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New Meadow Style Garden

The garden nextdoor continues to improve. We purchased and renovated the home next door in 2015. The first priority was restoring the home. Next up was installing flower beds. We have three reasons for making the yard pretty: it's the view to the west from our backyard, we lease the property, attract more pollinators and birds. I have been inspired by some of the modern style gardens that include grasses and have a clean geometric shape such as a rectangle.


I've made several mistakes in the new meadow garden. The first being to simply plant the pink muhly grass in the lawn. That ended up looking like I just plopped them there which is of course what I did. I envisioned large muhly grass springing out of the earth. Oh well.... The crab grass took over the small ornamental grasses. Lesson learned. We dug up the muhly grass and skimmed out the weeds to create a garden bed. This area used to be part of a gravel driveway, so it is a tough spot to begin a garden. Basically, we had gravel, weeds, and North Carolina red clay. We laid organic mushroom compost and soil conditioner to add a layer of goodness over the aforementioned challenges. Ian is a workhorse thank goodness! He managed to dig holes in that former driveway deep enough to start the muhly grass in the first place.

In 2020 I had grand plans to have two types of dahlias planted among the five muhly grasses with cosmos springing up randomly. Two dahlias were killed by the rabbits which ruined the formal shape we had planned for the dahlias. The plants themselves were extremely healthy. This included the cosmos which grew to at least four feet tall. While the flowers looked great it was very unwieldly looking. Only one cosmos has self-seeded this year. I'm fiinding that I have to weed here early in the growing season because this bed is level with the lawn/crabgrass. Perennials with a few self seeders may be a better way to go. Self seeders in my front yard work great because there is a clear definition between the lawn and the garden, but not here.


Southern Charm Verbascum from Bluestone Perennials- This is my first ever verbascum.



Cabbage whites really enjoy the verbena


The zinnias look very healthy, but no flowers yet. My neighbor Susan gave me seed for Zinnia Forecast this year.

So far,so good. They look healthy and will grow two to three feet. This photo was taken after a late day thunderstorm. Elsa gave us a beautiful rain, but left an incredible amount of humidity. It feels like Florida. The grasses look so pretty with the rain drops clinging to the fronds.


Dutch lavender and santolina at the top of the bank that is adjacent to the meadow bed. This is another work in progress.


Maybe, I should add some Vintage Red yarrow to the meadow bed. I have some in a border garden in this yard, but it wants more sun than it is getting.


Here's a couple of garden envy photos for you. A neighbor on our block has the most wonderful naturalistic garden in her front yard. Her garden designer installed taller plants near the street which prevents you from seeing this lovely scene from the road. I was chatting with another neighbor in her front yard (another one with great plants) which allowed me the different view. Wouldn't you love to step out on your front porch and see this in the morning? The peachy agastache inspired me to buy a small one for the meadow style garden in my front yard. :)



As always, happy gardening!