This yew hedge is my pride and joy. I started it from cuttings from a neighbor’s upright Hicks yew years ago. She thought it was a great deal—I trimmed her two shrubs in return for getting to keep the trimmings. I started about 30 of them in wet sand in two large kitchen drawers left over from a remodeling project. I call these my “gin and tonic” chairs. Unfortunately, I have sat in them exactly once so far this season. I do more weeding than drinking in my garden, and you can be the one to decide if that’s a good thing or not. The vegetable garden each year, somehow, gets a little more filled with flowers. But I love how well things grow in raised beds and how easy weeding it is! This little courtyard garden is right outside my screened back porch. The fountain is just a pot with a pump. Can guess how it’s powered? (Hint: The cord is buried in the gravel and runs to a power outlet installed on the outside of the building. :-)  ) The front slope, as you can see, is extremely steep—just about impossible to mow. We had it landscaped with rough limestone terraces and filled it with various low-growing perennials. The front ‘hell strip’ of my garden has been filled with primarily perennials and roses. When we remodeled, I was sure to put in a pair of French doors, which frame the views of the back yard very nicely! Here’s an overview of my backyard. Penstemon is such an under-used native plant in Iowa gardens. This one was looking gorgeous in late June. I fell in love with this peony from a neighbor’s garden. The neighbor is moved away years ago, but the peony is still around!
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