Tuesday Garden Party- Front Flower Beds

I’ve been wanting to share with you the front flower beds at our cottage, since they are looking so much nicer than when I shared them with you last April. And now that they are completely covered in newspaper and mulch - both sides at once, which is a big deal around here – I’m really happy with how they look right now.

It’s also the first year to see them with our newly painted yellow house as a background. I’m not sure if the photos do justice to how the greens, blues, and purples just pop against the yellow background. The previous gray did not do them justice.

This is the part of the bed on the far right of the cottage- where the original driveway used to be. I do not like driveways that are left in front of remodeled garages, so Brian rented a jackhammer and broke up all the concrete one rainy winter day.

Some of the concrete pieces became the path you see above and more are lining beds around the house and in the vegetable garden. We still have some to use as edging.

Poor Brian. There was a lot of concrete.

This is the where the path leads if we started from the previous picture. It’s what you see on the right side of the door when coming to our house.

When we moved here, there was the Japanese maple, a small dogwood tree we sadly had to cut down to be able to get to the door, a bunch of nasty violets, and LOTS of landscape fabric and bark dust.

It’s a challenge to find things that like to grow under the water-hogging maple, but my favorite plant that seems to love it is the Hebe to the right of the path right below the tree. It’s like an airy small bush that blooms it’s head off in August and September and is almost evergreen.

And of course you can tell I love hydrangeas.

This is the bed to the left of the front walk. It also has a broken concrete path. Mainly I used the paths to take up room when I was figuring out how to fill these huge beds (we had to work with the existing circular drive and the placement of the maple, which left the front beds bigger than I really wanted…).

But the paths have come in handy for watering and cutting the plants back – I don’t have to trample too many plants when there’s a path.

The gigantic lacecap hydrangea was actually here when we moved in – but it was planted under one of the windows and within the first two years we were here it had grown enough to cover half the window. We moved it one March to the center between the windows, thinking we were past deep freezes. Umm…no- I thought for sure we had killed it when we had temperatures down to the 20’s. But this thing is so hardy, it bounced back and looked better than ever – though it did take two years.

Since I showed you a picture of these two clematis in the spring that I hadn’t had time to train up the posts, I thought I’d give you an update. I did end up wrapping the posts with some chicken wire because we had it and it took about five minutes to attach. It only looked dorky from the porch- you really couldn’t tell from the road and I’m happy to report that the clematis covered it within a month.

Whew – no clematis wilt here. And they are budding and starting to bloom at the top, even with their late start, so I’m loving them! This is turning into one of the favorite parts of my garden.

Do you have parts of your garden that are making you happy this year?

(I’m also linking this to Fertilizer Friday!)





  1. says

    My…this looks lovely. I love using cracked concrete, you were fortunate to have so much of it. Lucky you. Your plantings are beautiful, the clematis are going to be so amazing climbing up those posts ~ please post them when they bloom.

  2.  says

    Everything looks wonderful, but 3 weeks away, spent in South Carolina…I wonder what I will come back to at home. DH has texted me some pictures of our pink hydrangea that is finally looking gorgeous, the white one was putting flowers on when I left a week ago. I got a blue one from my mom this year. We cut ours back after they are done. I live in zone 9b I believe, coastal California. Plus mine are in big pots and are on the east side of the house.

  3.  HHL says

    Your Gardens are beautiful … we planted 25 hydrangea plants at the end of fall last year .. this year they are still small … but providing lots of flowers … hoping over the next couple of years that they grow much larger. Do you cut them back for winter? xo HHL

  4.  Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    HHL- If they are the “Endless Summer” hydrangea, we cut them all back in early spring and we get blooms on all the new growth. If they are the older varieties, I just cut off the blooms from the previous year and trim a little off the non-blooming stems, because they will bloom on the old growth.

    Allys grandma- I wish I had some pink ones, but our soil is acidic, so they all turn blue. I do have some white ones I like and I’ve read there are new pink varieties that stay pink no matter the soil that I’m going to look into. Hope your garden looks good when you return from your trip!

  5.  SchneiderPeeps says

    I love hydrangeas. I’m hoping to grow some in pots next year.

    Thanks for the “party”. I’m inspired each week!

  6.  says

    Jami, it looks really terrific! I have a similar issue with what to plant under the cedar trees in front of the house… it is my project for fall/spring; hopefully I’ll have something fun to post next summer.

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