Saturday, December 26, 2009

Making A Garden From a Yard

Weeds and an open yard. That describes our garden 18 years ago. I explained to my husband that a garden has "walls", and the sense of security, enclosure, maybe a bit of secret whimsy. What we had a 3 1/2 foot tall chain link fence.  But, where there is a will there is a way.

In 1929 when they made our house and our neighbor's house, they built the detached garages right on the lot lines.  For me each garage became a 36 foot long wall on the north and south side of the garden.  Our house made a third wall.  We just needed the fourth wall.  My husband came up with the idea of using one "cow panel". A cow panel is about 4ft by 16 ft long.  He hung it between two 7foot posts set about 14 feet apart, creating a bit of a curve, stabilized with a metal post in the middle.  The panel was hung high so that my divider was about 7 feet high. Perfect!

Until the plants grew, I decorated the panel with weaving. I went into the woods and picked willow and wove them into a pattern.

The Squirrel never did learn to ride the bike. squirrel on bike (2)
partial green divider
From the back side of the divider. Roses from the right: Golden Showers, The Blaze Rose. And on the right one of my favorite fragrant reblooming roses, Madame Isaac Pierre

green divider (2)

This was the view from the front of the divider.  Amur maple, feverfew, Bonica Rose and the vine that dominates is Autumn Clematis.




  1. what a beautiful garden you have. It would be such a pleasure to weed in there surrounded by such wonderful plants. :)

  2. Gloria, wow! What a difference between the first and the last pictures! Good job! I love that wall!

  3. What a lovely idea to put a cattle panel into your yard. A garden it is indeed.

    I also saw your Annabelle hydrangea swag and simply love it. You are doing great to grow them with such little rainfall. What a challenge! and such a lovely garden.

  4. The panel really does look nice. He must have really secured it to keep those vines happy!

  5. Hi, Gloria!
    Loved these photos - you've done such a marvelous job with the landscaping. You're giving me lots of grand ideas for my gardens. Happy New Year!

    - kate

  6. Hi Gloria,

    What a creative idea for a divider! Your garden is so beautiful. I can't wait to see what is blooming come spring!

  7. The divider wall is beautiful - I like the way you have created an enclosure for your garden. I especially like the roses.

  8. Gloria,
    What a wonderful and creative way to create a garden wall! I love the willow branches woven in. Your garden is just lovely. Best wishes for the New Year - I look forward to your posts in 2010!

  9. I had a cow panel for sweet peas to grow on. Birds planted a dogwood, other things grew, and I took out the cow panel.

    I never thought about turning a headboard sideways, that idea could come in handy one day, thanks.

    I do love wattle. Woven branches can just turn into wonderful things. You turned screening out the neighbors into an art form. Good job, Gloria.

  10. I love this! I went to the co-op last year to look for a cow-panel and was intimidated at how long they were, I was hoping for a 1/4 of the length you have in your garden. After seeing how neat your panel is, I might try again this year.

    Our home was built in the 1940's and sounds similar to your lot --- I love the look of the cattle panels and all of the fun things you can do with these to add some visual interest to the garden.

  11. Awesome garden! Very nice and I especially like the divider wall. Keep up the excellent work!