After showing you a photograph of the Rose of Sharon soon after it had been planted in my last post, I thought I'd show some more "Then and Now" photos of the garden.
The "Then" photos were all taken in May and June 2009. The "Now" photos have been taken in the past couple of weeks.
The first photo shows the border we built using stones the builder had left over from accenting the front of the house. My husband was glad to have them out of the garage, not so glad he was the one that had to move them!
I would have liked to have made the border deeper, but we had to work around underground utilities and sprinkler heads.
Views along the back of the garden today show how the garden has filled in. The Vitex has grown like gangbusters, as have the Southern Wax Myrtle and the Rose of Sharon. You can also see "Junior", the young pine tree we had put in to replace the mature pine we lost.
The builder put a few holly bushes around the utility boxes, but eventually all but one of them died. The vast expanse of lawn made the garden nice and green, but not much to offer for the birds and butterflies.
To disguise the utility boxes, I got a couple of lattice panels from Lowes and believe it or not, I managed to cram in a butterfly bush and a small crepe myrtle behind the utility boxes. (Probably not the wisest choice, but the butterflies enjoy it :-)
Here's a close up view of the utility box corner. Not sure if you can
see in this photo, perhaps in the enlarged version, but I've been using
the area as a convenient place for a brush pile, which has made it a favorite spot for the birds too :-)
We also got rid of some of the vast expanse of lawn by putting in an island bed. It's a bit of a hodge-podge, with no real planting plan, just things stuck in the ground as and when I think about it. I had planned to organize it this year, but it didn't happen. Maybe next spring....
In the meantime, I'm happy that the daylilies are finally blooming (they did nothing last year) and the Profusion zinnia has self-seeded.
The character of the bed will likely change as the peach tree and the river birch grow, but I think they will both provide dappled shade, so plants should still enjoy sharing the bed with them.
When we moved in, the most striking thing about the property was that it was surrounded by trees. That's really where the "Green and Serene" in the name of my blog came from. Of course, we knew it couldn't last, but we enjoyed it while we could.
Now we have houses either side and those trees are gone, but our new neighbors have planted a small tree in their back yard, so perhaps together we can rebuild the habitat :-)
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.