Creating a Perennial Garden

Welcome to the 6th Metamorphosis Monday!

My Metamorphosis for this Met Monday is a perennial garden I “built” many years ago.  I want to apologize in advance for the quality of these pics. They were taken many years ago, long before I’d ever heard of this thing called blogging. Plus, I had to take pictures of pictures to show you this transformation…but I think you will still be able to appreciate the big change.

This post starts with a fair amount of “wording” to give you some needed background info. So, if you’ll just humor me for a few paragraphs, the pics will make a lot more sense.

I had always wanted a perennial garden full of sun-loving perennials. My yard has a lot of trees so the one area where I felt a garden might work was the long stretch of grass running along my driveway, between my neighbor’s home and mine. Unfortunately, I don’t have a pic showing the area when it was still just grass.

The first step for the garden was removing the sod. My DH and I tilled the area where we wanted the garden, removing the sod and mixing in lots of good soil amendments like sand, peat moss, top soil, etc… I was going for what many of the garden books used to call “double digging.” Don’t know if that term is still being used, but it used to refer to digging twice as deep as necessary to create this incredible growing environment for the plant.

Next, I ordered and had delivered this incredibly rich and fertile soil mix, designed just for growing perennials. The store from which it was purchased, Earth Products, actually called it something like “perennial soil.”

I also ordered the rock I would need from a local landscaping store that carried those type materials.  It wasn’t until much later (after seeing lovely pallets of nice flat rocks elsewhere) that I realized the landscaping store must have filled my order with all their “scrap” rock. I had very few nice, flat, stacking-type rocks to work with, even though I had described to the store employee how I had planned to use them. So the lesson here is…if you plan on building a small rock wall border, be sure you buy from some place that actually listens to you and delivers quality rock with which to work. It would have made this job A LOT easier.

I had read in Southern Living you could build a rock “wall” up to around 12 inches high without using mortar or cement in-between the rock. If you have nice flat rocks to work with, I’m sure this is true. My little rock border wall is around 9-10 inches high and has held up fairly well, despite not having the best rock with which to work. I did not use any mortar/cement. I put the nicer rocks on the front side facing my driveway and used more of the “scrap” rocks on the back side where it wasn’t as visible.

Just as I started on this project, my next door neighbor came out of his home, let out a hardy laugh, and told me there was NO WAY I would ever use all that rock and dirt. I could tell he thought I was nuts with this mountain of rock and dirt piled on the end of my driveway. That did it! Now, I was really determined! I’d show him!

My DH was out of town the weekend I decided to do this project, so I did all the work myself. This project took two full days (Saturday and Sunday) I drew out the shape and created the low rock wall, leaving myself a little gap/entrance. Next, I wheel-barrowed all the perennial mix I had delivered, into the garden area through the gap I left. My DH arrived home on Sunday just as I was finishing and helped close off the little gap after the dirt was all in.

Advil was my BEST friend that weekend! I also, took lots of short breaks to drink and eat…this helped keep up my energy. Because I was working with such broken odd shaped rocks, building this wall was like putting together a puzzle with 10-pound puzzle pieces. Oh, my aching back!!! I was sooooo happy when it was done!

For months prior to building this perennial garden, I poured through the gardening magazines, picking out all the plants I wanted for my garden. I wanted way more than this garden could ever hold…it was hard picking and choosing.

After I had my list, I faxed the list up to a nursery called Goodness Grows near Athens, Georgia. Back then, they mostly sold to nurseries, I think…but they would also sell to the public.

I asked them to put a check beside all the plants on my list that they had, and to make suggestions of others I should consider. They faxed the list back and to my delight, they had almost all the ones I wanted. My DH and I drove to Goodness Grows to buy all the flowers. In hindsight, I bought way toooo many flowers, but as a novice gardener, I didn’t know how many to buy…just knew I wanted the garden to be nice and full.

Planting the flowers was the easy part. The dirt was soft and wonderful…black gold. I needed nothing more than a hand shovel to dig and plant. The following pic shows the garden right after the perennials were in the ground. This is actually two photos pieced together to show a larger view…

Here’s another shot of the newly planted perennial bed. The bed is approximately 40 feet long by 10 feet deep.

