In our yard the front is the only full sun part of our yard, it's also the biggest part of our yard. I've mentioned before that the builder for some reason set our home far back on the lot. Our front yard is probably closer to the size of many backyards. I spend a lot of time gardening out front and so I subject my neighbors to watching me in sweat pants, old t-shirts and whatever shoes happened to be by the door as I left the house. They see me when I get a sudden urge to remove more grass or need to haul something heavy that requires repeated times of lifting and setting down the item until I get it to where I need it. Sometimes I do feel a little embarrassed that someone might see me struggling with something physically difficult, but then I decide at least I'm trying, and if I want to grow roses and other sun lovers I have to be seen out there.
Part of the front yard from the end of Summer '09.
Our backyard is where the pond is. Back there no one can see me trying to walk along the edge of the pond or lose my balance and almost fall in as I have done many times. They also can't see me kneeling down in my pajamas stretching to reach for the plants that the raccoons have knocked into the pond again. No one knows back there if I'm moving a plant in the wrong weather and for the fifth time that summer, I like that about the back yard.
The pond at the beginning of fall. The Hellebores stayed there for a couple of days, and then were moved to a shadier spot.
The pond at the beginning of fall. The Hellebores stayed there for a couple of days, and then were moved to a shadier spot.
The pathway next to the deck and under the big trees are in the back as well. This is where I "get" to do my dry shade gardening. As many gardeners make their front yard more low maintenance the backyard is where I'm trying to cut down on so many gardening chores. Maybe so that when I do come to the backyard, it will be to sit and relax and enjoy the view. Of course I know that really isn't true, I rarely sit and enjoy the view, even if there was nothing to do I'd find something to do.
A look down the path during the Summer.
To answer my own question I garden everywhere, some beds in the different parts of the yard are "easier" but I divide my gardening time all over the yard. Currently the other side of our house holds our metal garden shed and the compost bin, but I'm hoping this Summer to turn more of it into usable gardening space. Some days I'm in the mood to do sunny gardening out front, while other days I feel more like gardening in the privacy of the backyard.
Part of the side yard, Sweet Pea and the Littlest Gardener running and playing.
Our side garden is the lowest maintenance area of our yard. It's where the raised beds are, now mostly filled with blueberry bushes, strawberries, a fig tree and the few vegetables we grow in the summer. I had wanted a cutting garden, but we decided the Littlest Gardener is only little once and should be able to have a sunny place for a little playhouse. Instead we'll plant Sweet Peas and a few other easy annuals near it.
Part of the side yard, Sweet Pea and the Littlest Gardener running and playing.
I'd love to hear where you garden in your yard and why.
I loved seeing your garden and the little ones, Catherine. It looks like the perfect place to grow up in. Your front is gorgeous, and the work you do there certainly shows in the beauty. While we garden on every inch of land here, the back is the part that gets the most attention because it is the view from inside AND more private. Both highly important!ReplyDelete
You are a gardener like me-I garden everywhere. I have a big piece of property (in my mind anyhow) and lots of gardens in the front, sides, and back so I tend to all of them on a rotating basis. I did however plant a hedge of evergreen silverberries out front so the frontyard is quite private. A relief because I assure you no one wants to see me in my ugly old gardening clothes. Your sideyard is so great. I remember you showed it before but it seems you do focus on the frontyard and pond area more on the blog. Those raised beds are awesome!ReplyDelete
P.S. Blotanical does not seem to working for me. Any problems you've found?
