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My New Gardens Tour

After moving to a new home with a much larger garden, there’s much to do this growing season. Wait until you see the new gardens and what we’ll be doing this year!

Now that we’ve looked back at once was, let’s look ahead at the new gardens and what to expect in 2022.

Gosh, where do I start???

There’s so much to see and a lot of ground to cover.

Literally.

We went from half an acre to over 10 acres of property.

And while it’s not all gardens, there’s a lot more here than I had!

Many of you have asked why I’d leave all the work I did behind.

The truth is…there’s so much more I want to do.

And we were totally built out both inside and outside of our home.

We did so much there.

You can see how much the house changed since we first purchased it HERE.

But it’s a wrap on the old home and garden.

And now, onto the new!

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Formal garden with gazebo at sunset - My new gardens and what to expect in 2022

An Overview of the New Property and Gardens

There are lots of great outdoor living spaces and gardens with a lot of room to grow.

We now have a pool.

I’ve always wanted a pool but we could not put one in at the old house.

There are two ponds.

A formal garden with garden statues.

There are lots of hand-carved tree sculptures and benches.

And gardens with a lot of Asian influence.

Pond Garden with footbridge at Sunrise in January

The Pond Gardens

There are two beautiful ponds that I want to learn more about such as general care and how to maintain a koi fish pond.

Because I’ve never had a pond before.

One is located in the front yard.

my new garden - pond garden with footbridge with surrounding woods

The other is sited in the backyard.

And I want to plant pretty flowers around both.

Zen garden small pond in winter with garden statue =new garden tour - small pond garden

We’d love to stock the ponds with koi.

But there’s so much I don’t know about this so we need to learn before doing it.

pond garden new gardens

For example, we need to learn how to deal with predators such as blue herons.

Cause they will eat all the fish if given the chance!

One dropped by to greet us when we were doing the walk-through before closing on the house.

He got very close!

Blue heron on bridge over small pond -selling a home and buying at same time

I also need to learn a little more about what to plant and see what grows well here.

Since both pond gardens are located in different areas of the yard, one is fenced in and the other is not.

This opens up a lot more planting possibilities because the fenced-in pond will be more protected from deer and groundhogs.

Zen garden  with hardscaping and stairs in the backyard garden

The pond garden in the backyard is small but very tranquil.

There’s a back porch surrounded by some hardscaping, Asian garden sculptures, and some specimen plants.

I want to make this backyard garden zen with lots of houseplants, container flowers, and a Buddha statue.

I’ve always wanted a Buddha statue and found one last year at my favorite nursery but had nowhere to put it.

So I did not buy it.

I’m hoping they still have it cause I need it now!

The sound of the waterfall in the backyard garden is so serene.

It’s the perfect spot for quiet reflection and meditation.

new zen garden with small deck  in the backyard with small pond

Japanese Garden Style

There’s a lot of Asian influence in several of the gardens.

From the plants to the decor, there’s quite a bit.

And while I appreciate it, I’m going to reign it in and focus it all in one or two gardens on the property instead of throughout all of the beds.

Green garden fence overlooking formal garden - New garden in the backyard

I’m planning to keep the Asian influence in the backyard around the pond to as well as the pond in the front yard border.

The front yard pond is a bit larger and has a bridge with a patio area.

For now, we placed our adirondack chairs here, but eventually, we’ll do more with this whole area.

Small koi pond garden with bridge near woods in winter

More About the Backyard Garden

In addition to the zen garden, the backyard has so much more in the raised section.

There’s a gorgeous weeping hemlock, some rhododendrons, hydrangeas, wisteria, birch, honeysuckle, hellebores, and some other great plants.

Weeping hemlock in my new garden

I need to see how much sun it gets when things leaf out in spring before planting stuff.

From the types of plantings plus all the trees, it may be a shadier garden.

Since I saw the property in late fall, I got a sense of where things were planted even if I don’t recall what’s where.

But this garden has a lot of really good bones.

Garden Arbor with bench sculpted from tree in my backyard garden with hand carved tree bench

So I plan to tuck more flowers in large drifts back here.

It won’t be a cottage garden in the backyard, but rather pockets of pretty flowers.

Ultimately, I want to keep the formality here but ramp up the blooms.

black labrador retriever in backyard zen garden -New Garden Tour and What to Expect in 2022

The Formal Garden

There is a gorgeous formal garden that is Mediterranean-inspired with lots of architecture and garden statues.

This garden won my heart the day we saw the property.

The gazebo and garden statues are amazing!

I love the formality and want to add some English cottage charm to this garden.

formal garden with pruned boxwoodsm gazebo and garden statues

But I’ll have to wait and see what comes up here, as well as how much sunlight it receives so I know what to plant.

With the weather being as warm as it has, I see lots of daffodils already breaking ground.

This garden will not be the first project I work on because I want to see how it looks throughout the seasons before doing a lot with it.

