evaluating the Front Courtyard Garden

Well, other than the pot which is crookedly frozen in place, I’m pretty happy with how this garden looks after only one garden season.  I regret planting sour cherries out here though – I was trying to be noble and plant as many edibles as possible, ya know.  But I sit in the living room drinking my coffee on the week-ends and this is my view – I’d really like to see some more winter colour out here.

So, the cherries are getting moved to the back and I’m going to add a hedge of dogwoods instead (Cornus sericea ‘Farrow’ or Arctic Fire dogwood would be a good choice for a solid green hedge and red stems for winter).  Also, when the little Birds Nest Spruces get a little bigger you’ll be able to see them better above the snow.  That should do it.

IMG_1572 (1)

I only have a few other minor additions to make in spring:

  • add a Mount Royal Plum in the bottom left corner (I’d like some height but there’s not a lot of room; this tree stays small, only 8 feet wide). Underplant with one more genista ‘lydia’.
  • mix thyme and more russian stonecrop as groundcovers on both sides of the pathway in front of the window.

decorations from the garden

OK I actually I purchased this wreath for my front door last week-end at Rona, and I like it because it looks fairly natural (only the twigs and pinecones are real):IMG_1230

But it was nice enough outside today that I wandered around the garden cutting greenery and dogwood branches for this display beside the door:


I save the birch branches and star to reuse from year to year.


What holiday decorations are on your front step?

late October colour in the Courtyard Garden

What a beautiful week-end!  I’m doing a little tidying up in the garden but there is still so much to enjoy.  The butterflies seem to agree and are still hanging around the catmint:

The heliopsis is still blooming too:


Here’s the ‘regular’ heliopsis in front of a Bailey’s compact Virburnum shrub which I planted particularly for its fall colour:


And another Bailey’s compact shrub a little closer to peak redness:


Courtyard Garden after 1 year

There was nothing but a big ol’ spruce tree here when we moved in one year ago.  It’s been a lot of work but this front Courtyard Garden is almost done!  The soil is terrible so I amended each hole as I planted stuff back in spring, and now I am just finishing off by mulching with black bark chips and compost.  The bark mulch went in spots where there are open spaces like at the base of the hedge and around the bird bath (below), and compost went everywhere else – eventually I’d like all bark chips but I’m going to mulch with compost for a few years first to try to improve the soil.

Here’s the view from the driveway:


As you walk towards the front door:


From the front steps:


Looking the other way:


And most importantly, from the living room:


To see how this garden has evolved, click here and scroll down.