Spring Garden, 2017!

Last spring/summer, I was working so much on other projects that I TOTALLY slacked on my garden. I don’t recall doing much in the way of planting, pruning, weeding, or watering. I didn’t even mulch! When fall rolled around, I didn’t split or move anything as I had planned to, and decided to deal with it all this spring. You know that old sleep, creep, leap adage? I failed to notice that last summer was my LEAP year! Sorry, plants. There was a lot going on.

Regardless, almost everything has at least survived, and most of it is doing very well! I feel like this garden thing has a longggggg way to go before I start feeling happy with it, but just having stuff maturing in the ground (the majority of which will probably end up getting transplanted as I settle on some semblance of a plan) is a good first step. It at least looks pretty healthy and happy and cute enough right now.

The first order of business this spring was a long overdue clean-out followed by fresh mulch! I had a lot of weeds to pull, some pruning, and raking out leaves and some of the existing mulch from two summers ago. It took me a long day or two of work to clean and spread about 50 bags worth of mulch in this area! All in I’ve put down about 100 bags of mulch in the yard this spring, but that includes the other side of the house and a couple areas in the back that I’m DYING to get some plants growing in. If I ever want some mature trees in my backyard, I better get on it!

By the way, I know buying that much bagged mulch might sound crazy to experience gardeners rather than getting a bulk delivery from a local nursery/landscape supply place, but I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d be able to use it all and didn’t want it all festering in a loose pile in the middle of my backyard while I figured it out. I probably spent a bit more money, but this year it felt worth it to keep things manageable. Hopefully in the future that won’t be the case!

For some reference, the angle is different but this is more or less how this area looked when I bought the house! I installed the black timber fence back there as a way to divide this area from the back and keep the dogs contained in the backyard, but as you can see the garden was just regular grass with a couple rhododendrons and a big clump of hosta at the time. The hosta was dug up and split a bunch, and I’ve been trying to get the rhododendrons into better shape for a couple of years.

ANYWAY! This coming fall, I PLEDGE to split up the hosta growing in front of the original wrought iron fence so they grow as more of a full hedge rather than super distinct individual plants. I think that’ll look much nicer, and save me from having to weed/mulch as much as I currently do. That kind of goes for everything—I’m really looking forward to the day when I don’t have to mulch as much because most of the ground is occupied by plants! Those hostas have been growing steadily since I first transplanted them a few years ago, so they should respond very well to being split.

Also you can see that the creeping jenny has really started to take off—yay! I think I’ll transplant quite a bit of it for use elsewhere, but considering how little these were when I planted them, I’m tickled by the growth!

The rhododendrons probably hit their peak last week. So many flowers! Once they’re done blooming, I’ll do some somewhat aggressive pruning as part of my years-long mission to get them into a shape and size that feels nice and not too big for this location. We’ll see.

You can kind of see that the boxwood “hedge” behind them is doing quite well! I gave them all a little haircut when I was mulching which should help stimulate some nice dense growth. These are only a couple of years old, so probably still a couple years away from a real hedge coming to fruition.

I planted a strip of homeless day lilies in front of the rhododendrons, and now I don’t know why I did that! They’ve multiplied probably by triple in the time since, and I don’t even particularly like them, and they’re difficult to get rid of! Oopsie. I’ll transport them sometime soon…day lilies are ridiculously hearty and seem to survive almost anything.

Back along the black fence, I planted three hydrangeas way back when, and I think it’s safe to say that they are not happy. They’ve been healthy enough, but haven’t bloomed well or increased significantly in size, so I think this location is just no bueno for them. I’d guess they don’t get enough rain because of the huge spruce tree, and maybe too much shade.

In front of the hydrangeas, it’s a much happier story! All those purple bearded irises came from one small patch planted by the garage when I bought the house, and they’ve taken off really well. I love irises!

In the foreground, you can see the “wine and rose” weigela with the pink flowers! I planted three of these in a little cluster and they’re all doing well. Once they’re done blooming, these can get some pruning action too—they’re starting to get a little leggy and that should help them keep a more appealing and healthier shape.

There are a few more clumps of iris planted right behind the wrought iron fence.

