At our home we have about an acre of property. Most of it is hillside. When we first moved into our home the flat part of the property was mainly only in the front of our house. In order to have more garden and usable space we have had parts of it terraced over the past few years. It started off a few years ago with building a coop for our chickens which you see below. We built the coop and the enclosed chicken run and then had grass growing around the perimeter.
Little by little, we have worked out way over and have started to "tame" the yard. Last year I decided I wanted a vegetable garden. Being that we have so many deer in our area we needed to have the garden fenced in. We choose this little nook that was created by the stone retaining wall we had built to place the vegetable garden. I wanted the fencing to look nice but also have a rustic quality so we built this fence using locust posts. I love how it turned out. Unfortunately, my vegetable gardening has not been so successful but I love the way the fencing turned out. I have pretty much given up growing vegetables thanks to an abundance of chipmunks that eat EVERYTHING that I plant. Next year I have plans for a decorative herd garden!
If you walk past the vegetable garden you come to our upper lawn area that we are still working on plans for. For now we placed an iron arch at the entrance and planted a few shrubs that will grow into a solid hedge that will be trimmed into a formal square. The shorter fencing in the front surrounds our bluestone patio which is on a lower level under this section of the garden. In the foreground is the garden area that we just created. We didn't have any defined path to get from the patio to the coop/garden area so that was our latest project. We created steps from gravel and stone and made two small garden areas surrounding the path.
Along the new steps we planted some grasses along with catmint and salvia.
Along the top edge I planted a row of lavender. I am looking for white roses to fill in the rest of this area but haven't found just what I am looking for yet.
Along the edge of the stone wall between the chicken coop and the vegetable garden I planted a row of white peonies that bloom in the spring along with white daisies for summer blooms. This small bed is edged with antique french garden edging I found in Maine a few years ago. Above the stone wall is a small yew hedge we just planted this year.
I am really happy with how this latest section of our garden is taking shape. Pea gravel makes me so happy! I love the crunch it makes when you walk through it. Plus it has such a neat appearance and requires much less maintenance than more lawn. I can't wait to start working on the next section of our garden. We go back and forth between a pool, a bocce court (not my idea!) another patio or just more gardens.
A few of our chickens enjoying the gravel and looking for bugs to eat!
Christine Billings is an interior designer based in New York and working in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut locally, as well as throughout the country.