I found the perfect plant for around the gas lamps (now electrified) along the brickwalk in the entrance garden, and this year they’ve self-seeded. That’s going to be one colorful section before long!
I’ve completely replanted the entrance garden and the ceremony garden over the last several years (except for the wisteria and the trees, although I’ve removed some of the smaller and poorly-sited ones). The gardens were all impatiens and dirt when I came to them. It looked good (well, except for the dirt), but I really wanted to make the gardens more interesting and give them depth, especially in the ceremony garden, with something for the eye to see and follow in every direction. I wanted to create a unique look, with plants that aren’t seen everywhere, and give the gardens a ‘clearing in the forest’ look as opposed to a formal look.
A major goal was to change from nearly all annuals (that die and are replanted every year) to nearly all perennials (that come back every year) which would, among other things, extend the season by a month or more in each direction, to April to November.
I’m happy to report that it’s all worked really well.
Both gardens are shade gardens, which lend themselves to form and texture and height more than flowers and color. Shade-loving perennials, about which I’ve learned a great deal (from nothing!), are doing a spectacular job all over the garden of meeting all my goals, and are even adding some surprising color. All of it makes a great backdrop for photographs, and a lovely place to be. —David