The View From the Deck

I think one of the most important things to consider when planning out the gardens in your landscape is how it all fits together. One of the best ways I've tried to figure that out is by considering my vantage points. A vantage point is just a fancy way of saying a good place to look at the garden! My yard has quite a few vantage points that I can look out from but today let's tour the yard from the back deck.

Here's a shot of the backyard from the deck. The vegetable garden is on the right and the birdbath garden is in the lower left corner of the photo. You can see I've made a little progress on the play set for my daughters.  We built it over on the left side of the yard so that it won't block any views from the house and the deck. It's also in a location where we can see it from the backdoor and the deck to keep an eye on the girls.

If we turn to the right we have the hillside that looms over our yard. It's a mixed blessing. In the late summer shade comes earlier to our yard making evenings much cooler than they would be otherwise. However in the autumn and winter it shades much more of our yard than I would like. I've carved pathways through the hillside and eventually hope to plant some fruit trees like apples or pears on the slope. You can also see the patio I built last year. The concrete cobblestone patio has served us pretty well so far as a place for the kids to play with their sandbox and as a convenient pass through area to the rest of the yard. Maybe one day we'll add a pergola over the patio.

Here we have an aerial view of my deck planting beds. They are made from landscape timbers and house a variety of plants. I had no plan when planting this area which probably shows. Many of the plants need moved to better locations. This bed is kind of a holding spot for anything I don't have a great location to plant. Included in this bed are caryopteris, irises, 'Oranges and Lemons' Gaillardia, a volunteer redbud, catmint, a couple verbenas, a moonflower, and a clematis.


Here's a little more of the same bed just a few feet down. The only plant to add to the list in this picture is the penstemon on the left. It's intermingled with a salvia.


If we lift our heads upwards again to to look at the backyard we can see the birdbath garden. The red mums are almost all the color that remains on this side. The outstretched bloom stalks of a 'Mystic Spires' Salvia are peeking out from the left side of the garden. Salvias are fantastic plants for hummingbirds and other pollinators.


I like this next view. The stepping stones I set in the ground add a contrast to the green grass and a convenient way through the yard without getting your feet wet from the morning dew. The center island is my arrowwood viburnum and beyond that is the side border garden. The deciduous (wild cherry) tree line behind the side border garden is on my neighbor's property and provides us with some privacy during the growing season. In the border garden you will find a variety of trees and shrubs including redbuds, a birch, beautyberry, various ornamental grasses, caryopteris 'Longwood Blue', and crape myrtles raised from cuttings.


That concludes the tour of the view from our deck, but here is one last picture to show you of a moonflower that has covered one of my lemon trees. These lemon trees have seen better days but have never actually produced a lemon. Pretty soon it will be time to bring them back inside. Keep an eye on those forecasts, a frost will be coming all too soon!


What does the view look like from your back deck or patio?

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