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. 

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