Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Before And After – Under The Kitchen Window

When we first moved into our home about a year and a half ago, the outdoor gardening scene was frightening. The flower beds had been neglected for a long time and the results were nasty. Needless to say that I spent that first summer cleaning up the mess and trying to restore order outside. It wasn’t a fun job, but it was necessary. And all the hard work and determination did pay off.


In today’s post, I’d like to show you some before and after photos of the flower bed under the kitchen window.

This is what it looked like before the clean up:

Weeds, weeds, weeds...

And that ugly landscape fabric underneath all that mess was a nightmare to remove, especially because the weeds and grass had grown through it.

Pretty nasty, huh?

I cleaned up the mess and turned over the soil to restore some order:

It was late in the season that first summer and there weren’t that many perennials available at the greenhouses to purchase, so I decided to simply plant some annuals for a colourful – albeit temporary – display. My friend Joy in Kingston gifted me four plants that I added to the mix as well; they were the only perennials I added under the kitchen window in 2009.

Summer 2009:

This year, I hit the greenhouses early and began adding perennials to the garden. The flower bed under the kitchen window is beginning to take shape.

It’s still a work in progress. You can see from the photos that I’m shuffling plants around. The coneflowers were moved and replaced by mini roses because the taller plants were blocking light from entering through the basement window. And since my daughter decided to move her room down there this spring, the coneflowers had no choice but to find a new home. So once again, the flower bed on the right side is trying to fill in as it waits for the mini roses to grow to a decent size. Still. It’s in much better shape than it was 18 months ago.

It’s always fun to redesign your garden. I will post more before and after photos in the future.


  1. Martha girl I still can't get over how that hyssup did so well .. I just hope it wasn't the last burst before it says it is time to retire ? LOL
    I am so curious to see how it does next year girl!
    I LOVE before and after pictures : )
    I'll try and do some of those myself during the long gray days we are headed for in January .. ugh! LOL
    Joy : )

  2. What an amazing transformation, Martha! I know from experience what hard work that was, but I think it was definitely worth it. That agastache (at least I think it's agastache) is so beautiful. You are blessed to have a friend who is generous with plants.

    Okay, now let me admit to having some serious soil envy. Your soil looks so black and rich. Here we have nothing but clay and rocks, so the only richness comes from the soil and compost I add. Turning over the soil here is horrible, back-breaking work. But, still, I hack away---I am addicted to flowers.

  3. Joy, that plant was the best performer in my garden. I hope it comes back. If it doesn't, I'm going to have to add another one. I found some at Loblaws in the summer, so at least I know they're available.

    I have a lot of before and after pictures. I just need to sit down and go through them. The long, cold days of winter will motivate me to do that.


    Beth, I fell in love with that agastache. It bloomed all summer, and oodles of bees were visiting it daily. And the flowers smell so wonderful.

    I can't complain about the soil; it was in decent condition. Some areas had a little too much sand, and the plants dried out too quickly, but I repaired that over the summer. And a few areas had some clay in them, but I also worked on repairing that, as well. By the time the garden season ended, I had added a lot of fresh soil to all the garden beds, as well as compost. So I'm slowly making everything a little better. It takes time, but it's worth it.