Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Little Studied Negligence Is Becoming To A Garden*

Sky over Cedar's Retreat

Bear with me...I want you to read an excerpt from a  post I wrote last February~~

Snow Falling On Cedar's Retreat

I have a private space in my yard. I don't know about you but when someone says private space in their yard, I think retreat and jacuzzi. This isn't a retreat; it's a section of my garden/yard that I prefer folks not see. It's right off my patio, so it is quite visible from the kitchen and the den. I have been pretending that no one can see it!


Here it is.

A few years ago it was a pleasant spot, not perfect but pleasant with structure and form. But after contractors put in the new patio and dug ditches for french drains there was destruction everywhere. A beautiful 20 year old Japanese Maple and all the Coral Bell Azaleas died. I was heartbroken, I loved that Japanese Maple.

It became easier to just shut the metaphorical door on the junk room then jump into a new project. I have ignored it for far too long. I am putting myself on notice...that it is time to address this mess. Not sure yet what I will do, but something will come to me.


Finally, something has come to me~~

Late next week, Leigh the landscape contractor and friend who helped redesign

the porch pathway, is going to help me create a space that makes sense  for Chez Cedar's patio garden.

We already have a design.

Really,  a starting point...that is how we both work.  Creating as we go~~ feeling our way to a garden...one might say.  That is how the front stonework evolved.

Now,  don't be too shocked~~ lawn will actually be a part of the design!  Why lawn?  For the simple reason that  this garden has a lot going on and someplace  calming and neutral is needed. 

We've planned for the critters, too

... AND, Mr I Don't Garden or Blog asked for lawn and he hardly ever makes garden requests. So, I am honoring his request.   Don't you think that is the best reason of all?

Your  questions or thoughts are always appreciated!  It might help to  look at the photo of  Cedar's Retreat and imagine the design on top of it... The GOBN is to the right of the wall....3 feet above the patio area. It will not be altered by the work...only by what I add to it! 

Please stay tuned as the work begins and evolves! Next week is going to be so much fun!

I do hope you all have a wonderful weekend~~

Gail

*Thanks to Eleanor Perenyi for the title.

44 comments:

  1. You mean I am the first? I better hurry! I love it! So many plants and it is fantastic. Always, always a good thing to have some grass-especially if hubby asks for it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good morning Gail, I seem to remember this post too. What a fantastic idea to have a drawing. But you already know how I feel about the lawn, but understand how husbands can be about it. That is why we have our little bit too. It does have a way of shrinking some each year. :-)
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's great news Gail. Exciting to start a new project. Nice to be working with someone too. It's always helpful to have another gardener to bounce ideas around with. Can't wait to follow the progress.
    Marnie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tina,

    Hi...Yes you are the first. Yes His Hubbiness wanted grass and I do think it is needed. There is just too much brown and concrete and the green will help.
    Have a great weekend.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gail - How exciting for you. Doesn't it make your heart race to know you are starting on a plan and will soon get to buy plants and lovingly place them in their new homes and create a new and beautiful space? The plan looks great - flowing and calming - and yes, it's good to honor a little lawn request. I can't wait to watch the progress with you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Frances,

    I feel very similar! If this were a major expanse of lawn I would be in panic mode...but it is less then 200 sq feet! We are looking for verdant here! You do know that I will be the greens-keeper!

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hope you'll get your pleasant spot back. I love the design. And, happy Valentine, too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. marnie,

    Exactly...She is a good person to bounce ideas around with...I get bogged down with all the possible choices.
    Next week chaos then calm!

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  9. Diana,

    Yes it does...and I've already gotten many of the big shrubs. The oakleaf hydrangeas and sweetspire. I like the flow and think that it will bring calm to a very busy Chez Cedar! Have a great weekend.
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  10. Blossom,

    Hello! Thank you...I like it too! How are you doing?

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  11. How exciting, Gail! I can't wait to see the progress over the next few months. Between this area and your GOBN, you are going to be a very busy gardener this spring! I'm all for keeping some lawn--at my house I need some place for the grandkids and the animals to play.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rose,

    It is exciting and it will be nice to have a bit of grass!
    Not too much, just enough! Maybe someday for a grandkid or two to play on...we can dream can''t we!

