Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back garden eyesore - Part I

My back garden looked pretty good last May 2nd, the day of my open garden. I won't exactly say it's been downhill from there but almost. There have been many changes to this garden since then. Roses are bigger, roses are gone, new roses have come, plants have frozen back and not returned as promised, and some unsightly stuff is now visible that was hidden. The eyesore is a very small part of the whole but a very ugly part, and I feel it has a large impact on the feeling of this garden. It hurts my feelings every single day.

I think you'll be able to feel the garden if I can place you in the garden. So imagine you're the little man in the Google Street View. Keeping in mind, of course, that nature and this gardener have made some changes. Take your time. I'll keep quiet except for directions.

From the house look north
 Walk out behind the bench, turn around and look toward the house.
Turn to the right and walk west just a few steps, look back to the house.
 Walk forward, looking to the right as you go.
 Keep walking to the corner of the house and turn to the left. Now you're facing east.
 Walk toward the bench, stop at the stepping stones and look right.
Walk past the bench, turn left at the potted plants and do a 180. You're looking south. The future eyesore is on your left.
 Step back a little and look left at the tidy, well hidden storage area.
 Look right at the shade garden, my pride and joy - foliage texture and color.
Pivot left a bit, walk back toward the house, stop next to the pots.
Look to the left at the nice bamboo screen, Mona lavenders and a Walters Viburnum in a shady grotto under three oak trees that only gets late afternoon sun.
Turn right toward the house, bear left and stop under the rebar arbor.
Turn around, the eyesore is behind Louis Philippe and Fortuniana (climbing the oak tree on the left).
Look to the right. The shed is the end of the road, er, gravel path.
Turn around, look south toward Reve d'Or and all the way at the end is Maman Cochet, Cl.
Bear right, then look left under the arbor.
Now go back to the red bench, sit in the shade, and I'll get you an iced tea. Sweet or unsweet?

While you sip your tea, I'll tell you my problem. No, better yet, we'll fast forward, and I'll show you my problem... So much for bamboo screens. It lasted six months. And Mona Lavender doesn't like freezing temps - at all.
Isn't this embarrassing?
Can this ever be a pretty part of the garden? Stay tuned to Part II. I think I have a plan.


  1. Dear Sherry,
    I like the idea of enjoying an iced tea (sweet, please) in your garden. If you ever come down to Tampa, you will have to stop by and do the same in mine, and of course let me pick your brain about what to plant and how to prune LOL. If you need any design help, I will be happy to be a sounding board for ideas, sometimes I even have a decent one myself from time to time.


  2. Oh my gosh Sherry, your back yard is wonderful. I will not show you our eyesore(s). We are working on the areas, and they make yours look really mild. I am so impressed with what you have done with your front and back yards. You are an inspiration to me. I look forward to seeing what you will do to hide this area. I know it will look GREAT.


  3. Very clever, I can't wait to see how you solve the dilemma!

  4. Fence? Something a little more substantial than bamboo?

  5. I kept waiting for the ugly, but when I saw it I thought: "Is that all?" Most gardeners have a plastic pot dump somewhere. Yours isn't so bad. Focus on the 99% beautiful and not the 1% messy. This just gives you an excuse to get more plants to hide it.

  6. I have a good feeling you have an excellent plan. I just love your pathways. That was a wonderful way to take a tour of your gardens. It is very inviting.

  7. Enjoyed seeing your back garden and those beautiful gravel and flagstone paths. My own "working part of the garden" is something I think about improving all the time, but haven't actually done anything about it. Can't wait to see what YOU come up with so I can copy.

  8. I can't wait to see your plan....perhaps I can borrow it. I am beginning a project to hide my potting table from view. BTW....I teach at CF in Ocala...;)

  9. P.S. I meant to tell you that I will look here for inspiration as I start work on my biggest project ever....my circular rose garden....coming this fall. :)

  10. Thanks for the glass of sweet tea Sherry...all that walking has worn me out. Love your grass-free backyard. You've done a great job with all the walkways. One question -- is part of the walkway gravel? It's hard to tell but it looks like it to me. If so, how do you like using it? Does it get weedy? Do you have plastic beneath it? How many inches thick is the layer? I'm sure you've got an clever idea floating around in your head to disguise that work area. Do keep us posted on the results.