It might not look like much right now but this Black cherry plum will bring a bold dark red contrast to the garden. I can’t wait till spring when it will bloom with delicate light pink flowers.
It gets 15-20 ft tall and wide (4-6m) which is on the bigger side for a small garden. It prefers sun but can take some shade. Hardiness zone US 4-9 (Sweden 1-3).
I’ve planted plenty of trees and shrubs in fall. Mid October is when the garden center have their sales and it’s a good time to get bigger plants that usually cost a bit. So far I’ve had great luck with all the plants I got in the fall, like the Rhododendron and the Hydrangea ’Limelight’ in the picture.
The big oak trees above my garden dropped their leaves over night and made a huge mess. At the same time I’m happy that they’re all gone and I can clean it up in one day.
I usually leave most leaves in the flower beds over winter. They make a great mulch and provide protection for the plants. Oak tree leaves however don’t decompose for at least two seasons and look quite messy during that time. So I try to get rid of them during fall.
The days are getting shorter quickly. It’s completely dark outside by 5PM and we still have many dark months to go before the days start getting longer again.
To enjoy the garden during these darker months I’ve installed lights in the pergola. I went with the simplest and cheapest LED light string. I was afraid that it would look Christmas like, but it doesn’t. It looks cozy and warm!
Best part is that it can be extended with further strings, light curtains, light nets etc. My plan is to leave these lights up year round but to connect more Christmas looking types of lights during the holidays.
The colors in the garden at the peak of fall incredible, much thanks to the huge oak trees. The brownish foliage creates such a dramatic backdrop. They will keep on to their leaves for just a couple more weeks. Then come a windy day and and a lot of the leaves will fall into my garden. It’s worth it though. The show they bring is stunning and I don’t minde spending time outside, raking.
I found a pretty plant terrarium on sale the other day and decided to make a decoration for Halloween. To get the Halloween look I added a plastic crow and a couple of spooky looking plants that I already had in the house.
I found these old pics of the garden. I though that I would share them and also share my learnings from designing a small garden.
First year in the new house was all about cleanup. We removed all things broken and old. Among them was an arbor with ”sticks” stuck to it. Turns out that the sticks were a climbing rose.
Tip #1 – Do not remove any plants the first year in a new garden! Wait it out a whole season and see what you’ve got. You might be lucky enough to inherit a garden full of lovely plants! Some of them, like bulbs, you won’t even be able to see at first.
Next step was to get grass! I had a romanticised idea of walking out into the garden in the morning and feeling the grass between my toes. What I didn’t know was that grass requires drainage. Rain water needs somewhere to go or otherwise the grass roots, and any plant roots really will have no air and die. Our soil was hard clay with no drainage what so ever. Rain would cause water puddles to form and the grass looked miserable.
Tip #2 – Check the soil type and drainage. Don’t spend money plants before you’ve got those two in place. The solution in my garden was raised beds. I’ve build 20-50 in (25-50cm) high raised beds out of wood. I’ve lined them with plastic and filled them with well draining soil.
Year two was about planting. Since I didn’t know much about plants I started off small. I planted a shrub in one corner and a handfull of perennials here and there. I remember feeling a bit disappointed. The end result wasn’t what I had imagined. The garden looked cluttered.
Tip #3 – Small gardens need big plants or big groups of plants for impact. Choose one type of perennial and plant groups of 8-12. It might sound a lot but that’s how many you’ll need to avoid it feeling cluttered. Also, repeat the same groups throughout the garden. For example, I use red Heucheras in several places to create a coherent impression.
Eventually I got fed up of stepping around in wet soil. I wanted a material that I could walk on that felt soft and dry. Wood met that criteria and also was easy to work with. So I built a wooden boardwalk all though the garden and behind the pergola. I’ve described why I put it on the diagonal in a previous post, a design choice I’m very happy with.
Tip #4 – Challenging parts of the garden like wet areas or shade can become the most interesting with some imagination and creative ideas!
Halloween decorations are so much fun! This year, I put together a spooky mini garden – with a mist maker!
What I used
Container – I picked up a metal bowl for 2 dollars at the second hand store. It didn’t have drainage so I drilled 4 wholes in the bottom with a regular drill.
Decoration – Miniature house – Plastic spiders – Miniature sign – Branches form Corkscrew Hazel – you can use any branches that look a bit spooky – Green sheep moss – Spanish moss – Pebbles (gravestones)
Highbush Blueberry provides delicious fruit in the summer and gorgeous color in the fall.They don’t need much space and can easily be tucked into a small garden.
Highbush Blueberry turns deep red in the fall. The color adds pretty contrast to any space. But that’s not all! These shrubs produce big, juice blueberries mid to late summer! This is the most popular part of the garden among the kids. Especially since the blueberry shrubs are underplanted with strawberries.
Highbush Blueberry gets 3-4ft tall and wide (90-120cm). They need full to part sun and acidic soil. To get the most berries make sure to give them plenty of fertiliser.
Although blueberries are self-fertile, cross-pollination produces the best fruit crop (larger berries and larger yields). It’s therefor recommended to plant at least two shrubs of different varieties.
I got asked to show how I go about making my wreaths by an online garden store. So I went outside of my comfort zone and made a video tutorial. I figured it was easier to show the process though a video than with photos.
The wreath is simple. The base is made out of dried ferns. For extra decoration I added dried Hydrangeas, Agastache, grasses and artificial acorns. The acorn were the only thing that did not come out of my garden.