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Show off your lovely gardens !!

Posted by lilyfinch 7 Middle Tn (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 11:37

I so enjoy looking and reading about everyone's roses. Y'all work so hard on your gardens and it's such a labor of love !
I'm in need of a little inspiration here! We are getting ready to start designing our flower beds. I at least want to put down black plastic to kill the grass for a month until the fence guy comes back to stain it. And then I want to get my roses in the ground , and also get together my fall orders. If you have pictures to inspire , please share !! I also would love any suggestions from anyone who feels like they have an idea of what they would do . Feel free to doodle a design if you know how . I don't! :)

Planning on starting in the right corner area where you see a gate. For sure an arbor going over . Need seating and will incorporate lots of perennials and a few bird baths and feeders. Also tree in background blocking view will be removed in spring and we are looking into the brush as well . I like curvy beds , and messy cottagey look .

I guess this is a two part post here ! I really want to see your garden regardless of its flaws ( we all seem to think it's not perfect yet , or ready , but let's just be real, we are all friends ! :). I also want to know what you would do ! I hope it's ok I'm also going to post this in the roses forum . I like a mix of new roses and old .
Thanks !!

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Lilyfinch - What a glorious empty canvas you have for your garden! My garden is in zone 9 in Northern California, so normally I would not have much to advise you, because plants which grow here might not grow there at all.

However, I certainly DO have pictures of the "messy cottage look", because that is what my garden is all about. So, here is a picture, and I will post another one, of the long long beds we have right out by the sidewalk and the street. Our lot is only 1/3 rd of an acre, but it is a weird shape and has a long street frontage. I love to grow old roses, and then in the flat area in front of the 110 year old fake "stone" wall are all sort of bulbs, grown cover, and some volunteer flowers that just show up.

Just to show that messy can be pretty too!

Jackie


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Here is a picture looking down the sidewalk -


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Couldn't find the equivalent post over on the Rose Forum, so I'll just go ahead and respond here.

I like using a large showy plant of some kind in the center of a bed--to kind of "center" everything which, in all its cottage-garden mess, kind of "revolves around that dominating central plant.

Here's an example with a hydrangea paniculata (Vanilla Strawberry) blooming in the center and lots of HTs, plus a rose shrub and floribunda scattered here or there.




Here it is from a different angle and a couple weeks earlier, while most of the roses were still "resting" before the next bloom cycle began.



Here you can see the central hydrangea as well as the "Perfumed Path" which has fragrant HT roses planted on either side of it. The path cuts through the center of that rosebed.



Here's the tail end of that bed straggling out by itself and featuring the floribundas Eutin (red) and Pompenell (pink).



Hope that helped. : )

Kate


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

You have a beautiful property with lovely views and lots of room to play with. However, I tend to think that it's easier to begin planning your garden around the house first because that should dictate how you'll design the rest. It's also the place where you'll spend most of your time outdoors so it's very important to get that right. I don't know if that area is already designed and planted, but if it is it would be important to see it in order to integrate the design of the remainder of the garden with it. However, as you get further from the house the design can have a wilder, more natural look in order to look in tune with its natural surroundings. You'll want to have the more "glamorous" roses with large, many-petalled flowers near the house and the species and rambler roses further away, perhaps as a hedge against the fence (which would also be wonderful for birds and other wildlife). Grass is useless to most animals and you would be creating an area that would be a haven for wildlife, which would also add to your own enjoyment in living there, in addition to creating an area that has some kind of natural balance. It sounds like a very exciting project.

Ingrid


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Oh my! What a lovely garden you will have!! As soon as I saw that split rail fence I thought 'ramblers and climbers, eat your heart out'!