I’ll likely plant some annuals here just to get consistent flowers through the growing season.

It has what looks like Chinese silver grass, which is invasive, that I’ll probably remove altogether.

The grass is taking over the boxwood border and should be replaced with a less invasive variety or something different.

I love the look but it needs to be tamed.

close up of chinese silvergrass in my new garden

In addition, I’d love to add drifts of perennials like huecheras or something similar to add a little more color, texture, and dimension with foliage.

But I also want to see how bad the deer are here and what they gravitate to eating before tackling this project.

The formal garden at sunset

The Basket Ball Court

We also have this basketball court that is just outside the front yard pond garden.

It’s got some plantings inside the fence around the court that include boxwoods and honeysuckle.

No one in my family plays basketball.

So I’d love to add some raised gardens here and a beautiful urn on a pedastal.

They told me no.

So I give them one year.

One year to throw one basket.

And then this area will become the garden it is meant to be!

Future site of a potager garden that is currently a basket ball court with pavers and green fence near woodsbricks 'n blooms weekly

Tree Sculptures

The most unique thing about this property is its amazing tree sculptures.

Someone hand-carved these from trees!

And there are several sprinkled throughout the property.

backyard garden koi tree sculpture in my new garden

My favorite is the koi tree sculpture in the backyard garden.

But there are a few others that are pretty neat.

And the artistry on each is truly amazing!

tree sculpture in front yard garden outside 1850 farmhouse

There is one in front of the house that I’m not a total fan of.

I’d love to relocate it somehow somewhere down the line to another spot on the property.

To me, it takes away from the beauty of the house and surrounding gardens.

And you know I’m all about the gardens!

Black branch statue removed from stone wall in front of 1850 farmhouse in front yard
I already took this branch statue down. Watch how I did it HERE.

We’ve been talking about making a walking path and decided long-term, we will move some of these sculptures along that trail to enjoy.

They don’t really go with my flower vibe.

But should be celebrated because the artistry is truly incredible and unique.

tree sculptures with new garden in front of 1850 farmhouse

So we love the idea of grouping them together as more of a collection than sprinkled throughout the gardens.

But again, this will be a long-term project.

Cause some of these sculptures look VERY heavy.

Sunset overlooking the valley in New Jersey with a tree sculpture and chinese silvergrass

Invasive Plants

I noticed a few invasive plants scattered around the property that should be removed.

Some are bad for the environment, while others just grow very aggressively.

For example, I saw wisteria, which I love, but it can grow aggressively so we need to keep it in check.

Close up of japanese barberry -Why japanese barberry is invasive

The Problem with Japanese Barberry

I also noticed A LOT of Japanese barberry.

Which is a great deer-resistant plant and they add a lot of color, but it’s a very invasive species that are choking out other natives in the environment.

And almost every landscape has them too.

It’s regularly sold at nurseries so it’s no surprise that people would buy them.

But they are not good, so don’t purchase or plant them if you live in my neck of the woods.

closeup of japanese barberry in winter -why japanese barberry is invasive

It seems strange that it’s sold at local nurseries when it’s as invasive as it is.

And people are often surprised when I mention that it’s invasive because it’s so readily available.

But the problem is, the plant produces berries that birds eat. The birds drop the berry seeds and the plant grows elsewhere.

Because this is a non-native plant to our environment, it is taking over and choking out other species.

So the short of it is, don’t plant it.

That said, there’s so much of it here, it would be a major project to remove it all at once.

So I’ll be working on it little by little.

Running Bamboo

I noticed other invasives like running bamboo on the outskirts of the property too.

Which is another plant, no matter how much you want it or how cool you think it will look, don’t do it.

I don’t think the former homeowner planted it because it looks like it’s coming in from a neighboring property.

Running bamboo is super aggressive and will take over.

The roots vine underground and the plant comes up all over the place.

And the crazy thing is, the neighboring property where I see the bamboo may not have planted it there either.

That could have been planted several neighbors down and just keeps popping up.

That’s how aggressive it is.

So that will be fun to tame over the years.

I’ve heard there are root barriers you can install.

But the problem is the property is so large, I’m not sure how feasible that is here.

Aggressive removal may be the only option as I see it pop up.

And hopefully, it won’t.

Bed of liriope in front of green fence along drivway - Site where my new cottage garden will be

Liriope and other Groundcovers

There’s an overabundance of liriope, bugleweed, and other groundcovers like pachysandra.

If you love that sort of thing, I have a lot of it.

I would love to relocate or give some away so I can add flower gardens in their place.

Particularly around the pool area.

There’s a LONG bed that contains more than enough liriope that I plan to remove in favor of cottage garden flowers.

alliums and roses on the happy gardening tour

My New Cottage Garden

Speaking of cottage garden flowers, I found a great spot to grow my next cottage garden with cut flowers that I’ll start from seed.

Some will be protected from critters and other areas will not; so we’ll need to plan accordingly.