    Have a delicious weekend...do you and the Mr have plans?

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gail:

    What fun! I can see it coming together and it will be fun to see the progress as the season approaches. You might consider a planting along the wall as weed wacking is a pain in the neck. I love some lawn which is one of the lowest care groundcovers around...if one doesn't agonize over perfection that is.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Like the working design, Gail, and I'm with you, going slowly with the flow, adding as needed. We have a huge back lawn that disappeared a bit over 33 years as multiple garden beds grew and for years hosted a 'Croquet in May' Gatsby party, multiple garden parties, whiffle ball games, and my daughter's 'dream spot' for a wedding. Good luck and will enjoy watching it evolve. Happy Valentine's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  15. You just don't have enough to do around there do you? You are always coming up with something new, I can hardly wait to see this area transformed. Please post so we can enjoy and support you on this new journey.

    ReplyDelete
  16. There is much to be said for a space of well-groomed grass. :) Soothing to the bare feet, calming to the eye. I'm sure your new plan will be beautiful--can't wait to see it take shape!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think that patch of grass will give the eyes a resting spot amongst all that color and texture I'm sure your new plan will include for this area. Looks like it is going to be a nice destination.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gail -- I think you'll have a lovely outdoor room. Nothing wrong with a little grass as the luxurious rug for your room.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  19. First, that is a lovely photo at the top of the post. Second, congrats on having a project mapped out and ready to go! It's so fulfilling to take something mediocre - or just plain ugly - and make it user-friendly and beautiful. Best wishes on the project - I'll look forward to updates. - VW

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yeehaw! That's greeat, Gail! I see it's gonna be beautiful. I'd vote for Bird feeder on the top (I know, I'm partial towards birds :D)

    ReplyDelete
  21. That sounds like so much fun! I'm sure it will be a bit of a nail biter, too. Well, at least it's all in ruins already. I took out my front garden to for water conservation reasons and it was hard to watch it go.
    Anyway, might you do native grasses instead of lawn? They are very popular here in CA. Just as green, slightly different feel, much less water/fertilizer/pesticides. (Fussier to install, though). Regardless, have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gail:
    How much fun will this be! I envy anyone who can follow a plan.... been there, tried that but oh, so many tiny screaming voices everytime I visit a nursery... I think they become harder to ignore as you get older.... days it sounds like a cacophony! Best of luck and please post your progress!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm not good at reading and envisioning plans, but I did go back and forth between the plan and the photo, and from what I could imagine, I think it's going to look great.

    I am looking forward to seeing more pics of the area, as it gets transformed.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gail, I think your plan looks marvelous. I can't wait to see its evolution. A little lawn can indeed be calming. I love grass, just not the chemicals that some people put on it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with when the shovel hits the dirt! I have a patio that needs the same thing...I will be watching with keen interest! Kim

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gail .. you are showing up on my favorite blog posts, so your feed is fine as far as I can tell girl ! And that chocolate you had .. did you save me some ? : )
    When we win the lottery tonight .. I am going to have a garden designer try to untangle all the thoughts I have in my head and help me build a beautiful peaceful garden .. like you are ? : )

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Gail, This looks like a great Valentine's Day present to me! (And for Mr. I Don't Garden or Blog!) ;-)

    At this very moment it's snowing. In fact, it began 1/2 hour ago and everything is already white! I don't think it's supposed to stop for awhile...

    I'll enjoy your nice weather by continuing to visit! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Late again with a comment! I do think your plan looks workable for the area. I agree that a little green lawn will be a welcome sight with all else that will be going on.