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Thank you all !
Jackie I cannot believe you only have 1/3 of an acre! It looks so much bigger and so beautiful . And that stone wall is so charming ! I appriciate your photos !! Even tho we are in different zones I still love to see layouts and even the taste of plants or views I can't see here !
Dublin , your perfumed path is a great idea . I love the mix of perennials and I bet the oriental lilies knock your socks off when they bloom !! I will definitely have to order a bunch of those . I have been dying to try the vanilla straw hydrangea ! Do you reccomend it ? Limelight is one of my fav shrubs of all time . So I can't wait to try van strawberry !
Ingrid , you are correct that I should start closest to the house . However , we have a septic tank, a driveway that wraps around the back to another garage under the home , and plans for a inground pool I must leave space for ( hoping to put it near said driveway. (We don't actually use it ) Plus lawn for dogs , and future children . So I can safely start in the back , until we map out the pool and septic area . We weren't given an exact location of the tank, just an idea where! So we I'm afraid to dig anywhere near by. I will also need help in the front if house too ! But first the shrubs need removed .
Also beyond the fence is ours too , and I am planning a wild area with wildflowers , sunflowers , rugusas and once bloomers once I get that cleared. I want to make a " trail " of some sort.,with seating near the pond . But that's probably next year !
I think having such a blank slate ( that I dreamed about and wanted so bad ! ) is kinda hindering me because I don't want to make a mistake or plan wrong. Like when you cut into a perfect cake , ouch ! And get the portion sizes wrong.
Muscovy , I am so excited about all the climbers ! I can go crazy , can't i ? Lol


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Lily, I strongly recommend Vanilla Strawberry--big and beautiful--takes full sun--carefree. Just remember to water it regularly if Mother Nature isn't (though I think it would survive somewhat dry conditions also).

What is unique about Vanilla Strawberry is that soon the blooms will change to half pink and half white. Here is a picture from last year:



Blooms the last half of summer, into fall season. Really a wonderful hydrangea--but big--maybe 6-7 ft tall and wide.

In fact, I can see a whole hedge row of either Vanilla Strawberry or Limestone along that further fence. Wow--what a sight that would be!

Kate


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

One thing to keep in mind while you're laying out your yard is to ask yourself, 'Why would I want to walk down to that section of the yard, when I can see it from here?'. With that in mind, I suggest you plan on hiding things so you have to be there to see them. Hmmm, what's on the other side of those bushes???

Longwood Gardens once had a circle of arches made out of re-bar that they covered with climbing roses. Maybe three or four pink dogwoods in a tight group with a swing under them. Nothing grows under them so cover the ground with pavers etc.

That's my thoughts, ....


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I see in your picture a wonderful challenge. I say "challenge" rather than "problem" because if you handle it well the result will be a garden of rare beauty. The challenge is this: The space feels a bit exposed, yet overlooks a lovely view. Talk about borrowed scenery! Your garden needs to incorporate a sense of enclosure for relaxation and comfort while still retaining clear views of the gorgeous countryside around you. The fence is a good start, and I agree that it will afford you an opportunity to grow climbers if you are so inclined (literal walls of roses). I would expect that using two or three tall trees to frame the garden would work well. Make sure to place them where they will not block the site lines as they grow larger over the years.

YMMV, but it has been my personal experience that I most enjoy that glorious abundance you admire when it is framed in some kind of geometric arrangement. It helps my mind make sense of it all. It need not be all squares and rectangles if you don't like them -- arches and curves are perfectly valid geometric features -- but my mind needs order underneath the chaos to be able to comprehend it and find the beauty.

Good luck with this wonderful project. If you are like many of us, it will bring you joy and a few tears for many years to come.

Rosefolly


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens - one more thought

I wanted to add a final comment. Two gardens that I highly admire are based on a labyrinth. You wander through an elaborate pathway with roses and other plants all around you. That works, too!


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Ever look up at the clouds and see different things? How about doing the same with what you plant, such that when someone looks out over your whole backyard they see different things or maybe just one big thing. Butterfly, birds, etc made up by the placement of your flower bushes.


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I think the first thing to do is to evaluate what you want to see and what you want to screen. Then decide what you want to emphasize. Some of the ways emphasis can be achieved is by framing and/or by contrast. Decide what plant families are most important to you and that can be grown easily where you are located. I think that most gardens benefit by a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants but the balance between the two can vary widely and still be lovely. Keep in mind what the garden will look like in all 4 seasons, not just June. Plan the location of the trees and shrubs and the general area of roses and perennials before detailed planning of the perennial and rose beds. In selecting plants decide what particular attributes appeal to you, such as plant habit (I am a sucker for horizontal growth like dogwood), scent, foliage color/texture (I like leathery shiny evergreens, for example), blossom color, and berries. You might also get a few landscape design books out of the library. Skim them to find the few that will be the most helpful to you and then these read closely. Good luck! This is quite a delightful adventure.

