Garden Project Wrap Up 2016

It's time for the big reveal on this season's garden projects. Let's take a look back at early Spring 2007. We moved into our house on Halloween of 2006 and waited until the spring to get started.

The front was a patchwork quilt of spongy moss and lawn. The garbage can adds a nice flourish.

The front was a patchwork quilt of spongy moss and lawn. The garbage can adds a nice flourish.

Let's take another look at that mossy lawn and tortured foundation plantings.

Let's take another look at that mossy lawn and tortured foundation plantings.

I chose our simple ranch house for the backyard surrounded by a stand of Douglas Fir trees. Lovely.

I chose our simple ranch house for the backyard surrounded by a stand of Douglas Fir trees. Lovely.

 A look down at the small afterthought of a concrete pad patio. 

 A look down at the small afterthought of a concrete pad patio. 

Just a backyard filled with lawn and edged with bark dust.

Just a backyard filled with lawn and edged with bark dust.

Barnaby 'helped' with the projects.

Barnaby 'helped' with the projects.

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We added a roof to the pergola and painted the columns a nice shade of eggplant.

I stepped away from spreading the bark mulch to capture this morning shot in the backyard. Spring 2015

I stepped away from spreading the bark mulch to capture this morning shot in the backyard. Spring 2015

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This spring, I debated about growing a different kind of lawn mix aimed for dogs. After visiting Matthew's garden, I realized that I needed to add a water feature with water plants and fish.

So, we rented a sod cutter and tore out all of the remaining lawn in our yard.

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A weedy lawn hell-strip was transformed into our first gravel garden. My Pirate has fallen head-over-heels for succulents. He's discussing what to put in our neighbor's yard. I love this man!

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This is the gravel garden this morning and our new side yard plantings. It is much more interesting than lawn and requires less care and water.

My Victory Garden received an upgrade this June. We resided it with Juniper boards that My Pirate picked up for a deal at 60% off. These boards can last up to 30 years due to the high pitch content. Fingers crossed.

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Here's our new edible meadow, complete with a new gravel patio. We can sit and watch the Crony Brothers sitting in their garage watching us. We toast each other and laugh.

What's an edible meadow? It was our compromise on edibles for me and grasses and orange flowers for My Pirate. The lower level in front of the veggie beds hold a new row of blueberry bushes! Plus I snuck in a couple of pineapple guavas. 

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The gravel path leads to our backyard gate. The neighbors installed a focal point gate and I'm not certain yet how I'm going to update our gate and fence. I'm leaning towards imitating their fence design and keeping ours a secret entrance. 

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An old unwanted propagation table makes a strong trellis for an evergreen jasmine. 

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My theme for our backyard is Picnic in Paradise. And I love to spend time in our oasis. I added a tall table this year that my Grandpa made me out of his old front door. It's tall enough that Mr. Barnaby's tail doesn't clear the table. And we surrounded the area with misters for hot days. 

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One of the pathways to the water feature area. 

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My Pirate's favorite view of the garden is sitting in the shade shack overlooking the water feature. No more lawn for us. I'm really happy that we've established the footprint for our garden. Now, I can start fine-tuning the plantings and art. Thanks for following along! 

Wednesday Vignette: Nesting

an old bird nest with turquoise glass chunks with Asarum splendens in my light fixture container

an old bird nest with turquoise glass chunks with Asarum splendens in my light fixture container

The new garden renovations are complete. Can you believe it? We wrapped them up one day before we held an open garden for fifty of my master gardener buddies and students. Phew! Then a week later we hosted a garden party for my garden blogger friends. You can see more about the garden blogger party from the effervescent Patricia over at Plant Lust. In all of my nerves about showing our garden, I never considered how much fun it would be to have everyone over. It was a blast and I plan on doing it again.

I love spending time in our freshly completed garden. I feed our 14 goldfish three times a day and smile down at their antics. The hummingbirds are satisfied with the second feeder. And I feel at peace watching the dragonflies swerve through the air above the new water feature. I'm savoring the last days of summer while the school buses roar past our house.

I'll show you all the new garden projects in my next post. I promise.

Don't forget to visit Anna over at Flutter & Hum to see the rest of the Wednesday Vignettes!

Wednesday Vignette: Progress

Here is the very last load of quarter-10 gravel and Xera Plants that we need for our garden projects. Last weekend, we spread four loads of gravel onto the paths and patio. Plus, we filled up our galvanized trough with water and played in it like 5 year olds. Simply because we could.

