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A Garden Enigma

I have a landscaped beautiful garden in my suburban home. Though it is done by a professional, I can’t help adding my personal touch to it, making it the cottage garden I adore and love but on a minimalistic side. There are still lots of blooms, but they are contained in specific spaces. The landscaper planted few key elements in clumps like Hydrangea Macrophylia, Spiraea Japonica ‘golden princess’ Some Buxus clouds by the front door, Choysia Ternata on the side gate and pachysandra terminalis as a ground cover. Oh, there is a lone  Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ at the front. There are also few trees suited for small-ish gardens like Cornus Kousa, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ and a couple of Acers and three others I can’t recognize. I added a lot more since then.

There is a Hydrangea Petiolaris climbing on three poles by the right side of the house and a huge pergola at the very back of the garden covered with Wisteria. Directly by the kitchen door, there is a kitchen garden with three small pear trees and five different sizes of wooden vat planted with Mediterranean herbs. There are Lavander in some corner front and back, hardy Geraniums I can’t kill no matter what, a border of roses and one Hydrangea Quercifolia. Ah, I remember there is a large clump of Liriope muscari ‘Moneymaker’ also, and that was it.

The first thing I did when we moved to the place is to rip out the expensive real looking pseudo turf by the bay window at the front of the house and put a mixed border. You know… Delphinium, Asters; Monarda, Liatris, Phlox, Japanese anemone, ligularia dentata Desdemona and Othelo, Heucheras, Astrantia and such. I planted around the box clouds on the right side the same mix, they are under a small(?) grafted tree I don’t recognize. I think it is some Cherry Laurel on a stick, has white flowers with a subtle smell. The Buxus clouds suffered the heatwave this year so I dug them up and put them under the three towering Acers by the gate to recuperate and replaced them with a mixed border to mirror the left side under the bay window. This time I added Verbena, sedum (I doted them throughout the borders around the house too) Agapanthus, Rudbeckias, and Echinaceas. I added also some Valerian which seeded everywhere since then and bay leaves trees in the kitchen garden.

Did I mention there is an ornamental bubbling pond next to the circular terrace directly outside the bay french window in the living room? When we bought the place (which is a model/show house of excellent quality) there was only one kind of flower around it, Rudbeckia. I planted Echinacea, Verbena, some grasses, creeping sedum, and Crocosmia. D. Had his choice of water plants. No fish. I don’t do annuals unless they self-seed like Digitalis (by far my most favorite flower) forget-me-nots, Marigolds, Cosmos, and this year Hollyhocks because D. Not gardening not interested D. Decided he wants Hollyhocks. 

For all the beauty of the garden and all the hours I put beautifying and tending it we never use it.

I don’t know why.

We have a romantic bistro/Mediterranean inspired powder pink garden set directly next to the kitchen door by the kitchen garden in the view of the pond. There is a complete three-piece lounge set by the pond shaded by a huge umbrella, there is a big wooden bench under the pergola, and there are lounge beds around the garden but like my spare rooms in the house, they are museum pieces. Nobody uses them. I don’t go out in the garden unless to work, nothing else. Our front garden inside the first gate has a place for at least five cars but it is another lost space. Somewhere to traverse from the gate to the front door, that’s it.

I often wonder and ask myself why we don’t go out in the garden to relax. The only thing I could come with is the noise of the busy traffic outside the gate. Something we never anticipated when we bought the place. We heard the noise day and night and we don’t like it. Although there is a lot of space between our house and the actual road and there are double privacy hedges and trees still it’s not relaxing. If I can uproot the house and put it somewhere quiet I already did by now. I am willing to move one last time if I find a place that will make our current residence a second best but seven years of searching brings me nowhere and the longer it takes, the prospect of moving again doesn’t hold the same allure anymore for me. And my condition doesn’t make it easy either. 

I don’t know what we gonna do but in the meantime, I will enjoy (looking at) my garden from behind closed windows.

Next time I will tell you about a garden we do use. 

TGIF

It’s Friday and I don’t know what to do. Last Wednesday was mother’s day Ascension Day, therefore, National Holiday. My son decided to bestow on us a royal visit fresh from a month holiday all over Italy where he was canvassing for an ideal place to buy a house which he said I could inhabit if in case I would really go through with the divorce. He said he will never hinder my freedom since we will never be married. Nice to know I have some options. 

We ended up taking a very long walk of 12 kilometers along the coast. Far too far for my limit these days. The outcome is I was flat and out yesterday and just about alive today. I want to go to the shopping mall for no specific reason other than to buy a massage oil for my aching bones. I gulped down a shortbread raspberry tart (a big no-no for my gluten and lactose intolerance but what the heck) with real green tea in the hope of perhaps it could revive me but only succeeded to make me feel heavy and bloat my tummy. When I’m going to learn? 

I’m off to take a bath now to feel human again. Till next time and Happy Weekend!

SONY DSC

Rise/Set

“I think, well, I’ve had a shit of a life, all things considered. It wasn’t fair. Everyone I’ve ever loved is dead, and my leg hurts all the bloody time… But I think, any God that can do sunsets like that, a different one every night… ‘Strewth, well, you’ve got to respect the old bastard, haven’t you?”

Favorite Place

This week, share an image of your happy place, a secret spot you love, or a faraway location you return to again and again.

There is a garden I never failed to visit each year. It is called The Gardens Of Appeltern in The Netherlands. With over 200 show gardens in 200 acres of grounds, it is difficult not to find something to inspire anyone no matter what one’s personal taste might be. The place is teeming with ideas! There is even an island with room for children to play. It gives them something to escape and explore. And for us adults, gardeners or not, there is something new and different to experience and discover around every corner. But what I like the most is the peacefulness, the serenity that the place gives me. It is possible here to be alone amidst other visitors because there is always some quiet corner you can retreat to if you need to be on your own for a while. I love the place. I love their motto. 

“A garden should be one of the pleasures that make life more comfortable, a place where you can relax, work, play, be together with others and enjoy all the good and healthy things in life. A garden is one of the prime necessities of life, a place where you will be happy to spend your time.”