The tour begins in my side yard, once shaded by a large magnolia and a double cherry tree, until the June 2012 derecho brought them both down. It's now a butterfly garden... and jungle.
Down the steps, you're in the backyard. That space was once entirely shaded by a huge, handsome hackberry tree. It's gone now, too; I may have over-watered it.
To recover from that loss, I hired the wonderful Janet Gaskins and her Landscape Design team to transform the typical grass lawn into what you see now. Over the years, we've added lots of plantings. But the basic design -- which I love -- is hers.
We also replaced the grass in the front yard with plantings. I sold the lawnmower to a neighbor about 20 years ago.
The whole setup is surprisingly low maintenance. I used to enjoy doing most of the gardening myself. These days, I mostly make suggestions to Joey, my part-time chauffeur and gardener.
I suspect Joey earns less then the lawn maintenance contractors hired by my neighbors. But one thing is sure: he is much quieter than their power mowers and leaf blowers.
Another Garden Visitor Looks for Lunch
Taken last Saturday, the photos below show the nemesis of all Washington area gardeners: