Garden Photo of the Day

Amy’s evolving garden in Ohio

Today’s photos are from Amy Weber in Lancaster, Ohio. She says, “I discovered my love of gardening when I moved into my first apartment with only a small patio.  I filled every inch with plants! In 2004 my husband and I built a “cookie cutter” house in a continuously growing sub-division with no trees! With our new house came a Cleveland pear tree and a couple of small shrubs in a little bed carved out in the front. The backyard was completely empty.

The first summer we built a fence, and then a deck the following year. Over the years we added a fenced-in veggie garden, a patio, and a pergola. We had young children, two large dogs, and a tight budget so our DIY projects had to be spaced out–generally one project per year.

Initially I focused on planting in the front and side yards because I wanted room in the back for the kids and dogs to play. As they grew older, I started the backyard garden by planting trees for privacy and a few shrubs and grasses around the deck.  Finally, once the dogs stopped digging everything up, I added perennials, primarily in a long border along one side of our fence. I’m currently in the process of creating a daylily bed and I will be widening the long border and adding a shade garden around our big maple tree in the fall.

I stick to easy-to-grow  perennials that can be easily divided to make more! My favorites are daylilies, coneflowers, and daisies. Most of my perennial beds were started with divisions from my own plants or from a friend’s garden.  I also buy past-prime perennials when they are dirt cheap.

I love lush, overstuffed beds and borders with clean edges and not a lot of garden “junk”. I like unusual surprise plant combinations that happen when plants grow into each other.  I also plant for birds, bees, and butterflies.

My backyard garden has developed slowly over the years…keeping kids, dogs, and budget in mind.  Our yard definitely stands out in our cookie cutter suburban neighborhood. My garden is my happy place. I hope you enjoy it too!”

You are a smart gardener, Amy. Slowly but surely, you’ve turned your cookie cutter lot into a truly colorful and happy garden. It’s so great! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Keep sending in photos of your gardens, everyone!

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/30/2014

    You have some very appealing combinations , Amy, and have made wonderful use of classic selections. I like the gentle curving lines of your long bed...and how your lush plants spill over and into each other. I hope you enjoy relaxing in one of your seating areas in the evening and smile as you look about. You have taken your time and created a very lovely and special place.

  2. PerenniallyCrazy 07/30/2014

    What a wonderful garden that has definitely transformed your house into a home. Great job Amy! Hope you are able to take the the time to enjoy your sanctuary nowadays. Please come back and show off your garden during the other seasons.

  3. VikkiVA 07/30/2014

    Your garden has evolved into a beautiful painted canvas. You should be very proud of all your hard work. I especially like the combination of the cone flowers with the Shasta. Your daylilies are stunning. I enjoyed seeing the fruits of your labor. Vikki in VA

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/30/2014

    Slow and steady wins the race! Looks great. We've had some great garden weather in central Ohio this summer to make up for then killer winter, haven't we?; cool and rainy lately! I think it's great to slowly take on projects and garden beds. I know if I had had the money and time to do everything I wanted at once when we first moved into our house, I'd be wanting to tear a lot of stuff down because my vision has changed as I've lived with the property for so long. Thanks for sharing.

    1. greengenes 07/30/2014

      Hey Tim, I love that saying, "slow and steady wins the race!". So true!

  5. greengenes 07/30/2014

    I get so excited when I hear of a "clean slate" to start with, Amy! What fun you are having! It is all so wonderful! It is so worth doing, little by little. For me it seems I appreciate things that I have done that way, a whole lot more. Iam sure your yard has brightened up the neighborhood and has added "fuel to the fire" for others who want to do the same in their yard. It is so awesome to be creative with a yard, dirt and sweat! Keep going and I know you will have a fun rest of the summer! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. user-7007104 07/30/2014

    Thanks all! It is a lot of hard work...but so worth it. Looking at the picture of the patio and pergola reminds me that I need to get some stuff planted around the patio...STAT! Lol...it never ends;)

  7. Sheila_Schultz 07/30/2014

    You must be so happy when you look at your garden beds. They are filled to the brim with great colors, shapes and textures. I also like that there is still plenty of grass space to play! You have created a wonderful balance, Amy. Enjoy!

  8. GrannyCC 07/30/2014

    The colours of the Daylilies are gorgeous. What an oasis you have created over the years.

  9. wittyone 07/30/2014

    What a wonderful job you have done with your landscaping. Isn't it fun when plantings get big enough to divide and add to other groupings. By the time they grow to the "big enough" stage you have a good idea as to what they will mix well with so it's less hit and miss, And they have the added bonus of being free, except of course for the sweat equity.

  10. ancientgardener 07/30/2014

    I'll bet you have inspired several others to beautify their own back yards, Amy,. Yours is lovely. One doesn't have to plant all the latest offerings to create a little paradise as you have proven. I,too, love coneflowers and have a lot of them I have been trying some of the newer ones, gorgeous colors, but I find it's much trickier to keep them surviving than the old pink and white standbys. I noted your Russian Sage giving it's lacy loveliness to one of your groupings. That's a favorite of mine too. You've done a great job.

  11. JaneEliz 07/31/2014

    You've created a lovely and colorful garden, Amy. I especially love your combination of the delicate pale peachy daylily with similar shaded hydrangea. Mmmm, delicious.

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