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Gardening Recap – Summer 2017 Favorite Flowers & Vignettes

Wow, what a summer – it went by way to fast!  Since it’s officially fall now (although you wouldn’t know it by the temps here in Minnesota), I’m really excited to share this Gardening Recap and all my Summer 2017 Favorite Flowers, Flower Garden Vignettes and Garden Makeovers with you.

Favorite Flowers, Garden Decor and Vignettes at Gingham Gardens

We moved into our current home at the end of August 2016, so the summer of 2017 was my first full summer gardening in this yard. As I look back over the year and reflect, I’m happy with what we’ve accomplished.  Parts of our half-acre yard are looking horrible and parts are looking really good.  But, I’m determined to focus on the accomplishments as opposed to looking at what we still need to do. Besides, gardening is never really done anyway, is it?

This was the first major garden makeover I completed. I started last year after we moved in and finished it up this spring. I will move a few perennials around and add a few more, but I’m really happy with the way this tiered garden bed turned out. Sadly, it’s in the back yard over to the side and no one sees it unless I take them back and show them.

Tiered flower bed at Gingham Gardens

Here is another major garden makeover I accomplished in the past year. I hated this area from the moment I saw it, but I knew that I could make it awesome.  This is an area that runs along our driveway, and unlike the tiered garden, it is very visible. I actually started this makeover the very day we moved in. The transformation is amazing and if you haven’t already done so, you can read about and see more pictures of this garden makeover on a previous post I shared.

Here are my favorite vignettes from this summer. First up is this little vignette, which is the centerpiece of the garden at the very front corner of our lot. Someday, I will share a makeover on the entire bed, but for now I just show snippets of it. We cut down a diseased maple tree, so I had a big, yucky stump to contend with. My initial idea was to have the insides of the stump chopped out so I could use it for a planter. After working on it for several hours and breaking a few saw blades, my hubby nixed that idea. So, I just plopped my old whiskey barrel on top of the stump, planted some flowers in it, and then added the red windmill behind it.  It turned out to be one of my favorite vignettes of the summer. The red windmill is also one of my favorite new additions to my collection of garden junk and decor.

Gardening Recap - Garden Tour - Whiskey Barrel Planter

Always a favorite is this old wheelbarrow parked in a shady spot and filled with shady annuals like impatiens and polka dot plant, along with some caladium and begonia and perennial creeping jenny.

Gardening Recap - Wheelbarrow

Another favorite, is this old ladder. I first saw old ladders used in the garden on Flea Marketing Gardening, and then of course, Pinterest, and loved the idea. Several years ago, I was able to pick this one up at an estate sale and have used it every year since somewhere in my garden. Here it is this year decked out in a birdhouse theme.

Gardening Recap - Ladder in the Garden

And, here it is again, all dressed up for Fall.

Gardening Recap - Fall Vignette - Ladder in the Garden

I’ve had this little girl statue for several years now and she’s made several appearances in my gardens and in my garden photos. She resides now on a big stone in my tiered garden bed, which seems to be a good spot for her, because she has a square bottom and topples over very easily. At least she’s very photogenic, don’t you think? I think I like her so much because her little scoop nose reminds me of my baby girl (who turns 30 this year).

Gardening Recap - Garden Vignette at Gingham Gardens

Here’s another favorite vignette this summer featuring another sweet girl statue. I tried putting birdseed in her apron, but the birds pooped on her and the squirrels knocked her over, so that was a bad idea. Snapdragons are one of my many favorite annuals.

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Gardening Recap - Garden Vignette at Gingham Gardens

Now for some winning plant combinations. Here’s Becky Shasta Daisies and Arizona Sun Gaillardia, along with orange geraniums.

Gardening Recap - Shasta Daisies and Gaillardia

And what about these little montego snapdragons and purple alyssum. When you purchase mixed snapdragons you never know what colors they will be until the buds open. This combination turned out beautifully.

Gardening Recap - Montego Snapdragons and Alyssum at Gingham Gardens

Here’s a lovely combination of Butterfly Bush, Arizona Sun Gaillardia and Solanna Golden Sphere Coreopsis. Love this mix of hot colors.

Gardening Recap - Solanna Golden Sphere Coreopsis, Arizona Sun Gaillardia, Butterfly Bush

Here’s another mix featuring Arizona Sun gaillardia with zinnias. Can you tell gaillardia was a winner in my gardens this year.

