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Alley Garden – Five Years Progress

I don’t think I’ve introduced you to our alley garden yet. It was a bit of a nightmare when I moved in five years ago this month!  The “garden” was full of junk, grass, weeds and dead trees – and who could forget the chain link fence, shabby garage roof and bad paint job!  

Every year we seem to improve the garden a little more – with the exception of the “setback” we had a couple years ago.

BEFORE: Back Alley Garden

BEFORE: Alley Parking Spot & Garage (back of house & future veggie garden is beyond)

A couple years ago the alley garden was filled with Dahlias and other blooming perennials until I got tired of people stealing, damaging and driving over the plants! Yes, they still drive over them – even with the large stones we added.  Initially I was going to fill the bed with traps and sharp objects but decided against it.  Instead, I punished EVERYONE and removed all blooming perennials except the Irises.  They seem to hold their own against the vandals and bounce right back if driven over.

I added a Smoke Bush, Lavendar and a couple Elephant Ears to fill the void.  They look nice but it just isn’t the same.

Since this is an East facing garden, it gets plenty of sunshine. This year I plan to move a couple plants into the front perennial garden and replace them with a couple huge Elephant Ears and an Agave I recently purchased.  I want this garden to look showy again since I’m not super thrilled with how bare it looked last year (picture below). 

AFTER: Alley Garden, Garage and Parking Spot

I’ll keep you updated on the progress and promise to share this garden more often. Around the corner and along the parking spot is also where I grow our raspberries and blueberries.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, it looks amazing.

    Like

    February 16, 2010
    • Thanks Kristi! Just wait until I got my flashy plants out there – it’ll look really amazing!

      Like

      February 16, 2010
  2. Great job! It’s nice to look back and see how much work you’ve accomplished! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    February 16, 2010
    • Thanks! I’d put some of your beautiful glass art out there but someone would take it for sure! I can’t have that happen. They are my garden treasures.

      Like

      February 16, 2010
  3. personalgardencoach #

    Even with people who are so ANNOYINGLY driving over your garden, it looks great! Don’t give up. I have the same problem with my husband and teen in my driveway! Heathens :-)

    Like

    February 16, 2010
    • That’s great! It seems we all have heathens! Travis actually drives over the Russian Sage that’s on both sides of the parking spot on purpose! It drives him crazy how big it gets (I love it). At least he’s not driving over flower beds like the folks in town who use our alley. It’s rough being a gardener!

      Like

      February 16, 2010
  4. I love befores and afters. I cannot believe how much work you have done, you would never know it was the same place.

    Like

    February 17, 2010
  5. Keep up the good fight! Your garden looks fantastic!

    Like

    February 17, 2010
  6. That has got to be the nicest alley I’ve ever seen! Looking good!!!!

    Like

    February 17, 2010
  7. It looks beautiful! You did a great job!

    Like

    February 17, 2010
  8. greenwalks #

    Wow, sorry you had to go through all that. It looks a thousand times better than the “before” for sure! Too bad about the vandals and bad drivers. Maybe some spiky plants like hardy agaves would discourage them!

    Hey, saw your blog on Garden Muse’s blogroll and wanted to let you know we have a little group of Seattle-area garden bloggers who get together every once in a while. We’re meeting at the Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture near the UW campus this coming Saturday from 11am – 2pm. If you are interested, drop me an email for more directions – greenwalksblog@yahoo.com or I’ll try to get the info up on my blog, Greenwalks. We always love including new folks! Cheers – Karen

    Like

    February 24, 2010

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