left you can see the second half of the long Sidewalk Garden.  At the far end are two variegated Weigela…one may need to be moved.  We cleared lots of volunteers, weeds and edged this garden.  I also got rid of the big ornamental grass (top left).  It gives the boxwood and Potentilla fruticosa ‘Mango Tango’ more room.  I plan to move that ground cover red rose, buried by the Echinacea, here.  And you can see a wonderful Gaillardia, loads more Echinacea and Echinops Ritro or Globe Thistle blooming.  There is also a pink fairy rose, Lavender hyssop, daylily and lots of room to move some volunteers from other parts of the garden here.





As we move in closer to the pyramid trellis and tree you can see the Phlox and Echinacea, and yellow Scabiosa ochroleuca.  The Scabiosa heavily seeded itself all over, and I removed most of it.




front far tree

A few more blooms from the tree area of the long garden, near the porch and sidewalk.  Yes that is a Japanese beetle bag.  And yes I know I will attract the beetles from our neighbors, but I will anyway, as my garden is magnet for them.  This way I am assured to get most trapped, which will help to stem the tide in the years to come.  You can see the Echinacea eaten by the J beetles in the top picture.  Thankfully, I love the Shabby Chic look.

In this section is tall Phlox, surprise purple Delphinium that needs to be moved from under the tree, and Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’ which barely flowered as well.  There are trumpet lilies here too, but the phlox and lilies, I uncovered and exposed, were eaten overnight by our resident deer.  And Joe Pye along with Goldenrod tried to take over, but I dug them all out….too aggressive for this small garden.


So you can see there is a lot of potential here, and lots to move…..then mulch.  I look forward to seeing this garden continue to grow and develop.



What is your favorite garden or plant blooming now? 




In A Vase On Monday 




I have two monochromatic vases this week.  First I created a pink vase which I just love.  I saw so many lovely pinks this summer.  The center is, Asiatic lily ‘Rosella’s Dream’, along with two deep pink dahlias, Invincibelle® Spirit Hydrangea arborescens, frothy ‘Queen of the Prairie’ Meadowsweet Filipendula rubra and a pink fairy rose.






The second came about when I had to cut down a bunch of Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum), that were growing too close to the squash bed.  I’ll move the plant come fall.




shasta daisy

A plain small milk bottle was perfect for this simple vase of daisies.



I am joining in with Cathy@Rambling in the Gardenfor her wonderful meme In A Vase On Monday, as I create these vases this week.  Check out what creative vases other bloggers are putting together.



Next up on the blog:  

Monday I will have a special vase post as August begins.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2016.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

52 Replies to “A Stuck Foot Along The Sidewalk Gardens”

  1. I smiled seeing the filipendula in the vase–mine is blooming now as well and I just adore that “frothy” pink.
    Hope you have a great week. Your garden is doing so well

    1. I agree that frothy pink is so intoxicating. Hoping we get some rain soon. That will help all here in my area. Have a great week yourself Susan!

  2. Hi, Donna. I really liked this post and your front gardens. In the dry shade under your tree, you might try Epimediums. They are hardy to your zone and in spring have dainty sprays of flowers that look like orchids, plus new growth on leaves flushes prettily and they are tough once established. I am also wondering if allegheny spurge would work. This is native to the northeast and not a thug like Japanese spurge. It has a beautiful sheen to its green leaf, satiny really, and can take dry shade as well.

    1. Astrid, I completely forgot about Epimediums. I have several in the back garden being swallowed by weeds and other plants that could be moved here….I think that may be the ticket. I shall try a few, I’ll move in fall and see how they do. Unfortunately Allegheny spurge is not a native to my area, and a very slow grower I found….so perhaps letting the violets (a native) grow in would be best for a ground cover with the Epimediums…I would never plant the Japanese version again…as you say a thug! Had it in my old garden. Best part was the fragrant flowers. Thanks for visiting and the ideas!

  3. Beautiful vases Donna–the gentle pink one is so lovely. Interesting to see the many plantings in your sidewalk garden. Do you find ‘Endless Summer’ is able to tolerate the hot afternoon sun? Do you have to give it a lot of water? I’d love to have one but am not so good about watering.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the vase and garden. ‘Endless Summer’ is very hardy. These were frozen several times this winter and spring without the snow cover. And they regrow from the base almost yearly due to our weather. What is surprising is the blooming after all that. Not as much given the cold spring and drought now. I do not water them, and they are perfect. Of course they get plenty of snow melt and rain in winter and usually fall and spring. And the morning shade helps I think too as the driveway is a harsh area.

      For your area, I’d say try one in fall in a more shady spot and just water it from fall through spring the first year. That’s what I did.

  4. Such a refreshing post, with all these lovely bright pictures! Nature attracts me and so do those posts that deal with nature 🙂

    Such a blessing to live around these beauties!

  5. Loved the Stuck Foot tour – so many lovely plants – good feng shui entering the house! 😉
    I adore your pink vase arrangement today- frilly, fluffy and fantastic!

    1. Glad to hear about the feng shui as that is important to me Eliza…clearing it helped tremendously too! I think this pink vase may be one of my top favorites of all time!

  6. I love all your photos. But I love the Echinacea. So nice. In my garden(pot) I have a beautiful flower but I don’t know the name. I shall make a photo this week.

    1. Oh the mysteries of the garden…hope you can identify that flower….I adore echinacea too, as you can tell from my garden!

