Tips to Grow an Easy Garden 

 Originally Written: June 21, 2011

By  Hanna Trafford

If you are a frequent visitor to this website, you probably already know that I love gardening. I don’t claim to be great at it – most of my gardening skills come from trial and error learning process – but that is sometimes a very good way to learn. I think that you can read all kinds of gardening books, listen and watch gardening shows, but until you actually plant things in your garden, you may not know what is going to work for you and what isn’t. When I started planning my garden, I wanted it to be as natural looking as possible, include plants I liked and grow on its own as much as possible. You are probably smiling right now, but what I mean is that I worked towards including as many perennials and shrubs as possible and only adding annuals to add more blooms and even more colour. I love going to garden centres and believe me, I very seldom walk out empty handed!

Here are a few pictures from my own garden – taken just couple of days ago:

This was the third time I planted Clematis – the previous efforts resulted in dried out plants – probably because of exposure. I planted this one 2 years ago, right next to the walkout from our house and it likes it there. And I love the beautiful and abundant white blooms!

This is where it is growing beautifully – and we have since replaced the trellis to allow the plant to start expanding its beauty upwards

Aside of roses, peonies are one of my most favourite plants. This one is quite old – I think I planted it about 10 years ago. But is is incredible showing off with over 100 blooms every single year. When it starts blooming, I hope it won’t rain too much, because those huge blooms fill up with water and lay down on the ground – and that is pretty much the end of them. It would be nice to have flowers like this all year!

This is my second peony plant – also planted about 10 years ago. This one is a beautiful burgundy shade and it must be a different kind becuase the stacks are stronger and the blooms don’t fall on the ground as easily. Again – I wish it would bloom year round!

This entire side bed is pretty much carefree – I filled it with perennials. When lupins finish blooming, black eyed susans will start and then other perennials so there are always a few blooms there. The colour is added by the shrub that stays dark red all the time – I do not remember what it is called, I bought it because of the colour and it really works well. And of course – hostas – they do really well for me and I have given lots of them away to friends as well.

I just couldn’t resist buying this hanging basket – a beautiful combination of black petunias and white geraniums – stunning!


Great colour addition to any garden – I got two matching hanging baskets with incredible dual shade of red geraniums

This was a little shrub, about 2 feet tall when I bought it – I am pretty sure it was tagged as “Flowering willow”. It grew beautifully and it always looks like it is blooming. The white and pink colours are actually new growths and everyone who visits my garden admires this beautiful tree. And I suspect that it keeps bugs away -we cut a few branches and had them in a house for a few hours and could smell a funny, almost musty odour coming from them – so it could be an added benefit!

You may be taking and second look at this picture, wondering what it is. It my favourite tree, planted about 14 years ago from a small shoot off my friends large tree. It is a linden tree – the national tree of Czech Republic where I am originally from. I remember my grandma collecting the blooms, drying them out and making this incredible tee that she sweetened with honey. One year soon, I will start collecting the blooms to – just for the old times sake.


Hope you have enjoyed this little walk through my garden and that it gave you a few ideas – please send in your comments, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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