This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Garden Tour: The Middle Garden

July 19th, 2012

Since this is my last summer gardening here, I’ve been trying to take photos of the entire garden every week or two. I want to have a record of how the garden progresses throughout the seasons. Many of you have asked to see a tour of the gardens so I thought I’d start posting a few photos of the various garden areas I have that I’ve taken throughout the season with an explanation of where the garden is.

This garden is located between the house and the garage. It’s a narrow strip, mostly paved with small gravel and it contains a deck. The deck used to be about twice this size taking up the entire area, but we reduced the size to make it more in scale with this area. This area is HOT HOT HOT, the gravel and the deck retain the heat and radiate it throughout the day. It gets morning sun on one side and afternoon sun on the other.

Mr Chiots build me a lovely cedar trellis that covers a huge portion of the garage wall, on it I’m growing hops and a few different kinds of clematis. In the flowerbed at it’s base you will find everbearing strawberris, lemonbalm, lady’s mantle, bergamot, Egyptian walking onions, hops flowering oregano, creeping thyme, and a few other small herbs.

The flowerbed beside the back door is dominated with a HUGE oakleaf hydrangea and a few hostas. There are also a few astilbes in there that are struggling with this heat and drought.

This area is also filled with many potted plants, the lemon, lime and fig trees I bought on my trip to Monticello along with some rosemary, boxwood, hydrangea, lemon verbena, ferns and an elephant ear plant that’s an offspring of my mom’s plant.

There’s another flowerbed at the the far end that has a beautiful hydrangea, oregano, the sage I was talking about yesterday and a few other plants.

This garden space is quite lovely this summer. All of the plants are pretty much their mature size now. This is one of the areas of the garden that I worked on first. This part of the garden is one of the ones that looks best all year long. I have my gardens divided up into sections based on light, sun, water, soil and location. All in all I have 7 distinct areas in my garden.

How many different garden areas do you have?

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

15 Comments to “Garden Tour: The Middle Garden”
  1. Heather on July 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I see your potted fig. Do you bring that inside in the winter or does it overwinter outside? We just started one in a pot this summer and are trying to decide what to do when the weather turns.

    Reply to Heather's comment

    • Susy on July 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

      I bring mine indoors and put it in the basement. This one is a ‘Brunswick’ fig that I purchased at Monticello. I also have a ‘Hardy Chicago’ that should be able to be overwintered outside with a warm burlap coat. I still bring it inside to overwinter. It’s big enough I plan on propagating it and trying to grow a small one outside, hated to risk losing it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. misti on July 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

    You have made me wish I could stop unpacking and start planting! I am itching to get things going! Oakleaf hydrangea is on my list of things to grow as is clematis. *love* your middle garden but I bet you are itching to get your Maine garden going too!

    Reply to misti's comment

    • Susy on July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

      Yep, can’t wait – but I’m really trying to take it all in here since it’s my last year. Sad to leave it all, but happy that it’s all pretty much mature and at it’s glory this summer so I can see it that way!

      I have been formulating big plans for my new place. Lucy for me, I’ll have all winter to come up with a big plan to implement come spring.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Janet Anderson on July 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

    lovely – my garden wants to be your garden when it grows up! :-)

    Are you going toi take any plants with you and if you are how will you decide what to take?


    Reply to Janet Anderson's comment

    • Susy on July 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I am planning on taking a bunch of plants. Many of the plants in my garden are starts from my grandma’s house and many of the hydrangeas are gifts from Mr Chiots. I have a large number of small hydrangeas that will be easy to move, many of the others will be taken as cuttings. I plan on doing that in the next week or so.

      A lot of the plants that I have from my grandma my mom also has (since it was her mom). I can always get new starts from her next spring if I don’t have time to take plants from here, or if mine don’t survive the winter.

      I plant on planting all the shrubs/plants in the main vegetable this fall when we arrive, I’ll mulch them heavily and put up a low tunnel over them with hopes of giving them an easier time at surviving the winter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Amy on July 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I love this! Is that a bat house in the eaves of the garage? What is it made from?

