Downsizing but Still Gardening

Welcome to Sid and Jackie Pogue’s garden in Edmond, Oklahoma.

With age, Jackie and Sid Pogue downsized in 2020 and are now learning the joys of accessibility and careful plant selection. This new chapter of their garden history, which they call “Less Is Fine but Make It Count,” means building a treasury of Oklahoma-tough favorites in smaller spaces. “We can’t have all the plants we’ve loved over the years,” they say, “but our goal is to create a new treasury of favorites as we garden on.”

pot planted Dragon Wing begoniasA dependable performer in shade containers, Dragon Wing begonias (Begonia hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) are a favorite, so we began with one for welcome at our front door and one at the patio door.

Siberian irisSiberian iris (Iris hybrid, Zone 2–9), left by former homeowners, thrives between a brick fence and a concrete driveway in full sun. Of course, it’s staying!

front garden planting bedsAfter a vicious October ice storm brought down a lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia, Zones 4–9), the spot was perfect for hibiscus (hardy Hibiscus hybrid, Zones 5–9) to love the summer sun. Meanwhile, coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides, annual), Hosta (Zones 3–9), and boxwoods (Buxus, Zones 5–9) add full-season color above creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia, Zones 3–10) along the house front.

Japanese maples and shadier plants in the corner Beyond our small patch of Fescue lawn in the back, smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–8), liriope (Liriope muscari, Zones 5–10), and Japanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) enjoy the shade.

Our bald cypress is underplanted with helleboresOur bald cypress (Taxodium distichum, Zones 4–9) is underplanted with hellebores (Helleborus hybrid, Zones 5–9), Hosta, elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 7–11 or as a tender bulb), and aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior, Zones 7–11).

Hydrangea and pots of elephant ears and ferns edge the grillA hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9) and pots of elephant’s ear and ferns edge the grill.

handrail kitA downstairs run of flagstone became accessible as a shady container garden after Sid installed a handrail kit.

Swiss chard alongside the pathwayEven a sidewalk edge can become a garden space, here with Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris, annual) and various herbs.

John Fanick phloxAlong the front porch, John Fanick phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘John Fanick’, Zones 4–8) rises above inherited artemisia (Artimisia schmidtiana, Zones 4–8).

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia, Zones 7–10), rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7), Bubblegum petunias (Petunia hybrid, ‘Vista Bubblegum’), and tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica, Zones 8–11 or as an annual) revel in the sunshine along the drive.

Cassia alata or candle bushSenna alata, or candle bush (Zones 9–11 or as annual), joins the sun worship and feeds pollinators.

Published at Fri, 12 Nov 2021 03:00:33 -0500

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