The plants are beginning to grow…I put around 25 different types of perennials in this bed, putting 3-5 plants of each. Whew…that’s a lot of plants! I know I should have put in fewer, but I just couldn’t resist buying all the ones I’d read about and wanted in the garden.

Another pic from the other end of the bed…

It’s getting fuller…

This bed leaped a year early…it was quite full by the second year, probably because I had so well prepared the soil and had planted sooooo many plants. Please click on the pic below…it will enlarge for a good view of the garden filled out. I tried to design the garden where different flowers are blooming at different times throughout the spring and summer.

In this section, some of the plants you see are: RudbeckiaHerbstonne, Echinacea purpurea or Purple Coneflowers, Rudbeckia fulgidaGoldsturm or Black-eyed Susans, Sedum-Autumn Joy, Yarrow-Oretel’s Rose, Dianthus-Bath’s Pink, and several varieties of iris.

A couple of years ago, I moved the bird feeder above to another location and replaced it with a Lazy Hill Dove Cote, shown below. I had bluebirds nest in the dove cote three times last spring and summer.  Click here to view a post showing the sweet bluebirds feeding their babies in the dovecote: Bluebirds Nesting in a Lazy HIll Dovecote

The white daisy flower you see blooming is a Shasta Daisy called ‘Ryan’s Daisy’. It was one of the perennials I had multiples of in the beginning…I’m down to this one large plant now. The purple flower is a tall Phlox, ‘Common Purple.’ It was one of the ones recommended by Goodness Grows and I love it! It has the most intoxicating scent! The next two pics are more recent, hence the better quality photos.

When I bought this daisy from Goodness Grows, it was called ‘Ryan’s Daisy’. It was named after Ryan Gainey, a very talented Georgia gardener who has written several books, been interviewed for many magazines and had his own t.v show for several years. Goodness Grows named it ‘Ryan’s Daisy’ because Ryan Gainey passed this plant along to them. It is also sold under the name, ‘Becky’ and was awarded 2003 Perennial Plant of the Year. You can read more about this Shasta daisy by clicking HERE.

In the early years, when my perennial garden was really at it’s peak, folks would stop on their walks in the neighborhood and walk up and down the driveway, admiring the garden. I would come home sometimes to find folks parked in front of the house, looking at the garden. Once my husband and I backed out of the garage, into the “turnaround” and found a car parked in the driveway with a couple walking up and down beside the garden, looking at all the flowers. Over the years, seeing so many of my neighbors and their friends enjoying the garden, made all the work so worth while.

It is still pretty today, but many of the more aggressive plants have overtaken some of the others. I’ve had to transplant some of them to other areas of my yard because they were being devoured by the aggressive plants. Maybe this spring, I’ll get out there and do some major overhauling…I think it’s time.  (Click on photo below for a larger view.)


Thanks for viewing the metamorphosis of this area of my yard.  I can’t wait to see all the great “Before and Afters” posted for this Met Monday!

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, please be sure to add your permalink below, and not your general blog address. If you aren’t sure how to obtain your permalink or have any questions about using Mr. Linky for this post, just click on the Metamorphosis Monday logo in my sidebar for detailed instructions.

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Please do not add your link below until your Met Monday post is actually published to your blog.

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Unfortunately, the participant links are missing from this post because the linking service BNOTP was using for this party is no longer active.




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Comments

  1. FOR THE SAKE OF TIME says:

    Wonderful! I cannot imagine how much work was involved in all it. Our Missouri clay soil is so difficult to use in gardening. I would need to double-dig and double-haul it away. LOL Thank you for sharing.

  2. oh my gosh Susan , no wonder your back ached, that is one hugh garden but its absolutely beautiful and im sure each year you enjoy it more and more.
    hugs
    janet

  3. carolinajewel says:

    What an incredible garden! I don’t wonder that it stops traffic!!!!! I know it was a lot of work, but it is definitely worth is. 😀 Jewel

  4. What a stunning garden, I can’t believe you accomplished all that by yourself in a single weekend! It’s beautiful. Have a great week.

