Monday, June 17, 2013

Cottage Style DECK GARDEN

Deck garden, green house garden and hen house in the rear.
 It's almost that time of year where we gardeners get to sit back and begin to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Seeds are in, sprouts are shooting out of the ground, ( hopefully) and the old stand-byes are about to being their show for the summer. 
So many people have decks in their backyards today. They fit into just about every architecture style possible and they add usable living space in the spring, summer and fall. But a deck with out a comfortable place to sit, some shade if it's on the south or west side of the house and plants to enjoy close-up can feel anything but inviting.

 

 Our house had a deck when we bought it and I remember the first time we saw it very clearly. It was the month of June and the cottage style garden that surrounded the entire deck was in full bloom. I was so charmed by the flowers as I walked up the path to the side door, not doubt that was the second I knew this was to be our new home!  I wish I could say I was as enamored with the inside; it was livable and I knew we'd make changes along the way. That was twelve years ago and many changes, updates and adaptations inside and out have occurred but even before the chickens and the greenhouse garden came on the scene, I loved puttering in the Cape Cod Cottage deck garden when the kids were smaller  and I didn't have time to take on larger gardening projects.


The previous owner had planted, geranium, bee balm, day-lilies, creeping phlox, Shasta daisies, and oriental lilies in sort of a miss- mash arrangement. I loved the wild, unkempt way the flowers mingled together and enjoyed it for a several years until some of the perennials started to look tired or not perform as they had in the past. 

 

 I've gradually been ripping out the the older plants and replacing them with more traditional Cape Cod Cottage style plants. I felt the garden needed a few for fullness and romance so I added some 
Endless Summer Blue Hydrangea,

 
 A David Austin Rose ( not sure of the variety now )

  Knock out Roses, ( low to the ground variety )  and Cat Mint ' walkers low" for a little structure and more color!



The cat mint, and roses are in bloom now, and the hydrangea is just about to bloom! 

This is the South side filled with day lilies, tiger lilies, oriental lilies. daisies, and black eyed Susan's that pop up every where in mid summer providing a sea of happy yellow faces dancing above the top of the deck! All of these flowers and shrubs mix nicely with annual cut flowers for bouquets or all by themselves in a tiny vase next to your kitchen sink. 



 If you've got a deck and nothing growing next to it, consider taking a trip to your local nursery for some inspiration.  All you need is a couple of feet ( three feet in depth is perfect ) all the way around to add some life to your deck!



I don't grow anything more than 5 feet high because I don't want to block my view out to the rest of the garden and I don't grow anything really tiny either... 12 inches to 5 feet is my height range with the taller plants placed at the corners and in the middle on the longer sides for color and fullness. Of course, if you don't have any space at all next to your deck, container gardens are the next best thing!
 Oh, I should mention... veggies and herbs mixed in to your flowers and shrubs is a great way to save space too but you might want to plant your mint in a container.. It spreads and takes over in a hurry! 

What do you grow next to ( or on ) your deck? 


Happy Gardening friends!
 
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