The Creation of our "Italian" Garden
After Hurricane Fran in the fall of 1996 "rearranged'
our back yard we were left with an open sunny back yard (which previously
had been a heavily wooded shady yard). Looking at the
yard we realized that it naturally divided into 3 areas and so we decided
to make 3 "rooms" of the yard: an "Italian" garden, an English garden and
a Japanese garden.
It took us all of 1997 to clear the yard of
all the underbrush and ivy and cut down a few more trees that were left
leaning. We had about 50 tree stumps ground out and we started reading
and planning our new landscape design (not knowing what we were getting
into). In 1998 we worked on grading (by hand) the whole back
yard, planted shrubs around the perimeter of the yard and in the fall we
started laying out the "Italian" garden. (At the same time the huge
remodeling project inside our house was going on.) In the spring
of 1999 Bruce put down the patio blocks and we started the planting in
the "Italian" garden.
This is the area (after the clearing and before the grading) which we will
make into the "Italian" graden.
||October 1998 Bruce
has built a berm along the backof the area, leveled the front and is building
forms in preparation to laying down patio blocks.
||May 1999 The patio blocks
are down, shrubs planted along the back, 2 raised beds put in and we bought
a fountain. We will wait until cooler weather in the fall to start
|April 2000 The
results of our planting last fall and early this spring. The 2 front
areas are knot gardens planted with herbs: santolina, basil, parsley, thyme,
oregano, sage, and rosemary.
||The ice plants (Delospermia
Cooperi) that we planted last fall on top of the wall next to the
fountain are doing well.
||The plants are growing
and filling out. The santolina is planted on the diagonals of the
knot gardens. That's Greek basil in front on the left and thyme in front
on the right.
|In June Bruce built the
arbor on the left. A path will lead through the arbor into a small
natural area and then into the Japanese garden.
||The raised beds in the
middle are planted with blue ageratum and white begonias.
||Here you can see the
detail of the patio blocks.
||The tanacetum blooming
behind the fountain was, shortly after this, eaten by the rabbits that
|Here is the garden in
early spring, 2001. The azaleas, dianthus and pansies are blooming.
||Back in the fall, we
planted these pansies in the raised beds and here they are in the spring.
||Bruce says that everytime
he walks by these pansies, he feels as if there are a hundred eyes looking
|These dianthus have a
||To be different, we decided
this year to plant marigolds and salvia Victoria Blue in the raised beds.
||We've had a very wet
summer and unfortunately lost some of our santolina in the front knot gardens,
so we replaced it with begonias and asters. Here's the Italian garden
the end of August, 2001.
To see the "English" turned "Southern Cottage"
garden, click here
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