Changing The Landscape, Part Two: Changes in the Wedding Garden

a new garden room without the weeds

When I first bought my place in 1996 I had no idea how to plan gardens and knew I had a lot to learn before I proceeded. I took a class, read numerous books, studied gardens, and talked to many seasoned gardeners. I found out what grew well in my climate zone and in sandy soil.
Here is how the yard in the front of the house looked that spring. I killed off the weeds and laid down bark. The tree to the left was all that was planted by the former owners. When JEJ and I were married in August of 1997 we knew we didn't need the usual wedding gifts as we were combining two households of "stuff". We asked people to contribute gifts for a wedding garden. It was a lovely collection of trees, flowers, pots, and roses that we received. We planted the garden that fall and by spring of 1998 the first bulbs bloomed and other trees and shrubs began to take off. It was a joy to watch that little garden grow more beautiful each year.By 2004 the wedding garden was a focal point in the yard. The Mountain Ash had grown quickly. Shrubs were filling out. The irises from EM were lovely every spring and JEJ added a new path around the garden. This picture was taken this last spring. Ground cover had gotten a bit out of control. Grass decided to take up residence around many of the plants. Some plants weren't doing as well because more shade had developed. There wasn't as much color in the summer. Neither one of us were ready to tackle this project .

Last week as we were changing the landscape by have trees removed, I tackled our sad wedding garden. I removed weeds, the old chair used to hold a big pot, pine needles, dying plants, and grass. I trimmed back shrubs and tree branches. There was still much that was good about it... it just needed a summer makeover.
Rather than finding new plants that would grow under the tree we decided we liked the space under the Mountain Ash as another place to rest in the garden.
Rather than redoing the weed barrier, I just put down a rug. We moved in some chairs and a table JEJ built and now just need to transplant some lavender and hostas when the weather is a bit cooler to finish it off. I love little garden rooms that call you for morning coffee or a rest after dinner.

Until I went through all the pictures, it was hard for me to believe the wedding garden was almost eleven years old. Many of the original plants are still there and some new ones will be added. I look forward to enjoying time actually sitting among my wedding gifts now while they mature for another eleven years.


  1. whoa! I loved reading this. I have a hydrangea garden with about 80 hydrangeii in it that is a jungle. It got way away from me last year and this year, I was out of town when it should have been whacked way back so now I cannot ignore it nooooo more: this weekend I tame the hydrangeas. Step into your wedding garden and say a little prayer for me, okay?

  2. I think I'm going to start calling ours "the anniversary" garden & pond.
    A long story --- but at least you gave me the title.

  3. oh how I love this post....... how lucky you all are to have such beautiful big gardens.......that would be one of me dreams.... the little chairs and table look like a beautiful place to sit and read....

    JBelle, ya just showing off now with 80 hydrangeii lmfao....

    Never showing pictures of my tiny weenie boring garden LOL


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. JBelle... I have said the prayers. How do flower beds get this way? One week they seem okay, then they are a mess. sweat...sigh... sweat.
    Pamela.. I would love to hear the story of your garden and pond.
    Marmite... what I have is garden beds in different places, but not really big gardens. After the ordeal with this wedding garden I am thinking your teeny weeny garden sounds good. There is simple beauty in small gardens.

  6. What a great post! I love the idea of a wedding garden. :-)

  7. What a precious idea, a great garden journey, and a delightful story. I enjoyed this immensely.


I always enjoy reading comments!