Friday, August 24, 2012

Great Yard

Every year when we go to Avalon, NJ for a week at the beach, I spend time gawking at this yard.  This is no hidden side yard or unused area.  This is the front yard.  I was standing on the sidewalk when I took this.

I think that it's an older house that had a lot of work done on it recently, including a sensitive re-landscaping.  I really like the imbalance between the boring mass of the house and the jewel-like decks added on to it.  

The front yard has a wild, dune-like feel, which is totally appropriate for a house less than a block from the ocean.  This is the front walk, er, path.

I love the green roof and the trellis on the garage.

Nice edge treatment with a bit of formal repetition to frame the riot going on behind.

No lawn mowing at this summer house.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Week at the Jersey Shore

We got back on Saturday from an amazing week in south Jersey.

The beach at 8AM was pretty empty.

I had some amazing, flat bike rides around gorgeous swamps.  The only hills down there are the bridges.  Gulls, herons, and egrets were everywhere.

We used to use this type of fencing to stop snow in Iowa.  I like these drifts better.

Tenacious dune grass.

Cross section of a dune.
Swampy bird sanctuary in Stone Harbor, NJ.  That chartreuse green in the mid-ground is a sedge I think.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Long View

I'm always a little depressed about the back garden this time of year.  It's dry.  It's hot.  It's buggy.  The plants are stressed.  I'm stressed.  I've got some of the late-summer stalwarts like rudbeckia, phlox and helenium blooming, but the garden is mostly masses of texture and shape.

I have to keep reminding myself that that's OK.  

The giant Ravenna grass provides the August drama in this mixed border of lilac, roses, iris and erica.  That monster grass blooms at 12' or so.

The purple ninebark still looks great anchoring the bed by the garage.  The previous owner painted the garage that weird blue color.  She wasn't a gardener but it sure provides a nice counterpoint to the plants.

Hosta 'Sagae' looks super by the bog, as do all of those little tufts in the nearby raised bed...drainage-lovers like lavender, helianthemum, and dianthus.

Alliums solo when not much else is going on in this area of mostly spring-blooming plants.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dog Days

Somebody's happy this summer...

...ok, a couple of somebodies...

... or a whole family, I guess.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Front Yard Tapestry

We don't live in a very picturesque neighborhood, or a very cute house, but we make the best of what we have.  I love watching people stop and do a double-take as they walk by.  I figure if they're looking at plants, they're not noticing the shabby blue siding.

Best of all, aside from watering the whiskey barrel and the window boxes, the rest of it is pretty much on its own.  

This self-sown bushy rudbeckia shows me how it's done.  It chose that spot and has thrived.