Cath


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Well dang my dingies, these are some beautiful gardens pictured here! I'm gonna be needing advice from you folks. This year, I am trying to get my very wild rose garden mulched for the first time in it's life...it's a previously uncultivated place in the woods,tons of work trying to get the soil decent and reduce the domination of the weeds,so believe me, it's a challenge...I'm too tired right now, I think, but a lot of thisn thread is calling to me...the widw space, with beautiful view, that needs defining. The geometric thing; I am definitely going for curves and arches...And the labyrinth. That is an idea that facsinates me,and i hope tp include in my very large space...though again, another big challlenge; my land has a marked slope, so not much flat space to deal with. Rosefolly ,could you post names of the gardens you mention, or better, pictures? Sadly I dare not click on links from this forum; some of them...and i never know which...are "dirty" (I suspect from some of the more scientific posts,and they are things that the innnocent poster does not know about) and do a wierd thing on our computer that forces my DH to cancel out the previous set-up and restart from scratch (directs it to some strange scientific -type site withoput our asking for it...???),so I'd prefer just names and addresses or actual photos rather than links.
Kudos, Toolbelt. I think you are a real poet, and I bet your garden is beautiful. I'll be thinking about your comment,believe you me...that's exactly sort of what I want to do with my garden, I think. what you are talking about,but also with the labyrinth motif...the two combined...you people are great!!!bart


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

I know many of you have seen these pictures ad nauseam, but this is for lilyfinch and they may be new to her, and I hope they'll be of some help.

My space is basically made of up straight-lined paths and garden areas except for the curving driveway and the curve of the path at the side of the house that leads to the back. Because the house and garden are on the side of a hill with hills all around the symmetry is not very obvious, especially when the garden is thriving and lush. That's not the case this year because of the drought and most of the pictures are from 2013 and some from earlier. I don't know how any of this would translate to your flatter space but it's sometimes surprising how inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. I hope this helps in some way. You've already received some wonderful advice but pictures add another dimension, and I've often borrowed ideas from other gardens I've seen and it's been a great help.

Ingrid










































Ingrid


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Ingrid, I just love viewing your rose beds and vistas. So lovely!

Kate


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Your vista is beautiful! You have images of 3 very different and definitely beautiful member gardens.

Unfortunately I have no images to share, as my current endeavor is new, and I have been working with the hardscape etc. that was already in place. My past homes were built from the ground up by me, and like you, I had the opportunity to really design the space. I "always" begin by marking paths/ areas for hardscape from the house and throughout the space. Once I know where the paths will be, it becomes easier to determine where seating areas, planting beds, etc. will be, which could then be outlined. Your view is gorgeous, but you may want to place a couple of trees for shade that over time will not obstruct your view or interfere with the sun requirements of the planting beds, which at this stage, you would know where to place. Selecting the plant materials and roses... now that is the fun part...determining what works in one's zone, designated space, and following the heart. Have fun!

Lynn


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Lilyfinch, now that I have got over the excitement of you split rail fence (yes, you really can go crazy on that!!), I will post a more considered answer :)

I'm only on half an acre, and I'm in Australia so our zones, and the availability of plants, are very different. I have a lot of things to content with in my garden, such as shade, steep slopes, and awful clay soil, but other than that it's mostly grass and a blank slate, like you. I've spent this last year trying to plan it out, and I want to add some tips to the (excellent) advice you have already received.

Firstly, you will most likely spent hundreds of hours agonising over the design and plant selection for your new garden. And yet, I'm sorry to say, you still won't get it "perfect". This is the thing that I have struggled with the most - wanting to have everything planned perfectly before I start digging. But it never works out like that. Some plants just won't do well for you, others you just plain won't like, and also you will change your mind about some things, or have a better idea, and feel dismayed that you've "stuffed it up". I must emphasise now: this is not a big deal! You will move plants (it's not that hard), dig them out, or they will die. I sometimes struggle to remember that you don't just plan a garden "perfectly", plant it, and then let it grow into the dream space you had imagined. Things change, things evolve, and it really is an ongoing process, not a one-off. So don't let yourself get bogged down with the "do it once, do it right" mindset, because that just doesn't apply to gardens.

