A Room With a View

Welcome to the first garden bed that I created 11 years ago. This is my attempt at a garden room. You enter through the arch and follow the path around the circular center bed until you come to the bench tucked in one corner. You can sit and enjoy the view while you sip your coffee. I can’t take credit for the shape of the bed, it was already more or less this size when we bought the house 11 years ago. There was a common old pine tree, some lirope, nandinas and a large mass of irises growing here. It wasn’t a garden per se, but more of a dumping ground. The previous owner used this area to pile his debris from the yard. Leaves, grass clippings etc. Not too long after we moved in I had my husband remove the pine tree that looked like an enormous Christmas tree with branches growing to the base of the trunk. Once that was gone I had a better idea of what I was dealing with. The soil back here was loamy, it was basically 6-8 inches of pure compost. I immediately wanted to do something special with this area. The first year I planted a wild flower garden here but it was more unruly than I initially intended. The second year I came up with the plan to make the circular bed with the path and the arbor. The original arbor was a cheap aluminum one from a discount store, it lasted a couple of years. This one was given to me as a Mother’s Day Present as well as the birdbath in the center. The bench (the red object to the far right corner) was a curb find 5 or 6 years ago that I give a coat of red paint every year. The plants have evolved or changed through the years. The bed changes through the seasons as you will see in the next photo that was taken just a month ago. In this picture you will also be able to see the true size of this garden bed. There is always something in bloom most of the year. From the daffodils and candytuff in the early spring to the red berries of the Nandinas in the fall & winter months. This is the view from my kitchen window year round. I love doing dishes and looking out at this beautiful view every evening. It is also a perfect view from the patio in the morning while I drink my coffee. In the picture to the right you can see the faint yellow of the daylillies and the red planter (to the left) is an old washtub that I spray painted red like the bench. I have miniature Irises and Obedient Plant growing in this container. That washtub has evolved over the years as well. It was the only garden I had in our last residence which was an apartment. I had this on my front porch painted bright blue and filled with annuals every year. I’ve had that washtub for going on 20 years now and it is still one of my favorite things in the garden. In the picture below you will see how the garden looked 2 months ago at the beginning of our gardening season. You will see see the Nelly Moser Clematis and a pink climbing rose that I called “Old Blush” in a earlier post but actually the name is “Bonica” growing on the arbor. The blooms grow in clusters and they are extremely fragrant. The “Nelly Moser” has the
the largest blooms I’ve ever seen on a clematis. They almost don’t look real. They are a light pink with a darker pink stripe down the center of the petal. Everything in this bed comes back up every year. I have ornamental shrubs, tiger lillies, cannas, roses, daylillies, nandinas, blackeye susans, verbenas, liatris, candytuff, and various spring blooming bulbs growing in this garden. There is also a vine that is growing in the back corner that is evergreen. It is a native vine that grows prolifically in this area. I don’t know the name but it has delicate little white flowers in the late summer. It has a tendancy to take over that area in the summer. I have to keep it in check on a weekly basis by giving it a haircut. I’m thinking of replacing it with a clematis this fall. This bed gets morning sun and afternoon part shade. I find that is the best situation for plants in this area during the summer months. The heat can be pretty tough on most plants. I find that the Nandinas will grow in any type of conditions from full sun – full shade. They are pretty adaptable and the best part is they are evergreen. I hope you enjoyed the room with a view.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by OhioMom on June 23, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Well, you already know this is my favorite garden bed 🙂 Thanks for the “view”.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Perennial Gardener on June 23, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    You are very welcome. This is my personal favorite as well.

    Reply

  3. Posted by ChrisND on June 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    It seems to be a nice room, a great spot to sit and relax. I like to see the way things change over the season and though the years. We have a small corner that is becoming a room, but I think we might need to add some more structure to the area to really make it feel like a room.

    Oh, and we don’t have any arbors in the garden — I’d like to get one of those too. They make such nice entrances.

    Reply

  4. Posted by beckie on June 23, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    What a lovely room you have created in your yard. I love the ‘curb find’ bench and red really makes a statement. I’m gllad this is a favorite spot for you. We all need a place to retreat to.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Perennial Gardener on June 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Thank you Chris. It is a great place to sit and think and enjoy the view… I’m glad I thought to take a picture each month, boy did the garden change dramatically over that time.
    If you need structure than an arbor would be the key. They create this instant doorway.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Perennial Gardener on June 23, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I love curbside finds for the garden. I had a chair that was missing the seat in the garden for a few years too. It finally rotted. I used it as a planter. I guess that is why I picked the red for the bench and washtub, it does make a statement. I agree, everyone needs a place to relax.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Stephanie on June 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    i love it

    Reply

  8. Posted by Susie on June 23, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    I love your garden room! It looks so inviting. I had hoped to do this in my backyard but we have such a big one. We just moved into our house last year so I have a big blank canvas. I’m slowly getting some beds established but it takes lots of energy as well as time.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Perennial Gardener on June 24, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Thank you Stephanie! I love it too! 🙂

    Reply

  10. Posted by Perennial Gardener on June 24, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Thank you Susie! It is easier to achieve this in a smaller yard, but you could set up several different spaces. All of my beds have evolved over time. It does take energy & time, but I love that kind of work!

    Reply

  11. Posted by Laurie & Chris on June 24, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Everything looks so nice. I would sit and relax enjoying that view.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Perennial Gardener on June 24, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you Laurie & Chris. I am enjoying the view.

    Reply

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