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.
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.
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.
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!
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.