  5. once in a blue moon... says:

    wonderful transition! i love watching nature grow, its gorgeous~

  6. Now that’s a picture for the gardening books! It is so thick and established – wow – and I know how hard it is to get something like that going. You certainly laid a good foundation – the key! Still drooling! Linda

  7. "Hello... It's Me Again..." says:

    You have such a knack with flower gardening! You did a beautiful job and I just have to tell you BRAVO!!!

  8. Very pretty garden and as always hard work pays everytime. I love the fullness of it. I am a eager flower buyer also, I buy way to many for the space allowed everyyear. I can’t help myself, I always think I will find a place for them when I get home.

  9. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    That is amazing. I love it, and only wish I had the space and time to copy you!

  10. Momovthree says:

    Hi Susan,
    This is gorgeous! You took a plain area and made it look so amazing. I’m in love with your garden! I’m sure you have spent many hours in your driveway gazing at your work.
    ~Michelle

  11. Oh, makes me so anxious for Spring. Words cannot express what flower gardens do for the soul. Absolutely beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Candy

  12. Pat@Back Porch Musings says:

    Beautiful beautiful garden, Susan!

    We have stone walls around some of our gardens, made from stones we brought from the farm. There is no mortar. They are probably 9 to 12 inches and have held up well in our crazy Missouri weather for 5 years. When we sell the house, the stone walls will have to stay. Maybe we will take a couple, just for nostalgia’s sake.

    Great post, I loved the photos and story!

  13. Jadehollow says:

    Susan.. We have stopped by Goodness Grows many times on our way to visit family in Elberton. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown since I was a lil girl. I love your garden.. so beautiful. I especially love the crape myrtles, they’re jus so classy don’t cha think.
    ~Hugs Debbie

  14. Hi Susan…wowee…no wonder folks stop & look at your garden…it is spectacular! My DH jus happened to be seated here watching this post with me and he says, "What about us creating something like this on our sunnyside of the yard?"…I said, "Go for it!" LOL, we'll see…;-) Bo

  15. Raggedy Girl says:

    What a big job this must have been. But it is really spectacular and now you have a source of plants for the rest of your yard too.

    Roberta Anne

  16. This is spectacular! I can’t believe you managed to do this in a weekend, do you own stock in Advil now lol? I just love how full and lush this is. I’m sure it does stop traffic. Kathy

  17. That is such a gorgeous flower garden, and how nice to have that many perennials to come back each year. I did a big bed one year and used about the same amount of plants, but I did all annuals. In just a few short months, all that work was dead and gone. Taught me a good lesson on making sure to use a few perennials. Yours is simply stunning. Hugs, Marty

  18. I think (not sure) the Ryan’s Daisy you planted for me in 1998 came back once again last year. My DH has tried to keep the weeds from taking over the bed you planted for me when we first moved here. That was a wonderful birthday present. You and your DH did a marvelous job preparing the area to accept the new plantings.

    The confederate rose cutting I took from the plant you brought me last year seems to be doing well in my hanging rooting globe. So maybe even if the Mother plant doesn’t winter over, I can get a new one started in a few weeks from the cutting. Wish me luck.

  19. So pretty… I can hardly wait to get my hands in my garden and start all over again… 😉

    Have a lovely week, Susan..

    cielo

  20. So pretty… I can hardly wait to get my hands in my garden and start all over again… 😉

    Have a lovely week, Susan..

    cielo

  21. DesignTies says:

    Good for you, getting your rock wall built!! I’m just like you — if somebody tells me I can’t do something, I say oh yeah, watch me!!!!

    Beautiful garden 🙂 The variety of colours and heights of your plants is great. It really adds a lot of interest.

    I love blue jays — you’re lucky you have them hanging out in your garden 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing more of your garden pics this summer….

