It’s been a while since I’ve done a cottage garden tour of my yard. I’m joining a group of very talented bloggers in the Garden Glimpses Tour, where we show our summer gardens. As you know I have done my best to create a very cozy feeling, and secret garden space with a cottage feel in our suburban backyard. I wanted it to feel like I am far away from the Western burbs of Chicago when I step outside in the morning to have my cup of coffee. I love creating little “zones” of relaxation where we can sit in different places depending on the time of day. It makes it feel very “vacationy”. Building our garden has been a slow curation over time. Just when I think it’s almost there, something happens like this year when we lost our favorite Japanese Maple tree. It just decided to call it quits. Those things are just a part of having a garden, you win some and lose some and it’s always changing. Every Spring is a new discovery and a new surprise! As well as the photos, you can also see a video tour of the cottage garden spaces.
Welcome in! When you enter our back garden area, you are welcomed by a rustic brick path walkway lined with Hosta and Pinky-Winky hydrangeas. I never knew that the blooms smelled so sweet, but they are wonderful! They are always loaded with bees and pollinators.
Our vegetable garden lines the other side of the path. This year it’s been a slow growing season and the bunnies are actually eating the tops of my eggplants!
We planted a Hops Vine next to it on an arbor a few years ago and it always gives the best, most lushest vibes!
As we move down the garden pathway, past the raised bed garden, I have a mix of native perennials such as Black-Eyed Susans, Coneflowers (Echinacea) and Yarrow. I love they they can come back year after year, are drought-tolerant, many times self-seed, and the pollinators love them. They will also tolerate full sun. The one thing I love about having my cottage garden style, is that my entire yard feels like a cut flower garden.
The stock tank raised bed planter gets it’s crops rotated every year. This year they have all of my herbs and an extra cucumber. I love walking outside and snipping some oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil and chives to cook with. Next to it we created a little pathway to get to the garden under an arbor with extra flagstone we had.
Off of the main patio are our seating areas. We installed the patio two summers ago after our 40 year old deck didn’t want to hold together anymore. I wanted it to feel a little like a greenhouse even though it’s outside. I have a solar powered fountain that attracts all kinds of bird, and I’ve added foliage like ferns, a fig tree and other plants to give it a lush feel. My indoor plants love that they get to come outside and play a little during the summer.
On the other side of my patio, I noticed the Japanese Maple seemed to be trying to come back. We trimmed a few of the branches and have hanging baskets on them. Surrounding them, I planted some Banana trees in the ground. I am excited to see how big they might get. This is a really lovely place to sit when the sun is too bright in the morning.
If we go over to the pea gravel path ( love that crunch under my feet!), I have a few shrubs planted like a dwarf Serviceberry, and lemon balm which has taken over my yard! If anyone ever offers you Lemon Balm or Mint, just say no! There is a pear and cherry tree that should be almost ready to bear fruit next year. Back here is the relaxing hideaway part of my garden. There is a chair for lounging in, and you can smell the sweetness of the lavender when the sun hits it in the afternoon. it’s a wonderful place to read a book and relax!
I love my garden in early summer around June, but it really is the best in late summer! I don’t plant a lot of annuals, so everything really grows in about mid-July. to Mid-August I love seeing so many butterflies and hummingbirds.
Lastly, we have this little tucked away part of our yard where we have an old gazebo we put up between two apple trees. It’s the perfect spot to hang out when it is really hot because of all of the shade, or when it rains. The tree canopy and gazebo cover keeps everything dry, and I love the smell of the rain. We also have an amazing Pagoda Dogwood that makes it feel lush.
I hope you loved this summer garden tour! Make sure you see the other gardens on Instagram!