Everybody needs … places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength …John Muir
When we purchased this derelict farmhouse, there was no garden, only a morass of overgrown bushes, grass, and weeds, some of them inside the siding, covering the house, and even inside it. Little by little, we uncovered the place, and one step at a time, we set out to create a garden. As we uncovered areas, we found a hidden driveway, some existing plants that we kept and revived, and other areas of interest, such as a sitting area delineated by a cemented circle shape. One area at a time, we set out to clean, separate, and plan what we could do using existing or recycled materials, and some new.
Eventually, it started to feel and look like a garden. We added a few new plants and propagated other existing plants. Today, we are at a point where the place feels manageable, and we plan to create new garden areas. Our goal is to create at least one new area every year or add new plants to an existing area. So far, we have created a garden around the perimeter of the house, a veggie garden, a faerie garden where there is a large section covered with moss, a small front garden at the entrance, which is still in the works, two small areas next to the house, a sitting area, and recently, a small garden next to it. We have added four new trees which we obtained for free (a small $10 donation) through the Arbor Foundation, and these are doing very well. We planted five but one did not make it. Originally, they sent 10 dormant trees (these look like brown sticks); we planted five and gave the rest to my sister.
I’ve loved gardens since I can remember. I especially loved my grandmother’s garden, and as a little girl I enjoyed it. Although it was a small garden, at that age, to me it felt as a huge garden, my own world. Sadly, this garden does not exist anymore. It was replaced by hideous cement. My favorite garden style is an English garden, and I would love to recreate that style on this property. My husband favors more symmetrical and delineated gardens, which I dislike, so we compromise a bit. He also dislikes climbers, which I love. I have a list of dreamy plants that I would like to see growing in the garden. Some are already part of it. The list is in no particular planting or planning order; just what I love.
- Iris – There was an existing light purple variety growing here, which we uncovered and propagated. I brought a deeper shade of purple from my garden in Jersey.
- Gladiolas – My sister gave me some from her garden, and these are doing very well.
- Hen and chicks – These have propagated well, and I brought them from my garden in Jersey.
- Weeping blue spruce – wish list
- Holy tree – We uncovered two existing varieties, one in the new garden area, which we uncovered amongst overgrown bushes, and another one in the wooded area at the back of the house.
- Jasmine – wish list
- Camelia – wish list
- Magnolia – wish list, but it tends to grow very large, so I am not too sure about adding it.
- Snapdragon – planted some from seed.
- Gardenia – wish list
- Clematis – wish list
- Wisteria – wish list
- Butterfly bush – wish list
- Tulips – wish list
- Giant Hosta – We added a few hostas and three blue hostas.
- Sunflowers – We added them from seed, but did not come back, as the birds ate all the seeds.
- Yarrow – Found in property.
- Daphodils – wish list
- Poppy – wish list. Planted seeds but did not grow.
- Black Eye Susan – wish list
- Forget me nots – wish list
- Hyacinth – wish list
- Crocus – wish list
- Roses – Planted a small bush that died. Just bought two mini rose bushes that will go in the front porch area when we redo that area.
- Ferns – found in property along with wild violet and I potted it.
- Clover – Tons of clover grow here. I would rather have Clover than grass.
- Lavender – wish list, have proven hard to grow, but I have a small English Lavender plant in a pot, but it has been a challenge to grow elsewhere.
- English Ivy – I have three plants growing in pots by the faerie garden and side entrance.
- Bleeding heart – wish list
- Daisy – wish list
- Lillies – Existing near the porch, some of which we propagated in the faerie garden. I planted a Tiger Lilly by the side entrance.
- Calla lilies – My sister gave me a few from her garden. We have them in pots for now, and they come up every year; eventually, we will propagate these.
- Zinnias and Foxglove – By seed
- Forsythia – We have a small existing bush that we revived and trimmed. It tends to flower in December for some reason, and by the time Spring arrives, it is done with its flowers.
- Peony – wish list
- Dwarf Boxwood – Existing, and we uncovered and revived these two bushes by the porch steps. At one point, I thought these would not make it because these were in very bad shape.
- Hydrangea – Existing. We have a lovely Blue Hydrangea that we trimmed and is doing beautifully.
- Climbing rose – We uncovered a tiny rose bush, and it has grown beautifully. It was covered by overgrown vegetation, and we almost missed it.
- Morning Glory – Just started growing two + plants (by seed) in pots by the side entrance steps. My goal is for them to climb and wrap themselves around the banister and handrail.
There are many cedars, pine, and oak varieties around here, and some lovely trees that I have no idea what they are. I am sure that I can come up with more dreamy plants, but for now, these are the ones that I would love to see growing in the garden. I enjoyed many of these plants in my previous garden and I truly miss them. I would like to add the plants on this list throughout the years, and at least a small water feature. I will share some of these projects on this blog.
To view some of the before and after pictures of the garden you can visit my posts under Restoring a Garden or Fixing an Old Farmhouse. Here are a few pictures.