Sunday, November 1, 2009

Before: scary. After: you decide

One of the sore spot of my garden has always been the area you saw right after you entered through the gate. It was worst when we still had the garbage can there (no photo of this, you don't need to see it). Then we moved the garbage cans into the front garden, but the sight was still pretty scary:



An old, partly rusted sink, a small garden shed, and to the right, a fence. Not my idea of "inviting". Even more jarring the sight when one returned from the garden, to go through the gate to the street.


So, some time last fall, I set to work. First, I bought some spray paint and, after carefully covering the house and floor with newspaper and plastic, set to work. The stuff stank awfully, next time I'll use a brush, but the result wasn't bad. Then I went and got some pots, which were mostly on sale at the time. Finally, I got some plants. And, voila!


Above the "After" picture from the street (and from a slightly different perspective). And here's how it looks from the garden. Yes, for a prize-winning picture I should have swept before I took the photo. But you get the idea.


I used different shades of blue and different shapes for the pots. Then I planted a number of shade-loving natives (The area gets a maximum of an hour of sun each day, around noon). I used Iris douglasiana, ferns (Deer fern and Maidenhair firm), yerba buena , and a pretty little Heuchera. I also added some native ginger (Asarum caudatum) and a stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea). I put all the pots on coasters so the sink can still be accessed, though we don't use it much. It's still not perfect. I'm dreaming of replacing the concrete with a more permeable surface one day. Maybe just break it up and stain it so the dirt doesn't show as much.

But for now, I'm pretty happy and no longer scared to open the garden gate.

9 comments:

lostlandscape (James) said...

Much better in the "after"-life! The hose in the before looks totally alive and dangerous. Most of my garden is hand-watered, so I'm familiar with all these dangerous species coiled around the spaces. I definitely should try to hide them better, like you've done.

Gail said...

Love the cobalt containers! They are the perfect pop of color and hide the hose beautifully. You did make me chuckle~~I never see leaves or plastic pots in any of my after photos until I am posting them and it's too dark to clean up and re-shoot! gail

Nell Jean said...

Love it, love it.

I hope you don't mind if I link to your baccharis post in a future post of mine.

Country Mouse said...

Really nice! You do great containers. We had a hose horror on the slope below my dad's cottage - a hose left conveniently there for him to fill the birdbath across the driveway - but no bib nearby so it sprawled down the slope. I splurged on one of those nice ceramic tubs you coil hoses into, blue like some of your pots. Now we have one hose line down to the tub, which I nestled level into the bottom of the slope, and he only needs to uncoil and coil about 8 feet of hose to get to the bird bath. The driveway looks so much neater now. I love those things!

Christine said...

What a great idea to have more water-loving natives kept in pots and away from the drought tolerants! I'm sure they'll put on an even greater show when the iris blooms in springtime. Maybe you could get a gigantic pot and try a ribes sanguineum...

susie said...

Great solution! It looks fantastic, who would've thought to paint the sink blue! It made it dissapear with the addition of your blue pots.

Susan Tomlinson said...

It looks smashing and fabulous. And what a terrific blue sink!

Town Mouse said...

So thrilled everyone likes it! Christine, I'm actually thinking of putting a vine maple into the one large pot. And maybe try some Chinese Houses (I could start them in 4 inch pots and sneak them into the containers after they've started blooming).

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Love the huge pots, a great screen! Every garden has what my German mom calls a Ramschecke (junk corner) -- mine is behind my shed where neither I nor anyone else can see it! My neighbor's, on the other hand, is in in my line of sight. P.S. it did take my milkweed about three seasons to get that wonderful fluff. (Frankly, I'd always wondered what people were talking about!)