Create a Small, Sun-Loving Perennial Garden

Welcome to the 238th Metamorphosis Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I did a little more planting and if the rain will let up, I’m headed to a nursery today in search of plants for the large planters I purchased recently for the porch. I’m in a bit of a conundrum, though. Two of the nurseries I have talked to told me they will be getting large shipments in for fall, so I’m trying to decide: Do I wait to see what dwarf evergreen trees they get in or buy from the selection they have available now?

My fear is I’ll go ahead and buy something now, since I’m about to bust to see the planters filled, then a month from now when they get all their stock in, I’ll see something that would have been even better.

Actually, there is one more option, I can decide what dwarf trees/shrubs I want (which is kind of hard to do just looking at pictures) and have the nursery order them for me. Ummm, will let you know what I decide. Maybe I’ll stumble across the perfect Dwarf Alberta Spruce or something just right for the planters. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Trying Out Planters for the Porch

So while I look for the “perfect” plant for the big lattice pots, I’ve been busy creating a small sun-loving perennial garden in this area to the left of the walkway. This pic was taken when the yard was being graded and prepared for Zeon Zoysia sod. See that blank canvas just waiting for flowers there on the left?

Yard Being Prepared for Zeon Zoysia Sod

Here’s how it looks today as you come up the walkway. This is a pretty view since it captures the new perennial garden on the left, the little annual garden filled with pink and lavender vinca on the right and the gas lantern glowing at the very end.

Perennials Bed Along Side Brick Walkway

Let’s check out the new garden!

Perennial Bed Along Side Brick Walkway

The view coming from the other direction…

Perennial Garden with Russian Sage, Coreopsis Moonbeam, Coreopsis Heaven's Gate, Tickseed

Some of the plants have been beaten down by the rain we’ve had all weekend. We could use some sun!  This is one of the rainiest summers I’ve ever known in Georgia. It’s not stopping me from planting, though. I just dodge the raindrops and plant in between them. 😉

Notice the little plant in the center, right near the walkway. That’s Coreopsis Moonbeam and I transplanted it from my large perennial garden that grows alongside the driveway.  It was gradually disappearing, being eaten up by more aggressive plants, so I moved some here in an attempt to keep it from vanishing all together. You’ll see a close-up of it in a sec.

Perennial Garden

The Heaven’s Gate Coreopsis (don’t you love that name) on the left is really sprawled out due to the constant rain.  Pic below shows the left side of the bed.

Perennials in Garden

Here’s a view of the right side. These are my fave colors for the garden: pinks, blues, lavenders and yellows. White would be pretty here, too.  I added a few of the pink vinca left over from when I created a little annual garden located a bit further up the walkway.

Perennial Garden

This the Coreopsis Moonbeam. It’s been flowering for a few weeks now, so it’s almost done.  It was really pretty when it was covered in sweet yellow flowers.

Coreopsis Moonbeam

I have two Heaven’s Gate Coreopsis in this small perennial garden. Hope they stand back up if/when the rain lets up. Some of the sod in my backyard is rotting/dying from all the rain!

Heaven's Gate Coreopsis in Perennials Garden

This tall yellow plant is another tickseed.  I couldn’t find a label on it so I’m not sure of the name. I’ll check for a name next time I’m in the store and add it to this post later.

Tickseed Coreopsis

I also planted one purple coneflower in the garden…just love these!

Purple Coneflower

Oh, almost forgot the Russian Sage. There are two of these in this little garden. The sweetest thing happened a few minutes after I finished putting all the plants in the ground. I went inside to get something to drink and while I was sipping on my water, I glanced out one of the sidelights near the front door and there was a sweet hummingbird drinking from the Russian Sage!  Did you know hummingbirds like Russian Sage? I did not!

I ran upstairs to grab my camera, hoping to get a picture for you but by the time I got back downstairs and got the zoom attached, he had left. I have to tell you, that just made my day. The only thing better than enjoying the flowers once you’ve planted them, is seeing the birds and bees benefit from the garden. I LOVE that! I was smiling the rest of the night!

Russian Sage

This little garden should be pretty next summer. The roots will have lots of growing time this fall and winter so hopefully the plants will be bigger come spring time.  The beauty of perennials is as they grow and become nice and big, you can divide them up and start other beds or fill in other areas of your garden. Or, share them with a friend!

Perennial Garden


In another small open area just to the left of the perennial garden, I added three Penstemon Pensham, Amelia Jayne.