Secondly, think about maintenance when planning your basic layout. This is really boring and lame, but I think you will kick yourself for years if you don't do it. Things like "can I get my ride-on mower down that lovely windy romantic path" and "will a wheelbarrow fit through that gate" and "can I really be bothered weeding all those beds that I made in the back paddock" are not fun things to consider, but I think they are important for future sanity.

Thirdly, since my space is smaller than yours I've really had to think about multiple functions for each thing I plant, and I think it's worth considering for every gardener. For example, when I've needed to plant a tree for shade, instead of choosing a lovely oak tree, I've gone for some fruit trees - they have pretty spring blossoms, provide shade in summer, and tasty fruit for me (and the birds). Where I've needed a hedge, instead of going for the usual suspects, I've decided on blueberries - they have pretty spring flowers too, provide fruit, have beautiful autumn foliage, and some have red and yellow stems for winter interest. I think these things are worth considering, and can make for a really dynamic garden.

And in general - if that were my garden, I would start by choosing the size, shape, and position of my lawn area (I would most likely create interest and 'frame' the lawn area by having a bed between the back deck and the lawn, with an opening that you walk through into the lawned area). Then I would decide where to put in a gate to get to the paddock/pond area if you don't already have one. Then I would choose where to put my my sculptural planting elements like feature/shade trees, formal rows of trees, and hedges, based on the location of the lawn and the gate. Then have fun filling in the in-between spaces! And when it comes to the paddock/pond area, I would be more inclined to look into planting a wildflower meadow with mown paths (rather than high-maintenance planted walkways) and perhaps some orchard trees dotted here and there - because this area is further from the house I think it would suit a more naturalistic/wild planting scheme, and also because it's further away from the house it will most likely be more difficult to maintain regularly.

Hope this helps :)


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

All that I can add is don't add black plastic, use cardboard or newspaper...beyond measures this is your most sound advice


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I have to say thank you all so much for helping mE with your wonderful suggestions and responses! I had been working on a very long thought out response to each of you, and my darn iPad when I went to look at reference pictures lost it all! So frustrating. So please forgive my now short responses, and know I truely appreciate you all!!
Toolbelt, I have been to logwood and will find my picture of the arches you mentioned ! Also your idea to make a design from above is pure genius. I will be trying for sure!
Rosefolly I agree with all you said about having some shape and order to all the cottage ness! And if we are on the same page, I plan on using a lot of repetition in colors and plants alike. I think that will help!
Bart, isn't it wonderful to have garden friends to bounce ideas off of? You really can get some amazing ideas ! And I just love seeing gardens from parts of the world I may never see .
Dublin bay, I will for sure be using that hydrangea! It really looks like scoops of icecream!
Ingrid, Your garden is beyond inspirational ! I would be so proud to have a garden half as pretty as yours. It seems we have similar tastes in fullness and I love your seating area , and even that large boulder is beautiful! Thank you for the photos , and I don't think anyone could say they were tired of seeing your pictures!
Lyn, today I am taking your advice and am going to mess around with potential paths. First on paper and then with my 100 ft garden hose. Paths really are the backbone here and I love to have so many options! I know I need a main path, and maybe some that split off to another area. My dh had build a beautiful koi pond at our old house , and I'm looking forward to connecting to that when he gets started.
Muskovey, I totally agree that it will never be perfect or finished! And isn't there something wonderful to that ?! I prefer to do my agonizing over winter , with catalogs and seeds and I will do that for sure. I'm starting my agonizing now because I have been renting for 2 years and I cannot wait to get my rose pots in the ground!and get my hands dirty, and see earthworms, and smell the land that is now my happy place. Aghhhhh. :)
The wildflower meadow is exactly what I have planned for the other side of the fence! Great minds think alike. I need some queen Anne's lace, sunflowers, cosmos and whatnots somewhere! I have to wait til winter kills the brush , and see about having it bush hogged . Then I plan on having a secret seating area to sit closer to the pond. I don't want the neighbors to feel like we are invading their space tho! :) I just want to see the pond, I can't help that their house is right there!
Southenguy, any reason not to use the plastic? I just want to kill the grass and pull it up in a month , then kinda till in the dead stuff.

Well I appreciate y'all so much and am feeling like I can do this ! Have a wonderful day !


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I don't have pics as my garden is still a work in progress but want to say good luck! You have a beautiful piece of property, can't wait to see what you do with it. Ingrid, Kate and Jackie y'all have big gorgeous gardens and they are a inspiration.


