Summer Gardens that Make Your Heart Sing

Planting a new garden is a blank slate and can be fun as well as a little intimidating. So, let’s tackle a few things before talking about plantings:


DRIP EDGE – allow the roof overhang plus 6” of crushed stone from the house to the beginning of the planting bed.

WINDOW BOXES – adding window boxes can add dimension to a house that is more one-dimensional. Remember that you will have to water them if they are under the roof overhang.

PATHWAYS – the entrance to the front door should be clear, visual and welcoming.

GRASS – what areas of the yard do you want to be grasses verses gardens.


I always think about the winter garden prior to the summer garden. For example, what plants can I keep out until the snow falls and takes the plants to their knees. These are my favorites:

Sedum, Autum Joy (blooming late fall)

Miscanthis Grasses of all varieties (bloom in the fall and will turn tan)

Rhododendrum (blooming in the spring but will keep their leaves all winter long)


Consider the amount of SUNthat each area of your house has and where your garden will live.


  • Azalea
  • Hydrangea ‘pee wee’ and ‘mop head’
  • Lilac “Miss Kim’



  • Hosta
  • Ferns


Ground cover:

  • Creeping Pholx
  • Geraniums


Cluster plants together in combinations of odd numbers with the highest ones in the back. Always remember the width and heights of the plants that they will be as mature. Maturity typically will take 3-5 years. Then plan on dividing them.


Overall, remember that gardens give back. They will love you as much as you love them. Water and feed them as much as you feel is healthy. Honestly, I also am a fan of naming your sweet plants and speaking sweet nothings to them… after all, it can’t hurt!


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