Been there…done that!

We DID renovate the south side of our property back in 2011. Well, that was six whole years ago and now…well, it’s time to think about renovation (or at least updating.)

This is the space in May of 2011 after we had removed EVERYTHING. It had been totally neglected for many years, the soil was awful, and, as we walk by it several times each day we were looking for a change.

The bare bones: note the Pampas grasses at rear.

To read all about that renovation see my post:

Here it is, freshly designed and planted and looking quite beautiful! The Pampas grasses are looking green, lush and appropriate for the space.


A year later and you can see our infamous stone egg, à la Andy Goldsworthy. I was in love with it…but didn’t realize how short lived (ie fragile) it would be.


I know, I know, this looks lovely and green and lush , taken in August 2016. But that grass is taking over! I couldn’t really weed or plant anything as the blades can kill you if you brush the wrong way. And, I did NOT take any pictures in October or all fall when the plumes were 7 feet high, blowing in the wind and depositing bits of feathery mess all over. Even our neighbors complained (very politely.) You have to trust me that it was awful!

These were Dwarf Pampas Grass Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’

This was last week, February 8th. They actually came out fairly easily (no, I had nothing to do with the labor!). We had been concerned that we might need a backhoe, but shovels did it!

Now comes the fun part. I am thinking of doing some set-into-the-slope bluestone steps. Maybe even a very low (6″) stone retaining wall about half way up the slope. To hide that ugly cement wall we are thinking of a combination of small boxwoods (which have done well in this intense sun area) and tall lavender. We pulled two enormous (yuge…) rosemary plants: they are almost impossible to prune properly so it is easier to start again. I have two beautiful Caryopteris plants that thrive as well as the pink Guara that you can see. Of course, I will do updates here as the season progresses and we work on this area.

The most important part of this entire area, and one you don’t see here, is my watering system.

I installed the Mister Landscaper system two years ago and it has changed my gardening life! Really. It was easy to install and I even have the timer down to a system that really works if we are away.Here is the post I had done:

I can’t recommend it highly enough! If I can manage it…you can!


  1. My friend John Elsley once told me, “Sometimes you have to be ruthless in the garden,” and I agree. Making a change not only regenerates the garden, it also renews the enthusiasm and creativity of the gardener. Enjoy the process!
    Marian St.Clair recently posted…Happy Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Thanks Marian. Yes, we pulled all 3 grasses. I just wanted to be done with them and start again! YOur input really did help and supported me…so many thanks!

  2. What a gorgeous garden, but a garden is always a work in process. Love the idea of a stone wall! Can’t wait to see the renovation!
    Design Chic recently posted…Waterfront Home Tour, Inspiring Chef’s Kitchens and More!My Profile

    • Thanks for taking a look! Yes, I do love the renovation part. Today is gorgeous so I will be out there amending the soil…. Have a lovely weekend you two!

  3. Martha Moore says:

    Hi Libby- You may be aware of this already, but Piedmont Feed and Garden is having a sale starting today-40% off selected pots and plants. Maybe some possibilities for your renovation. I’m sure it will be lovely when completed!

  4. I’m so fortunate to be married to someone who knows how to make my world lovely.

  5. THE WATER SYSTEM we have is NOT GREAT!I must look at YOURS……..
    YOUR PATCH of GRASS is BEAUTIFUL………….A GARDEN IS NEVER ENDING!SOmeone must have said THAT!I too did a little gardening post yesterday…………and I used a quote from someone and cannot recall WHO!WAS IT YOU????The first line to my POST!I shall give you credit!!!!I LOVED THAT SAYING………….
    LA CONTESSA recently posted…GARDENING & A PIGGYMy Profile

    • No, that was not my quote…but yes, I saw it the other day and loved it. Now where was that? You and I both read it somewhere! Ah well, in the public domain now , right? Gardening is my happy place, for sure. So, are you making all your plans to go to Chelsea Flower SHow??

  6. We need to rethink our landscaping as well. Lots of overgrown grasses & a (yuge) rosemary bush as well. It really is overwhelming! It can’t wIt to see your new plan.
    Cyndi recently posted…Orange and Onion SaladMy Profile

    • I’m working….. today is beautiful so I will be out there working the soil. Also just dug up probably 50-60 iris so I need to divide and maybe replant some of them. Want some??? Really, they are going begging! Everyone seems to have their fill of iris! But yes, the designing is the fun part.