Garden Season has arrived and I've been perusing my idea notebooks for inspiration. These notebooks are just 3-ring binders with magazine clippings I've saved over the years. Many years it now seems. Some of these pages date back to the 1980's which somehow does not seem possible, yet here they are still full of timeless appeal. All these photos are taken from my notebooks. I thought it would be fun to share some of them and inspire you too! Therefore, I invite you to stroll along with me down the paths and along the borders of past gardens to discover their secrets. There's nothing quite like a garden gate to peak one's curiosity about what lies beyond, is there not?
Bench arbors are the quintessential features of most dream gardens. They come in all shapes and sizes and offer a little shady respite when needed and can be used to create walls around "garden rooms". This one adds interest to an ordinary picket fence. I love it's simplicity.
Our backyard looks quite different this year. We have less trees. The last one was taken down a few months ago. It's never an easy decision to chop down a tree, but sometimes it 's necessary to move forward with other things. In our case, to replace a dilapidated deck. Those old boxwood elders were the primary shade givers though and that shade is certainly missed now with the weather warming up. So I am entertaining the idea of a bench arbor somewhere else in the yard. The sitting area (above) might work well, doubling as a fence. The addition of clematis makes a beautiful privacy screen. Yes, I see potential here.
And then you have the free-standing bench under the arbor idea. Perhaps made a bit more comfy with the addition of a soft cushion or two. For we all know gardens require work, and any resting spot is a welcome sight. Nice to just sit and observe while the bees buzz and the birds sing.
Perennial herb gardens are easy and peaceful. They can be left to fight their own battles, requiring little effort and fuss depending on the plants you choose. Generally, cooking herbs such as thyme, sage, chives, and rosemary are safe choices and don't creep too much. However, most plants (and trees) tend to grow huge where I live due to all the rain, so interventions become necessary sometimes. As was the case with the santolina (I just blogged about). Mother Nature it seems, is always lurking waiting for her opportunity to show you what she can really do.
Weeds are a constant problem here too. I've never been so fond of and grateful for gravel (and stonework) in all my life. Stonework in the garden provides ever-lasting structure and a backdrop for foliage; gravel paths keep mud to a minimum throughout the year and keep weeds down. These natural elements just seem to go hand in hand and I try and use them whenever I can. I'm always thinking, I could use more.
This is a magical scene. An arbor gateway leading into what looks like a secret garden. Early morning dawns lightly dusted with dew. Step softly through green stillness. Listen to the sweet song of summer whispering from the tree tops. Where the rose vines reach up to the light, and the shifting shadows dance beneath your feet.
oops..sorry, got lost there for a moment.
This small sitting arbor is one of my favorites. What a perfect spot to read a book, or take a catnap. Especially if you happen to be a cat.
A few months ago, after the last large tree was removed, the bluejays, who were fond of squawking loudly from the branches outside our bedroom window every morning, just up and flew off. Apparently, they prefer an environment of tall trees. I really don't miss them much. More of a nuisance really. And what I didn't realize was that they were keeping many little birds away. So, without the tall trees and their inhabitants, a beautiful array of song birds moved in!
Brilliant yellow canaries, bright western bluebirds, red-headed finches, black-capped chickadees, sparrows, wrens, mourning doves, and green irridescent tree swallows joined the backyard chorus, among others I haven't been able to identify yet. They make the sweetest sounds; trilling melodius from sunrise to sunset. We've been watching a darling pair of tree swallows. They took up residence in one of the bird houses near the vegetable patch. The chicks have hatched and any day now we expect to see them emerge and swoop in circles over our heads, making us dizzy just to watch them.
Lots to think about. I'm still in the "dreaming" stage. Leave me some comments if you enjoyed these photos, I have tons more I can post and babble on endless about. Maybe in shorter posts though. The typepad editor just does not cooperate at all with these longer ones. Anyone else having trouble with this?