We’ve come to Episode 3 of “Judging the Gardens of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware,” apparently a regular feature since it started in 2013 and continued with more hits and misses in 2017.

What can I say? I’d rather be walking or cycling around town looking for great and not-so-great gardens than sitting on the hot sand. Sharing them here just adds to the fun, despite expecting that someone will object, asserting that criticism is never okay.  Well, I agree just enough to avoid bashing gardens anywhere near me, but these are 110 miles away. So here goes.

Landscape Hits

So let’s start with some hits, like this one that so cleverly incorporates plant images onto the surface of the house. Just wow! All photos here taken two days ago.

This is so charming, with reblooming azaleas that match the accent on the house. I wonder how the pine needles hold up as mulch…

Nice professional (I assume) design, with plants chosen that stay a manageable size, plus beautiful flagstone walkways. 

This (also professional) design makes me wonder if I’d want to sit there, facing the pedestrians walking by. I’d rather have the chairs with their backs facing the sidewalk, looking across the front garden to the house. 

I admire the nicely limbed-up crepe myrtle and wonderful giraffes, with more pine needles underfoot. Must be locally sourced – hopefully long-lasting.

Sweet potato vine at its best, dominating all others by mid-September. I’d be okay with that!

A spanking-new-looking home with modern fencing that holds up well compared to wood, I imagine.  I think I’d get used to the PVC look.

Not a garden but a particular plant you see a lot at the beach but not inland – the ‘Hollywood” Juniper. So sculptural!

Possible Misses

I love this modern garden but wonder about the grasses getting too big/tall/floppy. Can anyone ID them?

To me, hydrangeas are a must in beach gardens – they were everywhere in the beach town I went to as a kid. Too bad these were planted so close to the walkway and arch.  And to my eyes, the flag and bunting are just overkill on this normal Thursday, not a holiday. 

Definite Misses 

The couldn’t-care-less appearance of the middle yard annoyed me right away. Then I noticed the beautiful yards next door and imagined those owners (or even renters) being even more annoyed.

In this DIY garden the stand-out feature is red mulch.  Nuf said.

This large, nothing-but-lawn property on a corner lot along the sidewalk, no less, still pisses me off years after I first complained about it.

Abuse of Ornamental Grasses

Along a busy sidewalk? Along the entryway and doorway? Perhaps the header should be “Abuse of Passersby!”

Plus, these wrong plants in the wrong place are impossible to dig up. The friends I stayed with nearby have two full-grown Miscanthus grasses blocking their front-door access and were beseeching me for ways to get rid of it.  I suggested a backhoe, seriously.

Lastly, I was just admiring this artful use of old-fashioned mophead hydrangeas when my eyes scanned to the right and I felt disappointed, let’s say, at the yard sign, the first of its kind that I’ve seen. This is Delaware, so it’s mostly but not unanimously Biden territory, and the Bidens have a beach house here.

On that subject, it was thanks to their being in D.C. the day I visited that I was able to ride my bike by their house. My friends told me that just as I was leaving to drive home, helicopters signaled the Bidens’ arrival for the weekend and it suddenly got harder to go anywhere and impossible to use Biden’s favorite bike path.

So I was happy to be back home, where Marine One passes overhead taking presidents here and there, but never stops here.