Garden Photo of the Day

Lea’s Dramatic Before and After in Massachusetts

The backyard looks quite different these days! (June 2014)

Today’s photos are from Lea Morrissey in Massachusetts. She says, “When we moved into our house in Marblehead 20 years ago, the front yard was beautifully landscaped but the backyard was pretty bare.

The backyard was very bare in 1995.

“Since our kids were little, that was fine and a sandbox, a playhouse, and a small vegetable garden were the only ‘landscaping’ I had time for. As the kids grew up and no longer used the backyard for soccer or softball, I began claiming more and more lawn space for my gardens.

The huge maple is gone, and the hemlock hedge has grown quite a bit.

“A few years ago, as I began thinking the gardens were nearing completion, we lost a huge maple and our very shady back yard turned into a very sunny back yard. While I love shady gardens, it has been fun adding a whole new range of sun-loving plants, and the garden continues to evolve.”

What a transformation, Lea! I lost a huge maple in my front yard a couple of years ago, and I know exactly how you feel. It was sad to lose the tree, but Oh, all the plants I can grow now! Thanks so much for sharing your garden with us.

Keep sending in photos of your gardens, everyone!

There are still lots of ferns and beautiful hostas that I have been moving around since losing the maple.

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  1. perenniallycrazy 07/25/2014

    What a gorgeous transformation Lea! Having done up our own front and backyard, I can surely appreciate how much work, time, effort and thought you have put into this amazing transformation. Did you install all the plantings at the same time? How did you go about your design process? How old is the garden bed now?

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/25/2014

    Nothing like pictures of an awesome before and after to make one appreciate the power of thoughtful landscaping, Lea. Looks like you have the ideal mix of sun and dappled shade so all things wonderful can be planted...from hosta to ...hmmm...dare I say, daylilies?! (That's a joke to those who visit gpod regularly and know I'm a daylily junkie.) I was going to ask what the handsome edging material is that you've used to define your beds so nicely but the picture with the two hosta shows the that what makes up the whole curving edge? It gives a very nice look.

  3. greengenes 07/25/2014

    Oh, what fun you must be having! your creativity is being loosed! Your bed has a wonderful flow to it. Is that a dogwood in picture number 3? You have done a great job! Thanks for sharing with us, Lea!

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    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/25/2014

    That's a great transformation! It is so great to see your efforts with the before and after. We had to cut down a big tree this spring and we are still grieving the loss, but really, the "before and after" concept is from year to year with gardens!

  5. GrannyMay 07/25/2014

    Lea I hope your beautiful hostas are still there and doing well, in spite of the increased sunshine. Love the photo of them with the backdrop of blue irises, and the next photo with the pink-flowered plant (what is that??) between! You can certainly pat yourself on the back for what your hard work and vision has achieved!

  6. NCYarden 07/25/2014

    This garden is exactly what that backyard needed. I always love to see various wonderful plants in place of large lawns. At best grass should be the accent. You've done a great job with the plant selections and even the transfers thrust upon you by change in conditions. It may have been years, but I can bet the fun is just beginning. No garden is ever complete, either because of Mother Nature's twisted humor, or even your own curious itch to try a new plant. It seems there is always room for one more bed, or at least one little area to tuck something else in. Keep having fun. I really enjoyed this. Thanks

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