Hey buddies! I’ve been working my butt off the last few days, trying hard to finish my latest gardening adventure. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was on a mission to make the veggie gardens pretty, I didn’t want them to look like they were just plopped down on the side of my house. My plan was to frame out the gardens with a tailored bed of mulch that followed the lines of our house. Easier said then done. In order to do this I needed to remove some of the grass, amend the soil, install a border, add mulch, recess stepping stones, and top it off with some new plants.
I’ll be sharing some tips and my process for installing garden beds in tomorrows post.
This side garden has been the low-man on the gardening totem pole. Over the last few years, I’ve been focused on the backyard and boulevard garden beds. Those gardens are all looking pretty good these days, and I finally had the time to give a little love to the side garden.
In Minneapolis it is typical to have houses butt up to one edge of a city log, allowing just enough room for a small walkway on that side of the house. Because of this, there is often more space on the other side of the house for a small, but useable side yard. This is exactly the case in our situation.
In 2012 the kids and I built our first small veggie garden on the side of the house. When I planned the original garden I imaged that someday we’d add another veggie garden or flower bed constructing something that would give the side yard purpose and relation to the rest of the yard. This year I followed through adding the second veggie garden and now finishing it off by framing it out with a new border and a smidgen of extra planting space.
I added a small flower bed at the front of the garden. It was here that I needed to remove the existing grass and amend the soil with compost so that the new perennials would have the best shot at a good and happy plant life. I was also able to add to new perennials to the garden. I love peonies and decided the new flower bed would make the perfect home for them.
My husband Jeff and I celebrated our 11 year (insane!) anniversary two weeks ago. He knows what I like, and got me a gift card to the garden center as an anniversary present. I decided that I would use my gift in a way that celebrated our anniversary, and used it to purchase two beautiful peonies. I got some fancy-pants ones too, and they are super amazing. They will bloom during our anniversary every year, so isn’t that all mushy and sweet? Since it was the end of the blooming cycle they are already donzito, but I was able to snap a photo before I planted them earlier this week. You can see how pretty they will be next year.
I’m a little obsessed with the new pathway. We had a few stepping stones before, but they didn’t look half as good as they do now. I added 7 more stones to the pathway and now it starts at the edge of our front yard and meanders all the way to the backyard. The dogwood on the edge of the house arches over the entrance of the side yard, and it all looks a little magical. I keep walking by the front of the house to catch a peek from the street.
Besides the peonies I planted herbs. In the front part of the garden I planted two varieties of basil, one standard as well as this purple stemmed beauty. For ground cover between the two gardens I planted thyme and creeping rosemary to fill in between the two blue stone pavers which are nestled between the two raised beds. Thyme and rosemary are both perennial herbs, but unfortunately for me – rosemary is typically only hardy through zone 6.
The garden looking out towards the front yard.
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Plants Used in the Side Garden
Peony – Coral Charm
Peony – Raspberry Charm
Coral Bells – Caramel
Basil – African Blue
Thyme – Silver