Today, we’ll take a look at the beginning of the Courtyard Garden, on the north side of the house and visible from the kitchen and the bathroom.
This was the site of the Courtyard Garden in August, 2014, about a month after I moved here. The brown fence went from the front corner of the house to the neighbour’s fence. Virginia Creeper vines had just been largely removed from here as they had filled the space between the fence and the house and climbed up the wall to the peak of the roof. Once the vines had been largely removed, I began planning for what to do here.
First, that brown fence was moved and converted to a gate between the foreground corner of the house and the neighbouring fence so that I’d be able to move through toward the planned Veggie Garden while keeping Willy out.
As you can see, I had already planted some hostas and some tall Thalictrum rochebrunianum (Meadow Rue) as well as a few other plants from the old garden here because it was the shadiest spot I had.
By May 15, 2015, the Courtyard Garden looked like this. The new foundation and back walls had been more or less finished the Autumn before but the shingles still needed (and still do need) to be replaced, but planting needed to be carried on. Various lilies and hostas had made it through the winter and were up. Some Coleus had been planted for summer colour, and Willy’s Pond was in place in its first version.
By the middle of June, 2015, the first Hosta was blooming, bordered by a variegated mint that smelled wonderful when brushed. The little fence was there to help Willy remember to stay out of the border. It worked much of the time!
My Coleus plants did very well in the Courtyard Garden last year so I planted many of them. When Fall came, I took cuttings so that now I have a good selection for this year overwintering inside. Sweet Alyssum also did well here after a down time in the heat of mid-summer.
By mid-September of last year (2015), the courtyard looked like this. Looking the opposite direction from the previous pix, we can see the River of Shallow Water and the beginnings of the bridge over it. On the right side is a native Mullein and several othert plants (Coleus, Hostas, shrubs, etc) that are overexposed due to the brilliant morning sunshine that this garden gets until around noon.
On the left is another Coleus, some potted Anthuriums out for the summer, some Pulmonarias and Hosta, “Blue Mouse Ears”. Some of the boulders that form the banks of the stream have been put in place and are awaiting the mulch for the pathway that was recently spread out.
By late September, 2015, the mixed border between the bridge and the neighbour’s shed was looking like this. The tall plant at the right of the picture is that Mullein beside the bridge. The tree with the variegated leaves is my Dogwood florida, “Cherokee Sunrise” and the shrub at the extreme left is Acer palmata, “Orangeola” (Japanese weeping Maple). These Coleus are the mother plants of my babies in the house and the large, roundish leaves, I think, are those of Money Plants (Lunaria) that should bloom this coming Spring.
You can see, on the fence, remnants of the original Virginia Creeper vines that I left for their Autumn colour.
There will be many more plants in this small garden in the coming season. Next time, I’ll focus on the Entrance Garden outside the front Veggie Garden fence.