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Deuce Cities Henhouse

The Side Garden

Raised Bed Side Garden
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.

Progress is slow on the side garden
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.

Raised Bed Side Garden
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.

Raised Bed Side Garden

Raised Bed Side Garden
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.

Raised Bed Side Garden
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.

Raised Bed Side Garden

Raised Bed Side Garden
The garden looking out towards the front yard.

PSST – THE DRILL GIVEAWAY ENDS TODAY, ENTER HERE

Raised Bed Side Garden

Raised Bed Side Garden

Plants Used in the Side Garden
1
Peony – Coral Charm
1
Peony – Raspberry Charm
1
Coral Bells – Caramel
1
Basil – African Blue
1
Creeping Rosemary
1
Thyme – Silver
1
Perilla
1
Creeping Speedwell

Raised Bed Side Garden

13 comments
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13 comments… add one
  • Alanna June 25, 2014

    This looks gorgeous! I have a couple coral charm peonies in my front yard that I put in last year. They’re tiny babies still, but I got a few gorgeous blooms from them this year. Our house in St. Paul has the same kind of side yard set up except super shady. I put in a long, curvy shade perennial bed this spring.

    • Scoops June 26, 2014

      Oh man, that is so encouraging. I bet your front yard looked great with them this spring. I bet by next year they will have doubled in size. Your shade perennial bed sounds beautiful, what plants did you use?

      • Alanna June 26, 2014

        I put in lots of astilbe in various shades of pink and red, some lavender foxglove, pink bleeding heart, and blue and chartreuse hostas. Plus creeping jenny, which is by far my favorite groundcover, and some burgundy glow ajuga. It bends around the corner of my house into the front garden that has lots of different types of coneflowers, peonies, bee balm, and little black violas mixed with silver brocade. Everything is small yet, but in another couple of years it’s going to be great!

  • Megan June 25, 2014

    You are my gardening hero! I love looking at all of your hard work and getting inspiration for our home. We have lived here for 7 years now and besides the first year or two when I was really attempting to make our front garden pretty (which I failed, miserably BTW), I haven’t worked on much. This year, I’ve been weeding and tending and pulling out what doesn’t work. I hope to add a little each year since I don’t have the budget to go out and buy a bunch of plants at once. Your Coral peonies are beautiful! I love peonies too. I have such fond memories of the prettiest, biggest bush of peonies at my Grandmas house. Peonies will always remind me of my Gram. Thank you again for sharing all of your hard work. Your garden is really lovely!

    • Scoops June 26, 2014

      Thanks, Megan! That is so sweet of you to say. It sounds like you are really getting into it. It’s all a process, I do the same thing, move it around, add a little here and avoid what I’ve learned doesn’t work for my yard. I actually bought my peony because it was very similar if not the same as a peony bush at my grandmas house. I love gardens that bring memories, do you have any peonies in your yard to remind you of your Gram?

  • Lexy June 25, 2014

    There were 2 peonies in our yard when we bought our house, but they were both in full shade and wouldn’t bloom. So I did some research and transplanted rhem both to sunnier spots. It took snout 3 years for them to start blooming again (I guess they have a lng recovery time) but I enjoy them so much now. And even when they’re not blooming they have lovely foliage and make big, lush, loose “shrubs.” The leaves are Great for cut flower arrangements, too.

    • Scoops June 26, 2014

      Hey, Lexy! Isn’t that so great about peonies, they really do have beautiful foliage, especially some of the newer hybrid varieties. They do love the sun, I’m glad you figured out you should move them. Our new peonies will get a lot of sun at the beginning of the spring, over the course of the season the angle changes a bit, but I hope they will be happy here. I think next year I’ll invest in those stands that help the bushes stay upright, mine got all saggy this year.

  • Courtney b. June 26, 2014

    ugh! i am SO jealous of your yard/fence eee!

    • Scoops June 26, 2014

      Thanks, Courtney!

    • Alanna June 26, 2014

      Me too! That fence is so much prettier than the busted chainlink that half-surrounds my yard. Super jealous.

  • Lori June 26, 2014

    So lovely! Your garden posts always make me want to run outside and plant something :). Your gardens are gorgeous (and the little snippets of plants from the front yard are making me want to see more of the front!). And totally off topic, but I’m curious if you’ve ever moved hostas. I have some that whoever lived here before us planted, but for some reason they bunched them all together behind two bushes. I’ve wanted to move them since last year but I’m afraid I’ll kill them. And you know how rare and expensive hostas are (HA!). Great job on your gardens, though. Thanks for sharing all of your hard work :)

    • Scoops June 26, 2014

      Lori! “Moving Hostas” is my middle name. I am the queen of hosta transplanting and splitting. They are so hard to kill, don’t worry, you can move them easily. What you have to do is dig them out leaving a good amount of room around the base. They have really big and strong root systems, so ease them out gently. After you dig one or both of them out, stick them in a new hole, add a bit of compost if you like and then water them daily for a week or so. They might look wilted for a moment, but they will bounce right back. If you feel brave break them in half with your garden shovel and then you’ll have even more hostas to spread around your garden. You won’t kill them, I promise.

  • amy June 26, 2014

    your garden is gorgeous! very inspiring! the lush green is to be desired here in CA where we are in a serious drought. i love your blog!!!

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