    I struggle with our yard and was just wishing this morning tha I could afford to hire a landscape designer to assist with its many woes. We have a long ranch-style home that faces west (with the whole back of the house facinng east), and sometimes it feels like Mars in the summer. I need to plant some shade trees!

    Reply to Amy's comment

  5. Becky on July 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Your trellis and climbing plants are beautiful. I’m curious if the treliis can be moved or tipped down for painting, etc.. without damaging the plants? I love this idea for a large wall and and that has been my only hesitation in trying something like this!! Well, that and I’m not nearly as good at building things as you guys are – but you have to start somewhere, right? :)

    Reply to Becky's comment

    • Susy on July 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      It’s built of cedar and was treated with linseed oil before we installed it. As a result it really won’t need anything done to it for years and years.

      It’s attached to the garage with long screws that are covered by copper pipe. It could be unscrewed from the top and leaned out quite easily, especially in spring before the vines start to grow.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Becky on July 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

        Thank you! I figured you had come up with a way to be able to paint the garage if needed. Great idea.

        to Becky's comment

  6. alison@thisbloominglife on July 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Gorgeous, how do you keep the weeds out of the gravel? I lust after some gravel areas but know I would forever struggle keeping it clear. It’s funny to her of figs being taken inside. It is minus 6 Celsius here this morning and our figs cope happily at those temperatures.

    Reply to alison@thisbloominglife's comment

    • Susy on July 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      I pull the weeds a few times a year. They were much more numerous when the gravel wasn’t that thick. We added a big load a few summers ago and that really helped a lot. Seems when the grave is this enough the weeds can’t take root as easily.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. KimH on July 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I have several different garden areas, all with their own unique needs. In my “back yard” I dont have any grass at all.. just a little “sanctuary” that grows under the shade of a large Ash tree. I have all sorts of shade loving plants in there, both wild & domestic.
    I have pots with some herbs, strawberries, dalias, cilantro, and a few other things that live on my deck or below it.

    One side of my house has super sandy soil and thats where most of my herbs live, I also plant garlic there & it thrives well.

    I have a little garden in front of the house that was going to be a pond under our bedroom window (not wild about that idea.. I have visions of making water in the middle of the night ;) ) that m’honey never got to, so I put plants in it. Right now it has 2 very large chard plants that have gone to seed. I figure one more month & they can be gone. Not the prettiest thing to have in your front garden. ;) I also have a bunch of tomato plants in there that came up volunteer from last years, so they’re happy.

    I recently bought a Chicago Hardy Fig that I put in another bed I made this summer. I plan to put asparagus and transplant a bunch of rhubarb I split this spring sometime or another. Im thinking about putting Jerusalem artichokes in that bed too, but am undecided at the moment. I think it would love it, personally. ;)

    Then I have my veggie garden at a community garden since there really isnt a place for one here at our house. The good news is that its just under 3 miles from here.. The bad news is that its 3 miles from here. ;)

    Love your pics of all your plants.. Its nice to have them for posterity. I really enjoy looking at some of my old garden pictures when I run across them.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  8. Brenny on July 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

    If you decide to plant hops in your new home, you might want to plant them by themselves. They will overgrow anything else planted near them as they mature. They make a beautiful screen, I used them for a sun shield by our front porch. They overgrew my roses, and I foundj, when I decided they were too invasive, that there are one or two new sprouts every year that I have to dig out.
    Your gardens are lovely!

    Reply to Brenny's comment

    • Susy on July 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Very true, one of the benefits of hops is that they will cover a trellis quite quickly. Lucky for me the soil isn’t super great in this bed so they aren’t quite as rampant as they are in other place.

      Reply to Susy'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.

Read previous post:
Saving Sage Seeds

I have a beautiful culinary sage plant that grows right outside the back door. It thrives in this location, with...