|In post-apocalyptic suburbia, parsley and sage shall take over the world.|
Needless to say, my untamed herb garden was a mess. Last weekend my mother in law and grandmother in law came out to help us plant a new garden. They are both active in the Western Reserve Herb Society and have encyclopedic knowledge of plants. They actually refer to them by their scientific names as opposed to "the purple flowery one" and "the one that attracts angry bees" (my own descriptive terms). They toss around words like "cultivar" and know which plants won't die in the shade. In other words, they are the opposite of me.
After two days of digging in the dirt (the morning of one, I ran a 5K and then worked all day, because I am awesome), this is what our newly fabulous garden looks like. The sage, lemon thyme, and oregano all got haircuts. My mother in law brought out some sweet basil and a spiffy non-flowering type of basil called pesto perpetuo. She also brought some new parsley and tarragon. I topped it off with my rosemary plant. It lives in a pot so I brought it inside for the winter and kept it alive that way. At the garden center, I got an Arp rosemary to plant in the ground.
|Lemon thyme is a cooking herb, not a ground cover.|
I admit, the picture below is not from this year, it's from 2010. I needed a way to illustrate what the shadeless wasteland portion of my backyard looked like. When we bought the house, there was a rhododendron bush here. It was pretty, but we tried to move it to a sunnier spot and it died pretty much immediately. We needed something that would live in the shade, since this area of the yard gets only partial sun. I planted chives in 2010, and they're still doing fine. Picture this area, but with some chives near the gate, and this is what the back area looked like before we got started.
|I know what can grow here! Weeds!|
One of the things I love most about the backyard is the Japanese maple. Its little corner of the yard has always been empty unless you count the sea of dead leaves that accumulates there in the fall and stays until we rake them away in the
|Garden Frog is lonely.|
This is what that area looks like now. So. Much. Better! I had no idea what to plant under the maple, that area gets almost no sun at all. My mother in law came up with the idea of using autumn ferns and impatiens since they both like shade. I love ferns, and they will remain green over the winter after the leaves fall off the maple. I think this corner is my favorite part of the garden.
|The Japanese maple was pruned to make room for the ferns and impatiens. Now it looks like a real garden!|
I went with multicolored impatiens to bring some color to the corner. I have only white ones in my front yard but this area definitely needed some color to break up all the green from the ferns.
|Happy Garden Frog!|
|The grapevine has been trained to grow up on the deck.|
So there you have it, my suburban garden. I don't have a lot of space to grow things, but I've got the herbs I cook with the most and some really cool looking plants that will stay alive in the shade. I'm so happy that my backyard is a pretty place where I can sit outside and eat dinner.