Today we’re visiting with Michele Baker and seeing how she has transformed her new garden on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
I’ve loved Fine Gardening for years and am always inspired by readers’ photos with new gardens and what they’ve been able to accomplish. I finally got a chance to do the same thing last year.
This house was in the family, and when it came time to retire, we moved here to Cape Cod from California. Last year we remodeled the inside of our little cottage, and then last spring we started on the outside. The house sat on a plot of sad brown grass with no garden beds. We dug and amended and planted and kept going. It’s come a long way in about 15 months.
This “before” shot was taken in April 2020. Not much to see here except potential!
And the “after” shot—wow, have they been busy! It’s hard to believe this transformation took place in just over a year.
The new backyard is mostly in shade and so is filled with plants that can take lower light conditions.
One of Michele’s favorite corners of the garden has a mix of shade-loving annuals and perennials. Putting annuals in empty spaces in a new garden is a great way to avoid black areas while the perennials develop and expand to fill the spaces.
Container plantings on the deck
The front yard, like the back, has been transformed, but it contains more perennials for sun. Again, a few annuals (such as marigolds [Tagetes]) mix with the perennials to fill the space and make a lush garden.
Another corner of the back shade garden has coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, Zone 11 or as annuals) tucked in around the new shrubs and perennials.
A window box gives the area a romantic, cottage-garden feel.
If you want to see more, check out Michele’s instagram: @michelebaker2001
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