Garden: 2nd Year Early May

Most of my perennials I planted last year are coming back this spring. Yeah! I have some spots to fill in because last year my tomato plants took up majority of my garden. No tomatoes this year! I just don’t get enough sun on the side of the house to make it worth it. I can always go to my local farmer’s market to get my favorite heirloom tomatoes.

My biggest question this spring is what to put in the front of the house? I’ve gone back and forth on plants and shrubs a hundred times. Many of my lovely readers have sent me ideas but the only shrub that steals my heart is the boxwood. I know what your going to say, Don’t do it, they’re fussy, and they hate the snow/salt. But what I realized over the winter is that the snow never gets in the front garden. It builds up like a barricade in front of the sidewalk. Then you’ll probably say, they like lots of sun. Two neighbors on my street have different varieties of boxwood and they seem to be doing fine. So should I take the risk? Go for it or come up with something else? And no I don’t want Holly; too woody.

Below photos of the front garden. I raised the cobblestones up in the front garden this weekend. When we first put them in we had them flush with the sidewalk. I realized it’s better to have them lifted up so I can sweep a clean line with my broom. The messiness was driving me nuts.

My peonies, baptista, allium and hydrangeas are growing nicely. My Endless Summer Lacecap Hydrangea already has buds. I picked a few new flowers this morning including a foxglove. I love foxgloves but they are biannuals. Last year I didn’t think it was worth it to plant one because my garden is so small. But I can’t live without one; so I’ll make room. Stay tuned for more plant buying. May is the month to plant!






Related Posts:
Garden Progress in Early June 2009
Tomato Plants Take Over Garden
Fall Garden Projects: Transplanting Shrubs


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24 Comments

  1. Katy, what about a dwarf evergreen of some type just to the right of the door for Christmas lights? There’d be plenty of room for window boxes as well – or put pine boughs/holly branches in your boxes and light those.

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  2. Btw: katy has been doing TONS of work to get that garden ready. She moved the Hydrangea from the front of the house to the rear corner of the house. They should get more sun back there. And many other plants she replanted to better locations.

    And – I helped her plant something that came in a box (unbelievable to me that a plant came in a box) in a spot that she needed “help” with because she “hit a rock”. Turns out it required the removal of about 400 lbs of concrete slab buried in the dirt (not kidding).

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  3. Go for the Boxwood! ‘Green Mountain’ is nice, or for a more rounded and a bit shorter shape, ‘Green Velvet’. Both are crazy hardy and stay green.

    Maybe a few nice variegated hostas, like ‘Frances Williams’, too.

    You have a fabulous sense of style…

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  4. From the Daytona Nursery web site:

    Buxus x ‘Green Velvet’
    Boxwood
    zones 5-9
    Description: One of the best selections for northern locations because it will hold its green color well in the winter sun and cold conditions. It will grow naturally to a semi-spherical shape but lends itself well to shaping. It is best suited to small borders or hedges or as an edging along a path. Grows slowly, 3′ in 10 years. Spread: 3-4′

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  5. I have some beautiful boxwood. It came with the house. I will say, it has a scent or odor to it. The snow flattened it, but it seems to have rallied well.

    Baptisia. Wow. I was so happy to see my baptisia return after all that snow. Plants are so resilient, always surprising me in the best ways.

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  6. There is a type of holly that looks EXACTLY like boxwood called Ilex Crenata (or Japanese Holly) that is much hardier than boxwood. Seriously, it’s identical. There are a variety of cultivars that have different habits in terms of height, shape, etc. — I would look into that.

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  7. Jennie,

    I love english boxwood. But the odor can often times smell like cat piss.

    What I’ve heard is to plant english boxwoods in a yard away from the house. I don’t want that smell wafting into my living room/kitchen.

    Also read it’s a resale nightmare. Some of us find the smell enduring but often times new homeowners don’t.

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  8. I was going to suggest window boxes as well, but maybe Russian sage or catmint underneath?

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  9. I’m with you on the boxwood, especially English boxwood. There is something about that spicey, woodsy scent that is just so…right. Can’t wait to see how your garden grows!

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  10. Go with what you love. Plant the boxwoods and see how they do. I bet they’ll do well!

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  11. Hello! I’ve used boxwood to frame our perennial bed at the front of our house. They´ve got almost too much sun I think because they turn yellow. Semi-shade i think is best for them. They turn dark green if they are not in full sun. You should definitely try boxwood. I look forward to see what perennials you choose. I’m in the same situation creating a gigantic flower bed at front. Good luck!

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  12. If you let the foxglove go to seed one year you will soon have them coming back year after year — some of them growing each year and some blooming. All over my garden now there are descendants of one plant I put in four summers ago. One of my favorite plants!

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  13. I just found your blog and love it. I feel a little forward in saying this but have you ever considered window boxes. Could be beautiful! Then below could be the boxwood. Just an idea.

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  14. the nursery that i work at (woohoo) has a guarantee on the perennials, maybe find a place near you that does as well so if they die, you can just replace them with something different?

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  15. From The Right Bank–
    We are working inside too. But the outside had nothing. I am slowly adding perennials plants so when I get to *finishing* the outside the gardens will be established.

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  16. I think box will look very pretty and probably do fine. It likes “sun or part shade.” In fact, three of them are wilting in a sunny spot in my garden right now, so “part shade” will probably be perfect. Be sure to get the kind that stays green in the snow and the wind.

    The plants you show here are very pretty. I guess these are along the back?

    I’m very excited about gardening, and the weather has been great. We bought almost all our plants yesterday at the Prospect Park annual plant sale. We got a mix of pink and yellow dahlias, climbing roses, daisies, and cosmos.

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  17. Have fun picking out your plants! I love going to the nursery. My poor garden is being neglected because I’m so consumed with the interior right now. Luckily the previous owner did a nice job with the landscaping. I’m especially happy about all the hydrangea that are just starting to bud.

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  18. I love hearing about your garden! And those tomato plant cages in their red cages are too cute. Sadly I did something to the mint and thyme potted herbs I picked up at the farmers market a few weeks ago

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