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James’s Front-Walk Garden – FineGardening


Today, James Dillon, a horticulturist and landscape designer in Kearneysville, West Virginia, shares his beautiful walk.

I planted this garden in 2014. I use a variety of plants to maximize the season of interest and environmental benefits. Plants bloom in the garden from early spring to late autumn. Ground cover such as Goldstern (Chrysogonum virginianum, zones 5–9) and geranium ‘Karmina’ (Geranium × cantabrigiense ‘Karimina’, zones 5–8) cover areas with their low evergreen foliage and bloom from May to June. Butterfly weed (Asclepia tuberosa, zones 4–10) sows easily and supplies the monarch butterfly larvae with food. Seasonal plants bloom at different times during the season, such as B. Coneflower ‘Magnus’ and’ PowWow Wild Berry ‘(Echinacea hybrids, Zones 5-9), Peony (Paeonia hybrids, Zones 3-8), Clematis, Anishyssop (Agastache foeniculum), Zones 4-9),’ Baby Joe ‘Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium dubium’ Baby Joe ‘zones 4–8), white balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus, zones 3–8), tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata, zones 4–8), catnip’ Walkers Low ‘and’ Blue Wonder ‘(Nepeta × faassenii, zones 3–8), Iris’ Caesar’s Brother ‘(Iris siberica, zones 3–8), iron butterfly verbena (Vernonia lettermanii, zones 4–9)),’ Zagreb’-Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata , Zones 3–9), ‘May Night’ salvia (Salvia × sylvestris ‘Mainacht’, zones 4–8), ‘Husker’s Red’ penstemon (Penstemon digitalis, zones 3–8), aster ‘Woods Blue’ (Aster novi-belgii, zones 4-8), violets (Viola sp.), Calamint ‘White Cloud’ and ‘Blue Cloud’ (Calamintha nepeta, zones 5-9), Montauk Daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum, zones 5-9), various Sedum ground cover, red creeping thyme (Thymus p raecox ‘Coccineus’, zones 3–8), plantain leaf pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia, zones 3–8), filamentous squill (Amsonia hubrichtii, zones 5–9), Salvia lyrata (zones 4–9), goldenrod’ Goldenes Fleece ‘(Solidago sphacelata, zones 4–8), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia, zones 5–9), bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, zones 2–6), Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla, zones 3–8)) and’ Goldsturm ‘black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sillvantii’ Goldstrum ‘, zones 3–9).

Shrubs, trees and grasses form the structure of the garden: ‘China Girl’ holly (Ilex ‘Mesog’, zones 5–9), ‘Buzz’ butterfly bush (Buddleia hybrid, zones 5–9), ‘Shenandoah’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), zones 3–9), Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima, zones 6–10), ‘Karl Foerster’ reed grass (Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, zones 5–9), sideoats grass (Bouteloua curtipendula , Zones 3–) 9), ‘Pendula’ white spruce (Picea glauca, zones 3–4), ‘Fastigiata’ plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia, zones 6–9), ‘Viridis’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, zones 5–9), ‘Rose Creek’ Abelia (Abelia × chinensis, zones 6–9), oak deciduous hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, zones 5–9), Japanese forest grass’ All Gold ‘(Hakonechloa macra, zones 5–9),’ Coles Prostate ‘weeping hemlock (Tsuga canadensis, zones 3–7), edge tree (Chionanthus virginicus, zones 3–9), black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica, zones 4–9),’ Jacobson ‘mugo pine (Pinus mugo, zones 2 –7), ‘Red Fox’ Katsura (Cerci diphyllum japonicum ‘Rotfuchs’, zones 4–8) and Hinoki cypress ‘Compacta’ (Chamaecyparis obtusa, zones 4–8).

Containers with specimens such as bird’s nest spruce (Picea abies’ Nidiformis’, zones 3–8), dwarf white spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’ zones 3–6), blue carpet juniper (Juniperus horizontalis, zones 3–9), ‘The Mugo pine from Sherwood Compact and the SunSparkler-Sedum (Sedum-Hybrid, zones 4–9) with their different textures and colors ensure long, interesting seasons. An unplanted large blue vase is a focal point.

Annuals such as Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia), great verbena (Verbena bonariensis), and zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are sown for additional summer color. The monarch butterflies are frequent visitors, although we didn’t have as many as usual last year. Mothers remain hardy in the drier areas below the eve near the house foundation.

Look down the front walk at the start of the season.

Path plants in autumnThe same view with everyone in autumn clothes.

Dog in the gardenThe garden is installed with the help of a four-legged helper.

Perennials in full bloomThe large mix of perennials ensures that something is always in bloom.

Goldstar plantGoldstar is a good ground cover native to eastern North America.

Front yard gardenView from the house to the street.

River stones in the gardenRiver stones along the walkway minimize and widen erosion from rain runoff. Taller plants have room to spread out in the river stone strips instead of blocking the walkway. The river stone areas also provide space for pieces of driftwood, shells and interesting rocks.

Garden on a rainy dayThe garden is lush green on a wet day.

Rain chainRainwater must not simply run off. A rain chain leads water to a dry well and pours a ‘Red Fox’ katsura and a black tupelo. The other downpipe is directed towards the edge tree.

orange butterfly herbOne last look at the garden with blooming orange butterflies.

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