Also back in there are a couple of oakleaf hydrangeas, which are doing OK but, like the other hydrangeas, don’t seem to love their location. There are two smallish pine trees growing sort of close to them in this front garden space, and I think they may be part of the problem—both because of the shade they cast and the water they hog. I’ve been thinking a lot about cutting them down, but I definitely want some other evergreen things growing before I do that so the yard doesn’t look too barren. More on that soon!

Up toward the front, the false indigo/Baptista is doing great! I love love these plants. These have HUGE root systems and don’t take well to being transplanted, apparently, so hopefully I can work around it as I keep futzing. It’s amazing how quickly these get so tall after starting from nothing at the beginning of spring!

The peonies aren’t quitttttteeee there yet, but I do expect some good blooms this summer! I think the location of these is also too shady for them to thrive as well as they could. I loveeee peonies and just want MORE MORE MORE—particularly tree varieties and ones that shouldn’t require staking. I planted some peonies as a kid that are still growing at the house I grew up in, and I desperately wish I had dug some of them up before my parents moved. Especially with perennials that can be split, it’s such a nice way to keep your plants with you! I guess I could still do it, but I’d have to be sneaky. Don’t put it past me.

Over on the other side of the front door, the much smaller front garden area is doing really well! I planted most of this stuff two summers ago, which means that this is year three! So according to sleep, creep, leap, this side of the garden is leaping this year! I’m not sure I’d quite say that, but it does seem to be thriving. Like the other side, I do picture transplanting most of this stuff as I figure it all out.

This type of weigela is different than the type on the other side of the garden, but doing just as well! Such a cute plant!

I have to say, I’m really impressed with these deutzia—this variety is called Chardonnay Pearl which sounds like a pornstar but is really a lovely, hearty little plant. These were bought off the clearance rack at a big box garden center, then sat in their plastic pots over a winter because I didn’t get my act together to plant them, then survived and got thrown in the ground, and now a year or two later they look great! The foliage is a nice vibrant kind of acid-green, and the little tiny white flowers seem to last a long time. You go, Chardonnay Pearls!

There are a few irises planted to the right of the front door, but these are different than on the other side of the yard! These are special—they came from my dear friend John’s grandmother’s property that they’ve owned since, like, Civil War times. He brought a few up to New York with him when he bought his first home in this area around 20 years ago, planted them there, and now there are hundreds of them! We went to visit the house just for fun a couple years ago, and we couldn’t help but leave with a few. I love having them here. Keep multiplying, irises!


That’s pretty much how everything is looking! With respect to landscaping, this summer/fall will be about trying to fill in the more bare spots in these areas, but mainly I’ll be working on the whole other street-facing side of the house, which has almost no plants at all! It’s all freshly graded and mulched (I just had to get it down before the weeds could take over), and I’m really excited to get some stuff going over there. There are a few things with the whole side-of-house-restoration project from last summer to wrap up and it’s easier to get that stuff done before having to avoid stepping on new plants, so I really have to knock out those remaining items so I can get some things in the ground!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 6.5.17
    debbie in toronto said:

    Hi Daniel….you want to see Peonies go to Eleanor’s cottage at Val-Kill…..stunning…and they have a cutting garden there that is amazing.
    Gorgeous weather this weekend in the Hudson River Valley…..!!!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      I’ve been!! It’s gorgeous! It’s been a couple of years, so it’s probably time to hop over again—I’m not sure I was paying enough attention to the gardens last time! (Hope you had fun at the fair!)

  2. 6.5.17
    Rachel M. said:

    Looking good! I love the purple irises against the black fence. That pop of color is so great.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you Rachel!

  3. 6.5.17
    Sacha said:

    Just popping in to say I heard you on the YHL podcast this morning and it was so fun! I love your posts and I really enjoyed your conversation with John & Sherry. Carry on!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you so much for saying so, Sacha! I had no idea that was coming out yesterday!! Being recorded that way is next-level terrifying to me, so I’m grateful for the positive feedback! The Petersiks are sweethearts. :)

  4. 6.5.17
    Alison said:

    Nice to see the garden evolve over the years! Love the rhododendrons and good to see that they are doing so well in your location. I wanted to plant some but did not know how well they handle the cold (we live in Denver). It looks like they winter well!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Yes, they do! Usually they stay evergreen throughout the winter. The lighter pink one struggled a couple winters ago (it was uncharacteristically cold) and lost everything, but it’s bounced back! There are lots of varieties of rhododendron out there—I’d guess plenty that are hardy for your zone!