    How fun to begin a project like this. And It will be fun for us seeing it develop.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sometimes you just have to leave an area alone until inspiration strikes, right? I like a bit of lawn myself, it's good for laying on, cloud watching, star gazing and barefoot dancing. C&L will embrace the patch of green, I'm betting and it's good your hubby will be happy. Your plan looks like a pretty detailed starting point and you already have some great "bones" in place. It will be a joy to watch it evolve. Happiest Valentine's Day to you dear Gail.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I really like the plan and I think it is going to look fantastic. When you do start? Like you, I have to calmly think about plans for the garden and something usually comes to me after a while. Sometimes it just takes time or something will spark my imagination and get me going.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gail,
    I've never had a drawing of plans for my garden but always get excited to see them when others use them. My entire garden has been created by the "feel my way to a garden" method.

    I REALLY like your plan. The cedar wall, the large stepping stones, the wildflower garden... and LOVE the curves and the flow... even the lawn. There is just something so appealing about a patch of green grass. And, hey, if Mr. I don't has a request... I'm with you... honor is a very important element in relationships.

    You are going to have a blast next week. Can't wait to see it...
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

    ReplyDelete
  32. I had some big plans last year. Life happened and nothing was accomplished. This year I have no plans. Maybe something magical will happen. Nothing is sweeter than realizing your dreams.
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  33. You'll really enjoy looking out on that newly reworked area, Gail. It's going to be gorgeous, I'm sure. What a neat project. Have fun! :)
    Happy Valentine's Day.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Gail, It's exciting to start a new project and actually have a pretty good idea of what you are going to do!! I usually 'feel' my way through things, too. In fact, I pretty much 'feel' my way through life in general...Plans and I don't work that well anymore;) However, having that design to work from will be such a gift. Now, will you please send the designer to VA. I have a whole backyard that needs a lot of help! We're planning to do something with all the 'brown' this spring & summer...at least that's what hubby has promised. However, $$$$ is a big factor, because I want to use rocks/stones, new plants, make a pond (a new one. Our old one was no longer functional so we filled it in several yrs. ago)...and so much else. That shall be the subject of many posts for me, too--if, and when, we ever get started:)
    I'll be interested to watch your plans to wing!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jan,

    Thanks...you know I hardly ever use a plan...but one was needed! You would like Leigh a lot...She is fun and creative and does not have a need to spend your money freely! Sometimes just having a plan to jump off from is enough...doing a little at a time. I look forward to seeing your plans...you can hardly go wrong with adding rocks/boulders and a delicious pond!

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  36. There's nothing wrong with a small bit of lawn to set off wildish plantings. I think the design looks good so far. I have a hard time drawing up a plan and sticking with it. I also tend to make it up as I go along. I like to call it "improvising."

    ReplyDelete
  37. Looks wonderful Gail! I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop in the secret garden. I've had a few of those secret gardens myself (secret because I didn't want them seen by anyone!)

    My mom had a rather new-agey gardener a few years ago who, as she put it, "asked the plants where they wanted to be." I never thought of it in those terms before, but that's pretty much what I've always done too. It's much more by feel than visually for me.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Gail,

    A new garden project is always exciting... I like your description of the small lawn as calming and neutral. The curving lines are lovely, and the Oakleaf Hydrangea will be beautiful opposite the Sweetspire.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ooh, what a fun project! I like the design and look forward to the final pictures.
    I must say I was awed at the beauty of the 'Sky over Cedar's Retreat' photo.

    Thanks for checking out the artists garden interview today!
    Karrita

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for visiting my old garden in Michigan! I did bring a few plants and cuttings with me, but the only survivors are one hosta and a daylily. The daylily was a plug from a dear friend's garden, so it means a lot to me, and I'm glad it survived.

    ReplyDelete
  41. how fun a new project...ever evolving into what you really want. good luck and hope you just overflow with new ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, Gail, that is so exciting. As you know, I recently did the same thing, and I'm so glad I did. You will love your new space. I can wait to see what you do with it.~~Dee

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dee, I can't wait for leigh and the crew to show up! If the rain/snow predicted for mid week stays away they can get started. I know you are going to love it...I needed the bones it will bring...gail

    ReplyDelete
  44. What fun! Incorporating a lawn for a calming influence is a good idea. I can't wait to see how it all comes together, Gail.

    ReplyDelete

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails