When my kids are big and grown, I’d like to spend my days gardening. And shopping. But mostly gardening. And maaaaybe some woodworking. And gardening. Oh! And the occasional spa day. That would all be very very nice. Until then… I wanted to give you a little glimpse of our garden as is… with some help from Southern Living Plants. I met the folks from Southern Living Plants a YEAR ago and we’ve been chatting ever since. I’m kinduva garden geek that way… When we closed on the current house, I knew there were some serious landscaping needs.
I’m new to this gardening/ landscaping gig. But here’s what I know. Nothing is permanent. Gardening follows lots of the same principles of design: consider texture, color, proportion. And of course, HAVE FUN with it!! Our old house was a blank canvas. It was so overgrown with ugliness, that we ultimately cleared out everything.
This new house is a very different beast. It has lots of lush garden beds, but they’ve been neglected for years. And many of them are overly mature and in dire need of big time pruning. Our landscaping budget was non existent but there were some things that HAD the be done. On either side of the front door were two completely overgrown yew trees. Massive. They came out along with a tree right next to the foyer that was keeping the space super dark. We also removed the gajillion year old boxwoods that were effectively segmenting the back patio from the rest of the yard. All to say we had some voids to fill.
Despite the name, Southern Living Plants has PLENTY of options for those of us who don’t live down south! (Your local nursery will only carry suitable plants for your zone, but always check your plant hardiness map before ordering plants online!) Here in the northeast it’s important to balance the showy flowering perennials with the consistent evergreens that will maintain their color throughout the dull winter.
My goal for this past spring and summer was to fill in the gaps left by the overgrown bushes we removed and to begin to add foundation plants along the patio. Boxwoods are a staple here in Connecticut. I’ve found they do better when wrapped up each winter, but they’re still the perfect plant to start with in lots of beds. Southern Living Plants sent me a bunch of their Baby Gem boxwoods. We planted them around the patio and they’re perfection. Over time they’ll fill in to become a small little hedge to delineate the flagstones and the soon-to-be fence.
For the quintessential summer plant in this neck of the woods, we used hydrangea in the new bed where the overgrown boxwood bush used to be. These plants are tiny right now, but next summer they will fill in beautifully and be a great visual break between the patio and the lawn. Also? I’ll have free props for all my summer blog shoots!!
As tempting as it is to spend some major time (and therefore money!) on the front of the house where we removed those large bushes, we decided to start gradually out back because that’s where WE enjoy the yard the most! So boxwoods and hydrangea and… these BEAUTIFUL azaleas to frame out this back bed opposite from the patio. (These rebloom over the course of the summer so I’m SUPER excited for some added color back there!)
Last but not least, a sweet dogwood tree! A personal favorite… these small flowering trees always signal the beginning of spring to me! I can’t wait to see how this little guy grows and fills in. Want to know the craziest thing? We use the amazing Sleepyhollow Landscaping for help with this sort of a thing… we love them and the kids always look forward to the days when the crew is working outside. So rewind a couple of years to October 15, 2013… Sleepyhollow was at our old house planting two dogwoods and… Louisa was born. Those trees may not belong to us anymore, but they will always signify Louisa when we drive by. This year, June 3 rolls around, Arthur makes his debut and guess who’s at our place planting trees and removing the overgrown bushes?! I mean… what are the freaky odds of that?! We have pair of trees to grow up with Louisa and now our beautiful new foundation bushes to grow up with Arthur!
We have a long way to go with this landscape of ours… but all of these incredible SL plants have given us the best foundation. After a few months, all of these plants are still luscious and reblooming. SL Plants are known for being big and beautiful and healthy and so far, so good!!
Even if you don’t have a garden, take the time to drool over their amazing catalog of plants. They have local retailers but there are also online options! Online shopping for greenery? Yes, please!
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