Today’s photos come from Zita Swindells.
I live in Evanston, Illinois, just outside Chicago, and have been gardening for about 25 years. I try to incorporate many natives into the garden. I love to see the yard filled with the movement of birds and butterflies (alas, also squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits).
These first few photos are of my front shade garden. I adore the spring ephemerals in this garden, especially the trilliums, wood anemones, and bleeding hearts.
Yellow trillium (Trillium luteum, Zones 4–8)
I have also included below some before, during, and after photos of the backyard, which show the original garden, the start of construction for our room addition (it got much worse than the picture shows), and the new garden (about two years old now). The brick paths form borders for the beds, so there is less edging than in the old garden, but the weeds just love growing between the bricks! I think I’ve moved every plant in the big bed and dug a new bed in my floodplain at the back of the yard, where many of my natives will reside. So much for trying to have a more manageable space as I enter my 70s!
The original garden, before construction started.
More of the preconstruction garden.
Start of construction
A few survivors from the old garden—an apple tree, Japanese maple, a neighbor’s thuggish Euonymus enveloping the fence, and a climbing rose (‘Zephirine Drouhin’) excavated from under a mountain of debris.
The new gardens are full of flowers for visiting pollinators.
A brick path provides crisp edging for the new garden.
Limelight hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ Zones 3–7) and canna lilies, which the hummingbirds love.
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