Last Friday, Harriet Robinson shared her pool garden in Otisfield, Maine, with us, and I so longed for a before shot. Lo and behold, she sent one in that night! She also gave me a little more info on the decision to do it and the process of filling in the pool.
She says, “I have loved gardening for a long time and have a perennial border in front of my house, a garden along the fence that encloses the back yard, as well as a roadside garden by a stone wall.
“When the children grew up my husband realized he was spending hours cleaning the pool no one used and putting a lot of money into the chemicals for it. We decided to fill it in, and I eyed it as a garden space, The bottom fill is sand (so I have perfect drainage) but the top is 2 feet of loam amended with compost. We put down 7 layers of newspaper topped with bark mulch to keep down the weeds, put in paths formed by cobblestones, and began to plant.
“The curves of the paths are inspired by an English knot garden, but instead of box hedges, the cobblestones form the outlines of the planting beds.We kept the cement decking around the pool as a walkway surrounding the new plantings. A row of daylilies lines most paths that face south (since they angle south) while peonies line the other side of the walkways. Other favorites are planted here and there. I love color, and I have it out there for almost 6 months of the year. I’ve included a photo of the original pool, in June 2004, with a border next to it that is still there but bigger and more beautiful. I still love the matts of dianthus. I’ve also included photo of some of the peonies. A fabulous view of the White Mountains forms the backdrop. This has been a challenge because we don’t want to compete with nature. Every year I add more. I am looking forward to when this garden is overflowing and the mulch no longer shows.” Thanks for the extra info and the before shot, Harriet. Fascinating!
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