Gardening Recap - Arizona Sun Gaillardia & Zinnias at Gingham Gardens

Something I’ve always wanted is a window box and never really had the right window for one at our last home. Now I have one and it’s huge. My talented hubby built it, as well as shutters to give our little square box house some curb appeal. Here it is a couple of weeks after I planted it in June.

Gardening Recap - Window Box at Gingham Gardens

Here are a few close ups taken a few weeks ago.

Gardening Recap - Window Box at Gingham Gardens

And another one.

Gardening Recap - Window Box at Gingham Gardens

Overall, it was a very successful year here at Gingham Gardens. I’m still busy doing some garden makeovers and planting new areas that I will share with you all next summer. I get excited just thinking about it. Are you finished gardening for the year? Keep going until the frost comes. You’ll be so happy you did next spring. That’s my mantra and I’m sticking with it.

Thank you so much for stopping by and joining in as I shared my gardening recap with all my favorite flowers, garden vignettes and garden makeovers. Please hang out for a bit and enjoy some other gardening posts, and share on Pinterest or Facebook. I love it when you do that!

Happy gardening,

p.s. Go ahead and feel free to “pin” these pictures. If you hover in the upper right-hand corner of the picture, you’ll see the little Pinterest icon. Just click it and pin away.

p.p.s I’d love to have you follow me on Pinterest. Lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.


Here are some fun gardening decor items:

Have you purchased your spring bulbs yet? Read my post on planting bulbs for amazing spring flowers.

Amazon has a lovely selection of bulbs:

I’m joining in the following link parties:
Sundays at Home
Happiness is Homemade
Silver Pennies Sunday
Dishing It & Digging It
Metamorphosis Monday
Amaze Me Monday
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
Celebrate and Decorate
Tuesdays at Our Home
Totally Terrific Tuesday
Tuesdays With a Twist
Reader Tip Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Wonderful Wednesday
Welcome Home Wednesday
To Grandma’s House We Go
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Style
Share Your Cup
Thursday Favorite Things
Vintage Charm Party
Feathered Nest Friday
Friendship Friday
Foodie Friday & Everything Else
A Morning Cup of Joe
Friday Favorites
Sweet Inspiration


  1. Joanna, you have worked wonders on your garden! You turned the drab into the fab. I love all of the color and garden decorations. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  2. I am in complete and utter awe of your gardens! So beautiful. My husband is the one with the green thumb in our family. I’ll have to show him your recap – lots of great ideas here!

  3. Everything is lush and beautiful! You’re going to get lots of uses from that ladder and I love the way you styled it. Amazing before and after pictures and I hope you’re patting yourself on the back. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

  4. Your garden is stunning! I love how you decorated your ladder for fall. It looks wonderful (and festive). Thanks for sharing your gorgeous garden with us at Merry Monday this week!

  5. Oh my, your gardens and yard are just gorgeous! You have accomplished so much in so little time. Everything looks just beautiful. Since we just moved, I can’t wait until the spring to start doing some gardening. I love flowers and can’t wait to spruce things up. You have given me lots of great ideas.

  6. Your gardens are beautiful! Would you share the name of the red velvety looking flower in the next to last picture? I like ve the color and am not at all familiar with the plant.

    1. Hi Peggy, thanks for stopping by today. The deep red flower you are referring to is a trailing verbena variety. I’m sorry I did not keep the tags to get it’s exact name. Here in my area, these types of plants are referred to as specialty annuals. I believe this one was a Proven Winner. I hope this information helps. It really has been an amazing annual and I will look for it again next year.

  7. Isn’t it fun to look back! I like the ladder- cute display! I should try the gaillardia again. I planted some one year but they didn’t return. With this recent warm up it seems like we’re back to a month ago! I like that hosta above the little girl statue- do you know what it’s name is?

    1. Thank you, Liz. AND, thank you for being so subtle in pointing out my spelling mistake. Ugh, I’m so embarrassed. Can you tell I work at a law firm for my real job. Ha, Ha… In case you really want to know, the name of the hosta behind the girl statue is “Devil’s Advocate.” No kidding! If you try gaillardia again, make sure you mark it because it’s very slow to emerge in the spring. Have a great day!

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