Thursday, August 7, 2008

The gate to our future Asian-stye garden

My husband has been working a lot in our backyard, as of late. Most impressively, he built this beautiful Asian-style garden gate. It serves as the opening in a new fence that he installed between the part of our backyard that our schnauzer, Charlie, considers his domain, and the part that, Lord willing, we will start to develop into a Japanese-style garden next year.

At this point, I'm just starting the research stage of trying to determine what to plant. We're looking at mainly perennials in this garden, so they have to be hardy to Zone 3. And because of all of the lovely tall trees in our yard and in the neighboring yards, they must also be shade tolerant.

On the sunnier side of this fence, we planted eight Miss Kim lilacs, which should only grow to between 4 and 6 feet. That will be enough to eventually cover the fence, and we probably plant lilacs or other bushes on the Asian side of the fence as well...Again, that's a project for another year.

We're doing this on our own time with our own labor, and we're working hard to keep it all within our limited budget. The wood chips that you see in the background of this photo were all free for the hauling during our city's annual clean-up day in June. We hauled seven trailer loads of wood chips to our yard and spent all morning and most of an afternoon one Saturday spreading them around. We'll move them around a bit more when we get ready to start planting in 2009.

The little lantern and dry pond that you see in this other photo was my husband's first effort toward our Asian-style backyard getaway. We live in a low-lying area and had to install a waterproofing system in our basement, which includes a pump that drains into the south side of our backyard. So, rather than have a swampy place to deal with, my Sweetie dug a little bone-shaped "pond" and lined it with river rock. Then he added the little stone lantern and the ferns that you see here. We named this little "pond" in honor of our dog, calling it "Little Bone Lake."


USAincognito said...

For ideas, you should check out the Asian styled garden at the Memphis Zoo!! :)

Karen said...

Oh, that would be fun to do sometime! It's good to hear from you again, Shorty. I'll have to check your blog to see if you've had time to post again since your return...Thankfully, since we don't travel much, we have a local Japanese garden to enjoy here, too. The Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden in St. Paul is a join project between St. Paul and its sister city Nagasaki. If you're ever "up north" in the summer time that would be something you would want to see. :-)