Tuesday, July 1, 2014


About seven years ago, our arbor garden was featured in Country Gardens magazine. Well, a few months ago, we learned that it made the cover of The Best of Country Gardens magazine—a compilation of favorite CG gardens from previous issues! I meant to post about it sooner but the loss of our dear kitty in April seemed to overshadow any bit of good news, and I don't think the issue is on newsstands anymore.

Here's a little backstory on the garden, which occupies a small enclave between our sidewalk and driveway. When we moved into our house, it was just a patch of lawn with a few ferns. Not being crazy about lawn, my husband and I decided it would make a neat potager (aka kitchen garden) since the space is just off our kitchen. The following spring, my husband and I set to work laying the brick-lined beds and planting the Korean and English boxwood edging (To save money, we bought really tiny plants).

At the time, I was working as a garden editor for Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications and once the editors caught wind that we'd created an idyllic little garden haven, they expressed an interest in shooting the garden. They offered to install an arbor to serve as another focal point for the freshly designed landscape. 

Using plants that they donated to the project, we added three large spiral conifer topiaries, several roses, and fanciful purple-flowering alliums to the existing planting scheme. Urns were filled with spring bloomers that would lush out in time for the spring photo shoot. Our deep window wells were adorned with potted geraniums from my favorite geranium grower, and I sprinkled the original fern bed with a few pink caladiums. To me, more is more when it comes to gardening and I like a really full look. I wonder if the original owners of our 1885 Victorian home were the same way? I've heard the Victorians had a penchant for that growing style.

To choke out weeds, the brick-lined beds were planted to the max. It was very gratifying to see them so full that even the weeds couldn't grow! Here, coleus and penstemon mingle with a chartreuse carpet of moneywort.

I took all the photos in this post the day of the photo shoot. Please also note that the photos and text for the article in The Best of Country Gardens are from the original shoot and not new ones. I hope you enjoyed this little journey down memory lane!