Last fall I made this before-and-after video of my “Front Garden Make-Over with Vines and Paint.” I submitted it to my town’s local access TV station and won second prize in the Community Video Contest!  

So that was encouraging, and I finally found a video-editing program I like using (Movavi, which is similar to iMovie but for people with PCs). Best of all is the thrill of finally loving my garden (in my 10th year in this location), prompting me to make this next video, the first one I’ve made of both my front and back gardens –  because I’m finally not embarrassed by either of them.  

I remember in my first year here a friend suggesting it would take about 3 years to create a garden I like and I was horrified at the notion!  No way!!  Was she mistaking me for someone who’s patient?  I swore to do better.  And yet it actually took 10 years, mostly because of the ridiculous, counter-productive rules my co-op imposes on us that severely limit our ability to create vertical screening, privacy, those garden “rooms” that invite us to spend time in our yards. (In an upcoming rant I’ll explore the bizarre history behind the mandatory openness and the virtual ban on private gardens.)


How to Make a Garden Tour Video

Did I mention that I’m impatient? So imagine me taking the time to watch long videos of gardens, with the gardener chatting about every plant, its sun and water requirements, maybe giving us some garden history, all the while with me thinking I could have read this information SO much faster.

So in that vein, I’m aiming at garden tour videos under 3 minutes – is that a stretch? This one came in at 2:22 – so yay! And to provide all those plant details I copied it all into YouTube’s description – which I copied below in this post.  I used a few still photos but mostly video clips, zeroing in on plants I’m craziest about this time of year, and panning for views from places I sit.  

As a viewer, are you yearning for anything more? I’m thinking of doing another update in late summer/early fall, maybe using before+after collages to show the progress of major plants.  Your suggestions are welcome!

The YouTube Description

Quick video tour and highlights of Susan Harris’s garden in Historic Greenbelt, Md., with “A Love that Will Last” from Adobe Music. Walk-on by Handsome Harry.



– Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) ‘Tangerine Beauty’ is fast-growing, evergreen and native to this region. I planted these 4 last summer. 

– Native honeysuckle (Lornicera sempervirens) ‘Major Wheeler’ – just planted.

– Morning Glory, annual, grown from seed.


Several ‘Ogon’ Spirea, the native Ninebark ‘Summer Wine,’ and Nandina domestica ‘Burgundy Wine.’ Unlike the common Nandina, this variety stays short and bushy, and has no berries that could make it spread or harm birds.


– A 9-year-old Crossvine and several newer ones.

– Groundcover Golden Groundsel (Packera aurea) is a native woodland plant that spreads easily and is mostly evergreen.

– More groundcovers: Sedum takesimense, Mondo Grass, and Comfrey (Symphytum grandiflorum).

– Ninebark is a native shrub with red leaves, so the mix of colors on this ‘Amber Jubiliee,’ variety are unusual.

– Amsonia hubrichtii is regionally native, blooms blue in spring, and has brilliant orange fall color.

– Lungwort (Pulmonaria hybrids) looks pretty most of the year and these have lasted at least 25 years for me, first in Takoma Park and now here.

– Korean Spice Viburnum (V. carlesii) has extremely fragrant blooms in spring. Otherwise it’s boring but provides screening where it’s needed.

– Purple Smokebush (Cotinus x Grace) has glorious purple leaves, blooms in the form of long pink plumes, and oddly shaped limbs. A stand-out in the garden!