A June Garden Stroll Thru the Small House Garden

This is a major gardening year at The Small House – probably the lushest year ever. If you follow me you know we have 5-acres of lean sandy soil, which was once an Oak Savannah forest and is now heavily amended with bark chips, homemade compost and composted horse manure. We are a Zone 5b garden and we garden in SW Michigan. Our home and gardens are situated in rural, farming county and I consider us a “farmette.”
After last year’s drought, this spring and summer has been cool and wet so our garden is flourishing with the plentiful rainwater and sunshine. Our garden is definitely our retreat.
We garden on a fairly large scale here as our property is nestled up against the forest edge. We have many White Pine trees and 47 large White Oak trees that provide us with lovely shade and structure. You can tell I do not like straight lines in my garden! Our garden is broken down into several types; our forest edge garden, perennial gardens, the meadow garden, a bird feeding bed garden, the turn-around garden, our front garden and the fenced in vegetable garden. We also have three raised beds areas that hold strawberry plants and used as “nursery” beds as well.
When I designed our landscaping, I hired out three sidewalk poured and I choose pea gravel, pavers and rocks around our home so my husband could easily get up onto our roof via a ladder. I used rock boarders filled with bark chips for the rest of the beds to hold in moisture, mulch the soil and keep the weeds to a minimum. My neighbor offered us many shrubs that became the foundation of our landscaping plan. I did all the digging, transplanting and planting myself over a period of five years and have continued to add beds and do the annual maintenance. Everything I have bought and planted are native plantings. I’ve added two trellises over the years for height and more structure and added climbers; of clematis, climbing hydrangeas and hops.
The entry garden at the turn around bed. In the rear is our pole barn and a cedar trellis holds climbers. Our flower beds are outlined in collected field stones and filled with native perennials and bark chips.
This first year clematis bloom is nestled in a climbing hydrangea and receives morning sun and afternoon shade. The hydrangeas are about 7 years old and still not blooming.
One of our many colorful heritage daylilies. This is a favorite burgundy bloom with a golden yellow center. These are grown though out our garden beds.
The front garden of the Small House is lush and green and provides privacy and sound absorption from the busy roadway nearby. The beauty of the garden helps our home to standout in our small community as well as oxygen and pollination for beneficial insects. People stop by frequently to tell us "what a beautiful garden" we have.
The front walkway to the Small House welcomes visitors with colorful and scented catmints, potted butterfly loving plants, native St. John Worts shrubs and field stone edged pea gravel. These plant were selected for their hardiness and sun loving capacity.
The newly decorated pool shack in its natural element; A burning bush on the left, hostas in front and ornamental grasses (to play down the silver chain link fence) on the right hand side. In keeping with our rural county garden look, this bed as well as others are lined with field stones and are mulched with bark chips.
Our bird feeding bed holds perennials and shrubs as well as seed feeders, suet and a bird bath. The bug zapper no longer works but holds an autumn clematis climber for height. This is a mostly shade garden under the majestic White Oak trees that provide a unique beauty to our land and a safe place to harbor the birds who come to feed.
Another heritage daylily with a blush of color in a field of yellow. These hardy perennials line our bird bed garden and provide color all season long.
Our three seasons porch landscaping is filled with small shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennials. I selected low growing perennials that would remain short so our view from the floor to ceiling porch windows is not blocked.
An overview from our three season porch overlooks the bird feeding bed, our in the ground pool, my husbands blacksmith forge and the woods boarder. The cement sidewalk we added, runs from our porch right out to this flower bed.
A close up of the lovely clematis blooms at the turn-around bed trellis. I wasn't sure I could keep clematis alive here but have managed to do so with frequent watering of the roots and a low growing plant under them to shade those same roots.
Colorful perennials line our driveway against the brick planter. We grow, Reubeckia, daylilies, native Lupines, Autumn Sedum Joy, hostas to name but a few.
Our pole barn flower bed is filled with mostly low-care ornamental grasses and edged in more field stones. This is a sun/shade space with a LOT of water coming off the metal pole barn roof.
My husband Gene and granddaughter Brenna just hung the American flag on our metal pole barn.
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  • Zeebo Zeebo on Jul 14, 2015
    It looks like such a happy place. I love daylillies too. Do you have fruit trees? Michigan reminds me of Apple orchards and I see you have a little granddaughter to help you if you want to make pies. :)

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    • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 14, 2015
      I usually bake applesauce and apple crisp.

  • What a beautiful garden ~ I found the tour so relaxing and I could almost smell the light fragrances in the air.