Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome To My Garden!

My husband and I moved into this little 1941 Cape just outside of Boston in May 2006. The seller was a flipper who had done a good job updating the systems of the house, a pretty good job updating the decor and absolutely nothing to update the yard. Our little postage stamp of land in front of the house consisted of some green weeds passing for grass, and the original azaleas, rhododendron and evergreens, which seemed to have been left to their own devices for 65 years. The rhody was about 14 feet tall and blocked the front door so badly that the movers could hardly get our sofa into the house. The red azalea was so choked by the evergreens that it hardly bloomed for lack of sunlight. A white azalea had been planted in an odd place by the kitchen door, probably a hot house plant received as a gift and moved outdoors without much care for its survival. As a Southern girl, I knew little of landscaping in New England, but I did know how to care for azaleas. So, over four years we pruned and mulched andwatered and nursed, my husband gasping in horror as I gave the evergreens major haircuts. We also broke up the old cement path and relayed the vintage slates in a bed of gravel. By May 2010, we had this yard~

Not bad, given where we started, but our repeated grass seeding just never took hold. And dozens of daffodil bulbs never sprouted. Our house was built on a rock ledge, and the soil was poor quality fill littered with bits of chiseled rock and inhabited by moles, voles and chipmunks who used our retaining wall as a highway for their daily runs around the yard. One spring I watched in frustration as a chubby woodchuck munched on the one tulip that had bloomed...it was time to call in the professionals!

We hired a landscaper whose work we had admired around town. The plan was for him to dig out the old soil and replace it with high quality dirt, raising the height of the yard in preparation for extensive plantings in pinks, yellows and blues. Half of the yard would be a shade garden, and half would take advantage of the full sun. Best of all, he started his work when my friends Elaine and Rebecca were visiting for the Brimfield antique show! After our day "in the fields," we'd come back home to admire his handywork. Here's the yard shortly after planting one year ago~

Ahhhh...a proper garden at last! All summer we enjoyed watching the new blooms appear. Each day after work it was such a treat to walk up our street from the bus stop and see our very own yard filling the neighborhood with color. Our neighbors were thrilled, and some we did not even know stopped by to tell us how much they enjoyed walking by each day.

Of coures summer must end, but then we had a winter like no other~

Before I could even prune the roses at the end of their season, they were buried in a snowbank. By January, the plows pushed the white stuff higher and higher~

By January, my garden was under 4 feet of snow! Boston will generally have a couple of thaws each winter that keeps the mounds from getting too high. Not this year. Then in March, we finally saw the ground again~

My poor roses! Then nature took its course, and the yard was lovely again.



This week in my garden we're celebrating its one year anniversary! I'm so happy so share this tale for This Week in My Garden at The Little Round Table.


  1. Your yard is just beautiful Daphne! I love all of the great flowers and colors and I'm sure you were holding your breath to see if everything came back! Enjoy:@)

  2. What a great place! Absolutely gorgeous - thanks for sharing...

  3. Daphne, your pictures are just wonderful! I love how you showed the "before" and then through its first seasons. It survived and is reborn. I know you are still at Brimfield, can't wait to hear about all your wonderful finds.


  4. I am visiting from Candy's blog. Talk about a metamorphosis!! Your landscaping is absolutely beautiful. I love how you showed the garden through the harsh winter. My tiny postage stamp of a yard is still struggling, I don't think I will see much blooms this year. xo,

  5. Absolutely Gorgeous!!!!! A wonderful place!
    Love the tour!


  6. Thanks for the kind words! I'll post another update next week.

  7. Oh happy day...Oh happy Spring!! Yes here in New Jersey, we haven't quite forgotten the snow either but the gardens are sure making up for it...your garden is lovely!

  8. Wow, Daphne, I loved seeing your yard transformed. It is just beautiful now!