I saw this as I was walking in Richmond Virginia – a very unique way to grow ivy!
|there is a house behind there somewhere…|
|front porch looking into the front yard.|
|entrance sidewalk to front door|
It was a pretty “jungle” but definitely needed to be brought under control for this newbie homeowners and self-proclaimed beginner gardeners.
|One delightful, if not a little overwhelming, gift in the garden is this fig tree that envelopes the right side of the front door sidewalk.|
Looking out into their cute little courtyard…. oh, wait, you can’t see their cute little courtyard because this rosemary willow has totally taken over the back staircase and sitting area.
|This sitting area is completely shadowed by the fast growing rosemary willow.|
So the weekend after #2 son and daughter-in-love moved in, hubby and I flew up there to help tame the garden and give a little guidance in landscape maintenance. First step for these former apartment dwellers was to get the right tools. Here’s our stash from Lowes, full of Corona Tools – bypass pruners, hand pruners, folding hand saw, shears. Good tools take an overwhelming task and makes it manageable.
|These Womanswork nitrile gloves are a must for anytime I get out to garden.|
|I’m not at all squirmish about getting my hands dirty but I do love that I can pull off these very dirty gloves after a morning of work and still have clean hands!|
|With just a small strip of grass in the front of his home and a small empty lot to the side, Robert son can quickly and QUIETLY mow with his Fiskar StaySharp Reel Mower. I had been able to see of one these mowers in action at a Garden Writer’s event and helped direct Robert to the right mower to fit his needs.|
|Well-made Pastry Alliance provided some delicious and affordable breakfast food before we began our task – they were an easy morning’s walk to get our pre-gardening stretch in.|
Plus, they had some cute window boxes complete with strawberry vines – fruit with our pastries!
The front garden was overrun with Monarda (Bee balm) so I began by thinning this out. In the process, we found this cute little garden art.
|We also found this Alstromeria|
|We used our Corona garden shears to cut back the Musa (Banana Trees) before we dug them up and moved them to the side of the house.|
|A few hours after cutting these banana trees, they are already putting out growth from the middle of the trunk!|
|Lady was so wanting to help!|
|There were plenty of distractions!|
I think my pruning job sent the young couple into a little shock. I call this tough love – (but they are thanking me now.)
So then I stared in the courtyard. There were some real treasures that would await them if they could just get TO the courtyard like this beautiful Japanese maple
And something was lurking behind all this overgrowth
Follow the unweeded path
Eureka!! A nice like water feature with a working small fountain. We’ll work on cleaning this up later.
We discovered a raised bed with asparagus and chives
The courtyard is now accessible.
There were also some scary, but beautiful little garden helpers like these garden spiders.
Then we returned a month later….
Arrived at night and was encouraged to see the regrowth.
In the morning I found the helenium still trying to find it’s way after being overshadowed by the banana trees, but loving all the sunlight they were now getting.
The roses were flushing with new bloom
The newbie gardeners are starting to feel like they have something manageable!
And the courtyard is ready for quiet evenings or outdoor entertaining. One small step for this momma, one giant leap for the new gardeners.
Hey blogger friends, here are a few more photos from random places in Hawaii. Truth is, I don’t know what most of these plants are. If you know, please chime in!
This week I’ve overseen the installation of about 3000 flats of pansies and worked 14 hour days so I’m just a little wiped on this Friday so enjoy the photos and I’m going to bed.
|Me and #1 Grandson!|
What an delightful area to reconnect with an old friend!
|Fog coming over the mountain.|
|I call this a Dr. Seuss planting – a topiary pom-pom juniper underplanted with Acorus Ogon, Euphorbia Rainbow Ascot, Illumination Vinca, and Rose pansy.|
|Variegated English boxwood, Dianthus ‘Firewitch’, rose pansy, Sedum Red Carpet, Blue pansy, Red Bor Kale, Chamaecyparis ‘Golden Mops’|
What are you putting in your fall/winter pots?
Several years ago I helped a friend turn her tiny courtyard into welcoming retreat. She lived in the charming community of Westhaven, one of middle Tennessee’s most delightful neighborhoods to live in. She wanted a sitting area, a potting area, and colorful flowers.
|Can you say, “welcome to my cozy courtyard?”|
This old table Pamela found was perfect for a planting table.
This turned out to be one of the coolest sinks – Pamela’s potting area. Check out the old pigeon roost that was used for shelving and storage.
The family crest on her gate door.
My friend Pamela used the old hutch in the background as her potting shed.
This broken piece of marble countertop was perfect for a little table top placed on top of this clay urn.
While speaking in Austin Texas this year, I went with herb specialist Trisha Shirley (the Director of Flora and Fauna at Lake Austin Spa) to visit some great garden Centers
The Natural Garden is more than a garden center – it is a destination. It is a historical milestone in organic gardening.
It is garden art in all it’s quirkiness.
It’s a display garden.
It’s a picnic spot
|Shrimp plant Justicia brandegeeana|
It’s a zen garden
It’s an AUSTIN garden
and involve some risks…
|Colin explained that we had to cross at our risk, but he crossed before us to show that it was secure.|
|My friend Helen Battersby embraces life eagerly – I don’t think it ever crossed her mind NOT to cross this bridge.|
And there are those who are willing to take risks, who have gone before me, and can encourage me along the way.
|Only one can travel this bridge at a time|
|but once you find your balance, press on.|
Some were willing to take the risk, some chose a different path. But a few of us experienced something few others had. Frank Cabot, who created the world class gardens at his summer home of Les Quatres Vents, reportedly hired a bridge builder from the Himalayas to replicate the bridge as he had seen them there.
|photo by Helen Battersby|
When I looked at these two photos that my friends had taken while I was on my rope bridge adventure, I had to notice that these pictures are pretty symbolic of my life right now. If life is an uncertain rope bridge, with risky steps yet full of adventure and beauty and leading to even greater places, I am halfway along on my journey. There are those ahead that led by example and I need to hear their advice along the way. And there are those behind me that I can encourage along the way. And I need to press on, look around me, and embrace the adventure.
|photo by Barbara Phillips-Conroy|