  7. Don’t you love surprises in the garden Donna? I was truly surprised this year by a volunteer Balloon Flower in the cracks of my driveway! The surprise is that I’ve never planted Balloon Flower here! I love Rudbeckia Maxima and yours looks so happy and healthy. I used to have three in the Nice Driveway and thankfully one has survived over the years – I plan to move it to a more hospitable location in the hopes it thrives instead of dwindles. You have done LOTS of work Donna. I can’t wait to work hard in my garden again – it sorely needs it. I seem to like that self torturous heat thing, too. You know wait until high summer to do the really heavy and dirty work ha ha.

    1. I adore surprises Kathy…and wow you got a wonderful surprise too! I adore R maxima! Another plant we have in common. I think we like the high summer for working in the garden maybe because it is teeming with life!

  8. I enjoyed reading about your progress in the garden Donna supported by your pretty mosaics. Your pink vase is lovely – I will definitely keep any new lilies in pots for next year where they will stand a better chance as your Rosella is having a very pretty dream and your dahlias are a gorgeous shade too. Isn’t is good to have a few trimmimgs in a vase too? Waste not, want not!

    1. I completely agree Cathy. I am moving my lilies to only a few spots where I can protect them from deer and the even worse lily beetle. The cutting garden and pots are giving up some lovely blooms finally so I expect they will be in a vase soon.

  9. I enjoyed my tour of your front garden, Donna! It’s a lovely space and very colorful despite the summer heat. I don’t envy you the poison ivy clean-up, though – or the deer. Your vases are also a delight. I wish I could grow that beautiful meadowsweet.

    1. I expect we’ll keep finding poison ivy as we clean up…price we pay for living with a wild area behind us! So glad you enjoyed the tour Kris!

  10. We have some plants (balloon flower, coneflower) that are blooming at the same time.

    But how amazing to see a ‘Crystal Fountain’ clematis bloom! Mine usually blooms from late April to early May! And I wonder why yours would be pouting (i.e., not flowering much). Too much shade? Too much competition from other plants?

    1. Actually the area it is in has loads of room and is in full sun Aaron….no it was the very cold spring with late snow and freezing temps in May and June. It killed buds and half the plant. Early blooming clematis were significantly affected and later blooming ones were not. It was the first time I saw this. A warm March brought the plants to life, and lots of up and down warmth and cold stressed them….if we hadn’t had such a late cold snap, I think they would have been fine.

    1. How interesting indeed Beth! It is a front hall colonial with a full farmer’s porch. Glad you liked the view…

  11. Your gardens look great!!! It amazes me no matter how much work we can think of for ourselves, it always seems to be mulch. I wish someone had a mulch blowing truck.
    Love your pink arrangement, tried to grow Filipendula for years in Atlanta, to no avail.

    1. Oh that is too bad about the Filipendula…they seed like crazy here…I can’t stop them from growing. Isn’t that always the way!

  12. So much to see and so much beauty, but for me the picture that will stay in my head is the combination of the lily and the Filipendula: perfect.

    BTW, if we were on the same continent, I would beg you for some of those plentiful seedlings 🙂
    Strict [ and sensible] regulations make that impossible these days.
    Lovely post.

    1. Thank you Joanna…how I wish I could give you some of those fabulous seedlings….they would love your garden!

  13. I love your stuck foot concept Donna and enjoyed seeing the plants down both sides of the sidewalk.
    I rather like monochromatic bouquets, both are pretty.

    1. Thanks Judith…it is growing in nicely along the sidewalk now after leaving it alone for a while. I rather like it when I can find enough of one color to make vases of one color….right now I have plenty of yellow but I am resisting.

  14. Lovely to see your sidewalk garden up close. All those Echinacea must look wonderful when you draw up to the house! Love the pink meadowsweet in your vase Donna – so deliciously frothy and bubbly, like pink champagne! My shasta daisies are going over already but have been beautiful… You have inspired me to cut the last ones before they are gone. 🙂

    1. I think the echinacea is one of the best parts of the garden Cathy….now that it has grown in and moved about it creates a wonderful look. Love the idea of the Meadowsweet as ‘frothy pink champagne’. Can’t wait to see the Shastas in a vase!

    1. I was awed too when I saw the lily and Meadowsweet in my garden and knew I had to put them in a pink vase…they really stand out and make that impact….so glad you really enjoyed the vase Christina!

  15. I need to add some echinacea to my gardens somewhere. It always draws my eye when someone else has it in their garden. I love the color!

    1. I agree Maery it makes a gorgeous addition to the garden…wish you were closer as I would give you some…I have lots to share.

  16. Lovely Sidewalk Garden, Donna. I liked your collage, and lily is a beauty. Phlox and Echinacea look nice, I think my phlox is similar yours!
    About your vases: the green vase with lily is very pretty.
    have a nice week!

  17. Poison ivy? How do you get rid of that? I am looking at your garden as I am thinking about how I can move my raised beds to more traditional beds…. Always learning from you Donna…

  18. I need to learn that mulching lesson too Donna 🙂 I really enjoyed your stuck foot post and am most relieved to hear that your feed are not embedded in clay. A most pretty in pink vase.

  19. What a lovely welcoming garden for visitors coming to your front door! You know I love coneflowers, so it makes me smile to see their cheery blooms throughout this area. And I love, love the pink vase arrangement! I just read your latest post and hope you have a speedy recovery from your shoulder problems. No need to reply to this comment; I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you and hope you are well and back to blogging soon.

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