Tina - Blotanical has worked for me this morning, but there are days that I can't get on or pick. Hope you can get on it later today.ReplyDelete
I garden mainly in my back garden as I dont feel I have any privacy in my front garden, although I have planted a hedge so hopefully that will changeReplyDelete
Since the front of my house is south facing, I garden in the front yard. I also have a built in bed between the house that I grow lettuce. I am also lucky enough to have a community garden plot. I have pictures on my blog if anyone is interested. I enjoy seeing pictures of your garden as they are bursting with color!ReplyDelete
I am a lover of plants, so where ever I can garden I do. We have ten acres, but I only garden in about three or four of those acres, the horses get the rest as pasture. In the front I have gardens that run the front of the house, along the side of the driveway and by the garage, plus one on the back side of my garden shed. To the west in the yard is my veggie garden, plus to raised beds with flowers which change every few years. Plus some tires where I plant the squash, cukes gourds. In the back around our deck I have raised beds where I put in veggies and flowers and have a lilac bush. On one side of the deck between it and the house I have huge pots where elephant ears, cosmos, sunflowers and grasses grow. These too change every year. And then we come to the deck itself where All my house plants and trees go in the summer, along with pots filled with geraniums (which I winter inside) cosmos, and unusual annuals. Anything I can find in purple and orange. We sit here the most and enjoy the quiet. But I too have been know to walk around in PJ doing the weeding etc. If people want to look I say let them. But we are set over 150' from the road so they need to really be looking.ReplyDelete
I garden everywhere. And thanks, but I never thought about how I must look to other unsuspecting passers by! Egad!ReplyDelete
Still, I refuse to look stylish while I sweat and lug!
I forgot I also have a wildlife wall through the side woods where we have paths to walk, here I broad-cast flowers seeds. I had some hardy hibiscus come up last year. I like to do low maintenace gardening so I can relax and enjpy, but your gardens have me beat!ReplyDelete
My garden is pretty new...well..to me, at least. Small beds with shrubs were here, when we arrived.ReplyDelete
I've been doing a little on all sides...none of which are private. So, I get to show off my lovely gardening clothes to all.
Your garden is beautiful.
I do my gardening all around my house too. I have beds around the whole foundation of the house and garage. There is one section right behind the house that seems to not want to grow anything though. If I want privacy the backyard is where I go. The potting bench and a relaxing chair is there to rest, view the flowers and critters or just read a book.ReplyDelete
Wondeful tour, and interesting post. I have mostly been gardening in the backyard, since it is large and fenced. We face onto a busy street and I don't enjoy spending time out there, other than right up by the front porch. I have been expanding in the front though, but will stick to low maintenance shrubs & a few perennials. My biggest restriction is the placement of underground sprinkers, I thought I had left lots of room for beds, but they are full and now I'm stuck. :( RebeccaReplyDelete
I enjoyed the tour of where you garden. You have a beautiful garden... all over! I love the path and sideyards, as well. I tend to stay in the backyard and the front yard is pretty low maintenance. I guess that is where I got my blog title...go away, i'm gardening. That would kind of be rude of me to say, so I just stay in the back in my own world. :)ReplyDelete
Mostly backyard, but we are still somewhat exposed back there, so no strange outfits (OK I admit, I've worn the bathrobe back there). We did have a former neighbor that used to cause a bit of a stir digging in his front yard in nothing but running shorts and combat boots, in the rain. He was no George Clooney, either.ReplyDelete
Christine in Alaska
Your front yard must be the talk of the town. I was really knocked out. Even though you post large photos now, I still clicked that one to enlarge further.ReplyDelete
It must be a magical place for the young ones to grow up in.
Your admission about gardening in your pajamas made me laugh, because I have also been caught up in gardening with mine still on as well. Your first photo shows the scale of your front garden and it is so beautiful. I garden everywhere around my house except for one of the side yards, which is reserved for the dog run :-)
Catherine, with the beauty you provide in your garden for everyone, my guess is no even notices your sweats. ;) I am so thankful that we live far enough from neighbors that they can't see me in my pajamas in the early morning taking pictures (or is it that my vision is so bad, I can't see them?) lolReplyDelete
I too have difficulty with Blotanical and with limited time, it's just not worth it sometimes; in fact I came here directly just now.
How sweet are those moving and talking plants in your garden! Catherine, have a great week!
This is a great conversation and post, Catherine. My situation is different from many gardeners, in that I live on this sprawling 7 acre property. So there are small and large bits of garden here, there, and everywhere. If I had unlimited energy and soil and dollars, there'd be a lot more done in the run of a year, but we do what we can. I love your garden and would be happy sitting out there talking plants with you. Well, except on a frigid day like we're currently having.ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine an interesting question. Thinking about it you don't post as many photos of your front as you do of your back although they both look lovely.ReplyDelete
I tend to garden where the mood and sometimes the need takes me but I suppose as the back is much larger than the front space I probably spend more time there. The greenhouse area is my favourite so much nicer standing instead of bending and something exciting nuturing those precious seedlings/cuttings.