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  22. prof en retraite says:

    Wow Susan! you have done so much work! And what a wonderful result! I am realizing more and more that if I ever want a garden, I will have to do just what you did…build up large beds. I am astounded at what you have done!! Great job!!…Debbie

  23. ~CC Catherine says:

    Susan, your garden pictured looks FABULOUS! It’s amazing that within two years it looks this super, GREAT job! You mentioned the aggressive perennials taking over., I also learned this about 15 years ago when I had planted my perennial gardens. One of the things I learned was to take my more potentially aggressive plants and put them within terra cotta pots and putting them within the ground, but keeping the lip above the soil to prevent the plants roots from spreading roots on top of the ground., this really helps reduce the spreading of the plant, but yet allows you to keep portions of it here and there in your garden. Two of the plants I used this method for were my Bee Balm and Yarrow. If you’ve not tried this…give it a whirl…I think you’ll like the option to keep the ones you love in the locations you want and reduce the spreading too quickly. 😉 ~CC Catherine

  24. Mary Ellen (megardengal) says:

    Susan what a lovely garden bed! I so miss my flowers and roses that I left behind. Last year I made a little headway with gardening but with moving into this old house essentials got in the way of desire! I am looking forward to hopefully having a start on a flower bed- You did a wonderful job and I am sure your neighbor is enjoying it though he could of come over and helped a damsel in distress!

    blessings
    mary

  25. LaurenFaythe says:

    Wow-it is beautiful. I can’t believe you did all that yourself!

    Thanks for hosting Met Monday. I am having so much fun with everyone’s projects!

    Sue

  26. Elizabeth (blue clear sky) says:

    What a lot of work, but so worth it for the beauty. We have lots of fresh snow today and your photos give me such hope and anticipation of Spring.

  27. WOW! Your flowers are beautiful! I would be dead if I had built a garden like that in GA heat! My husband & I tried that rock wall thing when we 1st got married, and had one of the worst fights we have ever had. We ended up having to backfill it w/ concrete. It NEVER looked as good as yours! Can't wait to see your spring photos!

  28. Susan, me again, thanks for stopping over to visit my little corner. I had to come back and personally thankyou for Met monday, i know its only sunday but its soooooo much fun, i look each week to check out everyones before and after. The biggest downfall is that my family is completely ignored…lol
    thanks bunches Susan for offering this fun!
    hugs
    janet

  29. Susan, you are just amazing, girl! This garden is truly stunning! What a compliment to have folks stopping to admire it! I know I would! Thanks again for hosting Met Monday – I just love this stuff! 😉
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  30. cedwards55 says:

    Hurry Susan! Come help me at my house. My house is built on old farm land. Rich black soil! However, I don’t think I told you that I had a gas leak last week. The gas company was here for 2 days replacing my gas lines. In the process my perennial garden was completely dug up and destroyed. Not a bad price to pay for not being blown to smithereens!!!! But please! I need help. My back hurts just thinking about all the work you did! Lush is the adjective that comes to mind. No wonder you stop traffic!

  31. French Cupboard says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you actually have pictures of the years of growth! You’re my hero 🙂 Blessings… Polly

  32. Susan,
    This is an absolutely beautiful garden and I really can’t imagine your aching back. I started a little bit of a perennial garden last year and I know how much work it is just to get a smaller one started. Fabulous Job and what a metamorphasis. Cindy

  33. imjacobsmom says:

    Susan, Absolutely breathtaking. I can relate to all the work and over crowding and whatnot, I did the same a few years back. I just wish that my growing season was as long as yours. You have every right to be proud of that garden. ~ Robyn

  34. Ohm, your garden is just beautiful! I can’t believe the size of it and that you did all that work in one weekend. I planted some perennials in my SE PA front landscape several years ago and couldn’t believe how large they have grown. What I love is that they come up every year but our problem is our bushes have grown way too large for the front of the house. I have trimmed them back several times and they just continue to grow. I would love to remove them all and put in a courtyard with a few plants in large containers. And I wish I could plant a bedding like yours along side our sunny long driveway. Thanks for sharing with us – loved the story and the pictures.

