Do you want a beautiful garden but don't know where to start? My front border has been a labor of love for the last twelve years. It is surprisingly low maintenance, easy to care for and blooms an array of color through the seasons. As one bloom fades, a new one begins from early spring until the last breath of fall. It is somewhat deer-resistant and heavily attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects. Let's take a stroll through my garden last year for some design inspiration...
Before we begin, I live in New Jersey where the arrival of spring is like a breath of fresh air. After a long, wet and cold winter, the garden is very welcoming as it starts peeking through the ground.
As much as I love to garden, I don’t want to get bogged down with a lot of daily garden chores. Weeding is one thing, but planting, replanting, cutting things back, etc. are another. When I design a garden, I prefer low maintenance plants that will give me more bang for my buck. To keep the garden blooming from spring through fall, I consider the length and timing of bloom while mixing in some evergreen shrubs and trees so I have year round interest, color and texture.
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(This post was originally published on January 17, 2019 and was updated on August 17, 2019).
How to Protect Plants From Deer Damage
New Jersey is deer country where deer are known to decimate gardens. Because I live in New Jersey, I design gardens with deer-resistant plantings and spray the high risk plants.
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension graded plants by deer-resistance, and I refer to their list often when I am designing and planting a new garden. Click here to download this list. While I typically lean towards deer-resistant plantings, I do plant some things that require a little more protection.
In addition to the deer resistance list, I spray high risk plants with Deer Out 40oz Ready-To-Use Deer Repellent. I swear by this stuff because I use it all the time and it works for me. Since this bottle is about one application for my gardens, I also buy the concentrated form Deer Out 32oz Concentrate Deer Repellent then use the smaller bottle as the applicator because I prefer walking around with a smaller, lighter bottle. While the bottle has application directions, I am more aggressive with the spray schedule for higher risk plants. I start spraying them when they emerge from the ground, then again about one-two weeks later, depending on the growth. I spray every three-four weeks after. This method has worked for me for years and if you try it, I hope it works for you too.
To learn more about how to minimize and hopefully prevent deer damage, see my blog Deer-Proofing Your Garden.
Front Border Love
When we added a second story to our three bedroom ranch home twelve years ago, this garden was non-existent. I started it from very small plantings and through the years, some plants have thrived and others have failed. I just like kind of let the garden do what it wanted to do. If a plant did really well, I let it do it’s thing. If a plant didn’t do much or didn’t have the impact I was looking for, it was relocated or died out.
Note to all the self-proscribed black thumbers out there: not all plants do well – even to the best of gardeners. When plants don’t thrive, it just wasn’t meant to be. Some plants are fussier than others and sometimes the conditions in our yards or homes are not conducive for certain plants. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased plants that died out in the first two months after planting or received plants from fellow gardeners that grew in abundance in their yards but did not survive in mine. It happens, so go easier on yourself. There are less fussy, easier care plant options out there that will give you success. We will explore some here and more in-depth in future blogs.
For now, let’s head out into the garden…
The Front Border Garden in Spring
The Front Border Garden in Summer
The Front Border Garden in Fall
What do you think of the gardens? I hope you enjoyed touring my favorite garden. I spent a lot of time planning, planting and growing this garden to bloom from early spring through fall.
To get a closer look at my gardens during the growing season, I’ve been blogging a virtual garden tour every week to share what’s happening in the gardens during the growing season.
- 1st Week – Bulbs and Early Spring Perennials
- 2nd Week – Cool Season Vegetables and Spring Flowers
- 3rd Week – Growth, Change and Everblooming Design
- 4th Week – Growth and Transition in the Spring Garden
- 5th Week – Container Gardens and Outdoor Living Spaces
- 6th Week – Adding Color with Annuals
- 7th Week – The Importance of a Tidy Border
- 8th Week – How to Create a Hummingbird Garden
- 9th Week – Spring to Summer Transition
- 10th Week – Summer Perennials, Pest and Disease Control
- 11th Week – Summer Gardening and Patriotic Decor
- 12th Week – Caring for Gardens While On Vacation
- 13th Week – How to Create a Butterfly Garden
- 14th Week – Midsummer Flowers
- 15th Week – Summer to Fall Transition in the Garden
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