Because of our summer heat, I pick and choose my battles. I have garden areas with perennials that I just nurture a few time in the summer and my patience with them has made them mostly independent of me. I have my tomato patch the I keep close eye on and I wander all over pruning and weeding in all my spot garden areas. My border collie has stopped all annual planting in the back yard so I put in as many hostas and lilies as I can. I actually maintained a zinnia garden this year which was a first for me and I spent a lot of time keeping it looking good as it was next to the street. Our seasons are so much shorter than yours but I spend a lot of time mowing the two lots that I live on around the house.ReplyDelete
I love the varieties ..... ~bangchikReplyDelete
I would say that most of my gardnening is done in the front...and side. My husband built a deck, and I had to transplant many things, and they did not all make it. That gave me more opportunities to try more.
Your garden is so lovely, every side of it! Good post.
Your garden IS magical and a wondrous world for children to grow and learn about nature in. After all hummingbirds pose for you! I love your header so! I have rambling gardens and each area could use about three gardeners what with the bishops weed. My front garden is simple, and since it is near our country road I prefer the back for its views and privacy. Beautiful photos, and it is so uplifting to see the lushness in your gorgeous gardens. Great question Catherine!ReplyDelete
We have similar properties Catherine in that most of my gardening space is out front as well. I have my largest bed out there (for right now ~ hope to change that soon) and I do get frustrated about not being able to run out in just "anything" without being seen! It's been a big adjustment for me because in the past (other gardens) I've chosen to primarily garden in the privacy of my back yard. Until I make changes, that isn't an option here. Your yard is beautiful on all sides. I'm still wondering where all those seeds are going tho ~ it looks pretty "full" in these pictures!ReplyDelete
I am sure the neighbors appreciate your efforts in the front yard! I can understand wanting privacy too, as someone who needs privacy. Where I live very few people can see me gardening. I especially appreciate this after standing on a couple of fire ant nests without realizing it.ReplyDelete
I garden all around the house, in various beds that have gradually taken shape. I would prefer to have more sun in the back so I could have more brightly colored perennials back there, but I'm adjusting to the large array of shade-loving plants that I've been learning about. The front beds on either side of the driveway get all sun. The side beds by the garage get a mix of sun & shade. The beds in front of the house, near the foundation, get shade. It's not the way I would ideally like it, but we make the best of where we are and what we have! I wish I had more privacy. I often feel self-conscious in the front - and in the back, I do as well, as there are houses on either side of us and directly behind. But I'm usually most relaxed in the back because those people are generally not home!ReplyDelete
I also garden everywhere and anywhere...and btw where do you get seeds for the cute little white fuzzy doggie butt in the last photo??? I'd love some ;-)ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine, I tend to garden all around the house, like you, and the neighbors have seen me in some comical clothes/shoes/hats etc. Especially here in GA in the summer, I like to get out about 6:30 am before the sun gets so hot and I have what I call "bed hair!" Usually in early evening, I take the time to sit and enjoy the garden, the sights, smells and sounds. It makes all the sore muscles, sun burn etc. worth it to enjoy all the pretty blooms! You have one of the most beautiful yards and one of the most interesting blogs I read - keep up the good work.ReplyDelete
I garden all over the palce! My neighbors are used to seeing me in my robe, in the front yard with camera in hand. My hodge podge outfits I wear while gardening, or which shoes I can find to wear outside. I could pass for a homeless bum while gardening.ReplyDelete
IT is images of birds like the one you share on your header that totally inspire me to KEEP ON SHOOTING! I am on day#3 of trying to capture some of the wonderful birds that are stopping by my garden this winter.ReplyDelete
Happy Winter.... can't wait to see what you share next!
