Challenge

Some sites are not conducive to gardenmaking. It takes great skill and determination to build a garden under such challenging circumstances…… such is the case with the garden that a friend created.

                                                                            

In front, she created a wonderful perennial border with enough evergreen shrubs  & small trees to give structure and interest in winter.

The huge challenge was the back. Like so many homes in the Piedmont, it was built on a slope. A very steep slope.

Here is what she did.

A gracious, inviting entrance abuts a seating area …

Supported by terraced stone walls…

the lowest of which houses a small pond.  (below)

Below, looking DOWN into the garden.

To compound the problem, her house was downhill from her neighbour. Drainage was a nightmare. So…she incorporated  a dry steam into her design to channel the water.

She used river rock for the most natural appearance and the stones are substantial enough not to be moved by the rushing water.

Stepping stones lead the way through inspired plantings …

with touches of whimsy and surprises tucked in when least expected.

She also has some very good ideas for planting pots…

But that is another post. Thanks for the lovely visit.

© All photos & text 2010

THE POTAGER…PRODUCES!

I really don’t mean  to complain, but I cannot get out of the kitchen! Look what comes in from the potager…

                                                                             

everyday!

                                                                                 

    Heirloom tomatoes…  and blueberries too.                                                                          My husband is an organic gardener and his domain is the potager. There he grows heirloom vegetables.  The resulting harvest is extraordinary, some of the best tasting vegetables, are deposited on the kitchen counter daily                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the one caveat…I have to  DO something with all this bounty.

My clematis need weeding, but I will be cooking tomatoes … The viburnums need some pruning, but the blueberries need to be picked…It is time to topdress the hydrangeas… but look at all this squash… and so the summer unfolds… one delightful flavour after another.                                                                                 

Those fingerling potatoes need to be roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper,  as the vegetables below.

                                                                                      

And for dessert…

                                                                          

Blueberry Clafoutis. I followed this recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini. Just used the fruit I had on hand. Clafoutis  embraces any fruit beautifully.

©All photos & text 2010

FOR THE BIRDS!

One of the joys of being in the garden is listening to the orchestra of  insects and birds. Here are some ways gardeners have lured them into their sanctuary.                                                                        

A Feeding Tree, opposite a kitchen window to enjoy them from inside as well.

                                                                              

A supply of fresh water is essential, year round…

                                                                            

   Cluster housing, for the average family…                                                        

                                                                            

Single residence with plenty of acreage.

                                                                           

For Royalty, a castle. Note servants quarters behind!

Aside from attracting our feathered friends to the garden, these touches of whimsy add character and HEIGHT to a planting, or can serve as nice surprises tucked in the appropriate spot.

© All photos & text 2010