Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Come in through the gate

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. 
To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. Share the
botanical bliss of gardeners through the ages, who have cultivated philosophies
to apply to their own - and our own - lives: 
Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.
- Alfred Austin, 1835-1913

I'd like to show you my garden - the back garden, that is. I'll save the front for another time.  Come in through the gate.
Take a seat on the bench for a view of what started as a cutting garden and has since become the birdbath garden.  Against the house is an herb bed. 
Walk past the bench and down the steps to the adirondack chairs.

Looking to the left as you relax, you should use your imagination.  What can I do with this shady area under the willow and chestnut oaks.  It's currently being overrun by vinca and ivy.  I've moved my Hosta to border the front of this area and plan to remove much of the ivy and vinca.  What would thrive under this oak tree?  The little house you see in the back corner houses a tank for a well.  When we bought our property, that little house was so covered in vines that we didn't know it was there.  We hope to find out if the well is still usable and to restore power and install a pump.  We've been told that once upon a time, before our house was built, this property was home to a very large well-tended garden - the reason for the well!  The well house is surrounded by large azaleas and rhododendron, with ivy and vinca as ground cover.  

The view of the house from the adirondack chairs -

Those azaleas under the dogwood in the foreground have been pretty sickly.  We cut them back and have been nursing them with compost and the soaker hose.
Now look back at the gate we entered through.  To the left of the gate are two very large Professor Sargeant camellias.  The trees to the right are sassafras.  A young maple is on the other side of the gate.

To our right, on the fence, is my newest birdhouse.

To leave the garden, we'll walk past the bunnies, playing in the flowers under the dogwood,

toward the gate on the other side of the deck.  If it were evening, we might turn on the party lights that line the deck rail.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Next time, we'll start on the other side of the gate and see the front.


joey said...

Thanks for visiting and the lovely tour of your garden. It's been a joy. Happy Summer :)

Gary said...

Hi Ginny,
Thanks for the delightful tour. Your garden looks not only lovely, but quite a peaceful sanctuary as well.

leavesnbloom said...

wow Ginny its so beautiful and ever so big aswell. Thankyou so much for the little look behind your garden gate. :) Rosie leavesnbloomo

theturningyear said...

How lovely to have a tour of your garden - and how lovely your garden and house look

mcmeier said...

What a beautiful, restful garden! Thanks for the tour.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Ginny. Thanks for the tour. Your back yard is so lovely and I love your deck area.The lilies around the garden border looks so pretty. Have a wonderful weekend!

hazeltree said...

such a lovely house and garden, could you grow epimediums under the oak tree?

seema gupta said...

I liked the birdhouse too much.


Daricia said...

Ginny, It's a treat to see your garden! I do love garden tours. Beautiful home you have, too. I have the same vinca and ivy problem you mentioned. We are trying to do away with all the ivy, but the vinca isn't too hard to contain (though ours covers too much ground right now). But it grows well under the oaks and it's underplanted with daffodils, so we've left it so far. How nice that you have large camellias! I've planted a couple but they are still small.

Patricia said...

I always thought I liked gardening, but then it was required work in my parents home so that spawned a bit of rebellion. Then my father in law left me all his roses when he died - they are a lot of work in our wet climate and I refuse to use chemicals.

I love the garden and the blooms, but truly do not think I have much of a green thumb and always much relax before I start out to work there.

Your pictures are lovely and show so much effort in a rewarding fashion. Love the newest bird house. Thank you for sharing.

Came over from Sara's blog

inadvertent farmer said...

Oh I love garden tours...I enjoyed relaxing in your pretty Adirondack chairs! Love the old well is nice you have a home with some history.

Thanks for visiting...I will be back for a tour of the front garden! Kim

.......................... said...

Thanks for the tour of your garden.

TS said...

So beautiful and welcoming! I felt right at home and it's not even my home!! Try bowman's root (Porteranthus) under the oaks. They are a beautiful, airy, spring wildflower with white flowers that are native to the southeast. Also try ceanothus americanus (New Jersey Tea), solidago odora, ruellia humilis (Wild Petunia). Both blue and white (Alba) forms do well in partial, dry shade. Aster ericoides and aster divarcatus can also be used. All the plants I've listed will attract pollinators. If the ground is moist try blue mist flower. It's also called perennial ageratum and is so pretty! Oh yeah, Painters Palette plant (Persicaria virginiana) and epimediums will also thrive in dry shade. Good luck!!

Meredith said...

What a lovely trip through the garden gate, Ginny. :)

I'm not at all experienced with landscape gardening -- yet. ;) But I've been taking notes at my local Botanical Garden (in SC, just a little south of you), and I plan to post soon about the multi-season beauty of the famous hosta garden there, how it's planted to have some interest all through the year. It has totally charmed me and made me want a wooded shade garden in my backyard one day. (Now I just have woods, the wild kind.) I suspect you will be having the joy of designing and tweaking it for years to come!

MrBrownThumb said...

Your chair are so nice. I love that color. Like the birdhouse too.

Elephant's Eye said...

For the shady area? Containers, with good colours to echo the bird-house and the painted chairs, and interesting plants, you love, which like the shade, but can't grow between the tree roots.
Then the containers make a statement and a feature.

Nancy said...

Ginny, what a lovely garden you have. Your moonflower is, indeed, different from mine.