We've only been our house a couple of years. We're waiting to have enough money to do the hardscaping out back (it needs some serious earth moving and terracing), so the only gardening I do there is on the deck. Most of my gardening, I do out front and around the sides. We live in an old fashioned, friendly neighborhood where people walk their dogs and children, and stop to comment on the house and garden. It's one of the reasons why I love to sit on the front porch. I've put in enough shrubs and trees along the sidewalk to give us a sense of separation from the street (strategically placed so people won't be able to look straight in through the windows), but I don't want to close myself off from the neighborhood completely. My husband initially wanted a big hedge, but after sitting on the porch receiving the passerbys' compliments a couple of times, he changed his mind.ReplyDelete
I garden mostly in my front yard and I know I look like a nut some times too. You are toooo funny!ReplyDelete
I love to talk to my neightboors, we sometimes share plants. The school bus stop is infront of my home, not having kids, that's a treat for me and I get to see them if I'm up front.
I love your front, back and that path..... gorgeous.
I garden mostly in the front, because the dogs can't get to it! It's tough when you have large dogs that like to run the fence line in search of predators (squirrels). This March they will be 5 & 6, so maybe slowing down a little....right...I havn't told the hubby yet but there will be some overhauls of the backyard this year....will post on that soon.ReplyDelete
I think your front yard is gorgeous and the so is the pond and the pathway next to the deck.ReplyDelete
I garden mostly in the backyar. The reason for that is that we haven't got much of a garden at the front. Our house is placed real close to the street and there's mostly grass. There's also five HUGE Thujas planted in a line that I can't remove by my self. And The Carpenter seems to like them much more than I do so he can't see why I'm even thinking about removing them. In the future I'll have to find a way to convince him that I'm right about that =)
But since I still have a lot of grass to remove in our backyard I won't complain. That's where we are the most and that's the part of our garden we're abel to see from inside the house.
We have an acre of garden on a south facing long, uphill site, with the house more or less central on the plot.It had been mostly well maintained but this had lessened as the previous owners got older.ReplyDelete
The front garden is mostly mature trees, huge laurels and shrubs until you get close to the house where there's a raised south facing terrace (seriously in need of a revamp!) in front of the house.
The back garden has the yard and lawn before moving up to the veg garden and Japanese garden, follwed by our orchard (baby trees so far, but they'll grow!) and a small copse of about 30-35 conifers and mature native trees.
Much of our work,as you know, has been focused on getting the Japanese garden done and the veg grown. The garden is too big to tackle all at once, so we have to think of it in projects-sized chunks ......and we have some interesting projects coming up to make it easier to look after as well as getting it back under control!
So in answer to your question - the back garden has, so far, taken most of our time - but the front garden's turn is coming! :)
Your garden pleases me very gut.ja in the garden you see is not always good, my garden is rather behind the house and thus protected from view, my garden gate is always open, and therefore, I am often caught in tracksuit pants ..... .. no matter ......., gardeners understand the
I garden throughout my yard, and I'm sure the neighbors are used to see me in my scruffy gardening clothes and goofy green rubber garden shoes! But I definitely have different garden styles throughout the yard. The front is more structured since it represents my home. My back yard is no more private than the front, as we are on a corner lot. But I do garden in a more free form style back there.ReplyDelete
I garden mostly in the front and the sides. I have been known to have neighbors stop and say, "What are you doing now and do you know you have on your bedroom shoes?" Our back is very wet and yucky. My next set ow winter questions will be asking for ideas for the back.ReplyDelete
Our front garden is the usual low maintenance, but it's all (or pretty much all) xeric plants.
The back garden is where we do most of our "gardening". Private. That's what we like. At least the illusion of privacy, with neighbors on all sides.
