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Friday Favorite: The Front Hillside Garden

May 25th, 2012

Mr Chiots and I have lived here for ten years. I wasn’t much of a gardener when we purchased this little place so long ago. Even though I didn’t foresee myself becoming the avid gardener that I am now, I still added chicken manure and mulch to the flowerbeds each year. This is what our little house looked like when we bought it back in 2002:

This is the only photo I have, it’s from the survey they did when we purchased the house. I wasn’t much of a photographer back then, that hobby has evolved along with my love gardening. This is what it looks like now:

The first garden we started changing here at Chiot’s Run was our front hillside. Originally it had a few rocks in it and that was it, along with a very annoying ground cover. We gathered rocks and slowly built rock walls to terrace the front hillside. I planted Mediterranean Pink Heather, creeping thyme and a variety of other plants along with a few flowering trees.

This front hillside is finally coming into it’s own, though the trees are still small. This year the peonies I planted three years ago are blooming and starting to fill in. Later in the season these will be replaced with daisies, mint, floribunda roses and hopefully globe thistles blooming.

I want to encourage you to take lots of photos before you start any project. It’s good to take them every year as well. Here I am 10 years later wishing I had more photos of our house from the first five years we lived here.

Do you take lots of photos of projects along the way? Is there anything about your home or garden you wish you had more photos of?

Chiot’s Run Garden Tour
The Middle Garden
The Side Garden
The Front Hillside Garden
Mr Chiot’s Mailbox Garden
Garden Tour: The Front Garden

23 Comments to “Friday Favorite: The Front Hillside Garden”
  1. Sue Fiorentini on May 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Wow, what a difference. Love the peonies. I would like two deck chairs on my porch too, but want to paint them a fun color.

    Reply to Sue Fiorentini's comment

  2. Seth Bush on May 25, 2012 at 8:21 am

    WOW!!! The house & front garden look awesome!!! I still remember back when you bought that house. My how the times fly by! Miss you both very much.

    Reply to Seth Bush's comment

  3. KimH on May 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You’ve done a lovely job… I usually take pictures when we’re in the middle of projects. You’d die if you saw pics from this place when I moved in.. lol. Its rather comical in some aspects.
    The old slogan “You’ve come a long way, Baby” sure applies here. :)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  4. Melissa on May 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Absolutely beautiful! So pretty! You’ll have no trouble at all trying to sell with a first impression like this! What’s the bright green groundcover in the second to last photo?

    Reply to Melissa's comment

    • Susy on May 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

      It’s a small creeping sedum that we’ve propagated and planted all over the property. I believe it’s ‘Sedum sexangulare’ but am not positive about that.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Donna B. on May 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I believe this part of the yard, or for the most part, the whole view of your front yard has always been elusive! Now we all can enjoy what you’ve done! It looks fantastic!
    I’m doing the same thing, everyday when I’m out putzing in my gardens I take pictures of the whole deal. That way as I move things around, or as the season changes I can see everything as it was and then it’s progress.
    I’m taking in such inspiration from your plantings… I love the colors and textures of that front area by the road! I’m in progress of building up a front area which will eventually be fenced off [too much garbage from my across the street neighbours flutters into my gardens… /sigh] and I will consider the plants you’ve combined there! I am in LOVE with that creeping Thyme!!! ♥

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  6. Allison on May 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Gorgeous! What a difference!!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  7. Julie on May 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This is gorgeous! I live in South Philly so our “front yard” is a door and concrete, naturally– we’ve been trying to bring some green out with juniper bushes but it’s so tough! So for now we’ll enjoy our back yard (a real one, with dirt) until we are ready to move out of the city.

    Reply to Julie's comment

  8. Songbirdtiff on May 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I have soooo much to do here and it’s a slow process.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  9. tj on May 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

    …Just lovely – your hard work has definitely paid off! :o)

    …I love before & after shots. It makes one look at all they’ve accomplished instead of all the things one still wants to do. Did that make sense? ;o)

    …Have a great day!


