City Garden

The garden seems a bit empty, but in December the gardener puts her tools away, rests from her labors, and dreams of spring.

The Merrifield Garden Center crew came Monday and cleaned up the dead and dying debris from the yard, mulched to the beds, turned the compost bins and installed a couple of new plants.  When all is cleared away, you can see the ‘bones’ of the garden.  Below: the results.


The side yard is clean, the “sticks” to the left are Crepe Myrtle twigs. The Myrtle died back to the ground last winter and came back to life in spring.  The red berries are Nandina or ‘heavenly bamboo.’


The area around the bench looks barren, but a good place to rest and bask in the winter sun.


My main flower bed where Japanese Anemone and other perennials grow next to a tall Holly. Note the three compost bins in the upper right corner and water butt to the left. A raised bed in the background holds a few small plants. The side yard to the left beyond the frame is the dog patch.


More of the main bed. We left the Echinacea stems standing. Finches like the seeds in winter.


A new female Skimmia covered with blooms for next spring graces the side yard. Birds like the berries.


More of the side yard. The green plants are Helleborus and Pachysandra. Great winter ground covers that stay green all year.


The blue thing visible through the Holly is the county’s recycle bin. In the foreground, Pieris Japonica.

18 thoughts on “City Garden

  1. Your yard is really pretty even in the ‘off season’ and I love how you leave things for the winter birds to enjoy. As a small town girl, I’m intrigued by the tall building over the fence in the one picture. To me, it’s like you have a magic oasis in the middle of a big city…the best of both worlds!


    • The building behind our house is a very well maintained apartment building. I know the owners and I have a cordial relationship with them. Yes, we are in the center of the physical city. Arlington county was part of DC until after the Civil War. Hence the presence of former military installations around the periphery.

      Following the 1980 census, federal geographers decided to rename the metro area Washington-Arlington, but a huge outcry from Alexandria and other local jurisdictions caused the Administration to back off the plan. The physical reality remains, however, Arlington and Washington DC are joined at the hip physically, economically, politically and culturally..very nearly a solid blue area. The tallest buildings in this ‘city’, the Pentagon (both of them), Arlington Cemetery and Reagan National Airport are all located in Arlington. We live five minutes from the White House, the Capitol building, and all th museums on the Mall.

      And yes, our yard and garden are the envy of the neighborhood. In fact many people walking past the house with dogs, baby carriages, etc. stop and comment when all is in bloom.


  2. You have such a pretty garden Dianne. Thanks for the comment. The anonymous didn’t show my end. We are having to deal with word verification with blogger right now. It shows up automatically even though our settings say not to put it on. We are waiting for things to get back to normal. Maybe this has something to do with your anonymous show. I really don’t have a clue.


  3. Your yards look very nice, and I am quite envious that you can have someone come in and clean it all up for you.

    We too have nandinas, although ours are fairly tall and bushy. I have to constantly prune the things or they would take over the backyard. They spread their roots into the neighbor’s yard and make plants there.


  4. Patty is the gardener in our family. (I’m the mower, weed whacker and edger). She dabbles with it occasionally through the winter but I have no idea what she does….I’m just glad I’m not involved….I’m not into dirt spreading…unless you count my gossiping.


  5. You know even though I love the sun and the warmth that it brings and would dearly love to live in a warmer climate zone I would miss the seasons as you do. An ever changing garden is one way of seeing what is going on around me
    Your gardening crew must be a boon for you and David – at least you are pleased with their work and not a complainer like someone I know who is never satisfied with the end result of her gardener’s visits. ‘He doesn’t do ot the way I want him to’ she says. ‘Have you asked him to try that way’ I reply. ‘Oh yes’ he says ‘but it’s impractical to try and take the mower that close to trees and that’s why we snip round the base’ All this grizzling because he doesn’t mow the grass the way her husband used to!


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