When I told a friend who lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware that I was blogging about the roses I saw blooming there last week she said, “Oh, all the Knockouts”? Because there SURE are a lot of them! Sometimes to a nice effect, like this pond-side garden, or to a really boring effect, like the motel-side scene below.


To my eyes, single Knockouts like this one don’t add a whole lot to a landscape.

That’s better. And they do bloom for months, right? 

These may not be Knockouts; the owner DID include an unusual redbud, after all – the gorgeous chartreuse ‘Rising Sun.’

The shrub roses above and below (maybe Drift?) are given plenty of company in these lawn-free front gardens.

The local garden designers have a plant palette that works and they’re sticking to it!

Gardens by Real Gardeners?

I found some flowering shrubs that aren’t roses OR hydrangeas – a nice Spirea and even nicer Weigela, a wonderful shrub I rarely see.

Real gardeners don’t mind a little chaos in the garden.

This corner garden – my favorite in the whole town – was featured for its peak hydrangeas last June.

I spotted this nice mix of roses and perennials, especially the too-rarely-seen yellow Baptisia, at the entrance to town.
The roses here barely registered for me,  swooning as I was over these foxgloves. [Corrected – thanks, commenters!] Props to the gardener growing them so well  in this region.

A professional may have selected these shrub roses but I bet the owner chose the cool statue.

I found rugosa roses in just one garden, despite how perfectly suited they are to beachy locations.

Less-lawn landscape misses? You be the judge!

Sure, I like annuals, but in pots, or massed in borders.  Not like this.

Same criticism here but hey, they sure minimized the lawn, didn’t they?

I bet this triangle of rocks used to be turfgrass, proving that not all lawn-replacement projects are eco-service improvements.

This lawn-free front garden is kinda odd…maybe a work in progress?

Not sure what design purpose is served by these expensive boulders.

This home appears to have been added to and renovated.  Next, maybe they’ll replace the sad, sad foundation plantings.

Now for Some Big Honking Lawns!

In a newer part of town with much larger lots, I saw acres and acres of uniformly weed-free turfgrass.
But most of the mega-lawns I saw were broken up by front-yard islands of trees, shrubs and perennials – just like the island I recently suggested that my neighbors create, a suggestion they actually took.

Nice!These islands of mulch aren’t much improvement over lawn (really, any improvement), so I’m hoping a truckload of plants is on the way.