    Teacup Lady (Sandy)

  35. shades of martha stewart…

    beautiful garden… got any tomatoes in there!

    blessings. Dixie

  36. Susan, what an incredibly gorgeous garden! I can imagine all the work that you did, those rocks, they must really be heavy, but seeing the result makes it all worth it for sure…Christine

  37. WOW! Your garden is gorgeous! I don’t blame your neighbors for walking up and down your driveway to take it all in! I wish I could get a closer look too! It’s just beautiful!

    ~Karla

  38. Now that is just BEAUTIFUL! And you did it all yourself! Showed that neighbor didn’t you? That sounds about like me! LOL I have that I’ll show you I CAN do it ‘tude too. 😉
    Oh and I have a very ‘country’ friend that has told me that saying for years, 1st year it sleeps, 2nd creeps and 3rd leaps. Funny hearing someone else use it!

  39. Happy To Be says:

    WOW!!! Susan you did an awesome job on that rock wall and no wonder your back was killing you..Len does these all the time with no mortar and will get them 3 feet high…lots of work..your flowers now look beautiful girl great job..I did the Mr. linky right tonight YAHOO!!! hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  40. Susan, What a beautiful entrance to your home! Your talents again inspire me. 🙂 Pam

  41. Tamara Jansen says:

    Wow! That’s a massive garden. We don’t grow any perrenials in the greenhouse so I know nothing about that sort of thing. It’s just beautiful when it’s all in bloom like that.

    Have a great meta monday 🙂

  42. Susan, I’m amazed that you were able to build out that area in just 2 days! It’s beautiful! (Yep, I bet Advil was your best friend after that doozy of a weekend!) ♥ Diane

  43. Wow, wow, wow! What a beautiful garden! I love the photos of how it all grew in. Awesome choice for Met Monday!

    Carolyn of WNT

  44. Your garden is beautiful. Lots of work done but you can be very proud.

  45. Susan,
    You are amazing! I absolutely love your perennial garden. What hard work that must have been to put in all by yourself.

    It gives me hope for the small area I have to garden in this year. You have me itching to get out there and PLANT! If only the weather would cooperate…

    Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday!
    Kymber

  46. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  47. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  48. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  49. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  50. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  51. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  52. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  53. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  54. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  55. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  56. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  57. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  58. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  59. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  60. abeachcottage sarah says:

    phew I can only imagine how much hard work that must have been…

    those neighbours sure must living next to you guys!

    Sarah

  61. I’m sure that was back-breaking work, but the rewards are so wonderful. You’ve got to be so proud of that garden!

  62. Amazing, truly amazing. I will have to think long and hard (and work long and hard!) to come up with something that I can submit for Met Monday. 🙂

  63. Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 says:

    Wow Susan! You did it right! I started a perennial garden in my front yard last year but I didn’t prepare the soil as well as you! I’ll have to “amend” that error! Don’t know if you remember me from RMS but I love, love that Dovecote! I’ll have to save my birthday money for one of those! Thank you for sharing! God Bless you today! lauralu 🙂

  64. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says:

    From vision to manifestation. It’s just lovely! All your heard work can be enjoyed for many years. I loved walking around my garden in the early morning with my cup of coffee admiring all the lovlies. Great way to start the day.
    In our new home I can do my early morning walk again. I am so looking forward to spring!

  65. Beautiful! Do you want to come over and make my yard pretty? I really need to do something with my frint yard atleast. Maybe that will be a Meta Monday in the future!

  66. Susan the creation of your beautiful garden was so much fun to read… I really enjoyed it and the outcome was spectacular… It was like watching fireworks go off… Wonderful Post

    HUGS,
    Donna

  67. nikkicrumpet says:

    OH MY…my back and hands are hurting just thinking about all that work! I built some walls at the last two houses we lived in….and I can remember how awful I felt for days on end. It is so much hard work. But the final results of all your labor are spectacular! I love gardens so much and that one is just stunning!

  68. southerninspiration says:

    I linked my post for Met Monday–it is a transformation of a different sort….please come by and see the wonder!