  5. 6.5.17
    PLAIDV said:

    SWOON! I love how your garden is looking. The black fence is perfect.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you!

  6. 6.5.17
    Amanda said:

    I Love how your garden is coming along. I always get lots of inspiration from these garden posts. Much of it from the post itself, but also quite a bit from all the amazing comments!
    And! Heard you on YHL’s podcast this morning. Great interview!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Amanda! Yes, I’ve learned sooooo much from comments whenever I do garden posts!

      (Thank you!! That’s nice to hear!!)

  7. 6.5.17
    Morgan said:

    Love it when you do garden posts! I have the same problem with my hydrangeas, but I have one that is out of control and I *think* it’s because it’s in a protected area (tucked in a corner next to where the chimney juts out from the side of the house). There’s one about 2 feet from it that’s not protected and it’s about half the size and doesn’t bloom well.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      They’re trickier than I gave them credit for! I’ve grown hydrangeas super easily before, so I wasn’t expecting to have issues with these! People did warn me when I planted them that the proximity to the spruce tree might be a problem, since both are water-hogs and the hydrangeas would lose out, and I think they were totally right. At least they’re still alive—hopefully a better spot is all they need. I’ll also amend the soil next time, and I’ve added a couple of hose bibs to the house so that should make reliable watering easier…we shall see! I don’t LOVE this variety of hydrangea anyway, so maybe they’re destined for a sunny spot in the backyard. :)

  8. 6.5.17
    Pippa said:

    You’re right about your hydrangeas. They need moving where they can get more light and water. Also, prune your weigelas as soon as they finish flowering (assuming that’s now-ish?) They get their flowers on year old shoots so now is the time.
    I do hope the side of the house will be ready to show off soon. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is dying to see the end result.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Copy that! I think the weigala still have a week or two, but then I’ll be out there pruning. And yes, side of house update coming soon! At least some updates if not a full finished product—I kind of didn’t realize how much of it I didn’t blog about!! My bad!

  9. 6.5.17
    Joanne said:

    Daniel, I simply love your garden. It reminds me of an English cottage garden. Your garden appears organic and random, but has been planned and deliberately planted. I was transplanted myself about 30 years ago, from NJ to Florida, and I still miss the variety of flowers in the gardens of the northeast. Just underneath the bay window of our dining room, we had a large patch of Lily of the Valley! Will you be adding those to your garden? They are low maintenance and will fill into the open spaces. Less mulch.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Joanne! Yes, I think I’ll add some lily of the valley, maybe this fall! So cute!

    • 7.7.17
      Catherine said:

      Beautiful gardens, Daniel. (I’ve been reading your blog for a while and subscribed recently, but haven’t commented before, so: hi! Love your writing style, and I’m so impressed with your work.) :)
      You might already know this, but be careful with lilies of the valley. They can be very invasive. (Ask me how I know this. I think I’ve accidentally planted just about every invasive species known to man… and then some. Like violets. Oh, what a mistake…)

  10. 6.5.17
    Kara said:

    Beautiful! The flowers look gorgeous next to the black fence.

  11. 6.5.17
    greta said:

    YAY!! I’ve been waiting for a garden update. So pretty.

  12. 6.5.17
    'col said:

    Somehow I didn’t know until this year that irises have a scent. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to smell them until my son clambered up a hill and stuck his face into a big patch of them. “What do they smell like, Birdie?” “Mmm,” he said, tipping his head to one side and squinting in thought. “Not really, but kinda like…cupcakes and rainbows.”

    The garden makes me want to wander around in it with a cup of coffee, taking in all the colours.

    • 6.6.17

      Cupcakes and rainbows! This made my day.

