June 27, 2011

The Lay of the Land: The Backyard Garden

I thought I'd move my tour to the back, north side of the house next, after having surveyed the front in earlier posts (links below). To the east of the house is a stone wall, now hidden by vigorously growing ferns. Beyond them is the huge lilac and to the right and behind is a glimpse of the backyard. In Vermont, the front of the house is called the dooryard, a term I had never heard before moving here. My back space is bounded by two stone walls on the east and north and is open to the west.

Moving to get a further glimpse of the yard, you can see the ash tree that I planted about 20 years ago and now provides ample shade for the picnic table and a lounge on a summer afternoon.

At the side of the house, I enter the backyard between this rose bush and the ever expanding lilac,

and once in the new space, the large flower border comes into view, and another round of wild pink roses, with flowers growing alongside the stone wall at its north end. At the time I shot these photos a couple of weeks ago, lemon lilies and white rugosa roses were blooming; later it will be daylilies and tiger lilies. Behind the wall of flowers is the apple orchard, containing some very old antique varieties.

Here's a closer view of the border, with the bright white spots being snowdrop anemone, the purple baptisia and the deep purple at the back Siberian iris Caesar's Brother.

Moving my camera over to the left (south), I take in the picnic table and tree, and in the distance my laundry line.

Then some old fashioned metal chairs, the kind you can sit in and bounce a little, which I find very relaxing. The door is the back door to the mudroom and the flower border is where my peonies grow, very happily. Most of my land is quite wet and that is the only border with well drained soil. It seems strange that land on a hill at 1300 feet would be wet, but it is, very.

Finally, a closer view of the peony border, and behind it against the wall of the house, a snowball viburnum. When I first moved here, the backyard was quite bare and stark; I've been happy that in recent years it's begun to look lush and welcoming.

Previous blog posts in the series:
"The Approach"
"Facing East"
"Looking West"


  1. Julie, I love baptisia; its leaves stay beautiful all season long, especially if I get around to staking them so they don't flop over.
    Linda, this year it's lush with weeds everywhere. It's been so wet I've about given up on weeding.