Tonight, I'm placing over 60 new plants into the new edible meadow that I just finished weeding and clearing. I'm beyond excited and hopeful that it goes together easily. Plus, I have a game of tree tetris that I need to figure out. I'm deeply grateful that My Pirate loves me and our garden enough to put in so much time and heavy lifting and to impulsively purchase a loquat. 

Make sure to stop by and see the rest of the Wednesday Vignettes at Flutter and Hum

Wednesday Vignette: In Process

Here is my favorite vignette in my garden right now. I'm focusing on this completed area with all of my might, because the area to the left of this and the front yard are in process. As in, lots of bare soil waiting to be filled.

My Pirate and I have been in project mode since March and we're getting tired and cranky. But, we're about 2 weeks out from it coming together. Mr. Barnaby has been supervising our efforts. 

We are adding a six foot wide round water trough as a water feature. It's going to be surrounded by a gravel path with some stones and more plants. Have I mentioned that my side yard looks like a nursery right now?

So, what projects are you working on in your garden? Please visit the lovely Anna at Flutter and Hum to see all the WV goodness! 

HPSO & Garden Conservancy Pre-Tour in Clark County

This year, the HPSO and Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour is featuring five fabulous Clark County gardens on Saturday, June 11th, from 10 am to 4 pm. Last Sunday, I joined a pre-tour event with two of my blogger buddies, Amy from The World's Best Gardening Blog and Scott from Rhone Street Gardens.  Come take a look!

The Seymour-Luck Garden featured a Japanese influenced landscape that displayed a giant stone rill and art work from the owner. 

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A rain chain of gingko biloba leaves cast lovely shadows onto the stones on a hot June morning.

The massive stone rill delighted me with the sound and movement of water that you even get to step over on the path. What is a rill? A rill is a small channel that channels water.

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The focal point of the red glass bell drew us down the path of stones surrounded by mounding moss. The owner, Greg, is a glass artist and the addition of his art added a personal note to a quiet thoughtful garden filled with artistic details.


The Ritchie Garden featured vistas of their ponds surrounded by large gorgeous trees and shrubs. A frog splashed into the pond as I took this picture. Dragonflies and wildlife thrive in this garden. 

The five acre property started out as a wetland that the Ritchies carefully planted to create structure and views. 

The picture below is the view from the Ritchie's back patio. What a beautiful view! 


The Bailey Haven overflows with Linda's love of gardening. She has taken an acre of clay and transformed it into a delightful space filled with ponds, paths, various garden collections, and gazebos and other structures. Linda greeted us at the front of her beautiful home and said, "let me take you back to the real garden." 

Her back patio featured a lovely entertaining space that led to a lovely water feature and a path to the back gardens. 

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She playfully intermixes color and textures throughout her garden.

The raised gravel bed artfully pairs conifers and succulents together. Linda said that this bed quickly became her favorite. I can see why. 

When I asked Linda, what her favorite time of day was to be out in her garden was, she quickly quipped, "all day!" 


Dragonfly Hollow is home to garden designer and author, Vanessa Nagel. I'm re-reading her book, Understanding Garden Design: The Complete Handbook of Aspiring Garden Designers, so it was an extra special time for me to explore her garden. 

The dragon mosaic is fabulous and has won awards. 

This quiet focal point helped us pause for a moment.

Vanessa has written about the punctuation of plants in the garden. But, to me her garden feels musical. There is a rhythm in the planting and a tonal quality of the colors, especially the red, that she repeats through the space. 


The Matsu Kaze (Wind in the Pines) garden is an enthusiastic 2 1/2 acre collectors garden filled with rare and unusual conifers, gingko, Japanese maples and so much more. 

I first toured Judy and Roger's garden three years ago with My Pirate and we got lost. It was a delightful lost, the kind where you hope you don't find your way back to reality too soon. The garden has really matured in the last three years and they've added even more berm beds filled with all sorts of treasures. 

The garden features many different structures, water features, and gathering spaces. I love the fire pit area below. 

The five gardens showcased five completely different styles and personalities. I highly recommending touring them this Saturday, June 11, from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here for more tour information. I promise that you'll leave the tour with many new ideas and feeling inspired. I know that I did! 


Tickets are available at each garden for $7 each. Or you can buy all five for $30. HPSO members can purchase tickets online until Friday for $20. The HPSO uses their earnings from this event for grants and scholarships. It's a great cause. The school garden that I volunteer in has been a recipient of HPSO grants. We are grateful for the support of the HPSO.