      Re hydrangeas: when you replant them, put some peat around the roots. In French, it’s called terre de bruyère, and it’s acidic. Hydrangeas, azaleas, camelias, rhododendrons and magnolias all like it.

      My mom always had big garden plans, but she wasn’t big on actual gardening. I used to tell her she wanted a 40-hour-a-week garden but had time for only two hours a week. To me, that is the key, finding the sweet spot between aesthetics and maintenance required.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      I understand! I’ve lost my share of plants, some of which I think were avoidable had I watered more, weeded more, fertilized, acted faster when I noticed a bad light condition for a given plant…but the time! My gardening philosophy is a bit more “survival of the fittest”…although SOMEDAY I aspire to be the type of person who carves out time to stay on top of it all more. Right now the house is such a big project that I need a garden that can largely take care of itself. I’ll take what I can get!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Aw, that’s so cute! Admittedly, I’m not sure I realized they had a scent, haha! I wonder if mine smell like cupcakes and rainbows!!

    • 6.6.17
      Eileen said:

      Not all of them have a scent, but cupcakes and rainbows is a wonderful description for those that do. I have massive amounts of yellow double-bloomers (bloom again in the fall) and those sweeten the whole garden. I can’t stand a lot of strong scents, but the irises and lily of the valley and violets are wonderful.

    • 6.12.17
      Eva said:

      the purple ones have a distinctly grape smell! I have some yellow/white ones that have a lemon cream smell to me, like the old girl scout cookies.

  13. 6.5.17
    Karen said:

    Ooh, lily of the valley smells so beautiful. Geat suggestion.

  14. 6.5.17
    Emilie said:

    Hydrangeas work best in partial shade, partial sun (not full sun). Also, they take a while (couple of years) to settle in, especially the creepers, so transplanting them delays growth in general. Once their roots are settled, though, they are great.
    I have two big ones out front that I used to cut almost to the ground each fall, and they have been growing like crazy these past year, but not blooming as much. I read up on them, and it seems there are two kinds: those that bloom on old branches, and those that bloom on new growth. I figured I have the ones that bloom on old branches, so last fall I didn’t prune them at all, and from the looks of this year’s growth, it looks like they’ll bloom splendidly.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Oh, yes you should be in for some great blooms! These should bloom on new growth, in theory, but they just don’t bloom much at all…maybe a few wimpy, limpy attempts at flowers each year! Hopefully in a better spot, they’ll really take off after they have time to establish themselves. :)

  15. 6.5.17
    Nicole said:

    I love love love gardening! Do you plan to add any roses? Seems like something you’d expect to find with a hose of this style.
    Keep the photos coming!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Resounding YES! I realized I think I’ve never actually grown roses and have quite a bit to learn (SO MANY VARIETIES!), but I’m definitely going to give some a shot. One of my neighbors is kind of a rose enthusiast who I know will be more than happy to give me some pointers, and I think my lighting conditions on the other street-facing side of the house will be pretty perfect for a whole rose garden situation! I want tons! That also happens to be the side that faces said neighbor’s house, so I think that’ll make her happy, too…especially after putting up with looking at various stages of less-than-attractive work on my house over the years! She’s dealt with some pretty rough views, haha. :)

    • 6.6.17
      Beth Khoundara said:

      That is so sweet! I’m sure she’d love to help, and she’ll love the view once it’s done. A win win!

    • 6.6.17
      Rosie said:

      Take a look at some of the bare-root roses sold by Fedco Trees – they have a bunch of antique/old-fashioned rose varieties that are supposed to be a lot hardier than the modern hybrids and would probably fit well with the period of your house. And get yourself on the mailing list for the Fedco Trees annual catalog – it’s wonderful winter reading and full of good planting tips.

      I am in the same boat – desperately want to plant a bunch of lilacs, but we haven’t finished siding that side of the house yet, and can’t plant them until the work is done over there. Hopefully that will be the carrot to get that work done!

    • 6.6.17
      Ryan said:

      I only have one rose because i’m not much of a rose person, but I wanted to try. However I made sure to get one that grows on its own root stock (instead of grafted). We have a nursery here (in WA state) that only sells hardy roses and I know that no matter how hard the winter – and this one was especially hard – I can cut off the dead branches to the ground and the same rose bush will grow back. Don’t know if you have access to this type of rose in NY but it might be worth investing in a few of this type.

