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Update: Last year I shared my first attempt at creating a garden of living plants in our terraced garden beds. Really the only thing I was successful at was keeping the ivy back! We had a really harsh winter and a lot of what I planted last year did not come back.

I did have some successes: 2 out of the 3 rose bushes have buds (the other one just has 3 long thorny branches), a couple of the gaura looks to be coming back, and my lilies have popped up (no flowers yet).

I picked up some replacements from WVU’s greenhouse, basically if the description had the word “hardy” in it, I put it in my basket! We had a late freeze the last weekend in April so I’ve already lost a few so we’re heading to Lowe’s today to see what damage we can do. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

And for posterity’s sake, here’s a look back at all the hope and promise I had last year…

I’ve been chronicling our foray into gardening this spring and hit a pretty big milestone this week, we got half of the backyard done! Over the holiday weekend and in between rain showers, Ryan and I got one side of the terraced garden completely cleared of ivy and weeds.

I wish I could say we had a design in mind or carefully researched plants that would work well in the area, but I can’t. We went to Lowes with an idea of wanting to find some flowering perennials and to get a couple of rose bushes for a different area. The rest of the plan was to see what caught our eye! And we rocked it!

To have some height in the background, we picked out two Camelot Lavender Foxgloves and two Aurora Blue Delphinium that we alternated. We’ve also got a dwarf crepe myrtle anchoring our tall plants that we planted last summer. I’m excited about the foxglove as people tell me it will spread to other areas in the yard.


Then we did a row of Belleza White Gaura. I picked thisbecause of the whispy white and pink flowers and that it will fill out over time. We’ve got a lot of space that needs to be covered.

Next we did a couple of Butterfly Blue Pincushion flowers. I picked these pretty much for the same reason as the Gaura – pretty flowers and mounding. For variety, I also planted a purple Salvia and some red plant from the sale section (?). I guess we’ll see what it is if/when it blooms.


In the front is the rows of impatiens that I planted a few weeks ago. I like having a border of annuals that can be changed out to add more color.

We have a row of Asiatic Lilies with a Gaura anchoring the end of the garden. I tried to pick out several different colors, but chose ones that haven’t bloomed yet, so I don’t know really what we’re getting. I do know for sure, one is purple and white and one is red, but the others are mysteries.


Here’s a look at the whole thing!


Finally, we created a small rose garden against the wall on the other side of the yard. Here we planted a Knockout rose bush, First Crush (supposedly the initial scent smells like a freshly opened bottle of champagne), and small white mounding rose (not sure the name).

Eventually we’ll tackle the other side of the garden, but for now, I’m just enjoying my pansies, bee balm plant, and flourishing herb garden.



How’s your garden doing?