Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pictures of the

 As requested, I am posting pictures of the front and back yard. Mind you, these pictures are during a state of flux, there are things sitting around that are not usually cluttering up the area, so imagine them absent.

The back yard, looking over the fence from the driveway. 

The back yard, standing at the far end looking back to the house. The beds to either side will hopefully one day be full of roses (The bed on the right already has 16 babies) and companion plantings. I am thinking cranesbill geranium, daylilies, boxwood, and lime green sweet potato ground cover.

This is the real mess. I just planted the clump of three tea olives seen in the corner of the bed, and a trio of spirea. What I need now is height and fullness, but also a way to bring the landscaping out toward the fence. Ideas?

The house looks so flat without plantings. My ideal effect is a sort of shrubby perennial cottage feeling, with climbers on all three columns...or at least the outside corners. I know this place is in serious need of curb appeal, but I am unsure how to go about it really. I want to plant a flowering tree at the left of the gate to lend some height and a little shade as the house and beds are south facing and get alot of broiling hot sun during the summer. As far as trees I am thinking possibly crepe myrtle?

A better shot of the current bed layout. If anyone could give me a more dynamic suggestion, which must include height and roses, I am open to anything. 


This is looking out my back door. Again, very flat. Imagine however, a wall of roses extending all the way around. Thats what I am going for. I am possibly constructing another arbor mirroring the one to the left, and then adding a swing at the far end of the lawn. Also in the back of my mind is the possibility of swagging or pillaring roses to create height... but again I am at a loss. 

Here's hoping for suggestions,



  1. Oh, I'm sorry I missed this post, Ken. I don't know how I missed it, except that my first week back to work after vacation was a bit hectic. I like your house and your whole situation. I remember your backyard from the Antique Roses Forum. I think your ideas are all good. My only suggestion is to consider 'Summer Carnival' hollyhocks. I haven't seen them in the nurseries. I grew mine from seed, starting in the fall. You might give them a try then. Mine not only survived the summer and winter but is coming back in a clump, ready to send up multiple stalks of those luscious double peonie-like flowers. Can't wait.

  2. Oh Sherry,
    You know the way to my heart. Just mention the words peony or hollyhock in a sentence and I get the glazed eyes of a man in love. When my partner and I went to Italy in 2009, it was in May, when all of the roses and peonies were blooming. I was head over heels. I had never seen or smelled a peony in my life, and I must say, it is now one of my flower obsessions. Hollyhocks are the other. With foxglove coming in as another contender. Now that I have taken your suggestion from a while back and bought "A Cutting Garden in Florida" I feel armed with the knowledge to make at least some of the cottage garden favorites that I thought would never happen for me here in Tampa. Peonies I know are still out of the question, but my plans this year are to get seeds for Creme di Cassis hollyhocks, as well as one called Chamois, and a couple of the Summer Carnival colors. I found a place on Amazon that sells the colors individually, and the rose and deep maroon color are most assuredly going in my garden!
    PS- I will have to dig up the photo archive, but I have wonderful pictures from the rose garden at the Boboli gardens in Florence, as well as the Florentine municipal rose garden. It is a sight to be sure, and I will begin posting some soon, so keep an eye out. My beginning rose obsession became full blown in those Italian gardens I visited, and I can tell you this for a fact, the Italians love their roses. And it shows.

    Thanks again for all your advice and encouragement, I am sure I will need more in the future!