Well, "I garden everywhere" is my motto too. Crazy, really.ReplyDelete
I garden in all areas of my yard, and have a community garden plot that I share with my next door neighbors (we have 5 huge fir trees in the back yard). I got caught once in the backyard in my robe by my husband and he was scared I was turning into my mother...so I try to put on clothes before going outside! I actually like working in the front because I get to say hi to all the dog walkers, and I like to have my yard be the big splash of color (like yours!)ReplyDelete
I prefer to be in the back yard but in order to have flowers in the sun the front yard it is. I have many areas in my front and back that receive small amts of sun. Is it a gardeners trait to wear whatever we can find quickly to get into the yard. I think so. We all dress funny!!ReplyDelete
I prefer to garden in the back yard as its much more private plus we live at the back of the house more than to the front. Plus the back is south and west facing. I love your photos - such a beautiful garden you have.ReplyDelete
Catherine, I'd have to say that in Portland, I did most of my gardening in the back- which is where the edibles were and the greenhouse. In our new home, I plan to have more of a permaculture layout, which means anything (bed or greenhouse, etc.) that requires daily attention, will go in what they call zone 1, which starts directly outside the house (all around). The garden is laid out in such a way that it requires the least amount of energy output (by the people), but will get high yields- So as I'm gathering greens from the clipping area, I'm also on my way to the compost just down the path to put a few weeds in. This time I'm trying more to work with nature, not against it- with low tech ways. Our new home is laid out so perfectly (or close to it, anyway) for this setup- we're just thrilled!ReplyDelete
Still so much unpacking to do before anything can really happen out there- but thanks for inspiring some dreaming!
I don't know how the neighbors can see you behind your lush front garden. I have the same light situation that you do, sunny out front, shady in back. I'd turn the whole front into a garden, but my husband insists on some front lawn. So I guess my answer is the same as yours, everywhere, with the possible exception of one side yard, where we store the bins.ReplyDelete
When I do get a chance to sit outside, I sit in both the front & back, depending on my mood, time of day, things in bloom.
Yes, you truly are an all-rounder! Most people would be happy to have even one area of their garden look as nice as all of yours do. Well, all that beauty does not happen without hard work and dirt smudges, so unless we have an unlimited budget for clothing it's just best to wear the old grubbies. I know some people hate to garden on the street because they'd rather have more privacy, but I have really enjoyed my parking strip gardening time and have met so many nice neighbors that way, shared plants, and in general felt like part of the life of the neighborhood. Not that that part of the garden looks so hot right now, to show for it!ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine, I garden all around the house. However, I think I'll take 2010 off and come garden at YOUR place! It's Really Lovely over there! :-)ReplyDelete
Catherine I just loved this post! As a matter of fact I loved both posts and was thankful for the back post link. I laughed and nodded in simpatico through the whole thing. I don't even think I can describe some of the "outfits" that I have gardened in because up until very recently I have doing slave labor on a chain-gang more than actual gardening. In the chain-gang I wore whatever rags I had on hand that would cover up just enough to not frighten the neighbors or get me arrested. Now since I live in a remote area I can get away with an unfortunate amount of that. Come to think of it, you sound a bit fancied up in comparison.ReplyDelete
I look forward to the day when my high heels and I are like this *crosses fingers to show just how close we are*
Well, I live in an apartment so I don't have a garden. I love them though and live vicariously through yours. It's just beautiful. I go to our local botanical gardens about two to three times a week to just breathe in the natural setting.ReplyDelete
Enjoyed your post Catherine. We have an odd shaped garden which is down in a hollow off a main road. I don't like being overlooked so feel more comfortable gardening at the back where I am further away from the road :)ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine, Before I comment here, I'll say a few words on your previous post, if I may. [Since I'm always so freaking behind on everything. LOL] The Select Seeds catalog is delicious this year, don't you think? Did you notice the 4 o'clocks 'Fairy Trumpets'? [P.6] I think I'd like to give this one a go. I agree'Rose Bonbon' cosmos looks interesting and I like the 'Snowpuff' too. I notice SS has Kiss me over the garden gate on page 27. If you haven't tried it, I know it's tall but it takes up little soil space and the flowers are stupendous.ReplyDelete
My yard is set up like yours, narrow backyard, ginormous front yard. I've got three ginormous sweet gum trees to go with it. There is very little growing space. Besides it's my backyard where I feel most comfortable. However, if my front yard looks as fabulous as yours, I could quickly change my mind. I'm drooling over these photos, Catherine. Just stunning.
Heads up: My Sarcococa is blooming! Have you checked yours in the past few days?
I mostly garden to the right side of our house which is the West side. Lots of sun for the pretties to flourish. Shady garden area in the back and front yard full of natural woods! The left side of the house is pure Clay Dirt and the deer travel through our yard day and night on that side. No use for working the Clay just to feed the deer....ReplyDelete
You little ones looks so busy in the Garden...
I enjoyed this post, Catherine. I always love seeing photos of your gardens, pond, and daughters.ReplyDelete
Our back yard is very small, but I have a few plants lining the fences and deck. Since we live on a corner lot, there is only a little privacy in the back. The rest of the yard has none, except the vegetable garden in the back has a little privacy from the street due to the tall flowers I have along the front of it.
To answer your question, like you, I garden all over. I think the front is my favorite because of the newer beds I have there. Of course, now, I am also gardening across the street, too. Fun, fun, fun!
I feel like you know just what I think when I go outside. I try to time my front gardening around the school schedule that is just down the street from us. Not be out there when school is getting out. too many people to talk to and look nice for which as you said isn't a real gardener's first priority. Although I have learned in the last year that good gardening shoes really make a difference for me as well as hair long enough to put in a pony tail~beats sweaty and stuck to my head.My favorite place is definitely the back yard. You are right on the money about that. privacy is best.ReplyDelete
I've loved reading about where you garden and why. Sounds like we all have the want for privacy and yet it's nice to see people some days too. Always nice to know I'm not the only one is pajamas or robes or old clothes :)ReplyDelete
I have a toy poodle like yours, except mine is all black! :) Well, dark-chocolate to be exact! :) But it's just black, really! :)
All these beautiful summer photos have me dreaming of warmer days.ReplyDelete
I often wish for more privacy when it comes to working in the yard, but then luv it when children stop by to see what I'm doing.
Like you, we have more going on in the front than the back. Actually, you have it going on all over the place.
I garden all over the property...front, back, sides, every square foot has my mark on it. Is there any other way to be???ReplyDelete
Bonjour Catherine. I'm so glad that you studied some French (such a beautiful language).ReplyDelete
La plage est une peau. Le ciel est l'ame.
The beach is my skin. The sky is my soul.
It's not an exact translation (for I am partially translating a previous version - but this seems to work best in English).
Your garden is very beautiful and spacious. You even have a backyard and sideyard that is full of flowers. My backyard has been filled with concrete for laundry stuff. I mostly garden in the front. Every morning and evening, passersby will see me there. Some even stop by to ask me, "You have a lot of spare time, so you are doing gardening!"ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine, I loved seeing your garden. I also garden all over the yard, even in the back alley behind our fence. And, so many times I also run out in a bathrobe. One time I went out to by back yard in my flannel jammies. My husband asked what I was doing in my PJs, I told him I was wearing more clothes than most people who go out in public. When I garden in the front yard, I always try not to be bending down facing the street. I picture those cut outs of the ladies bent over with the poka dot bloomers-GReplyDelete
Most of my garden is in the front because the backyard is so shady. But, I do try to garden wherever something will grow.ReplyDelete
I am almost always in the back yard. Which is funny, since more than 90% of people only see our front yard, and I spend less than 5% of my time there.ReplyDelete
But then again, the front yard is only about 25 or 30 feet deep (of garden, not lawn), but only half wide (due to driveway), and the back yard is some 140 feet deep. So there's lots more growing on back there.
But I think the real reason is that I can really lose myself in gardening in the back, whereas in the front I do minor trimming and maintenance, but feel too self-conscious to do the sweaty and dirty gardening I enjoy in the back.
You've done a good job of planting the whole yard while leaving spaces for running and playing.ReplyDelete
I garden all over, with more time spent on the front yard and the adjoining space that I call the 'upper garden.' As long as I'm covered, I don't worry about the thoughts of passersby. The ones who don't know me probably just think I'm an eccentric old woman, and the ones who do are already convinced. I know they're looking at the plantings more so than at me, because the ones who know me make remarks about the flowers, not about my attire.