    Suzanne

  69. Angie Lessard says:

    Wow, I’m impressed! It’s absolutely beautiful. Care to come help me with mine!!??! 😉 Thanks for you wonderful sight. I love it, especially Monday! Love all the creativity and all the pretties!! This is my first time to participate and hopefully not my last…it’s got me motivated.

  70. Just call me Poison Thumb! But I do know true beauty when I see it!

    Ellen

  71. Cami @ Creating Myself says:

    Beautiful perennial garden! And the dove cote is perfect for it!

  72. Envoy-ette says:

    So GORGEOUS! Well, you showed your neighbor! You used everything and finished it in no time! I’m sure the neighbors appreciated your hard work too. You know the women probably pestered their husbands to make something similiar! LOL!

  73. Oh my gosh Susan! That is gorgeous as is everything you do! You are such an inspiration to me! Nancy

  74. One thing about it Susan,you are not afraid of hard work.But I know it was well worth it.You’ll enhjoy this for a long time…ann

  75. I absolutely love your garden. I have a similar spot beside my driveway, but there are lots of things I can’t plant because we have a deer problem in our neighborhood.

  76. This garden is awesome. I want to put on right at the end of the drive way between the house and the hubby’s barn. It gets sun all day long; so I will have to select plants that thrive on the sun; any suggestions? I just love a fresh vase of flowers to put in the kitchen, master bath and the back covered porch. If I was your neighbor I would have plenty from my neighbor LOL

  77. Susan, LOVE IT! This is exactly what I want to do between our house and the neighbors! Can’t wait to show my DH. I missed last week’s MM but joined in on it this week, nothing fancy but hated not playing along so I found something. hugs from texas!

  78. Misti of Studio M Designs says:

    Oh, how I would love to build this in our front yard! Adding and adding to it every year. Thanks for the inspiration, I need to get busy making my plan for this Spring!

    I am not sure if I have posted my link before, don’t think so. I do keep your MM button in my side bar.
    ~Misti

  79. Dear Susan,
    I have a “thing” for rock walls. Yours turned out beautifully! They seem to add instant age and depth to the garden. I love your flowers too. As a do it yourself gardener my back is getting a bit sore thinking about all the effort that went into your lovely yard. Love your birdhouse too. Thanks for the tour! Paula

  80. That is BREATHTAKING!!!!!

  81. Room Service ~ Decorating 101 says:

    500 stars

  82. Your garden, your home, your blog, your life – it is all so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  83. Hi Susan
    The garden you made is gorgeous. You obviously used very good soil. That’s the key to a great garden isn’t it? I love the collage on your banner.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  84. My goodness! I can’t imagine the kind of work that you put into this…but what a pay off!!!! The garden is absolutely beautiful! L~

  85. Susan
    Everyone has such great suggestions and now that I see how you planned your garden out I now know what I have to do in the spring. It’s been bothering me and I was just going to put some grass seed all over. I can’t stand weeding and the kids hate it also…Great ideas.
    See you on Thursday.
    Love Claudie
    xoxo

  86. Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda says:

    Hi Susan, Your flower bed is breathtakingly beautiful! All of your hard work certainly payed off! 🙂 ~Rhonda

  87. laurie @ bargain hunting says:

    Susan, this is absolutely magazine perfect! You are such a talented lady. I cannot believe you built that stone wall! laurie

  88. You are one amazing woman……you sure do ROAR!!!!! We did a perennial garden many years ago when we had SUN….now it has died WAAAY back because of lack of sun so I think I have to just start all over and just plant some bushes: rhodos and azaleas and call it a day. It is SO frustrating living on a wooded lot all these years cause I am a florist and WANT and NEED FLOWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):) HUgs, Pinky

  89. That looks like a lot of work! So pretty now. Also, love the new banner.

  90. OHHHHHHH girl..such as this makes tears come to my eyes….I can't tell you how much I love this..absolutely breath taking! I wish I had a green thumb and knew more about growing flowers..there is nothing I love better than seeing flowers blooming…man just cannot compete with nature..

