A New Garden ~ 1st Anniversary


Looking back it's difficult to believe the transformation of the once neglected & wild area on the north side of my house.

A gently sloping plot, bare with the exception of a few scraggly madrones, spindly bushes, seasonal weeds, and a gigantic dish satellite tower, it was an ugly eyesore.

But now this spot has now become one of my favorite places on the property, producing the majority of the spring and summer flowers for the house, with plenty to give away. It is a glorious place to relax, dine, and entertain in the warmer months.

Stepping through one of the gates, I am immediately transported to another place and another time. I'd love to share the progress of the first year with you. My good buddies have already seen these, so thanks for your patience. I'll get back to cooking in the next entry. :)

The first of several loads of both decomposed granite,
and palettes of rocks.

After the trees were removed, the area had to be shored up a bit, and the granite distributed.
Laying out and development of the flower beds.
Last fall we planted about 300 early, mid & late blooming daffodils and tulips in these beds. They provided an awesome show from late winter to early summer, and plenty of bouquets, too!
Laying the sandstone path; it's Arizona Sunrise, I chose tumbled sandstone because I prefer the softer, aged looking edges. The garden gate is from Smith-Hawkins, the five unfinished metal arches, will continue to rust adding another dimension of age, I chose them because I love an older garden.
Looking through the arches down the path, climbing roses and clematis will be planted on both sides of each arch in the freshly dug cells you see.
Below: The old dish satellite tower, it had to be removed as that is where the wisteria covered pergola will be built.
Living in the shade among the Douglas Firs, I am overjoyed to have an area which receives full sun all day.
But it does get hot in mid-summer ~
I live in deer area, and appreciate them. I do not love fences.
I didn't want to fence the new garden, but reluctantly I realized it was necessary to do so.
Eventually it will be camouflaged by 20 or so French Lilac bushes, in a variety of shades of pinks, lavenders, purples and white planted all around the perimeter.
A variety of table grapes are also planted in a few of the perimeter cells; near the gate I planted Black Corinth , aka Champagne grapes. They are not used to make Champagne, but the tiny fruit tastes like wine; when dried they are an exotic ingredient for baked items in lieu of currants. Which is why I chose them, they are a marvelous addition to a cheese or fruit platter too.

Taking shape, litte by little.

Above is my "Sweetheart" garden. It's planted exclusively with fragrant flowers which bloom from late winter through fall.

Late frost warnings happen in my zone 7; small tender plants are protected by glass cloches overnight until danger of frost has passed.

The spring bulbs are emerging as you can see. Now it's time to prepare the summer beds, to assure continuious color.

The first of the early Daffodils, Spring 2008

A sweet Mother's Day gift.

Early Spring ~

Below ~ Shopping for Summer Plants
My best girl supervises.

After the Daffodils and Tulips have passed, the spring flowers extend color until summer flowers bloom.

Twenty climbing (own root) heirloom roses and a variety of clematis are being encouraged to grow over the garden arches.
Perrenials, White Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts) and Guardian Blue Delphiniums newly planted
at the base of the cells.
They performed exceptionally well, all summer long.
Lots of violas, pansies, foxgloves and herbs.
Old garden tea cart provides a temporary home until planting time.
Rannuculas have always been among my favorites.
Primrose thrive on the north side of the house.
Just a sampling of two here. I like to place different flowering plants in this little planter according to the seasons. It's easily portable so the color can be brought up close.
Late Spring, early Summer, it's beginning to fill in.
Tulips and Daffs have passed, making way for the summer butterfly, bee & hummingbird plants.

In the distance you can see some of the new fruit trees planted in early spring. I chose some of my favorites; a nectarine, six kinds of plums, and an espalier pear, with four varieties grafted onto one tree. Pears grow exceptionally well in Oregon.
The three main beds are designated by color.
This is the Red and White bed (for the colors of Stanford U!)
The others are a Pink and White,
and Blue/Purple and Yellow

The Sunflowers (seeds from Provence) put on a lovely display from mid-summer on. The bees that nest in the ancient & huge, gnarled oak trees on the property keep the new garden buzzing with activity until the first frosts.
It's been a rewarding effort, paying many dividends~
providing both exercise and relaxation, the bonus is a big payoff in flowers!

Next Time ~ Life in the Garden, flowers, birds, bees and
Construction of the Dining Terrace
If I haven't lost you yet, I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the beginnings of my new garden! I'll sprinkle more photos from the gardens from Spring through Summer throughout the upcoming winter months.


  1. Mary, absolutely stunning.... and what a gargantuan task.

    Everything is so well thought out with lovely, beautiful results.

    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous garden.


  2. freaking fantastic! i love the transition, its just a wonderful post to stroll along and not get dirty or sweaty when you did all the hard work and we reap all the benefits. gorgeous mary, i adore the transformation~

  3. OMG! I LOVED this post! I've seen bits and pieces before but to watch the progress and the seasons is just amazing. I can't wait for you to show autumn and the dining terrace. Did I tell you I LOVED this post??

  4. Thank you for the tour, so fascinating! Everything looks beautiful and colorful too. What work went into all of that but I can tell you enjoy it!

  5. Thank you so much Cynthia, Jain, Marsha and Robin Sue!

    It was so kind of you all to take the time to comment, thank you.

    There is still more work to be done, the pergola built, another rose bed dug, etc. It was so much fun planning it and watching it grow and take shape, it makes be happy there is still more to do though. :)

    Thank you again for stopping by!

  6. The transformation and beauty of your garden is amazing, Mary. Every little detail is charming. You must love all your walks and al fresco meals in that color-filled, lovely area.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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