Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

So, I’ve been a little MIA lately. It’s summer. The kids are on a break from school, so my normal workload has been cut in half. I’ve been spending a lot of time walking in my garden, watering plants, moving things around, weeding, and whatnot, but most of my time in the garden is spent admiring the beauty of all the life growing around me. All the years of having a vegetable garden taught me a lot about plants, but honestly, without flowers and grasses here and there, I now think I was missing out on something. It’s so peaceful to go outside in the evenings here in the mountains anyway, but to walk through my gardens (even though they’re still small at the moment) adds a whole new level of peacefulness to this little bit of land here in East Tennessee.

Today, I thought I’d pop in and share some photos from my gardens this summer. Hope you enjoy!

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

These photos are of the upper garden, and I call it the Curb Appeal Garden as it’s mostly made up of evergreens, grasses, and succulents. It doesn’t change much, but it gives the front house a nice finished look… or else it will as soon as everything grows in a bit more. And don’t you just love the creeping things crawling across the walls? I do! In fact, I love most things that creep (minus snakes and bugs).

When we first moved here (almost five years ago), our property is covered in moss and ivy, and I instantly fell in love. That and our big wrap-around white deck! Anyway, when Dean suggested building terraced walls in front of the house, I instantly had visions of old stone walls with ivy and other things creeping over the edges. Maybe I’ve read too many British classics of old English manors and cottages, but this is the look I’m going for. We planted wooly thyme, creeping Jenny, and some type of ivy all in random patterns. In a couple of years, I’m betting my walls are going to have that Old World charm I’m going for!

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

On the backside of the stairs leading up to our deck, we have ivy everywhere, so we decided to break all that loveliness up by adding in some succulents and hostas. We’ll be adding more plants and maybe a little tree or two to this area next year. We also have some low growing carpet-type plants that will spread out over time growing alongside the left side of the stairs. And in the third photo, you can see the very edge of what I call the “White Garden.” Here we have several kinds of plants that produce white blooms, and I can’t wait to see how lovely it looks next year when everything has had time to grow a bit more! The fourth photo is of a chocolate vine and clematis that will grow and spread over the lower portion of the deck. As you can see from the photo, the wood it’s growing on needs to be painted before it gets too big. Better hurry!

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

The middle garden (middle terrace) is the Herb Garden. Here you’ll find yarrow, white sage, catnip, rosemary, lavender, echinacea, chives, bee balm, stevia, chamomile, lemon balm, a couple varieties of thyme, holy basil (pictured in second photo) and some culinary basil varieties, dill, parsley, shasta daisy, and pennyroyal. There are some empty spots towards the far side of the garden that need to be filled with some things, but I haven’t settled on anything just yet. I’d love to grow some passionflower, but I’m not sure if it’s a good fit here or not.

You guys… I have been so happy to finally have space to grow herbs again. When we first moved here, I planted several different herbs around the house, but our landscaping projects the last few years have made it impossible to keep up with. So now, I have my herb garden back, and I can’t wait to watch it fill in and to be able to add new plants here and there over the years.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

The lower garden is the Fresh-Cut Flower Garden which is filled with different kinds of flowers perfect for cutting all summer long. Most of the flowers in this garden are yellow, orange, and red with a little purple and white added in for good measure. Planning out and planting this space was a last minute thing so I’m curious to see how it looks next year. At this point, it needs some heavy weeding, another layer of mulch, and some plants added that will bloom in late summer or fall. 

Life Lately: Summer Gardens | Growing Up Herbal | Take a tour of my brand new summer gardens and see how our landscaping project turned out this year.

And that’s it! This is the majority of the work we did on landscaping this fall. We did add a few other plants to some other beds around the property, but this was the main area of focus. Next year, we’ll focus on the area behind the stairs and the area down the mountain, below our junipers. I think I’d like to have a conifer garden there so I can have fresh greenery all over my house during the holidays!

While I’m no expert on these sorts of things (that’s why I hired a friend to help me with this big project this year), feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comment section below, and I’ll do my best to answer them!