I’m very excited to present my first garden tour and interview! The photos below are of Melissa Wagner’s garden. Melissa is a freelance writer, editrix, and crafter living in Philadelphia, PA.
Melissa learned to love gardening on her grandmother’s “two acres of paradise” nestled between a pair of Amish farms in Western Pennsylvania. Later, when her grandmother moved in with Melissa and her parents, she helped her grandmother tend the garden surrounding her parents’ home. However, gardening didn’t really get into Melissa’s blood until the summer after she graduated from college. That summer, her grandma broke her wrist and couldn’t work in the garden. Instead, Melissa was her grandmother’s hands and followed her grandma’s instructions to make her parents’ garden beautiful.
This is the front entryway on Melissa’s home. Melissa gets her inspiration from walking around Philadelphia and observing what other gardeners are doing. Her windowboxes are filled with Surfin’ Sky Blue, Carpet Sky Blue and White Easy Wave Petunias, Spotted Dead Nettle, Euphorbia, Dichondra “Silver Falls” and Ground Morning Glory. The black pot in between the window boxes is planted with Sweet Autumn Clematis and Wire Vine. She hopes that they bring a smile to passersby just as other people’s cheerful plantings brighten her day.
Melissa had a plan this year for her garden, but got starry eyed at the nursery and brought home more than she planned (who hasn’t done that?!). For example, she knew she wanted to go with a blue, white and silver theme for the front windowboxes and you can see above that’s what she did. But she did have to rearrange things a few times until the back patio was just right. However, she is ahead of the game for spring as she already is planning out where to put spring bulbs.
This is a south facing wall in Melissa’s patio. She has planted it with geraniums, Dichondra “Silver Falls,” nasturtium, basil, mint, and sage.
Here is the west-facing wall of Melissa’s patio. She has planted a Moonflower vine against the fence, and has two hanging baskets with Double Wave Petunias. Also, in the corner you can see that Melingo is growing a Mr. Stripey tomato upside down
Melissa is working with a pretty small space, so it’s not surprising that she says that space is one of her biggest garden challenges. She often has to remind herself that she just doesn’t have room for more plants. However, Melissa has found space for the Mr. Stripey tomato in the photo above and Brandywine tomatoes and a zucchini purchased at Terrain. Melissa suspects there will soon be Terrains in other cities as well (the folks at Urban Outfitters own Terrain, and it has their sort of flair).
Here in the most recent photo of Melissa’s garden, you can get a good idea of how all the different vignettes she created work as a whole.
Melissa’s favorite plants are petunias, especially the newer varieties. As you can see in many of the photos above, she has used them in the bed along the wooden fence, and she also has white and blue pentunias in the windowboxes in the front of her home.
While Melissa doesn’t hate any particular plant, she is tired of seeing the same-old same-old at local nurseries. I have to agree with her on that point. Gardening magazines often feature exciting new plants that are no where to be found when you want to actually buy them!
The only thing missing from Melissa’s garden (in her opinion) are Peonies, but she just doesn’t have the space. However, that hasn’t stopped her from making the space she does have look beautiful.