    Thanks for coming by girl and why did you tell me about that website???? My mouth hit the floor the minute the first page came up….oh my word they have some gorgeous bedding but SUSAN!!!!! My eyeballs can't even afford to shop there! lol lol

    I do love toile….I do…I do…I do!!!!! lol lol But I also love quilts & did I tell you I drool over country cottagey things sometimes…then again a rusty old plow gets me all teary eyed…I know…I know…I need therapy! lol Take care dear friend and have a great week….I have so enjoyed this post!

  91. Hey Susan,
    Thanks for letting me know about the word verification. I hate those things anyway! I love seeing things at your house….it’s different when you’ve actually “seen them”! I hope to come back to Atlanta soon, and we will have to get together again. I used to have a cleaning lady, but she retired during the summer last year when I wasn’t working very much and staying home alot with Cindy. I just didn’t think I could justify having one, but now that I’m working more again, I’d really like to have someone again.
    I will take pics of the shower and can’t wait to participate in Tablescape Thursday, I always look at everyone else’s, but haven’t done one yet. I’m excited about it.
    Take care, talk to you soon,
    Vicki

  92. texasdaisey says:

    That flower bed is so beautiful. I just love new gardening ideas. Yours turned out gorgeous.
    Debbie

  93. Gorgeous! wow, what a lot of work. You have inspired me, though … my local garden center is calling. Thanks for the glimpse of summer on what is a very cold day here in New Jersey.
    Cass

  94. Wsprsweetly Of Cottages says:

    I never fail to be overcome when I visit this blog! No..it’s true! It makes me ..almost weep with joy at the loveliness of it all. When I go to heaven I want to live in a house just like this one! 🙂
    Hugs,
    Mona
    P.S. And when I learn how to do all the things you need to do to join one of these special days (I’ve made excuses before..I know!)
    I will jump right in…..maybe.

  95. Melissa Miller says:

    Hi Susan, 😉
    Your landscaping is truly stunning.
    Love the stone border and colors.
    I think it is one of the most important aspects of a home.
    I adore gorgeous curb appeal!

    Thank you so much for visiting and your kind words on our impending move.
    I really hope you are right and someone wants to buy our home when the time comes.
    Fingers crossed.
    I’m leaving it in God’s hands.

    Have a wonderful day.
    ~Melissa 🙂

  96. Hi Girlfriend…

    Ohhh my goodness…your perennial garden is fabulous!!! Girl, I can’t believe that you did the entire job yourself!!! I can’t even begin to imagine taking on a job of that size all by myself! My hat is definitely off to you!!! I bet your husband was shocked to see the entire project finished when he came home…hehe!!!

    Thank you so much for coming by for a visit…and thank you for all of your sweet comments on my frenchy office! I sure am having fun! My new bulletin board behind the desk is actually an old antique garden gate! Before utilizing it as a bulletin board, I did use it for a bed headboard! I just love that old gate!

    Well my friend, hope that you’re having a terrific Tuesday!
    Love ya,
    Chari

  97. susan,
    you “rock”!!! (it’s a pun…sometimes my warped sense of humor kicks in) i know you have so much talent…and are not afraid to take a design chance, but i have decided that your attention to detail and the thought that you put into your planning contributes heavily toward your successes. do you sleep? i am in awe of your many accomplishments…you are certainly an inspiration! love, linda

  98. Kathy dec07940 says:

    Susan,Your garden is so beautiful!All your hard work was well worth it.I know i don’t comment very often but i visit your blog everyday.I have learned so much from you!! Everything you do is so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful things with all of us…Kathy

  99. That was such a fun post and I have to say I especially enjoyed the Ryan Gainey recognition. He has done so much to inspire gardeners around the world. Your perennial bed is gorgeous and you must be proud to have accomplished this on your own!

  100. Lady Katherine says:

    Just beautiful! Your hard work payed off.