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What a good bunch of folks to share their experiences and gardens. I have to say that I never get tired of Ingrid's photos of her garden. I'm sure no one does. One thing I would say is to be really well acquainted with your garden space. Any garden that grows in accordance with it's spot rather than trying to fight against it will be a better garden. I'm sure you've noticed from the photos how different everyone's gardens are according to where they are. I'm hoping that you don't have a deer problem in that area because your lovely fence won't discourage them. Anyway I think that no matter what we say your garden should be yours to make your garden dreams come true. If you should make a mistake or two it can be fixed. Here is a photo of somewhat representative of my garden. It's all on a hillside. There are climbers above rows of roses above climbers. I feel that elevation is very important. I don't have to worry about that here. In a flatter garden I would need to work at it more.
Good luck. Have fun!


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What a gorgeous photo, Pamela, and this is only a small part of your garden. I think only a video with 360 degree views would do it justice. What a blessing that it did rain in your area, especially with all the rare and unusual roses you have.

It's true that, while inspiration can be sought in many places, each garden should and will be uniquely individual. That's one of the charms of gardens, that each reflects its owner's personality as well as the limitations and advantages of the land.

Lily, in your garden I would be very aware of the serenity of your "borrowed" scenery and not clutter up your space so much that it doesn't blend into that beautiful background. Light colors and lots of green in the further reaches will help to accomplish this.

Ingrid


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Gorgeous pictures of gardens, everyone! Ingrid, we never get tired of seeing vistas on your lovely garden, so do continue to inspire us! Mendocino_rose, your hillside is magnificent as well, and shows the power of having color up close and a glorious vista to the rear.

To respond to your question about using black plastic, lilyfinch, there are two answers: don't put things in your garden you don't want to stay in your garden, and there are much easier solutions that add to the health of the new garden bed. For the first point, either the black plastic or landscape fabric is nasty to plant on or around, and a total pain if you get bits of it staying around and getting mixed into your garden bed. I have a bed that had a combination of landscape fabric and river rock, and 8 years after moving in I'm still digging out both from that bed. Besides, black plastic kills everything underneath it, including the beneficial micro-organisms you want in your soil. You might have to resort to it if there's something truly nasty to get rid of, but plain old grass is easy.

The lazy way to get rid of grass AND be able to plant in the same bed pretty quickly is to use the "lasagna" method. Basically, this means putting down a layer of something that breaks down easily but discourages the grass continuing to grow (newspapers, paper bags, cardboard if you have a tough spot), then layers of leaves and grass clippings (or other green stuff) mixed together to compost on the spot, then a top layer of a good 3 inches of mulch (I use more leaves as a cheap solution, but you can also hold them down with hardwood mulch). Everything breaks down and basically composts on the spot, conveniently killing the grass underneath while it creates beautiful soil on the top, and the mulch keeps any weeds from growing while it composts. It's totally a dump and plant system with minimal effort and makes terrific soil.

Ideally, you'd do this in the late summer/fall, when both clippings and leaves are plentiful, then the worms break everything down over the rest of the season and you plant into your beautiful soil in the spring. I've been known to "cheat" a little by adding a few bags of good compost and top soil to the mix and things break down faster, within a few weeks. In fact, if I have good soil under the grass, I can do the lasagna method for the whole bed, then immediately dig holes and plant roses where I want them, just lifting out the grass clumps out of the hole I dug where the rose goes in. That's my way not to have to wait for delayed gratification.

Given the space you want to fill, you'll want to start a few beds at a time, once you work out your walks and any other structural bits you want for the yard. Start with small lasagna beds next to the fence this fall, for instance, then you're ready to plant some ramblers next spring for an instant "pow" while you're pondering the rest of the yard. Just start small - you don't want dozens of beds staring you in the face till you're ready to deal with them.

Have fun and we want pictures!

Cynthia


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Regarding that maze you were thinking of: My brother has a very large grass field behind his wooded lot. It is a public prairie with a wide path ringing it near the perimeter and grass taller than an adult. The path is wide enough to drive a car on. My brother mowed curving paths, two mower widths wide (coming and going), connecting his property to the perimeter path for ease of walking. This all made me think that you could do the same in the area behind your fence only make it a maze. It is easy to keep up with the mowing because the paths are narrow and if you don't like it, it would only be there for one season and easily changed. It could also include the flowered meadow you were thinking of but maybe just along the edge of the path blending into the grass.Because a whole flowered meadow is NOT maintenance free.