There are some roses, hydrangeas, and other plants in this garden already, but there’s so much groundcover too that we need to remove it all to get the look that I want.

So that will be the first major garden project here.

More to come in a future post!

White porch swing on front porch at sunset -Front Porch and my new gardens

Are you interested in growing a cut flower garden too?

I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to grow your own flowers to cut and enjoy bouquets all season long.

And while I strongly suggest starting a cut flower garden from seed, you don’t have to.

But you will be more limited to what’s offered at your local nurseries.

Want to learn how to grow a cut flower garden?

From starting seeds to planting and cut flower arranging, this post is for you!

Follow these cut flower gardening tips and be sure to check out my best advice for beginners at the end of this post.

Follow THIS cut flower gardening guide for beginners.

Dahlia 'Jowey Winnie' flowers close up
Dahlia ‘Jowey Winnie’

Outdoor Living Spaces

As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of outdoor living spaces to enjoy.

And you guys know how much I love my outdoor living spaces.

The former homeowners took great care to make garden nooks all over the property.

From the formal garden to the pond gardens, patio, porches, and pool areas, there is no shortage of places to enjoy the outdoors!

It’s one of the reasons we loved this home and surrounding gardens.

closeup of bench sculpted from tree in backyard -Outdoor living space with hand carved tree bench in my new garden

Since the first day we moved in, I look at my husband daily and tell him how much I love it here.

The house is amazing.

The gardens are incredible.

And it’s a really great place for my family to be right now.

I know we just started winter but I’m so ready to get out there in the gardens and start working as soon as I can!

Cheers to the amazing gardening opportunities in 2022!

Tell me about your garden goals in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them!

closeup of fresh flower arrangement with dahlias and zinnias

Cut Flower Gardening

One of the best parts of blogging is the people you meet from all over the world.

My garden blogging bestie Kim from Shiplap and Shells just shared a great post about cut flower gardening with some FAQ.

She has an amazing cottage garden in the pacific northwest on the Puget Sound that is truly an inspiration.

shiplap and shells cottage garden in the pacific northwest

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closeup of pond garden and formal garden -My new Gardens Tour

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Stacy Ling

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17 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness…your property is absolutely gorgeous. If I closed my eyes and dreamed what I would like to live in it would be an old farmhouse with acres and acres of beautiful gardens, ponds, pastures and farm animals. ( It would though be farther south as while your snow tour was fun…I got cold thinking about it.😊so I guess I will just continue to love my three acres of woods, raised beds and chickens in Virginia🤣)I so look forward to watching your gardens grow and evolve. Here’s to Dreaming, planning, growing and enjoying! Peace.

    1. Thank you so much Cindi! I can’t wait to plant flowers in these gardens! I know there are some here but you know me, there will be lots more to enjoy! Virginia is so lovely – at some point we plan to move south too but for now, the northeast it is! Enjoy your weekend! xo

    1. Thanks Rachel – I seriously can’t wait to get out there and add more flowers. Can you just see it? These gardens full of blooms will be so gorgeous. GAH!

  2. Stacy, I am going to enjoy this gardening and landscaping journey with you at your new house. I love to garden and landscape but my health issues just don’t allow me to do much anymore. I am so excited to see what you do to this beautiful home and land of yours. I can see why you purchased it!

    1. Thank you so much Mary! I cannot wait to flowerfy all of these beds!!!! They will look so pretty with all the color and texture. xoxoxo

  3. I so much enjoyed taking a tour of your new gardens. It would be great if you could take some drone pictures to share. The property next to us is on nine acres and on our fenceline there is a bamboo forest that is a constant battle. Our next-door neighbor is lazy and let it invade his backyard, so we now have to battle it in two directions.

    1. We will def do some drone pics – my husband has one and the grounds will be so cool to see from that perspective. Bamboo is so bad – I’m hoping I can keep it out! Ugh. Did you look into those root blockers? We have a local guy here that can do that – I may look into how to DIY it if that’s possible.

  4. Stacy – Thank you for sharing your wonderful gardens. What a wonderful journey you have ahead of you. Gardening keeps us young.
    Bamboo is mean. I planted some and then we sold the house. The lady who bought it said she used gallons and gallons of roundup to kill it and she wasn’t happy about it. Bamboo can pierce through steel and I do not like roundup. You are a trooper and it will be gone.

    1. Thank you Diana and bamboo is no joke!!! Ugh I hope its not too bad – but IDK – I’ve got to be aggressive with removing it as soon as we see it pop up.

  5. I just love your new home and the property is amazing! You definitely have your work cut out for you but it will be fun. The gardens as they are are beautiful but I can’t wait to see how you elevate them. Those wood carvings are unique. I love the idea of moving them along the walking path. I am so excited for you. 🙂

    1. Thank you Lynda! Wouldn’t they look great along a walking path? We really love that idea and will slowly move them over. It will definitely take some doing to move some of these without damaging them. But it will be super cool to enjoy them on a walk!

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