    • 6.9.17
      Lori said:

      Definitely look into the old-fashioned roses and steer clear of hybrid teas! You can grow some nice ones up there, like rugosa hybrids, that will be pretty, healthy shrubs even when they’re not blooming. And some rugosas have really pretty bright hips in the winter (a great source of vitamin C if you ever find yourself fighting scurvy, ha!). I used to be a rose collector until my garden got too shady, but most of my knowledge is geared towards southern climates. Sign up to get a catalog from the Antique Rose Emporium, too (https://antiqueroseemporium.com/). I find it really relaxing porch reading with a cup of coffee in the morning (it’s mostly glorious pictures). Another thing to consider for your climate is to get roses that aren’t grafted, since cold weather pretty predictably kills what’s above the graft and you end up with a rootstock rose (enthusiastic, but not so pretty).

  16. 6.5.17
    D said:

    insane allergies, fear of bees and the blackest thumb ever keep me from having a garden of my own (oh, and NY apartment living!) but I like to think if I had one, mine would be as pretty and random-not random as yours!!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thank you! I feel ya on the allergies!! I’m the gardener with my pockets crammed full of tissues…it’s real cute.

  17. 6.5.17
    Kim said:

    Is there anything you don’t do?? The house and yard are just AMAZING!!!!!! I don’t know how you manage to get so much accomplished and it seems like you really enjoy it.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Haha, thanks Kim! Well right now I don’t have an oven, so I don’t do much baking!! I do enjoy the yard work, though…I’d do it all day everyday in the summer if I had the time and the money for all the plants!

  18. 6.5.17

    Your garden looks great and funny thing is, I have recently moved a perennial Fuchsia that was planted way too close to the house, about 6 inches forward, but in the same spot on the west side of the house and it looks to be doing OK so far. I have iris’ coming out of my behind along with grass invading so dug them up and split them and pulled out the grass/weeds and replanted a bunch and still have a bunch on a tarp to replant in the front beds on either side of my front porch. At least some are the purple beard variety. But first, remove the grass that’s invaded that part of the bed and put some border stuff down to help keep the grass at bay.

    Hopefully they survive!

    Spent this past lovely weekend mowing and edging the lawn, both front and back so the places looks kept up.

    I also have a Rhodie that came with the house, and it has magenta flowers, lovely and they are in full bloom right now. One side is scraggly due to arborvitae trees that were planted, again too close to the house (and too tall for that matter) that I whacked down last fall, just the sumps to get rid of now and the side nearest to one of them (one on each side of my front porch) is affected by the shade of that tree that was also too close to the Rhodie.

    So once they finish blooming, I’ll prune back, didn’t get to doing it until AFTER they had set blooms for this year so did a judicious pruning of some scraggly bits and kept the bud loss to an absolute minimum.

    I like where you are going with your garden and it fits your house’s style well.

    Can’t wait to see what you do on the side yard when you get it done.

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Sounds like you’re doing such a great job!! Come help me! :)

  19. 6.6.17
    doorot said:

    I hate mulching. So I’ve decided to embrace the weeds this year. Some of them actually bloom quit nicely. (Yeah, yeah Doorot, keep telling yourself that, hah! :) )

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Haha, don’t they say weeds are only weeds if you don’t want them there? Go with it! Although I will say, I’m glad I weeded and mulched…I should have taken pics from before I started because the mulch did instantly make things look soooooo much better and cleaner, and I think also helped me be able to really evaluate each plant and area and think about what else I’d like to do. Hopefully I can cut my mulch consumption down dramatically by next year…for me that’s a huge motivation to plant way more stuff!

  20. 6.6.17
    Ita Darling said:

    Your garden is amazing!

    Can I please beg you for the next Olive bridge installment? Puhlease?