Cath


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Regarding that maze you were thinking of: My brother has a very large grass field behind his wooded lot. It is a public prairie with a wide path ringing it near the perimeter and grass taller than an adult. The path is wide enough to drive a car on. My brother mowed curving paths, two mower widths wide (coming and going), connecting his property to the perimeter path for ease of walking. This all made me think that you could do the same in the area behind your fence only make it a maze. It is easy to keep up with the mowing because the paths are narrow and if you don't like it, it would only be there for one season and easily changed. It could also include the flowered meadow you were thinking of but maybe just along the edge of the path blending into the grass.Because a whole flowered meadow is NOT maintenance free.

Cath


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Ooh I love that idea Cath! I wish we could do something like that here, but between the bush fires and the snakes I don't think I could every do it in reality. I'd sure love to see some pics though!

Lasagne gardening is where it's at!! I've used a bit of a modified slap-and-bang method in my new rose beds, and I'm going the whole hog with it on a sloping area that will be my "citrus grove". Because I was a bit behind with preparing my rose beds, I dug up the turf/weeds and layed it down again grassy side down, then forked through some leaves, mulch and manure through the soil, before laying down cardboard and covering it with mulch. It's a bit harder on the old bones that way, but it's good if you need to plant immediately. There's no way I'm going to do all that on the citrus slope though! I will wait it out and use the traditional lasagne method.

Landscape fabric or weed matting is the worlds worst stuff. Also it doesn't prevent weeds from growing. Avoid.


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Wow! So many beautiful gardens. Thank you for posting. Just curious, does "Vanilla Strawberry" hydrangea droop? I'd like to a few of these in my garden come Fall.


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My front garden with Rosa Mundi and Officinalis, shot at 9.15 in the evening so the light is low. The box balls stand in the corners of a small herb garden.


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A lovely bit of your garden, marianne. I wish you would treat us to a complete view of it to show how it's designed. It has such a peaceful feeling to it.

Ingrid


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OK, I will try this again. My computer decided to shut off entirely when I was ready to post last time. I love the space that you have for your garden. I have a teeny tiny yard. Don't be afraid to change it up! I change my yard all the time. I move plants that don't do well. Take ones out that just don't work. Try new ones, etc. So my front and back yard does change a bit from time to time. Don't be afraid that once you put something in, it has to be there forever.

Now, that being said, I know what is it like to have your plants in pots and can't wait to get them in the ground. I still garden in pots (most of my fruits and veggies) as I just don't have the space.

So, we shall see if I can still remember how to upload pictures. Hopefully, this will work. BTW, I LOVE everyone's pictures of their beautiful yards!!! So wish I had space!

OK, if someone can again remind me how to post more than one picture, I would appreciate it. The one I have here is my front walk way. If I can figure out how to post more pictures, I will post my back yard as well. Thanks!


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Well, trying to load two pictures on the choose file didn't work so here is a picture of my rose arbor in the back.


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Mustbenuts--I love your garden--regardless of size, a lovely garden is a lovely garden!

And you loaded up the pics exactly the way you should. If you use the Garden Web's method, you can only show one picture at a time. If you want to place multiple pics on one posting, you have to upload your photos to a free online service (like photobucket.com) and then copy the HTML CODE they provide into the message box here--as many HTML CODES as you wish.

Thanks for sharing your pics.

Kate


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Mustbnuts , awesome pictures !! Thank you for your words of advice. What roses are growing on your arbor?
Marieanne , I agree with Ingrid ! Show us more ! You have a beautiful garden.
Thank you all so much ! This has been a very helpful thread.


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Marianne,

On the left side of your photo, is that Aruncus (Goat's Beard) or Astilbe? Whichever it is, it and the scene are lovely.

Cath


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Cath, it's a very large Aruncus, inherited from previous owners of the house. It so large it makes a boundary between the shady garden near the house and the herb garden near the street. I don't think I would have planted a Goat's Beard myself but I'm glad it was there.