Planting perennials is super easy. Dig your hole about twice the width of the pot. Amend the soil with some rich top soil or some of the soil amendments you can purchase at the nursery. I used to use Nature’s Helper for that but this weekend I used some top soil I already had on hand. Our red clay is just too heavy and plants will not do well if they are planted directly in it.

Penstemon Pensham Amelia Jayne Perennial 2_wm

After amending the soil well, place your perennial into the hole where the top of the root ball is even with the ground.  Fill the hole back in with your amended soil and tamp it down. Mulch around your plant to help it retain moisture, then give it a nice drink of water. When planting perennials, you can fertilize them with a starter fertilizer that’s meant to help develop the roots. I rarely do that but it’s not a bad idea.

Penstemon Pensham Amelia Jayne Perennial_wm

Love the color and shape of the flowers on this Amelia Jayne. They are so pretty behind the variegated liriope with it’s purple flowers.

Penstemon Pensham Amelia Jayne Beard Tongue


Are you drowning in rain, too? Say a little prayer for my sod, hope it makes it through all this rain!

Will you be planting any perennials this fall? Fall is the perfect time if you’re in the mood to start a perennial garden!

Looking forward to all the Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday:

One on sidebar


Update: Recently, I made a change to how the links will display for Metamorphosis Monday. They will display randomly each time you visit BNOTP so all participants will have a chance to have their link displayed near the top of the group of links. You’ll easily be able to tell which links you’ve already visited since those links will change color once clicked.

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday you will need to link up the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked last week since a lot of readers will have already seen that post.

Do not type in ALL CAPS. It spreads the links waaaay out.

Welcome! Thanks for coming to the party!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. I love the way your beautiful yard is progressing….beautiful flowers Susan…and thanks so much for hosting…Have a wonderful week!

  2. Love your perennial garden, Susan and thank you so much for hosting every week!

  3. Your gardens are gorgeous! Thanks for hosting another fun party! Have a wonderful week.

  4. It sure has been raining a lot, hasn’t it! I’m glad you were able to get out and do some planting. I have a few spray painting projects that have been put on hold until the rain stops. Thanks so much for hosting!

  5. Suuureee, the ONE TIME I get here EARLY & you change the order of things!!!! LOL JK

    The big lattice pots are going to look soooo pretty once you get them filled. You’re lucky you don’t have to think about them freezing & cracking in the winter.
    The new plantings are wonderful looking already. I can just imagine how pretty they will be in just a few short weeks.
    Thank you for doing MM this week. It is rare that I can participate with something that fits the parameters, so I’m happy to join in today.


    • Sorry about that Rett. I changed it a few weeks ago because someone at Haven was upset they weren’t always at or near the top of the links. I figured this way, everyone gets multiple opportunities to be near the top. It’s the only thing I could think of to make everyone happy. 🙂

  6. Thanks for hosting!

  7. I am not much of a gardener, but I do know what I like when I see it. My husband has the green thumb, so I have bookmarked your post for reference. We have some areas where we need some flowering perennials, and yours are really pretty. They should be really full next year. Thanks for the great suggestions.

  8. Yes! We have had so much rain that a spot on the eastside of our home became a sink hole – this is where an old well once was. I believe it belonged to the house next door – this lot was part of their land – All of my plants look water-logged and some just gave up! I am learning what can handle both Georgia’s Drought and this rainy season. My daughter asked yesterday whether I thought we’d have a cold winter. Who knows!? Did they expect this very wet, cooler summer? I kind of think it will be an interesting winter. Love your choice of Perennials – they’ll be gorgeous as they fill in. I thoroughly enjoy joining your party – I appreciate you hosting,

    • Yikes! Amazing what so much rain can do! I’ve seen a lot of trees down around here when I’m out on errrands. I am looking forward to next summer to see how they fill in. Thanks, Kathy! Best of luck with the sink hole…hope it isn’t too much of a hassle to fix.

