Today’s photos come from Jonathan Harris, a recently retired attorney in Maine.
I bought an 1879 vintage Victorian house in 1991. It had been in an estate for several years in a slow market, so the once abundant gardens were overrun with weeds and aggressive perennials. My mother and grandmother grew flowers, and I decided I would take on the massive project of reclaiming a number of overgrown beds. It took years, but I got the bug and stayed with it.
I have perhaps seven “pockets” in my acre, each with a different character and focus.
The most recent is the pool garden. My then-wife wanted a pool. She would have been happy with a rectangle surrounded by a chainlink fence. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of a pool in Maine, but I figured if I have to have one, it’s going to be part of a garden.
The pool garden is the first garden I planned from scratch. I knew I wanted grasses to be a main element, and I went on from there.
A tall cedar fence on two sides serves as a backdrop.
I have added found objects and other whimsical touches as the years have passed. This garden will always be a work in progress.
Several of the other “pockets” involve daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 4–9).
A 45-foot stretch of yellow ‘Hyperion’ follows the edge of the yard along the main approach. I added this at a rate of about 10 feet a year. It was lots of work to dig out a foot of gravel along the road and fill with soil and compost.
Daylilies are featured in other places around the house and detached garage.
In the front of the house is a bed of poppies (Papaver orientale, Zones 3–8), bearded iris (Iris germanica, Zones 3–9), and more daylilies.
I have a lot of containers on my back porch, and each year I welcome the volunteer Datura (annual) that seed themselves and literally grow out of the cracks in the asphalt driveway.
The last “pocket” I want to share is an ever increasing circle of Anemone canadensis (Zones 3–8). This was one of the very aggressive plants that had overrun all the beds when we bought the house. I loved the plant, but it was clear it refused to share space with anything else, so it had to go. I planted a small patch of it at the end of the front yard in front of a small cedar seedling I transplanted from my northern Maine lakefront camp. Both the cedar and the anemone have thrived. The latter expands more each year, and I let it grow.
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