Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stone in the garden

When I saw that this month's Garden Design Workshop topic was about using stone in the garden, I knew that I would have to post because there is a lot of stone in our garden. In fact, I often wonder if I've overdone it. I think the hardscape aspects of the garden are just as important as the plant material and stone has to be one of the most popular features.

When we first moved in, the only visible stone on the property was a slate walkway that leads to the front door. However, once we started digging, we discovered that there was some beautiful rock on the property. It was located inside the circular hedge inside our driveway (here is how it looked then). Apparently the walkways inside the circle were made with stones which had long been buried by the time we arrived on the scene. We dug them up and first used them to make a stone wall along our property line but later Michael came up with the idea to create a half-moon circle with them and this is where they have stayed.

Here it is in 1994 - as you can see, the garden looked quite different then!

And, here it is in a recent photo (the best one I could find)

All other rock has been bought and brought in. I started using stone to edge borders back in 2002 -

And since then, I've gone a little haywire. One day when I was visiting the city mulch pile, I discovered a huge mound of busted up concrete and a lightbulb went off in my head. I decided to bring it home and use it to cover a difficult spot that I was tired of mowing. Almost a year later and an aching back, this was the result. Recycling put to use!



A small waterfall is located next to the steps. This was the first water feature I created.

Our property is on a hill and the major portion of the garden is on a slope. If I could go back and start over again (and if I had the money), I would have designed grand terraces and graded the land properly. Since that wasn't done, I've embellished over the years. This is an area of three large terraces that I hired a friend to do. This was completed two years ago, right before we were on the garden tour. I can't get the proper angle to capture the whole area. This photo gives you an idea -


A set of steps leading up to the patio area. I've never been good at constructing steps. These are not porportioned properly and are a little difficult to climb.


Our small patio was constructed by a professional landscaping business. My dream is have a door leading out from the bedroom to the patio.


I did the pathway that runs alongside the patio. I wrote about this project in a previous post.


I've also used stone for smaller projects, such as this urn fountain.


Not sure if brick counts but I use a lot of that too.

And finally, I want to include The Wall, which is probably the biggest project I've ever tackled. It is made of concrete blocks which were then stuccoed and painted. I wanted it to look like ruins (it ended up looking like a Spanish Mission) and be the colors of Monet's Waterlilies paintings (close enough).

So, do you think there is enough stone in the garden?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May marches on

After the big flurry of roses in early May, there seems to be a lull during the later part of the month just before the hydrangeas explode into bloom. However, there are still lots of blooms to see.

Peony 'Raspberry Sundae'


Hosta 'Blue Angel' covered by those thingys that fall from the pecan tree


St. Joseph's Lily


A late blooming rambler named 'Super Dorothy'


Rose 'Petite Pink Scotch' growing up into a burning bush


This iris was given to me many years ago and it has multiplied rapidly. I can't remember the name but I'm thinking it is a Louisiana iris. Anyone know?


The Kousa Dogwood, which blooms later than the more popular dogwood.


This dogwood's blooms appear on top of the leaves and are not as showy as Cornus florida. In many respects though, I think it is a more elegant tree.


This is a variegated dogwood called 'Wolf's Eyes'


Inside the secret garden where oakleaf hydranges are blooming along with an iron gazebo covered by the rambler rose 'Bobbie James'. Can you tell I'm going for a white garden here?


Indigo bush (Indigofera) - bought at Home Depot two years ago and I didn't even really know what it was. It has turned out to be a pleasant surprise and is flourishing in the most difficult area in our garden - under a thick grove of hackberries in dry shade.


Rose 'Buff Beauty' next to an urn of purple petunias


Rose 'Caldwell Pink'


Oakleaf hydrangea 'Snowflake'


Oakleaf hydrangea 'Snow Queen'


Thursday, May 15, 2008

May Bloom Day

Today is Bloom Day at May Dreams (visit Carol's website for links to other bloggers who are participating). We've had two days of rain (I'm not complaining!) but there were periods of relief. I took the following photos yesterday.

Florida Jasmine


Honeysuckle 'Pink Lemonade'


Jerusalem Sage


Geum 'Mrs. Bradshaw'


Clematis 'Jackmanii'


The oakleaf hydrangeas are going to be beautiful this year. Here are three:

'Snow Queen'






Spirea 'Gold Mound'


And, of course, more roses!

'Sea Foam'


'Gruss an Auchen'






'Gartendirektor Otto Linne'




'New Dawn'


'Marjorie Fair'


'Knock Out' with St. Joseph's Lilies


'Robin Hood'


And here's Michael at Bennett's Nursery in Huntsville. We drove up there on Monday. It is worth the hour drive just to shop at this nursery. They have a great selection of plants, many that can't be found except in catalogs. Thank goodness there is not one here in Florence!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Rose Parade continues...

This morning I could see a line of thunderstorms on the radar headed our way so I went out to take a few photos before the rain got here. Then, right before I left for work, we were under a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warning. Is it possible to just have a nice rain or thunderstorm anymore instead of this crap everytime? Ugh!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get strong winds, hail or anything damaging. The roses are really nice right now.

I discovered this morning that I really can't get a good wide shot of the pergola, so a close-up will have to suffice. This is the rambling rose 'Francoise Juranville'


Another pergola shot showing the same rose mixed in with 'Russell's Cottage Rose'


Everybody always goes nuts over this rose and for good reason - 'Veilchenblau'


Here is a close-up of the blooms. You can see they have a really unique color for a rose. It is also known as the 'Blue Rose' which is easier to pronounce.


This rose also grabs the attention. It is the hybrid musk rose 'Moonlight'


A climbing hybrid musk rose 'Prosperity'


Another unique rose, again a hybrid musk, called 'Lyda Rose.' It reminds me of dogwood blossoms. A very trouble-free rose and always rewarding.


And I can never get tired of 'Buff Beauty'