      • I happen to know the grand-daughter’s of a woman who owned the house – they’re in their 60’s – they remember playing in our garden and camping where the sink-hole is. They remember the well and it sinking before. Their grandmother was probably the 2nd owner of this house. Our neighbor across the street – cool lady who is 95 remembers playing here too. Her brother lives a few blocks over – a 200-year old tree fell at the sidewalk to his yard. Fortunately, not hitting anything. One of the people we consulted said that we aren’t like Florida with the shale underneath – actually, Stone Mountain reaches as far as our little County – their mining the granite here – 2 hours away from Atlanta!
        We have a lot of mature trees in our town that have been falling or dropping limbs – all the drought and now all the rain has weakened so many trees.
        Do you listen to Walter Reeves on WSB on Saturday mornings – every time he touches on something I am wondering about or working on in my garden.
        Hope you have a terrific day,

  9. Thanks for the party Susan,
    Re: Your question about the trees and planters. I saw on TED online recently a study on happiness they did at Harvard with photography students, they found having the open ended chance to decide later in time (in this case which photo was best) made people unhappy-indecisive with their choice, where if they were forced to choose right away they were better off. We as humans are the only animals who can imagine our happiness. So if you go buy the trees now don’t leave it open for change later stay with your decision.
    love your blog

  10. Thanks so much for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  11. This is such a hard time of year for planting in the South! Your yard is coming along beautifully and I KNOW you are dying to put all the finishing touches everywhere. We are having a big party next weekend so I bought new mums for the front door urns and just pray that I can keep them alive through next weekend!! Supposed to be back in high 8os by Friday, mums hate that! I’m sure you will find something perfect,

  12. Thank you so much for hosting Susan!

  13. Everything is looking so pretty, Susan! I know you must be so excited to finally be in the final stages of your project and get to enjoy it! Have a great week!…hugs…Debbie

    • Thanks, Debbie! I wish it was the final stages…still so much to do! Hopefully I can get the bigger stuff done this fall and then play in the spring. Do you have any hydrangeas? I’m going to work some into the landscape…probably the back yard.

  14. Mary from Virginia says

    Your new flower bed looks great! I love tick-seed and don’t have any?? What am I thinking when I flower shop?? Obviously I am taken in with all the beautiful plants and forget what I am doing 😉

    Thank you for the reminder!

  15. Thanks Susan for all the wonderful inspiration on the flowers…jut what I need!!! Pinning! Christine from Little BRags

  16. You home and new gardens are now and will be even more beautiful next year. Some advise for the porch planters., of you find something you REALLY love, buy it and don’t worry about what will be in later! Been there done that and first loves always are your best pick!! Hehe

  17. I’d wait to get exactly what I want to put in the pots although you could plant Lily of the Nile ( Agapanthus ) in there and remove it when you find what you want. You could also put a pyramidal boxwood in them…or knock out roses….the ideas are endless! I have a small yard and have it cram jammed full!!!

    • Claudia, I’m definitely going for something pyramidal…unless a different topiary steals my heart. I’d prefer pyramidal though. Love the big round boxwoods in clay pots…so elegant and so English. Would love to incorporate some of those around here. 🙂

  18. Hi Susan

    If you give those little yellow guys a haircut they will bloom again and again.
    Enjoying your progress,

  19. The flower beds are looking so beautiful!!! Nice selection of plants…….now get some rest!!!

  20. Susan, I think the other yellow coreopsis is Baby Sun. I love, Love, LOVE the Heaven’s Gate coreopsis! I had no idea there was a pink version of a coreopsis! This is another reason it’s so fun to read your blog…you have some perennials in the south that we don’t see here in the midwest. Or maybe it is considered a “tender perennial” here, so the nursery’s don’t carry as many of them. OR, maybe because I’ve never seen it, I haven’t known to ask for it! Now I know, thanks to you! 🙂

    I’ll send good mojo to your waterlogged sod! 😉

  21. Your garden is lovely. I can only think that next year after it has time settle will be gorgeous. I so wish we any rain that you are not using.

  22. The garden looks great..can’t wait to see it this time next could get something for the pots and just sit it in there in it’s container to plant some place else when you find what you’d really like in those pots…I love gardening..runs in the family..I have a garden along the patio by my pond that needs some serious work..after smashing me foot last Sept..working on the pond..then not able to get out til April it’s over run with weeds..altho they’re pretty flowered weeds they are still weeds..I have a bag of peat moss 2 yrs old waiting on me should be really nice by now…so my mission is to finally for once have the yard & gardens in fine shape for winter..then maybe next spring I won’t have as much to do…hopefully.!! I seen a great idea in a mag. once for a round garden..a reader suggested using a round vinyl tablecloth and some spikes..i’m going to use metal cloths hangers with the hook cut off then cut in half for 2 pins to hold it down over winter..then in the spring you have a beautiful circle and the weeds & grass have been taken care of too…I’ve wanted to do that for some yrs now…..hope you get a break in the rain..we’ve had rain since real early Satur morning.

  23. Your garden is looking so lovely Susan! The only thing that keeps growing like crazy here are weeds…so just taking them out leaves no time for pretty flowers, sad!..I will enjoy yours instead. Happy week my dear Susan, hugs, Lizy

  24. Your perennial garden is gorgeous! I love those Amelia J. flowers. Thanks for hosting MM!

  25. Susan,
    Your garden is just beautiful! I love the meandering walkway, it’s just lovely! Thanks so much for hosting and for always posting something that inspires me!

  26. I’m in deep Texas. WE’RE in a drought so send some of that rain our way please.

  27. Just beautiful!! I also love looking out and seeing hummingbirds buzzing around my flowers or little wrens digging around for nesting material. This fall I am creating a cutting garden that will also be bird and butterfly friendly so that has really been on my mind lately also. I have an older book that is one of my favorites called “The Bird Garden” and has a lot of planting suggestions that I am going to follow (I’ll also be planting shrubs with berries or could be used for shelter for the birds). From past experience, my yard is just too small to set out feeders w/o bird poop on everything, so I have changed to trying to do it more “naturally”. 🙂 (I have basically a courtyard with a little bit of grassy area)

  28. I used to have a large perennial garden in New Jersey and grew many of the same flowers. Unfortunately most of them won’t tolerate my Arizona heat. Your photos gave me pangs of nostalgia ( and a little envy!)

  29. Lovely, lovely garden!
    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  30. Your garden path looks great! Love the flowers. Coreopsis is such a happy flower- love the fullness of the plant and the bright yellow coloring. I hope the sod recuperates- this has been a real different summer hasn’t it! I’ve been enjoying watching all your outdoor improvements!

  31. Thanks for hosting the party. I like watching your yard evolve!

    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

  32. OMGoodness, your gardens are looking beautiful!!! Despite all the RAIN! I am so sorry they are getting beat up but they should be fine once it stops. The rain keeps missing us last week but this has been the wettest summer on record in this area!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crazy weather! Thanks so much for hosting, Susan. XO, Pinky

  33. Thanks so much for hosting! Your flowers all look so pretty. Wish I had your knack for knowing what will look good together and keeping things alive. 🙂
    Have a great day!

  34. I’d want to be able to look at and pick out my plants or trees. If you order you might not like what you get in! I did a new garden section too, stop by if you get a chance! Thanks for hosting, Laura

  35. Rattlebridge Farm says

    The garden path is pretty and welcoming. I love your design. I wasn’t sure what to put in an urn, so I added “live” cuttings from my yard and garden (placing florist’s block/water, etc. in the bottom of the urn). Magnolias, hydrangeas, Queen Anne’s lace, and a few pretties I found along the road (also found some discounted flowers at the grocery). It’s ever-changing (well, things do perish but others endure), is instant grat, and gives time for the nursery to get healthy and/or eye-candy stock. Back to your garden. This is a great tutorial. I took notes! I’m looking for a soil amender (who knew?? lol) and yellow tickseed. My purple cones look dreadful. I’m pretty sure I didn’t dig a big-enough hole–and Nature’s Helper might have made a difference. Your flowers look so healthy. You are blessed with a green thumb and an eye for design. Have a great week! xx

  36. VirginiaGeorgia says

    I am so enjoying your “new” yard posts and love the perennials! I hope you belong to GA Perennial Association. I am learning soooo much from them as I develop a new (and MUCH smaller garden) in Atlanta than what I have had further out in metro Atlanta.

    And hummingbirds! You are so right! Enjoy and thanks for sharing with all of us.

  37. Your plants are gorgeous Susan! Thanx for hosting!

  38. Marinell Rollins says

    Susan, I don’t remember seeing a post as to where you purchased the large planters placed on each side of the front steps. Can you share that with us………..thanks for your lovely blog. I enjoy all of your posts; so informative. I don’t know much about perennials, but am planning to plant a few this fall. Thanks, Marinell

  39. I can fully appreciate your rain issues in Georgia. Here in the Very Deep South, Mobile, Alabama, we usually get a 3pm shower that lasts 20-40 minutes. It’s a short squall that quickly moves on and leaves a sunny, if really humid, afternoon. This summer has been rainy. Very Rainy. I swear I was half blind this morning because while running errands, the sun actually peeped out! I haven’t seen it in a week at least, so it was a surprise; and a bright one! The rain has done our subtropical plants a good turn though. Our small plot is nothing like your beautiful yard to be sure! Thank you for sharing all the gorgeous pictures. I also saw a picture of you at Haven on the Unskinny Boppy blog. You both looked quite beautiful.

  40. Susan, your yard looks gorgeous. I love that winding brick walkway with beautiful flowers surrounding it. Can’t wait to see what you put in your beautiful pots by the door. Thank you for hosting the linkup. laurie

  41. Susan, Your gardens are beautiful with all those colors!!! Since our house is new to us & the previous owners didn’t do a thing in the yard (including water…) our yard is weed & horrible. Nothing time & money won’t cure but, still is’t a bummer. Guess I’ll live through you! I joined in MM today for the first time in A LONG time. I’m going to try to get back on track. HUGS!

  42. I’m sooo over all of this rain. I wish the mushrooms growing in my yard were edible. Enjoying our few hours of sunshine this afternoon, but could do without the humidity. Looks like it going to rain the rest of the week. aaaaaagh!!

  43. Susan,
    I adore all the changes taking place along your walk!!!
    Gorgeous plant choices! I, too, stick to a color palette!
    I enjoy being able to divide my plants and share with my daughter~in~law.
    This Autumn, I’ll be sharing plantings with the newlyweds that “Mr. Ed” & I had
    the privledge of designing their Wedding Reception tables in July!!!
    Thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Monday each week!
    I’m hoping all the best for the new sod!!!

  44. Oh, Goodness! The walkway and beds are looking beautiful. It will look so dreamy at the blue hour. Thank you for sharing and for hosting. Have a lovely week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  45. Your garden looks amazing! Thank you so much for hosting another great party. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

  46. Don’t forget in Loganville. They open 8/22 for their fall season.

  47. Susan,
    Your flower beds are looking great. You certainly have been busy. I loved using coreopsis in my flower beds when I lived in Macon. Love the purple coneflower too.

  48. Hi Susan, My name is Jessica Riddle and it is so nice to meet you!! I just love your blog, and what a great post on your lovely garden!! I myself have a new blog called “Unique Chic And Rustics: My Upcycled And Repurposed Life” and would absolutely LOVE it if you would come by and visit me soon!! This is my first time linking up to your awesome link party Metamorphosis Mondays, and thank you so very much for having me, and for hosting!! I linked up my newest post “Chalk Painted Vintage Hope Chest”!! I really hope you like and enjoy it!! I hope to hear from you soon!! My link is Thanks again, and I hope you have a wonderful day!! — Jess 🙂

  49. Your gardens are beautiful as well as your entire home! Thank you hosting an amazing party!~~Angela

  50. I adore purple coneflower, it’s so happy! Thank you for hosting! ~Ann at Tarnished Royalty

  51. Gorgeous yard!

  52. Your flowers are beautiful. Your yard is the new jewel of the neighborhood 🙂 And all the special garden critters are taking residence in their new found magical place! How wonderful it all is. I’m enjoying my BNOTP marathon 🙂

  53. Hi Susan,
    Love the perennials ! Your brick walkway looks wonderful. In a year or two the flowers will be large and fill out that area nicely. Hope you post picture updates on that area.
    I joined MM for the first time, tonight. It’s late, so I hope I did it correctly.
    Thanks for the opportunity to show and share everyone’s work!

    • Susan, if you don’t get many visits since it’s already Wednesday, actually Thursday as I write this, you may want to link your post up again this next Monday. Glad you joined in! Thanks so much for the sweet words and encouragement. I was so used to all this constant rain we’ve been getting, I didn’t water my flowers today and we had a day of full sunshine! Some of my new perennials were drooping. Gotta remember to water on these non-rainy days, which are rare! 🙂

  54. Hi Susan,
    If you don’t mind me asking, where did you find these perennials this time of year? I live on the West side of Metro Atlanta and tried Home Depot & Lowes nearby without much luck.

    • I found them in Lowes in Woodstock, GA. You just head north on 75, then up 575 to the Hwy. 92 exit. Exit and turn left. Lowes is just over the interstate on the left. Pike Nurseries on Roswell Road in Marietta also has some, I think. Probably best to call to make sure on that, though.

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