Becky Ewing, BB barn's Customer, Shows off her Garden (and we're so glad)

Becky Ewing, dance choreographer, costume designer, and darn good photographer is gracious enough to allow us a peek into her garden. Going into its third season, the garden is "finding its legs." It's easy to see the outline of the garden that "will be" while enjoying the garden "that is." At the moment, most of the garden is all the same size--trees, shrubs and perennials are all topping off at about the same height--but if we could look over Becky's garden fence in five years, we'd see a lush, colorful garden with height and layers. In this day of instant gratification, Becky knows, the creative process of growing with the garden is as important as the final product. Though, really, is a garden ever finished? Every good gardener knows the answer is no.

Looking over the garden from the back deck, this area was once overgrown and weedy. BB Barns cleared the yard to the property line, and amended the soil. Becky added the paths, patios, plants, and grass space. Everything looks about the same height and size, but in 5 years, the trees and shrubs will have grown, and the definition of the garden will stand out more. It's good to take pictures of your garden as it evolves, allowing you to see the changes yourself. And, enjoy those full sun perennials now, because rule of thumb: the longer you live in a garden the shadier it gets. If you could walk around the garden, you'd find shasta viburnums, 'Graham Blandy' boxwoods, both near the fence. A magnolia 'Little Gem' tree, Thuja 'Green Giants', and even a dove tree (Davidia involucrata).

Looking over the garden from the back deck, this area was once overgrown and weedy. BB Barns cleared the yard to the property line, and amended the soil. Becky added the paths, patios, plants, and grass space. Everything looks about the same height and size, but in 5 years, the trees and shrubs will have grown, and the definition of the garden will stand out more. It's good to take pictures of your garden as it evolves, allowing you to see the changes yourself. And, enjoy those full sun perennials now, because rule of thumb: the longer you live in a garden the shadier it gets. If you could walk around the garden, you'd find shasta viburnums, 'Graham Blandy' boxwoods, both near the fence. A magnolia 'Little Gem' tree, Thuja 'Green Giants', and even a dove tree (Davidia involucrata).

Many of Becky's perennial flowers will lose their sunshine as trees and shrubs mature. Gardens are not static and thinking ahead is crucial as you design your's. How many years will those flowers flourish in that spot before full sun becomes part shade? What shade perennials can you incorporate then? Becky left blank spaces in her front landscape for just that day, when a new flower bed may be necessary and possible (perennials do best when divided every 3-5 years, an easy way to propagate). We cannot control the weather (storms taking out trees that covered our shade gardens), or our neighbors (the new two-story garage they built that now shades our perennials), but we can acknowledge that changes will happen and try to make plans accordingly.

Front perennial bed, or what Becky calls her bluebird garden. Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', 'Morgan' arborvitae, dwarf globe blue spruce, variegated holly, English boxwood, 'Wolf's Eye' Dogwood and 'Steed's' holly will help to give dimension to this colorful perennial bed as they begin to grow and give structure to the area. For now, the garden is a beautiful sun perennial bed that the birds enjoy. The chartreuse ground cover is 'Angelina' sedum.

Front perennial bed, or what Becky calls her bluebird garden. Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', 'Morgan' arborvitae, dwarf globe blue spruce, variegated holly, English boxwood, 'Wolf's Eye' Dogwood and 'Steed's' holly will help to give dimension to this colorful perennial bed as they begin to grow and give structure to the area. For now, the garden is a beautiful sun perennial bed that the birds enjoy. The chartreuse ground cover is 'Angelina' sedum.

Bluebird dinner.

Bluebird dinner.

You may have seen Becky's bird pictures in another blog titled Gardening for the Birds. Her love of wildlife and edibles in the garden is apparent. She and her family moved here from Torrance, California, where her small garden was completely edible. She tried to do the same here but the climate, growing conditions and critters were very different. She gave up on the edibles until she got her gardening legs, and is now incorporating them into her landscape as she learns the difference between California gardening and Western North Carolina gardening.

'Pow Wow' coneflower, a perfect perch for a gold finch.

'Pow Wow' coneflower, a perfect perch for a gold finch.

She has added 2 apple trees, 1 pear, blueberry bushes, tomatoes and herbs that she keeps alive in her greenhouse on her back deck. She plans to add more vegetables next year.

Below is a grid of pictures Becky was nice enough to give us permission to use. Please click on each picture for a description. And, if you want to share pictures of your own, please do so in the comment section below. 

Thank you Becky for sharing your lovely garden with us. We hope your gardening days are many and the critters are few!

AAP, Cinthia

Cinthia Milner is the garden coach, outside sales staff and blog writer for BB Barns Garden Center.

BB Barns Garden Center serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and Tennessee.