A Victorian Flower Garden along the Sidewalk
When Suzie and I moved to Cape May in 1989, one of the first projects on our list was to replace the sidewalk in front of Leith Hall and plant a flower garden. Our neighbors have narrow sidewalks with planted verges between the curb and the pavement and between the pavement and the property line. We wanted to replace our sidewalk with a narrow one and plant the verges. It never happened. New bathrooms, new furnace, new water heater, new roof, new porch; all these intervened. This year, twenty-three years later, we finally replaced the front sidewalk. We’re thrilled.
The sidewalk was laid by Mike Mohr of Mohr Masonry. He did a great job, worked really fast and was very easy to deal with. He’s coming back in a while to give the sidewalk a coating to make it resemble the slates next door more closely.
Victorian and native flowers
We’ve just planted the verges with thyme and phlox, sage and snow-in-summer, daylilies
and hostas. It still looks like a sea of mulch with tufts of greenery, but the plants are spreading and will cover the ground soon. The plantings are low growing and low maintenance, which we need; but are also Victorian, which we want. Victorians called Hostas, Funkias, which sounds so much funkier, somehow. The daylilies we planted are the orange, old-fashioned Hemerocallis fulva which the Pilgrims
brought from Europe and have been spreading ever since. Thyme and sage are the kitchen herbs and phloxes (Phlox subulata) and snow in summer (Cerastium tomentosum) are natives. We’ll see how they all do only fifty yards from the beach and occasionally being stepped on.