It's far too cold and bleak out there to enjoy gardens outdoors, but hey, it's a great time to admire photos of gardens, so I'll share a few of my own garden taken this past September. Minnesota garden writer/photographer/speaker Evelyn Hadden visited me while she was researching her book about designing for less lawn (coming in 2011 from Timber Press) and just this week sent me these photos she snapped of my garden during her visit. Don't know if any will make the grade (the book), but it's fun to see my oh-so-familiar garden through fresh eyes.
Above, the entry garden features enough evergreens that it manages to stay reasonably attractive through the winter. Plants in this photo include rhododendron, 'Otto Luyken' Cherry Laurels under the window, plus 'Heleri' Holly, Boxwoods and a dwarf Juniper in front of the porch.
Here's a shot of the same front garden taken from the front bedroom where Evelyn stayed. You know, in my 25 years here I've never taken a photo from this window.
Above, the dreaded under-deck area isn't really so dreadful with the right plants. Liriope is the evergreen groundcover (on the left), and nonevergreen groundcovers Sweet Woodruff and Hardy Begonia add color when they're blooming.
Above and below, you get glimpses of what used to be a large lawn surrounded by borders. Now the borders are larger, the lawn-type area is smaller, and it's covered with a very short creeping Sedum (S. sarmentosum) that never, ever needs mowing or feeding. After it fills out it'll need almost no weeding, either. It tolerates being walked on, but only occasionally, and definitely won't tolerate sports or large dogs.
In the borders you see (clockwise from bottom) Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Lamb's Ears, a Lespedeza 'Gilbralter' in bloom, and some perennials with fading fall flowers: Gaura, 'Tutti Fruiti' Agastache, and assorted Rudbeckias (black-eyed susans). In the background you see a large spirea, lots of Pieris Japonicas, and two large Doublefile Viburnums - none of them in bloom but all still helping to fill out the border.
Above you see my dry streambed lined with the evergreen variegated Carex 'Ice Dance' - my favorite evergreen groundcover of all.