Today’s garden belongs to Julie Hammond. She writes:
I am an avid gardener in Peoria, Illinois, expanding plantings with divisions and markdowns. I learned the hard way that compost and mulch are the secret to a great garden. People think I work really hard, but most of my work is done by the end of May. The rest of the summer, I just water the pots.
This is a picture of my front garden, taken in June 2018. While I’ve lived in the house 27 years, this garden was put in about 2011 after we had geothermal wells dug in the front yard. The Japanese maple on the left was a $6 markdown put in about 1993. It might have been taller, but my boys kept jumping off the porch and breaking the leader. I have a Hopi crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Hopi’ Zones 6–9) near the brick-and-concrete-walk intersection on the left. While it dies back most years, it comes back strong and is a novelty in the area. The light green shrubs in front of the porch are deutzia ‘Chardonnay Pearls’ (Deutzia gracilis ‘Duncan’, Zones 5–8). In a few more weeks, the hanging baskets will be dripping with flowers.
The west bed, planted with hostas, was the first in after the dog wore a dirt path along the fence. It has been widened a few times but has never performed as well as the north and east beds, as those were amended with multiple truckloads of compost before planting. (My twins still tell stories about being forced to drive to the landscape landfill to fill the truck on Saturdays.) View this article on how to build a brick path.
In the north bed, perennials luxuriate in soil richly amended with compost.
Ernie the dog posing with the outdoor fireplace. The fireplace stone came from an accent wall on a motel from the 1950s–1960s.
Colorful annuals bloom next to the fireplace. View this video on how to create great container groupings.
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