Woodland garden in Melrose

If you don’t need a lawn, why have one? That was the philosophy of the retired couple living in a suburb of Boston. The stately oak tree central to the tiny back yard was architecturally pruned for dead wood and light. The new shed, which houses the snow-blower, was given easier access with a stone pathway, and the old driveway remnants were excavated making way for a new bird-attracting garden. Large leaf hostas, fine textured perennials such as astilbe, daylilies, and geraniums, along with native flowering shrubs inhabit this woodland oasis where the family plays their musical instruments in the summer and view from the family room in winter.  In addition, we connected the many downspouts and added a new underground drain to the front garden. The shed now has extra room because it does not need to house a lawn-mower!

 

Before and After

There are many bird attractors in this garden. Although it is a shade garden there are a couple of areas where the sun peaks through. High-Bush blueberries line the sunny side of the front path alongside Rubyspice Summersweet and Rozanne geranium for a long season of color.  Sweetgale, rhododendrons, daphne, shrub and climbing hydrangeas are mingled with weeping grasses, bleeding hearts, and spreading ground-covers of Lysimachia , European Ginger and Barren Strawberry. Vertical surfaces are overlaid with trellises camouflaging the neighbors fence while growing climbing clematis. This tiny lawn-less garden is stuffed with all our favorite shade-loving plants and a bench for two to enjoy the view.