Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Ellen’s garden in Massachusetts, Part 2

The garden as it is now.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey

Today we’re visiting some other parts of Ellen Garvey’s garden in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Once again, the before and after photos are awesome, Ellen! Thanks so much for sharing your garden with us.

****Learn more in the captions****

On Monday we’ll visit Ellen’s garden just one more time so see some of her wonderful plant combos. Stay tuned!

Before: Terrace complete; retaining wall going in. Deck and walkway to follow
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
The garden as it is now.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
Before: Getting ready to add the wall and proper walkway
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
The back yard as it is now.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
Before: the back yard
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
The garden as it is now.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
Before, including the beautiful 100-year-old copper beech
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
These plantings required constant pruning and weeding (always a bit overdue as seen here)
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
Back yard terrace and perennial bed
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey
Back yard before. Believe it or not, this aready has improvements of drainage, walkway, and removal of brick grill in the hillside (remember those from the 50s/60s?)
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ellen Garvey

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Comments

  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/13/2012

    Ellen, it must warm your heart to revisit the "before" pictures and see how you have transformed your property. Prior to all your gardening and landscaping efforts, you had nothing much to look out on in pleasure from all those beautiful porches that seem to surround your house. Now, it is one gracious vista after another. Everything is lovely!

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/13/2012

    So, it's not a gardening comment (great retaining wall; what a difference from before and after!) but I couldn't help but notice the transformation from a white clapboard house to a cedar shake covered house. What a transformation. Is there a fine homebuilding blog where you could post the transformation of your home?! Beautiful.

  3. deechurch 07/13/2012

    I love seeing the before and after pictures. Even though my front and back yards are still very much a work in progess, it makes me wish I had gone around and taken lots of pictures when I first bought the property 4 years ago. How nice to have that reminder of all your hard (but oh so very much worth it) work.

  4. tractor1 07/13/2012

    Transforming such a grand old house from its past splendor to its present graciousness must have given Ellen much satisfaction along every step of the way, a transendent work in progress carried out over time with apparent contemplation, done so much better than any professional landscaper can with their instant gratification let's get it all done in a weekend profit maximizing methods... everything looks so informal like it's always been there, blends with the structure without clashing, timeless and relaxed, understated magnificence with no attempt to impress any but the resident. There's even a vegetable garden and I love that old copper beech, I'll guess it's a lot more than 100 years old, probably twice that age... only thing missing is my hammock. Oh, and that escape ladder from the attic to the porch roof didn't go unnoticed, very commendable. Thank you, Ellen.

    Mooch is 20 years old, she'd love reigning over Ellen's porch.

  5. cwheat000 07/13/2012

    Lovely garden. I have to second Vojt. The house is stunning. What great before and afters of both.

  6. tractor1 07/13/2012

    Vojt: I think the white siding you see at the front of the house is still shingles but painted white, painting the less costly shakes was a common practice at one time to stylize the street view. The mold/mildew on the lower shakes at the rear can be chemically removed, and can be prevented from reoccuring by stopping water from splashing earth up during rains, many New Englanders pave the ground with flat fieldstone, some plant groundcover, many do both. The dark staining can also be from snow drifts piling up, one may consider installing a snow fence during winter, or plant a wind screen of conifers, a hedge of Canadian hemlock would work well. Also the eaves on that house don't project enough and those gutters look small, I'd guess there are ice jams during winter, I'd correct that immediately lest water back up inside the walls and cause very extensive damage. I think that house would benefit greatly from a metal roof.

  7. GreenGrowler 07/13/2012

    (From yesterday & today - a little behind this week!) Like many, I love the detailed progression of your projects, Ellen. Your driveway garden is certainly a delightful surprise to anyone visiting your home. I like Tractor1's idea of a paperback maple that bark viewed close-up is amazing.

    Drat, Tractor1, I missed your army photos; the only ones I can see today are of your cute kitty..... sorry I missed out!

    snollygaster - I have fallen in love with Foxgloves, too, even though I have to hand-water in my climate. I love the hot pink colors - does the Pippa series have those colors? Also interested in Foxgloves that are reliably perennial.

  8. cwheat000 07/13/2012

    Snollygaster and GreenGrowler re: foxgloves- The yellow foxgloves from yesterday's pics are probably some variety of Digitalis grandiflora. I have an indistinguishable variety in my garden named creme belle and all of that species of foxglove are reliably perennial. I have yet to try the polka dot series ,but they sound wonderful; perennial and blooming June till fall. There are 4 in the series - 1. Pippa- coral and apricot, 2. Princess- bright pink, 3. Polly-deep pink apricot, 4. Pandora- apricot but not widely available in the U.S. yet. Some other perennial ones I know of are Digitalis mertonensis- strawberry colored, and Digitalis thapsi- orchid pink/purple, native to the Mediterranean possibly a bit drought tolerant? Super cool and different, but biennial or short lived perennial, is Digitalis ferruginea. That foxglove is mustard or rust colored and has straight ,strong six foot tall stems!

  9. Sheila_Schultz 07/13/2012

    Love the before and afters of your wonderful home, Ellen. So much thought had to go into making your home and surrounding gardens comfortably beautiful... all the time and sweat paid off. Thanks for giving us a peek.

  10. tractor1 07/13/2012

    For GreenGrowler. ;)

  11. etgarv 07/16/2012

    Hi folks - Ellen here, finally getting around to replying.

    Vojt - so - you want to see the indoor/outdoor carpet that was in the kitchen, the shag rugs in the bathrooms, and the day-glow green woodwork? Alas the worst of those "before" pictures weren't taken as we were in such a hurry to get it out. That's where we began to learn the value that one should take lots of pictures. In the digital age you can never have too many.

    Tractor1 - the house is now white cedar shingles, unfinished. Originally it was red cedar stained deep red, then at some point painted white - impossible to maintain. The darkness at the bottom isn't mold/mildew from splashing but rather the effects of water coming down - the shingles flair out at the bottom of each story and you'll see on both stories. We were going to stain the shingles but have grown used to the 'weathered" look and love the no-maintenance! We _did_ replace the wooden gutters with aluminum - years of my husband going on the roof with buckets of tar to try and repair the wooden ones was getting a bit old. The aluminum ones are the same size one the outside, but have an inside size that's huge compared with the wood and are easier to clean. 6' Rubber strip under the shingles deals with the ice dams. As for the size of the overhang you dislike, you'll need to take that up with the 1900-era architect :-)

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