Welcome to my mid-summer front entry garden. Just tuck under the English ivy-covered archway and head toward those Otto Luyken laurels (ubiquitous, I know - because they're do-ers) and take a left to reach the front porch.
- Do I love the ivy? Hell, no. Sick of it. Sick of explaining to people that no, it's not harming anything where it's growing. But it was there when I bought the house and was the easiest and cheapest way to hide the chain-link fence. Twenty-two years later I just want to get rid of it and replace the fence, but paying for electric service and health insurance has to come first.
- I did splurge once here and I'm glad I did because the walkway used to be concrete and it went right up to the foundation of the house, covering the area under the window where the laurels are now. Ew! The teak archway wasn't cheap, either, but I love how in passing under it you know you're entering a garden.
- The 'Gold Coast' Juniper on the left of the walkway serves the special purpose of holding up to the daily pounding that spot receives from the Washington Post deliveryman.(Someone once helpfully suggested I try something lighter - like USA Today.) Numerous perennials had failed in that vulnerable spot.
- About those Otto Luykens and their ubiquity. I don't care. They look good every single day and when they're blooming people actually notice them. No fussing required, just 5 minutes of pruning every year or so. Not every plant can be a star, you know; something's gotta hide the damn foundation.
- To the right of the walkway is a modest little shade garden with absolutely nothing blooming and I love it anyway. It holds pulmonaria, hostas, bishop's weed, heucheras, astilbes, bleeding hearts, hellebores, and some not-terrible-looking rhodos. See what I mean?