  101. Omah's Helping Hands says:

    Wow! So much talent! It is beautiful! Will you come do my landscaping? 😉

  102. Holy cow Susan! Thanks to your newsletter, I was able to see this post! Your perennial garden is impressive. Leo and I plan to add a new bed and seeing this post is very timely. I had not considered building a little stone wall but it is the perfect solution to what we want to do. Can’t wait to show him your photos!

  103. I heard Martha Stewart say that when she planned her first garden she spent her budget on annuals. She said she learned her lesson and went back to the drawing board with perennials. She should have spoken to you. I enjoyed reading about your plan. Have a good weekend.

  104. The is so very beautiful. What a wonderful view greets you when you return after a long day away frome home! Loce that you had the vision and talent to create this. I will need to get my deer problem inder control before I dare dream of putting something like this on my yard.

    If you’re ever inclined, I would love to hear about things like how you water this garden, how you control weeds, bugs, and other pests here, and whether any of this lovely view is visible from the porch. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Melodi! Fortunately when we had an irrigation system put in years ago, the guy who put it in ran a separate zone for that side of the driveway. The garden looked how it does in the pics for many years, but gradually many of the plants have faded out or been taken over and some very aggressive weeds have gotten in. I now need to completely dig it out which will take some strong men to do since some of the plants are so huge and big. I also have a small area that is sinking on that side, probably some trash buried from when the home was built 30 years ago. They used to do that in Georgia…let builders bury trash on the property. So it’s ready for a major, major overhaul. Hopefully I can do that this fall. Fall is the ideal time to plant perennials so they can establish their roots during the winter season. If you build your bed up a bit surrounded by a wall like this one, you normally do not have that big a problem with weeds. I have a feeling my neighbor accidentally got those started because I would find grass seed all in my bed after her landscapers overseeded her yard every fall…and there was probably weed seed mixed in. But normally weeds aren’t a big issue in a bed that is built up this way. The few that get in can be removed…unless they are extremely invasive like some of the ones I have. I’ve used that product that you sprinkle over beds that stops seeds from developing…can’t remember the name of it now, I think it was called Preen, but I noticed the plants didn’t spread and look as full, so I quit using it. My fave fertilizer is Osmocote…feeds the plants every time it rains, for months.

  105. What a wonderful landscape creation! Has Southern Living Magazine ever seen it? It looks like something they would do a spread on. Such pleasure you have brought to your family and neighborhood.

    Your neighbor just didn’t know you as well as your bloggers do. None of us would have said your couldn’t do it.
    It reminds me of the project you tackled in changing your son’s room to an office. I am still impressed over that one!

  106. When we moved to this home I had a baby and a little boy. I’d never lived in a country home also, always lived from 4th floor above, so all “challenges” seemed huge, frightening… so when dear husband suggested we’d path most with stone I was relieved.
    Well, children grow and you grow too and start wishing for differente things. And mine this year craving has to do with outdoor space. I started ressenting the stone, I want flowers, I want a garden to baby around…
    You gave me the last push… going to bring husband later to see it can be done. Won’t be showing him all YOU can do or I’d never listen the end of “Oh, well, that’s Susan, not us” 😀 ahahahah
    Thank you for sharing and inspiring!
    Teresa

  107. In the last picture of the garden when the plants have matured; could you please tell me what is the yellow and the red/pink flowers on the right? The yellow is in the front, then behind it is a red/pink section…….these are stunning and would like to add them to my gardens.

    • The low growing yellow flowers are Coreopsis Moonbeam. At the time, it was one of the most recommended Coreopsis…it may have even won “Perennial of the Year.” Since then, I think there are some other varieties of Coreopsis that are super popular, so you may want to check what’s available now. The pale pink flowers that are about a foot tall are a yarrow called, Oertel’s Rose. They start out a hot pink, fad to pale pink and eventually white. I love it! The very low growing dark pink along the edge is verbena. The tall red flowers on that end are Monarda (Bee Balm). I actually removed it after the first year or two because it got mildewy so badly. I read that Monardo will do that.

    • Oh, and thanks Mamey for those sweet words! I was so busy answering about the plants, I forgot to say, Thanks! 🙂

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