The Arch City Gardener

Journeys In St. Louis Gardening and Beyond


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Wordless Wednesday: Summer Go-Togethers

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The Garden in Time

One of the benefits of a Midwest garden is the beauty each season brings. Here’s a look back at one garden bed as it appeared throughout 2014.

Late winter 2013 and spring can't get here soon enough.

Late winter 2013 and spring can’t get here soon enough.

The newly planted foxglove provided lots to look at as the garden got under way in spring. I love the maroon shades of the maple with the blue of the spruce

The newly planted foxglove provided lots to look at as the garden got under way in spring. I love the maroon shades of the maple with the blue of the spruce

Happy summer hydrangea. Little Lamb and Little Lime wind throughout the bed.

Happy summer hydrangea. Little Lamb and Little Lime wind throughout the bed.

I under-estimated just how many plants I will need and how long it will take to fill in this bed.

I underestimated just how many plants I will need and how long it will take to fill in this bed.  I also miscalculated on how large this penstemon would get. I moved her to the back in the fall.

The gayfeather returned this year...I still never really believe the stuff I put in the year before will come back.

The gayfeather returned this year…I still never really believe the stuff I put in the year before will come back.

A close up of texture and shapes. To keep in the garden or snip to add to a vase?

A close up of texture and shapes. To keep in the garden or snip to add to a vase?

Anchoring the south edge of the patio bed, the rudbeckia is a profusion of blooms in the hottest month of the summer.

Anchoring the south edge of the patio bed, the rudbeckia is a profusion of blooms in the hottest month of the summer.

As summer give way to autumn, the rusty brown plumes on this perennial grass contrast well with the blue spruce

As summer give way to autumn, the rusty brown plumes on this perennial grass contrast well with the blue spruce

The grasses plumes drape gracefully under the weight of a wet snow.

The grasses plumes drape gracefully under the weight of a wet snow.

The muted tones of fall beneath a blanket of snow: Harvest brown foliage and faded hydrangea blooms and the tall maple at the top of the bed; maroon leaves on the Japanese maple; and the tall pine in my neighbor's yard.

The muted tones of fall beneath a blanket of snow: Harvest brown foliage and faded hydrangea blooms and the tall maple at the top of the bed; maroon leaves on the Japanese maple; and the tall pine in my neighbor’s yard.


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Wading In, The Final Chapter

This small postage size of a patio served as inspiration to journey into backyard gardening

This small postage size of a patio served as inspiration to journey into backyard gardening

Today, a stamped concrete patio provides plenty of room for entertaining, relaxing and enjoying the garden

Today, a stamped concrete patio provides plenty of room for entertaining, relaxing and enjoying the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a novice when it comes to this gardening thing, but I know enough to realize I needed  a plan. Like so many of you out there, though, I am a DYI’er. My vision was  pretty simple:  remove the 32 or so 12 x 12 paver blocks that posed as a patio and replace them with either a deck or a patio and to landscape around said patio. Turns out I like researching and reading about all things gardens. So I decided I should develop a 3 to 5 year plan.

Four years later, I am making good progress.

The stamped concrete patio is the centerpiece of my backyard and I have surrounded it with sun loving plants. But my work is far from done. The patio bed needs more plants. A raised bed garden along the fence begs to be renovated and has served as an experimental garden as I learn about which plants work well in my clay soil.

IMG_0230 (480x640)The railroad ties that form the raised bed along one fence wall are rotting and I am debating on which materials to use to replace it. Like the patio, I want a more permanent material such as those interlocking stones or maybe even using field stone to match what is already in the yard.  Decisions, decisions.  I overlay these considerations with the costs for such a project. I will hire this out and I know it will be expensive. (Did I mention, I am paying college tuition?)

And on the opposite side of the yard from the raised bed, a shade garden along the fence would be lovely to look at from the patio. It would also provide interest to the nondescript, 6 foot wooden fence. I will start on this bed this spring taking into consideration lessons I have learned from installing my first garden bed from scratch.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to sharing more of the journey and learning from you.