Here's the Sunburst in pictures. Below is our first garden, planted about ten years ago to wrap around this southeast corner of the house. This garden gets the first sun of the day. Asian lilac (the super-fragrant Miss Kim) to the right of the door; a hedge of lavender in the foreground, running along the brick walk.
Below, the garden in close-up. My husband (W.) and I dug the little pond (only about 3-4 feet deep) about four years ago, putting in a liner and small fountain. The sound of running water attracts birds, making weeding or any quiet activity, just pure delight.
Below is the garden on the west side of the house. Only two years old, it's on a rocky slope, which I tried last year unsuccessfully to terrace. We're low-budget gardeners, and not being able to afford earth-moving machines, we found hand-terracing too time-consuming.
So I deemed this garden a failed experiment. This spring, I decided to transplant the best plants to the dooryard garden and let the rest go back to meadow.
Until the lupine and daisies bloomed. Now I'm weeding in earnest, digging up all the dandelions and quack-grass from around the lupine so they have bare earth to drop their seeds into. And the daisies, sensing the new space, fill in fast, so that I'm getting closer to the picture of heaven I've carried ever since I saw a hillside across from the yachtclub in Camden, Maine about eight years ago. It was a billowing sheet of daisies, with a few blue lupine holding down the corners - the most uplifting garden I've ever seen.
I came home and tried to reproduce it on our north slope, buying out the local nursery's supply of shasta daisies, but failed. Now, it appears that nature is giving it to me on the west side. In letting the wild daisies fill in, I see my way to the garden I've always wanted.
This is the best of gardening, its irony and surprise.
Further down the west slope (below), the old apple tree with a hard-to-see puddle of stella d'oro lilies that I planted to light up the tree's shadow. I forgot that the lilies (yellow) "light up" for only short time, and the rest of the time - like this - deepen the shadow.
But luckily, the bones of our garden were here long before we were: the apple tree, the pasture, the trees in the background giving a walled-garden look. So however our experiments turn out, nature keeps it beautiful.
W. built this little shed for our garden tractor and firewood about seven years ago. The boards have weathered nicely, and because this side faces south for all-day sun, I've tried to get a whole series of vining plants to grow here. But roses and earlier clematis all petered out; I didn't know why.
This clematis ("Presidential," I think) is new, planted the summer before last. The very rainy spring we've had shows me why our earlier vines failed. (We're "survival of the fittest" gardeners, not watering regularly).
But this beauty inspires me to rig up a longer hose, and W. wants to put up a bigger trellis now, picturing a whole wall of blooms.
The dooryard clematis (Nelly Moser) that we're trying to establish on the trellis arching over the back door. Like the shed, we've tried a whole series of clematis here, and now I know the key: watering, the daily, patient, waiting for it to sink into the roots kind.