Return to Zita’s Garden – FineGardening

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Today we’re in Evanston, Illinois (just outside Chicago), visiting with Zita Swindells.

A few years back I sent in pictures of my postconstruction garden (Surviving Construction in the Garden)—nice bones, but a bit bare. Since then I have retired, spent quite a lot of time in pandemic lockdown, and turned to the garden as sanctuary. I have created a bed bordering the patio, added another seating area, squeezed in more raised beds for vegetables (even in the sunny alley parking spot next to my garage), and added a rain garden filled with natives in a low area of the yard that floods every year (sadly, not this year—heat and drought seem to be becoming the norm).

brick garden path cutting through beds and leading to a patioMy lovely neighbor brought over her old dog kennel panels and helped me put up the temporary fences you see below to protect at least some of my perennials from our plague of rabbits. But along with the rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels, who eat my crops and perennials, are the butterflies, bees, birds, and all the other pollinators providing constant movement and color in the garden. It is a grand tapestry and has certainly been a haven for me.

garden beds with pink, purple, and yellow flowersIn the foreground is Amsonia hubrichtii (Zones 5–8) on the left, with Calamintha nepeta (Zones 5–9). Behind them is Allium ‘Millenium’ (Zones 5–9) covered with flowers.

densely planted garden bed with bright yellow and dark purple flowersBright yellow Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstonne’ (Zones 3–9) pairs beautifully with dark Buddleia ‘Miss Molly’ (Zones 5–9) and Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ (Zones 5–9).

close up of bright pink roses with other shrubs and perennialsKnockout roses (Rosa ‘Radrazz’, Zones 5–9) shine in front of a dwarf weeping ‘Ruby Falls’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ Zones 5–9).

close up of red canna lilies next to pink Joe Pye weedRed canna lilies (Canna indica, Zones 8–1o or as a tender bulb) and Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, Zones 4–9) in the rain garden.

 

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