Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Story of Our Dooryard Cottage Garden (Part 2)

In the beginning I was unbelievably ignorant as a gardener but I was a passionate one. I collected pictures of favorite plants and made lists, drew up diagrams. I ordered from garden catalogues, and R.H. and I visited nurseries, he reconnecting with nurserymen he had known when he was in the garden center business. I lovingly tucked in pots of perennials within the newly built geometric beds.

First we planted the diamond shaped herb bed, crowding in as much as was possible.

I baked lemon balm cakes and cookies and made herb vinegars. The Russian blue sage grew to bush size and when brought inside before frost perfumed the whole house.

The other beds were mostly perennial flowers.

Tex was my weeding companion. Here I asked him to pose and because he was a good dog he always did what Mama asked him to.

R.H. built a bird feeder for the garden out of an old cupola.

Our son Gurn brought me a real prize, a solid brass faucet, and R.H. found a round stone covered with moss that I pretended was a millstone.

The dooryard garden became a delightful place. I couldn't tear myself away from it. Morning and evening and in between I was outside either weeding or admiring. One morning I went outside still dressed in my robe and lay down in the path to take a picture at ground level of the plants. Immediately a small low flying plane was over me. I froze as it passed overhead and then ran inside in case they decided to report to the police that a dead woman was lying in a yard. I never did get that picture.

The bark paths were eventually replaced with gravel. Our youngest son Defee became my most faithful weeding companion, although all my men helped me.

Defee loved the lilies as much as I did.

There were Stargazers, Casa Blancas, Artistic Asiatic, and American Classic Trumpet Lilies that flourished for a few seasons. And then they were no more.

There were other disappointments. Delphiniums that would not live. Lavender that died so quickly you would have thought I sprayed it with Roundup. My lovely mountain knapweed gave out, the hollyhock leaves were gossamer webs. The cardinal flowers came in ugly. What happened to the hardy sweet woodruff?

As perennials gave out we planted more and more spring bulbs, hostas, ferns and spirea.

The Kousa dogwood grew and grew, becoming the white bridal bouquet of May. Glossy ivy covered the large well house R.H. built. Pieris Japonica grew. Foster holly trees put on red berries for Christmas. Paving stones replaced the gravel paths. I settled for less lush garden beds.

To be continued.

I apologize for being slow in getting Part 2 on Across the Way and in visiting my blog friends these last few days. My reason why? We had company--Sweet Nora with her mommie and daddy came to see us!

I'm sure you understand now!


  1. I understand completely!

    Very beautiful gardens and I love to hear the story.

  2. Oh, who wouldn't stop for a few days to gaze upon such a beauty!

  3. Dewena, I love your garden. I have learn from trial and seed catalogs tell lots about plants. xoxo,Susie

  4. Love the name Nora! She is adorable.
    The twists and turns of your garden is so familiar to me. Plants that have come and gone. Plants that didn't work. I did a blog post once on having fewer kinds of plants and focusing on what does really well on this hilltop.
    Very funny about you and the plane. :<)

  5. I absolutely understand, Dewena.

    Your cottage garden is amazing. I've enjoyed these posts, so much.

  6. My yard is a wreck after the March stormes here and the fact that we had to replace our field lines. These pictures are beautiful, but they make me a little sad :)


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