Garden Design Update: Woodland Follies and More

Iris 'Dawn of Change'
I have only one old-fashioned tall bearded Iris in my garden. It is growing in a bed on the west side of the house, next to some lilacs, where it has not bloomed for at least ten years. I was pleasantly surprised to see buds on it this spring.

I am just sure it was something I did that made it bloom!

But I know better. I did nothing to it, except move the peonies that were next to it. Next to it... but most assuredly not crowding it out.

When it finally bloomed, I was actually able to find the old package for it to determine that its name is 'Dawn of Change'.

It's a fitting name for this spring because as more of the garden design is taking form, it feels like the dawn of change in my garden.

Last fall I moved the peonies that were growing next to 'Dawn of Change' to a new bed in the backyard that runs along the fence.
There I'll be able to enjoy them more because, well, they aren't stuck on the side of the house. I think subconsciously I originally choose that spot on the side of my house for the peonies because most of them were originally my Dad's, and he grew them in a bed on the side of his house.

It was the garden designer's suggestion to move them and it was a good idea.

Elsewhere in the newly designed gardens, I'm slowly adding plants along this path that splits two garden borders.

On the right side of the path, where the red bud tree (Cercis canadensis) is leaning, there is shade. Not a lot of shade, but shade nonetheless. I'm planting more shade loving perennials there and calling it Woodland Follies because if that red bud croaks, I'll look pretty foolish with all my shade loving plants in full sun.

It's hard to find good shade when your garden used to be a field.

On the left side of the path, the August Dreams Garden is starting to fill in.  The garden designer and her digging guy planted all those plants way back in April, luckily choosing what seemed like the only two days in April that were dry enough to do any planting.  August Dream Garden is designed and planted to have peak bloom in late summer, hence the name, and includes many native plants.

If you follow the winding path between Woodland Follies and August Dreams Gardens, you'll arrive at the Vegetable Garden Cathedral.

I've been working on the beds in the vegetable garden off and on as time allows and made some progress yesterday, but then we got another half inch of rain last night, so I've put that on hold for another dry day.  (For those who worry that it is getting kind of late to plant a vegetable garden, I assure you that it is not too late!)

The Vegetable Garden Cathedral will look a lot better in a few weeks when it is all cleaned up and planted up with vegetables and flowers, including the flowers that starred in my one act play, Life of A Marigold, now playing in a garden near you.

Meanwhile, over in Ploppers' Field, I've added a few perennials here and there.

Any guesses as to which ones are new?

Well, it barely matters which are new and which have been there for awhile because it's May, and all of the garden feels new and fresh in May.

Some people may be rolling their eyes at the naming of gardens within a garden. So far, I have Plopper's Field, August Dreams Gardens, Woodland Follies, and the Vegetable Garden Cathedral.  It's actually easier to use those names than to say "over there" or "by that red bud" or "round yonder".  And a whole lot more fun.  Try it in your own garden!

Coming soon, an update on another garden area named The Shrubbery!


  1. Naming them all seems just so "you." I like their personalities. That perennial garden looks as full as mine. Hope your Sunday is a beautiful one filled with dreams of May.~~Dee

  2. I've named the different sections of my garden so that my husband knows what I'm referring to when I order him somewhere. It also helps a lot with blogging. Much shorter to write "patio garden" than "the area between the patio and the house." Can't wait to see your garden take more shape!

  3. hee-hee...plopper's garden :)

    We have names too...the croquet lawn, the field, the secret garden, the other secret gardens, THE gardens, the pool garden, the front gardens, the rock garden, the onion and chive bed, the hosta nursery bed (not a nursery for hostas, but a bed with hostas and heeled pots for baby plants)...on and on and on :)

    I must tell you that your blog is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites...especially in the spring and summer...I absolutely adore reading it!

  4. And here I thought I was strange in naming my gardens.....granted I like your names much better mine are so plain....boarder garden, rose garden. Mostly named for location or the main attraction contained within. Looks wonderful....truly coming together and taking shape....I can't wait to see as it fills in more.

  5. I have names for most of my flower beds too. It makes communication so much easier even when talking to myself.

  6. All the areas in my garden have names! So it's not strange at all. gail Love the long views.

  7. I like all your gardens! I name mine too! It definitely makes it easier to explain to my family where in the garden they are suppose to pull weeds or dig holes! :)

  8. What a lovely post, Carol - the path already looks good and after the sun comes out and the plants have a chance to grow it will be absolutely smashing!

    Are you worried about the redbud because something is wrong with it or because it is leaning? Could you do the Japanese garden thing with ropes and weights and lengths of cut hose to make it lean the way you want it to?

    Who cares if anyone is rolling their eyes about naming parts of a garden? Most of the real gardeners I've known sure did it!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Naming the beds makes life easier, we have found, especially for writing in journals. It lets you know where you planted this or that easily. Abbreviations are good too. Your garden is really looking lovely, Carol.

  10. I love that you've named all your gardens. It gives them so much more personalitiy! Your walking paths help make you garden more interesting and beautiful.

  11. If we have "garden rooms," why not name them? My garden is home to The Reflecting Corner (shade bed with a round mirror at the corner of a fence), the Perennial Stroll (bed along a long driveway), the Japanese garden (its centerpiece is a stone lantern), the Aviary (a round bed of bird-friendly perennials with a bird feeder pole at the center), and the Napping Nook (bed of hostas and other shade lovers under a hammock). More to come! Oh, and of course: the Holding Bed (home to plants I've acquired but haven't figured out the right place for) and The Last-Chance Bed (one last chance for you before the compost bin)!

  12. Names are important to describe what is going on where, or what you want your husband to do. Alas, my names are not as evocative - Shed Bed, Rose Walk, Rose Bank, Daylily Bed, Lawn Grove and Peony Hedge.

  13. No eye rolling from me! I name my garden areas, too. The newest is the Funky Garden. It used to be the veggie garden, but that got moved to the area that used to be a sand volleyball court in the back two owners ago. A fall, winter and a lot of spring amending of compost and soil and manure hopefully will make it new again and usable. The Funky Garden will be all wildflowers of whatever seeds get thrown there. It will also be the area where grass clippings go to become more compost.
    My DH is a sport and agreed to the bowling pins being used as the 'fence' for this new garden. It will look better when the sunflowers and whatever else decides to take root come in.


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