    Reply to tj's comment

  10. Turling on May 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I have good intentions when it comes to taking pictures prior to project starting. It’s the follow through I’m not so good at. Plus, the yard is normally in such a state of embarrasment prior to starting, the last thing I want is a picture of it.

    Reply to Turling's comment

  11. Blair on May 25, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Truly, what a satisfying difference! I would not have seen the vision it has become. Lovely.

    Reply to Blair's comment

  12. Miranda on May 25, 2012 at 11:37 am

    What a beautiful transformation! You inspired me to document almost EVERYTHING i did to our house in Austin. I’m so glad i did. I have “before” pictures of the ‘right of way’ strip in front of the house as grass, dirt, tiny rosemary and salvias to the hugely lush and gorgeous, home selling garden it became. I can’t wait to have more before/after pictures of our new place! Let’s hope it shows up soon!

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  13. Deb on May 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    What a change. It looks very nice. Since I’m constantly digging up free trees, shrubs, etc., even “weeds” i never have pix of before and after. But a great idea to do just that. I’m a spur of the moment dig up person so it’s always changing. But we are so desperately dry that I’m afraid I’ll lose a lot of stuff as I’m very fearful of the drought conditions we ususally have in Aug. and it’s been this way since early April. If you have extra rain please pass it on. we’ve had less than 1-1/2 inches in the last 60 days. You should be very proud of all your hard work.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  14. Maybelline on May 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I try to chronicle projects but I’ve been at the same place for 27 years. That was before the convenience of digital photography.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  15. daisy on May 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    What a beautiful transformation! I love all the color you’ve added and the backdrop of lots of green. I tend to take lots of photos, especially since starting the blog. You have become quite the gardener in 10 short years. Thanks for sharing your lovely home.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  16. Kris @ Attainable Sustainable on May 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Really, this is so beautiful! I’m fairly good at taking pictures as we go, but I’ve yet to get to a place where I feel that this yard looks finished! ;)

    Reply to Kris @ Attainable Sustainable's comment

  17. Shane on May 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    The look really changed dramatically. It’s absolutely more beautiful now. How long did it take for it to look like that? Thanks for sharing.

    Reply to Shane's comment

    • Susy on May 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      It’s been 10 years, but the first 5 years were spent amending the soil.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Brenda on May 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Beautiful, your garden look so pretty

    Reply to Brenda's comment

  19. Grannie M on May 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Digital photography has been one of the best additions to a gardener’s journaling. It picks up much of what I so often do not write down. I’ve been getting better at documenting the changes that I do. I often get a before and usually an after now, but I’m still struggling with stopping and taking photos during the process. I often refer back to my pictures when I’m searching for a certain color flower to give a friend or want to give info on when they bloom and what size they are in our area. The camera often catches a detail I may miss.

    Reply to Grannie M's comment

  20. Mich on May 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve lived in my farmhouse for 28yrs this yr (WOW) & had to renovate it as it had been empty for 40+yrs before that!
    I am so glad that I used up many rolls of film during the project :) Its great to be able to look back at them and be reminded of ALL the things that had to be done (everything)….cripes I must of been bonkers! lol.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  21. Corner Garden Sue on May 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I forgot to answer your question about the weather in the peony post. We have been on a roller coaster with highs in the upper 70s or 80s a few days, followed by a week in the 90s. Yesterday was 89ish, and today, the high is supposed to be in the 70s.

    Your yard has undergone a nice transformation. I wish we had more photos of the yard when Larry’s parents lived here. I need to print some of my current photos. There was a time a number of years ago, that my husband lost my whole iphoto library while moving things from my previous computer to my current one. I am still sad about that.

    I do take lots of photos while doing projects, maybe too many. I don’t do any major projects, though, involving building things, as I am not handy.

    Reply to Corner Garden Sue's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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