Monday, May 23, 2011

Before and After

If a person [me] is going to show an improved island bed, she must first swallow her pride, [mine] and show the icky "before" photos. She must allow people to see her imperfections. Her warts. Her foibles...
Here's what this bed looked like last August.  

 This bed is a mess. No definition, no purpose. Just a mass of plants, true? 

  In case you're not convinced, here's another angle. 
Don't you just want to grab a trowel and start digging? 

 Blah, blah, blah...

 This is the opposite side of the island bed. It's a tiny bit better. Maybe. 

 And one more angle. I'm just mortified. But you know how it goes? 
Sometimes the inspiration just isn't there. Until now. 

 I dug out the weeds and many of the overgrown plants. Added a few elements. 

 I planted up a vintage wooden army ammo case that I got at a garage sale for $5 a year ago. 

 I dug the ornamental grass out from this round container and added it to the ammo case. 

I left the Spiraea, on the left, and the creeping Dianthus, right. 

Added an ornamental Oregano, a Heuchera and a hardy Fuchsia.

 Look at all the space between the plants. Maybe I'm cured of my spacial denial. :)

Finally, I had to share this photo. Isn't he cute? 


  1. Grace girl ya' did GOOD !!
    I love how unpredictable everything looks (that spacing thing ? I am in trouble big time with that one) this is such a unique look and it is wonderful .. you have privacy and quirkiness and totally you ;-) in your garden!
    Would you please mail me that adorable frog ? I so wish we had frogs in our garden .. I love their songs .. they are perfect little creatures : )
    I finally made it over here ! LOL
    Joy : )

  2. The wee froggie is adorable! The bed does look much better, more structured.

  3. Grace, you are a brave gardener! We hate to show our mistakes but we know they are there. I have some I am thinking about right now but not sure what to do yet. It may take a year to figure it out.

    I love the artifacts in the new approach and the clearing out of the crowded and the frog of course.


  4. Grace:
    From the true spatial denial guru, methinks you need to fill in all those holes! LOL! I should like to say that I would have done the same, but alas, NO! I am already on the prowl for bare pockets in my already tightly crammed plot! You're a much 'stronger' gardener that I will ever be!

  5. What a cute landing space for the frog! Your bed looks wonderful! What a lot of work to dig everything up and re-do the entire thing! I wouldn't have had the strength.

  6. Grace, you took a bed that was 'fine' and made it great! Nice job. :)

    ps. Love the mini froggie!

  7. Grace, I think I have the same disease. So, I thought your prior gardens looked nice and free flowing, but I really like what you did. Especially the ammo case. That is pretty awesome.

  8. Your bed looked good to me .... But now it looks amazing :)

    Maybe a little bit like the difference between a rumpled up half hearted making of the bed to a full changing of the sheets and adding shams and a dust ruffle :)

    The frog is an amazing shot!!

  9. Hah, I knew it! Ornamental grasses are the answer nine times out of ten. OK, maybe I'm not exactly objective on the subject, but I'm so glad you kept one around in the ammo box.

    Having an ammo box in one's garden seems very Alaska (or maybe Texas) of you, Grace.

    Christine in Alaska, ammo and boxes

  10. Grace, great after shots! You made some room, created visual space just so we could see that sweet bust. I love the ammo case and the wheel. Nice visual elements.

    Great job!

  11. I believe the area was fine and natural looking before. BUT it does feel good to clean out an area and get it all tidy. I do love seeing the statue too. Seriously, how long can you look at that rich, black gold without longing to plant in it? :)
    I knew you would notice the pink batchelor button and the poppy..thanks. How do I collect the seeds of the button?

  12. It really looks great! I love the ammo box and the other art. During this time of year I love the space between the newly emerging plants, but about half way through June I want to go plant shopping to fill them all in :)

  13. I wish my garden looked as good as your BEFORE shots! Love the froggie!

  14. Beautiful space you've created, your hard work is paying off. I'd be embarrassed by mt before photos, lots of weeds.
    Love that little froggy.

  15. Grace that is an EXCELLENT use of that ammo box. Like in the '60's with flowers in the barrels of guns... And the frog came to say thank you. Keep up the good work!

  16. It looks great Grace! And you know where all the plants went don't you? In my garden, now I have a "spacial" problem :) But I love the plants you gave me. Thank you again!

    P.S. I love the orby thing from Garland!

  17. Your garden looks fabulous and I like the little guy!

  18. I think the hardest part is the admitting to yourself that something didn't quite work out...I know, I do it all the time! I'm also guilty of putting plants too close together...I've realized I just don't have good spatial judgement! Can't wait to see how this new bed fills in this summer!

  19. Nice changes Grace. I wouldn't feel bad about how it just grew .....and grew...and grew. I do like the structures in the new version!
    Your little visitor is a cutie!

  20. Do your beds really need purpose?
    ha..Anyway all looks great to me.
    Know what you mean about giving plants space, they need it but sometimes it's hard when you want a finished bed NOW.

  21. Nice job, Grace, and kudos to you for showing a problem before a lovely solution. Your teaching gene is evident as you take us on your journey. Many thanks for all I learn from almost every post there's a gem or two!

  22. spectacular! At first I was like, wait - what's wrong with this photo? Your before photo is still very beautiful, but I do love what you've done. So fun!

  23. That's the sweetest frog!
    I'm sure most of us have beds just like that. I know I finally tired of one of mine and dug it up this year. When it looks better I'll post some before and after photos.

  24. Oh, and I should have said, Nice improvement!!!!!!!


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