October 18, 2011

Some Simple Changes

Some simple changes have occurred in my garden.  First of all, it finally stopped raining.  That's a change.

Fall colors are emerging which is always a transformation.  And the mums have burst open. They are 'Sheffield Pink', which are so common and everyone has them, but their salmon - pink - apricot colors make me happy, so I put them everywhere.  It's the only hardy mum I have.

And there's a change here that was simple, but dramatic --- I took up some lawn and filled the space with pea gravel.  That's all.  So simple, so effective.

It made the space along the side of my house go from this isolated grass - island - border tableau . . . . .
Before (this summer)

      . . . . . to this:
AFTER 
          From this . . . . .
Before --- mid summer
        . . . . . to this:
AFTER
It's just gravel.  It's just some stone spread around, and two plastic chairs from Lowe's.  So simple I'm embarrassed I didn't do this earlier.

For you blog readers who suffered my ditherings about the bright red knockout roses --- should I keep them or not --- they are gone.
Before.  Last summer the roses filled the top of the drive, crowded by yellow daylilies

The blank space where the roses were will be filled with something else.
AFTER -- no roses, and only a few daylilies left (I kept three fragrant yellow ones)

The grass strip bounded by shrub and perennial borders was nice enough, but it really had no interest.
Before.  An empty space, not used for anything except walking through.

AFTER.  A place to stop.  The edges of the gravel will be softened with spiller plants next spring.

Did I tell you I really like Sheffield Pink mums?  Now, with new confidence resulting from the success of this gravel garden, I'm thinking I could try other varieties. 

Let me know your favorite hardy mums, I'm feeling like I could pull off some more colors now and make a few more simple changes.


Disclosure: 
it took 6 cubic yards of pea stone, a swath of landscape fabric under it, and steel retaining edges installed to keep the gravel from washing away.  It also took sod cutters to rip up the lawn and trucks to haul the sod and the doomed rosebushes away.  I did not do this myself.  

Designs of Mann installed this new garden.  They made the result look simple, but it was a lot of work.  I knew what I wanted but they made it happen.

Thanks, David and Sharon!


17 comments:

  1. What a nice seating area. You can sit there now and decide just what you want to look at while you enjoy the great outdoors.

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  2. What a lovely area to sit and relax in. I hope you enjoy choosing new plants for it. It has certainly made me rethink an area of lawn in my garden, also less mowing.

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  3. Wow! What a transformation a little gravel can do! This place looks so inviting, the perfect place to just sit and enjoy the garden.

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  4. It was really nice you credited your installers. You all did a nice job. I like a small cushion, lime green mum I have, but it has yet to flower this year. I am doubting it will before it snows.

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  6. Laurrie, you know my response to your change:

    Stone replacing grass. How wonderfully right.

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  7. Kudos to Designs of Mann. The gravel looks great. It's nice to add different textures to a garden. I like it!

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  8. I love pea gravel! It's the sound as well as the beauty. They use it a lot in Europe and every time we see a gravel driveway in a TV show or movie, we say, "Crunch, crunch."

    Maybe next year (I think that's my new mantra).

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  9. My Sheffield Pink mums are my favorite, too! I love their soft peachy pink color. Your new space looks like a relaxing spot. The designers did a great job!

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  10. Thank you, everyone. The common response to this new garden has been that removing lawn is a good thing and the pea gravel is an improvement (Tricia, I too like the crunchy sound of it).

    I'll never get to the ideal of Lee's seamlessly beautiful garden with all the lawn removed, but what an enhancement just this spot has made!

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  11. Laurrie, the colour of the gravel aginst the colour of your house looks wonderful. It lights up that whole area, as well as making a perfect spot to rest in. Such a great idea.

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  12. Laurrie, I absolutely love your before and after pictures (these and ones you have shown in other posts as well). It is so great to see how simple changes can make a difference and it helps me learn a lot about my own gardening choices. I never would have thought for an instant to replace grass with gravel but the result is fantastic.

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  13. Lyn, Thanks. I thought the gravel might be too bright or too extreme, but its blends well with the house and the existing borders.

    Joene, Two words --- Thank You!

    Marguerite, It is so simple, isn't it? Amazing what a pile of gravel can do. I too love before and after shots and I do enjoy yours.

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  14. Laurrie, What a great design idea this was! The gravel courtyard links the flowerbeds way better than the grass.

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  15. Jennifer, Thanks! Linking the spaces was the intent.

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  16. Laurrie, love, love it. What a great idea.And you now I love me some pea gravel.

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