Ingrid, I don't have a good picture of the whole area but I can show a closer view of the very small herb garden. Please note the terracotta frog which is from Palo Alto.


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thank you for reminding me how to post multiple pictures. The roses on my arbor--the one on the left of the picture is Peach Rose (an older Austin that is continuously in bloom) and another I got from Ralph Moore's nursery before he passed. It gets pretty big and is bred for our heat in summer. I wish I could remember its name.

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Peach Blossom


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

I've been too busy to spend much time on the computer lately, but this particular post I couldn't resist.

Designing a new garden or landscape is super exciting, but can be daunting at the same time. If you are a book lover I highly recommend checking out the 'better homes and gardens complete guide to landscaping.' In my opinion the most useful thing in the whole book is the 'landscape checklist' because it really helps to organize your needs and wants right in the beginning.

I found it helpful to come up with a theme for my landscape in the early stages, inspired by the oaks trees I decided to try to create a place with the feeling of a woodland meadow. At the same time I wanted a cottage flower garden and outdoor living spaces, so I placed them close to the house and then went with a more naturalistic look farther away. I'm most proud of my spiral garden, I love having a nicely shaped pathway that provides interest even in the winter when the plants are less showy. I always feel that paths are one of the most important things in a garden, not only providing access but also bringing beauty in and of themselves. Also, if you need a shed it can be made into a feature that is beautiful. I love the big shed that my boyfriend built, it screens the view of our neighbor's large metal building and I think it's an attractive feature in the landscape.

When we got our house the yard was a total mess, things are coming together now so I have some pictures I can share but it's still a work in progress. First I want to say that we were also limited by having a septic tank, as well as a grey water tank and two mature valley oak trees whose root zones took up most of the yard. Most of the plants are in their first year and I'm still in the editing stage, so things don't look nearly as good as everyone else's photos... but I'm still proud of our improvements.

 photo spiral2.jpg
This is my little cottage flower garden, I came up with the idea of a swooping spiral path out of the necessity of hiding from view while still leaving accessible three different covers for our septic and grey water tanks.

 photo spiralgarden.jpg
Another view of the spiral.

 photo goldenbuddha.jpg
Golden Buddha, happy in his spot in the spiral garden.

backyard photo backyard.jpg
This is the dry creek that wraps around the side and back of the yard, it serves as a solution for the ponding issues we used to have as well as being very pretty. I love rocks. Please ignore the weeds.

backyard photo backyard-1.jpg
Our oaks and the far corner, I have several large species and rambling roses planted back there though they are hard to see in this picture. With time they should grow to cover the fences and provide some privacy.

I'm sure your landscape will be totally different than ours, but I hope that some of the things I found useful can be helpful to you in your planning. I don't really have any 'destinations' in the back, but I think that would be a great thing for you to use as a starting point. What will draw you (and your family) all the way out into the back of the yard? Have you considered planting any fruit trees or edibles? How about bird baths and feeders? Does your family enjoy playing outdoor games like boccie ball or badminton? Lastly, be sure to create some shady spots to cool off and/or rest in, they provide visual interest as well as respite from the heat.

Well, I should stop writing now... have fun designing your new landscape!


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Bart, I am just now going back over this and seeing your request.

The two extraordinary gardens I mentioned that are based on the labyrinth (which I am defining as meandering paths through a densely planted garden) belong to members here - Mendocino Rose and Jon in Wessex. Try searching this forum and see what you can come up with.

As for more usual squares, rectangles, and arches, there are hundreds out there. I would recommend sitting down with a stack of coffee table books of great gardens and books on garden design and study to your heart's content. My personal favorite is English garden style, but there are also many beautiful Mediterranean gardens that I love. I especially enjoy those that are terraced to cascade down a hill. They seem to me to be both exciting and peaceful at the same time.

It ought to be possible to combine elements of both, if you are so inclined.

Best wishes,
Rosefolly


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RE: Show off your lovely gardens !!

Marianne, I wonder if your frog from Palo Alto is related to mine! I'm very fond of him.

peachymomo, what you've accomplished so far is awe-inspiring and beautiful, as are your two large trees. It's already wonderful but I'm quite sure that when it reaches completion it will be awesome. I hope you'll post more pictures along the way.

I'm impressed with everyone's comments and advice. There is so much knowledge shared here, and a great ability to communicate.

Ingrid


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