One Year in a New Garden

This is Joseph, your GPOD editor, welcoming you to my new garden in South Bend, Indiana. I moved here almost exactly a year ago. When I moved in, the garden had been abandoned for two years and had turned into a mass of invasive weeds.

This area along the back fence was lined with invasive shrubby honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Zones 3–8). Cutting it all out was quite a task.

garden area in front of fence after invasive plants removedMy goal the first fall was to get everything cleared out, including the weeds dug out, and the ground all ready for planting.

garden bed full of annual and perennial flowersAnd here’s what the same bed looks like today. Long-term, I think it’ll be mostly perennials, but I wanted to get it filled in fast, so there are lots of annuals mixed in, like this wonderful red Salvia microphylla (Zones 7–9 or as an annual). The hummingbirds come by a few times every day and visit each flower.

garden bed un full blooms with various colored flowersHere’s looking down the bed in the other direction. I’m fairly happy with it, but I will do some moving around and replacing this fall. Dahlias (Dahlia variablis, Zones 8–11 or as a tender bulb) in the back are just coming into bloom.

close up of Penstemon with bright pink flowers and yellow flowers behindThis is one of my favorite plants of the year, something I’d not grown before: Penstemon × mexicale (Zones 5–8). It is a complex hybrid of several North American native speces and has bloomed nonstop all summer. The bees love it. Penstemon generally prefers well-drained soils, and mine is sandy, so I hope it’ll be long-lived.

close up of small purple iris flowerAnother favorite plant this year is Iris dichotoma. I’m not sure this will be hardy for me; most sites list it as Zone 6, and I’m on the edge of Zones 5 and 6. But even if it doesn’t come back, I’m enjoying it as an annual. These beautiful flowers are sometimes called “vespers iris” because they open up in the late afternoon each day.

window box with bright pink flowers, chartreuse foliage, and dark foliageIn the front of the house I added window boxes. They have grown a little out of hand! I might try a simpler planting next year.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

Read the full article here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button