Today’s photos are from Regina Hedrick. She says, “I live and garden in Kingsport in northeastern Tennessee, recently changed from Zone 6b to Zone 7a. Having 4 children and full time jobs, my husband and I didn’t have time to do any gardening until we both retired. First we traveled, and then we gardened.
Bob agreed to dig up the lawn in our gently upwardly sloped backyard. We terraced the slope, which left nothing but a small curved strip of grass. We installed a few trees (one was a white oak we had to have removed after 10 years – too big for our 100’ by 100’ backyard). The other smaller trees provided shade – a beautiful river birch, an alternate leaf dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), and a large to medium sized maple tree.
This provided some shade for my rapidly growing addiction to hostas. At one time I had 86 named and labeled different hosta cultivars. However, 3 years ago a storm blew a neighbors’ very large white oak into our backyard. All our trees and plants and labels in the middle of the yard were smashed into the ground. It took quite a while to have all the trunk, branches, and leaves from this mighty oak removed. Meanwhile, I quickly removed the pathetic smashed hostas and squeezed them into shade beds in each back corner of the yard. Most of the hostas survived, but many are smaller than their previous size, and more importantly, there were no legible labels to be found.
Now we had a large sun bed to completely fill in! We transplanted some trees and shrubs from the front yard to the back and eventually filled it in with some plants and shrubs we had from our front gardens, etc. Our sloped backyard led naturally to a water feature with waterfalls coming down the hill and ending in a large round pond. We designed the water feature, but had it professionally installed.
We find it very relaxing to sit under the wooden pergola and see the pond and hear the waterfalls. The pergola is covered by the climbing five-leaf akebia vine. (We do not recommend this species, because although it completely covers the ceiling and provides shade, it must be cut back severely each year or it would cover our house!) The gardens surrounding the pergola include a Japanese maple as well as many hostas, including several miniature hostas planted in a container made from a top of a birdbath.
The level front of the house garden was completely lawn until Bob agreed to widen the foundation beds, add a large island bed, and dig up a significant additional portion of grass near the driveway and walkway, resulting in a large curved bed. The island bed is almost a copy of a bed we saw at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
We have become enchanted with using dwarf conifers and other evergreens in our various plantings. These are in the house foundation plantings as well as scattered in different areas in the back. We like to believe we have about completed our landscaping. I am trying very hard to discipline myself and be content with our garden as it is.”
Hosta HEAVEN, Nina!! And I love your bridge leading down to that pretty pond. Thanks so much for sharing them with us! Hey…..do you and Jeff know each other, since you both live in Kingsport? You could be gardening buddies!! Jeff, chime in here, will ya?
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