Swing bench moon garden pebble/stone mosaic

We’re getting a huge new shed. What that meant is that I needed to find a space for it that wasn’t the only really nice grass area I have. Since it needs to be close to the house, I decided to clear out an overgrown area that used to be covered in kava kava plants that seemed to have reduced in number this year. In the center is a self-seeded momma Thryallis and a bunch of her offspring. The rest of the space was covered in weeds, grape vines, sumac, and Virginia creeper among others.

Being the planner that I am, I started on the project as soon as we agreed this would be a good location for Joe’s motorcycle garage and workshop. It took a long time to pull out the vines that spread underground as much as they did above. The sumac sent out runners and a new plant popped up every 6-12 inches. The branches from the oak trees grew so low they nearly kissed the ground. There was an old dilapidated purple potting bench that needed to be removed.

Here’s the “before” view from the house side of the property.

I really had no idea what was going to happen but please read on to see how this all unfolded. Much of my design process just came to me as I spent hours and days clearing the ground mostly by hand. I pulled out rotted fencing. I transplanted some kava. But mostly, I pulled weeds… and you know the definition of weeds, don’t you?

A weed is a plant that the gardener deems is in the wrong place and is unworthy of being transplanted to a new location.

Grass can be a weed if it grows in your flower bed.

Once the area opened up, and the trees were trimmed, I found the perfect branch to place a bench swing.

Moon garden area cleared and the beginning of the stone mosaic that I laid underneath where the swing will go.
Bench swing hung near the momma Thryallis. Now what to do with the ground beneath?

I knew I needed to continue the path to the circle and out towards the main driveway. These areas were covered with thick horse mats to help prevent weeds, then filled with crushed concrete temporarily until I can figure out exactly what base to install.

Once this part was completed, I took a look at the vista from the driveway and knew I needed a focal point. In addition, I lined the edges with limestone rocks I found around the property (mostly to keep stray feet off my plants ;-).

A Natchez crape myrtle, crinum lily, a white flowering curcumin, schefflera, American beauty berries, varigated shell ginger, cast iron plants, and yet to bloom new guinea impatiens.

Well, the path just seemed to come to an abrupt stop with a harsh right turn to the swing. So, I decided it needed to go further. I wanted some mystery and a curved path that would draw visitors in. So, I dug, and dug, and dug until I carved a path that led around the back of the swing like a horseshoe. Then, I filled that with wheelbarrows upon wheelbarrows of crushed concrete as well.

Natchez crape myrtle, crinum lily, impatiens, a peace lily/spath on the table, added a few shepherd’s hooks with hanging baskets. In the back, getting ready to plant gardenias and a yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I didn’t think the crape myrtle was enough of a statement and needed a place to put a hot tub someone gave us. I decided to get a pergola and position it behind the crape myrtle. Now, it was finally shaping up!

By this time I decided that I was pretty much exhausted and didn’t want to think about plant color schemes. So I made the executive decision to keep the choice simple by planting an all white garden save the yellow momma thryallis and her babies. I violated it a little with the yesterday, today, and tomorrow with has flowers that change from purple to lavender to white that fill the bush with all of those colors at the same time.

Added the pergola to establish a dynamic focal point. The white rocks on the right are there to protect the white caladium bulbs that are about to take over and brighten that spot.

In addition to the white impatiens, crinum lily*, and crape myrtle*, I planted white azaleas, gardenias*, a sweet almond bush*, a night blooming jessamine*, sun hostas, a white fragrant camellia,* white curcumin, cast iron plants (I’ve got tons of them so they’re free!), dancing crane ginger, a white bird of paradise, a white rose of Sharon, an oak leaf hydrangea, moonflowers*, a night blooming cereus*, a potted malaysian orchid, as well as a drift of white caladiums (or is it caladia? lol). [* indicates highly fragrant]. Perhaps not a moon garden in the strictest definitions… but mostly white (or a light pastel), highly fragrant, and has many blooms that open at night.

Well, there’s more that I had done since… for instance I made a stone mosaic circle under the swing. In addition, I am building stone column wraps for the pergola, and I built a beautiful small pond for $40 (not including the plants) using items I already had on the property if you can believe that.

New plant additions? Hakonechloa Japanese forest grass, heuchera, and around the pond: salvia, turk’s cap, lemongrass, more crinum lilies, black-eyed Susan, a tropical canna, spider plants, purple salvia, a stray crape myrtle that seeded itself nearby, and a Chinese fan palm.

Because we needed a base for the shed, we hired landscapers to level the area and lay down Tahitian granite… but more on those designs and the new plants I will add in a future post! 😉

Swing me to the moon garden! In this image chives, white bird of paradise, crinum lily, creeping jenny, peacock ginger, malaysian orchid, peace plant, lenten rose, gardenia, YTT, frangipani, thryallis, beauty berries, caladia, snake plants, cannas and more!

One year later…

Moon Garden with swings and new shed
moon garden transformation

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1 Comment

  1. Looks pretty!

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