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      Yes you can! It’s overdue!! Those posts take foreverrrrr for me to write but I’m always glad I did when I finish one. It’s on my list for today! :)

  21. 6.6.17
    Ashley said:

    So many beautiful plants! Living in a small condo, I’m super jealous! Also, my parents just moved from the home I grew up in and I wish I had taken some of the peonies too (for my tiny deck). Sigh, who would have guessed that’d be a regret!

    • 6.6.17
      Daniel said:

      I know!! It’s like, when you’re moving there are so many things to think about and deal with…but of course now I don’t miss the house, I don’t miss my bedroom in the house, I don’t miss…anything, really, but I REALLY WISH I HAD TAKEN SOME OF MY DAMN PLANTS! I planted soooooo much stuff as a kid, divided my perennials year after year…I had some glorious stuff! Of course last time I drove by the house, the new owners seem to have decided that the mature and established landscaping was just not “them” and have ripped tons of it out…SIGH. It’s like they actually wanted the house to look like a developer just finished building it?? I don’t get it. I wonder if my astilbes in the back have survived the massacre…and if there’s still that part of the fence I could sneak through to reclaim them…sshhhhhh.

    • 6.6.17
      Hil said:

      That is too bad they removed a bunch of the plants! But I bet if you introduced yourself and asked if they mind you splitting some of the remaining plants, they’d probably say yes. You could even offer to trade some hostas/irises/lilies or whatever you can spare. Then again, sneaking in and absconding with some plants would make a funnier story :-)

    • 6.7.17
      Chris Uebbing said:

      I remember when I was planning the move from the family homestead to a new abode I was mourning the raspberry plants, as I’d always had access to fresh raspberries growing up. After checking out numerous houses, I finally settled on a cute cottage in a “meh” neighborhood with an awesome loft space in what used to be an attic. When I took the final tour, whole side yard next to the drive…raspberries. Was the clincher. Still have 5 quarts in the freezer from last year.

  22. 6.6.17
    april said:

    How great is dark mulch? Seriously, it makes a garden look so sophisticated and sharp, and especially so with all that acid green and your white house. Applause, darling, applause.

  23. 6.6.17
    SheLikesToTravel said:

    I moved to the desert 10 years ago. Photos like these make me really miss home. Thanks for sharing. I’d be really proud of that garden if I were you.

  24. 6.6.17
    Gillianne said:

    Have you thought about a lilac? Old-fashioned but never out of style, very happy in your climate, and they grow gratifyingly fast. The lower branches can be trimmed of side shoots to look sculptural and provide just the right spot for a small (thrifted, of course) wrought iron chair, where you can sit and enjoy the scent of the blooms and appreciate the views you created. Lilacs are especially nice to provide a bit of shade in a sunny corner. They’d be right at home with the style of your house and all else you’ve planted.

    Just a thought.

    • 6.7.17
      Daniel said:

      Yes, yes! I actually have two lilac bushes, way over in the front corner that were here when I bought the house! Kind of like the rhododendrons, I’ve been trying to get them to grow fuller and healthier with pruning (which reminds me, I gotta get out there and do that!), and they’ve responded really well! I’d definitely plant more!! Love lilacs.

  25. 6.6.17
    Cindi M said:

    Like Gillianne said, lilacs!!!! I’m in zone 7a and have been nursing an old fashioned lilac along for seven years now (it grew, froze back, wasn’t getting enough water or sun) and it’s finally thriving but still hasn’t bloomed. But you are in lilac country! Grow it for the rest of us down south.
    Oak leaf hydrangeas are a southern plant. Dig yours up and bring them down to your old house and sneak them into your old backyard when you rustle your astilbes.
    Hope you didn’t tidy up your boxwood too much. Boxwood puts out leaves in early spring and only then. They need their leaves to survive the winter, at least they do in 7a.
    And plant a serviceberry. You will not regret it. My sister in SW PA calls them the ultimate bird feeder. And if my sister, who Martha Stewart would feel messy next to, likes them, then you know you will have a good thing.
    Love your garden. It’s so pretty next to your porch and that stunning black fence.

    • 6.7.17
      Daniel said:

      Lilacs for sure! I’ve definitely seen many oak leaf hydrangeas doing well up here, so I really think it’s just my particular location and not my region! Let’s hope! I like this Serviceberry idea, thank you!!

