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A House and Yard in LaGrange

November 2001

When we started...

This yard had terrible soil! During the construction of the house, the soil was scraped away, leaving rocky, hard clay.

Spring 2002

Mushroom compost was added and rototilled into the beds with great effort.

Here is the newly planted garden.

Sweeping beds were laid out.

Summer 2003

Here is the front garden one year later. Notice how the plants have filled in.

Summer 2006

There garden has really matured nicely.

The improved soil conditions have allowed for this maturity as can be seen in the following photographs.

Some beautiful color combinations:

Top-left. Contrasted against the house, is Common Ironweed, Vernonia fasciculata, a tall plant that likes it kind of wet.

Immediately in front of it (actually about 15 feet away) are the purple spikes of Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris pycnostachya, a real butterfly magnet.

In the center of the photo, from left to right, is a large clump of Canada Wild Rye, Elymus canadensis. To the right are the yellow badmitton shuttlecock-like flowers of Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata.

A nice shrub, Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica, emits a fragrance when its leaves are crushed. (Personally, I do not like the way it smells. It gives me a headache.)

It looks great in the Fall. Its leaves turn reddish orange and the fruit a bright red.

The garden in late summer of 2006, as seen in context.

To the right is the American Filbert or Hazelnut Shrub, Corylus americana. The male produces catkins in the Spring, the leaves turn orange, red and yellow in the Fall and they have Filbert nuts to feed the squirrels.

The different view in the Summer of 2006

Look how rich and full this garden is now.

Remember how nasty the site looked in November of 2001?

Elm-leaved Goldenrod, Solidago ulmifolia, (center) is fairly well behaved. It is typically found in the woods, but nicely in full sun or open shade.

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