Perennial Beds That Are the Envy Of The Neighborhood

By Mary Ellen Ellis | July 30, 2021
Image by Elenathewise
by Mary Ellen Ellis
July 30, 2021

I’ve had a lot of garden envy over the years. I think every gardener experiences it along with garden inspiration. It’s a fine line. Many of the gardens in my own neighborhood inspire me, but it’s my next door neighbor’s beds that make me green with envy. 

My Neighbor’s Perennial Beds

Perhaps part of the reason I have such strong feelings about my next door neighbor’s perennial beds is that my home office window looks out over her garden. Every day as I work, I get to admire them. I can’t see my own from this view, but I end up comparing them to what I see and wishing mine were better. 

The neighbor has multiple beds. One is a raised hill with beautiful butterfly bush, hydrangea, and some smaller plants, like astilbe. Another is a raised bed surrounded by a charming brick wall. It contains a variety of small and medium perennials in profusion, much like the arrangement of a cottage garden

Another bed curves around her back patio, creating a soft look that makes sitting outside pleasant. In one area of the patio, a pair of forsythia create an archway serving as an entrance. In early spring, this is striking with its yellow flowers. 

Turning Envy into Inspiration

There’s something about the way she has managed to get the perfect arrangement of plants that makes me envious. The different textures and colors complement each other so well. There isn’t a single empty space once the summer is in full swing. And, she always has multiple plants in bloom at one time. 

I try to remind myself that she has been working on her garden for longer than I have. She has lived in the same house for decades. Also, she is retired and has more time to spend on gardening. Instead of envy, I’ve decided to take inspiration. I may not have enough time to perfect my beds right now, but I can do a little bit at a time. I can also take advice from my neighbor and use it in the future.

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