Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Sarah’s garden in Illinois, Day 2: The back yard

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sarah Hall

We saw Sarah Hall’s front garden at her home in Champaign, Illinois, on Friday. Now it’s time for the back! Completely different, but just as awesome.

Sarah says, “These pictures feature various experimental areas of the back yard. One big challenge with the back yard was creating a space where we could sit that felt like we had a bit of privacy.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sarah Hall

“We are fairly new homeowners and moved into an area with absolutely no trees, which was a difficult adjustment for me. I decided that I wanted to use the back deck to create what could be a naturally closed in seating area. I designed the pergola to have lattice with corner benches to close things in a little, and create something for the trumpet vine to grow around.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sarah Hall

“I planted two salmon-colored trumpets and one yellow one in the middle.  Smell was also important so I decided to surround the deck with lavender and added cobblestones to create a a border.  Once the trumpet vines took off we decided to add bamboo blinds on the east and west side so that we could have some coverage during sunrise and sunset if necessary. I paired the lavender with alyssum which filled in well, and eventually spilled over the cobbles creating a nice border.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sarah Hall

“I liked the idea of creating some type of serene pathway leading off of the deck and also really liked the idea of a dry creek.  I had quite a bit of trouble deciding so I did a combo.  I used beach pebbles and Irish moss to create a lush looking yet dry path.  I added fragrant white lilies along the path to keep a nice smell in the area and further down the path added sweet autumn clematis for its fragrance and fall flowering. These areas still have quite a bit of growing to do but I am looking forward to their progress in the coming season.”

Yet again, beautiful. Thanks, Sarah, for sending in these photos!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sarah Hall
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sarah Hall

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/06/2012

    Yes, in Sarah's words, her trumpet vine certainly did "take off" and it looks like it has been a good soldier in completing its her back deck lots of lush privacy. Also, is the beautiful waterfall of tiny white flowers cascading over the wooden fence a sweet autumn clematis? It's glorious!

  2. wittyone 02/06/2012

    I hope you've planted some trees as well. It always makes me sad to see those new treeless subdivisions. But the trumpet vines make a good stand-in.

    The sweet autumn clematis is gorgeous and the fragrance is just wonderful especially at a time of year when flowering plants are in the minority.

  3. tractor1 02/06/2012

    Sarah has some wonderful vines, I wish I had them. I tried clematis and trumpet but not much luck, maybe because I bought them mail order and they were kind of wimpy, I was assured they'd grow quickly but they didn't. I'm thinking of trying morning glory next, or Jack's magic beans; fee fi, fo fum. The vines are lovely but they really won't offer much privacy from nosy neighbor's upper windows a mere arm's length away and none once the temps drop as will their leaves. I'd plant conifers in the corner along that privacy fence, a half dozen arborvitae should suffice, even better are Canadian hemlock as they do well in partial shade and lend themselves to heavy shearing... there are many other choices... I'd much rather a dense wall of green year round than be hemmed in by a nearby bamboo shade. I love that wooden deck but PLEASE, get that grill off or it will burn down your house! Move that grill onto the ground and a minimum of 15' from any combustible material including trees and bushes... don't even store it there.

  4. catsdogs 02/06/2012

    Really A nice Picture there, really like the green, its small and really looks nice. I like color but that green is great.... Best of wishes in your garden, gardner here.....

  5. greengrowler 02/06/2012

    Love the pergola over the deck and the cute seating corners. The panels of lattice provide just enough privacy without feeling too closed-in. Your trumpet vines as well as the sweet autumn clematis are vibrant and healthy - at first glance, I thought the clematis was a silver lace vine!

    To tractor1: have you ever tried Hops vine? Its' VERY vigorous and tough and the hops look unique dangling on the vine. The leaves are stiff and somewhat hairy so deer (should!) leave it alone. Oh, and Paula & Simon are judges on "American Idol" - I don't watch it, but know that Paula is the sweet, complimentary judge and Simon is, well, the critical one he doesn't "hold back" if you get my drift....

  6. KarinCa 02/06/2012

    Love the look, especially when combined with the grass in the one picture. Careful with vines though, especially the vigorous ones (like trumpet vine, morning glory), depending on your climate they can be extremely invasive. Here in zone 9 I have to stick with clematis, everything else takes over the entire back yard.
    PS: Simon is the most popular judge because he says it as he sees it!

  7. tractor1 02/06/2012

    So Simon is the American Idol judge who offers constuctive criticism. And Paula is the wuss who is ascared to offend anyone's widdle feelings. I much prefer and appreciate honesty and helpfulness. I checked out the hops vine and will think about it, however it may be too vigorous. I wanted something to soften one of my utility poles, for now I planted a lilac bush next to it (mount baker), I had to fence it as deer like lilac leaves... once it exceeds six feet in height I should be able to remove the fence. On Saturday I pruned my two apple trees and two plum trees, semi-dwarf; gala & empire/mt. royal & green gage. I'm patiently awaiting spring when the plants will bud out. Thanks folks.

  8. pattyspencer 02/07/2012

    I wish my trumpet vine was as well behaved. Altho I do trim mine on both sides of the fence I notice my neighbor trims a bit more often. And I have an autumn clamatis as well which has jumped into other areas of the yard and is very difficult now to get rid of no matter how much I cut it back.
    Very nice yard. And I agree with Tractor1 on that grill.

    And to tractor1 - I don't know about your trumpet vine but mine took a little over 5 years before it flowered and I was getting ready to rip it out when I noticed 2. I've had it now about 10 years and it's flowering nicely.

  9. riverain 02/08/2012

    @tractor1, actually, Randy was the constructive judge. Simon is known for ridiculing people...

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