  26. 6.7.17
    Julia said:

    Daniel, I love reading through your archives, and reading any of your posts, really – mainly because I am fascinated by how curious you are, how well you research and how willing you are to take risks. I appreciate the fact that you want to learn all the things about the homes you’ve cared for.

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you so much, Julia! That’s very kind!

  27. 6.7.17
    Jean said:

    You have done a phenomenal job..i so love your blog.

  28. 6.7.17
    Daniel said:

    Can we get an overall photo? I really think you are doin a swell job.

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      I’ll try again next time I post about the garden! I took a couple wide shots but they sucked. :)

  29. 6.9.17
    Lori said:

    I love all those cottage favorites updated with that black fence! I’m trying to convince some clients that they need to stain their fence their house color (a dark navy-grey on the addition, light stone on the rest), and showing them how good your dark fence looks with plants in front of it should help.

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Lori! Tell them not to fear the black—I really think it’s the closest a 6′ wood privacy fence comes to looking invisible!

  30. 6.9.17
    Niamh said:

    Wow, your garden looks amazing.. some super healthy and happy plants! Do you feed them much or take care of them in any particular way? They are all looking super lush! I’ve just started working on my garden and I’m hoping to have some healthy looks beds like this by next year! Also love the black fence. I’ve been trying to convince my husband we need black fences. I think this post may just convince him ;)

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      I aspire to be a better plant caretaker, but these are actually pretty neglected!! I try to remember to water if we’re going through a dry spell, but I haven’t really delved into the wild world of fertilizers and advanced plant care. My basic rule is that I’ll try to give something more attention in the few weeks following planting, but if it dies then that’s all just part of it! Yank it out and try something else. Other than that I try to just keep up with the seasonal requirements of each thing (I recently made a spreadsheet, which I have referred back to exactly zero times, haha)—it only takes 10 minutes to prune back the lilacs, but I have to remember to do it in the early summer after they’re done blooming instead of in the fall, ya know?

  31. 6.9.17
    Kristin said:

    Daniel – I’ve been saving this post to read because I’ve been so busy, but I wanted to tell you that I love it. I don’t really consider myself an expert on flowers or gardens at all, but I’m obsessed with them. I kind of feel like my blog has been taken over by flower shots lately – I just pretend that the nearby botanical garden is my own personal garden and I ignore my home one! Irises have always been a favorite of mine as well.

    Good news on our front – we had a busy day last week of visiting subcontractors, so maybe we’ll have a late summer groundbreaking (finally). I’m already excited for next spring and a blank slate in the garden and on our rooftops. So keep these garden posts coming. They fill me up.

    My sister is also building a house, and her biggest regret with selling her previous house was not taking some of the glorious peonies there. It didn’t occur to her last fall, but she was in tears at the thought of missing them this spring. They are magical.

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you Kristin! Good luck with it all!!

      (I feel that peony pain! I miss my Virginia peonies so much right now.)

  32. 6.11.17
    Kelly P said:

    Beautiful! I’m jealous of all pretty green and brightly colored plants that you have!! It’s 105+ degrees here right now, so most green colorful things are kind of crispy and deadish. Even the desert plants are sad!

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      Yikes!! I love a desert landscape so much (SO MUCH) but I’m not sure how well I’d handle that heat either!

  33. 6.13.17
    Marion said:

    Like so many beautiful plants, Creeping Jenny is considered an invasive species in some parts of the the country. I’m not sure about your area, but it’s nice to be sure. It does look lovely and I’m jealous that I can’t have it here in Wisconsin.

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      Checked a few different sources and it doesn’t appear to be considered invasive here—yay!

  34. 6.13.17
    mollie said:

    looking good!

    re: shade plants, i planted these lenten “roses” this year and am so excited for them to bloom (prob not until next spring though, but the foliage is pretty too). might not pop against the black fence, but think they’d look great otherwise: http://sugarcreekgardens.com/product/helleborus-midnight-ruffles-lenten-rose-2/

    • 6.14.17
      Daniel said:

      Oh woowwwww, those are gorgeous!