Saturday, May 5, 2007

My Mother's Garden - OH

My mom has always had the most amazing gardens, wherever she has lived, but the one she has now is the best ever.

It has good design, healthy plants, and oozes with charm. There are formal areas, yet it has a cottage feel, with just the right amount of whimsy.

Mom has incredible talent when it comes to interior design, and it carries right on out the door into her gardens.

On this Mother's Day, I want to share some highlights of the gardens of the woman that has been the inspiration for my own, and is my partner in crime when we take off on one of our many horticultural adventures.

When you approach the front door to my parents' house, you're greeted by the cheery faces of mixed colors of violas, which line the sidewalk.

If you choose to take the brick path around the left side of the house to the back yard, this stone owl catches your eye. Mom got this on our trip to Garden Fair at Winterthur, Delaware in September.

Continuing on around the house, you see the gazebo that Dad constructed shortly after they had their home built.

He also made two chairs that sit in the gazebo, as well as a porch-type swing. There is a 'coffee' table and this all gives the feel of an outside room, which is so popular in outdoor design these days.

All around the inside of the gazebo, there are sayings that Mom had painted there by her cousin's wife, Krista.

To the left of the gazebo stands an armillary, surrounded by a circle of stepping stones, each uniquely imprinted with names and sayings by Mom's friends and family.

Directly behind this is a triangular raised bed, where Mom has what I call an 'orphan garden', containing an assortment of growing things that otherwise don't fit in with the regular gardens. This could be anything - annuals grown from seed, perennials, or herbs. Right now, you can see a beautiful dark red peony in full bloom, and this is a permanent resident of this garden, of course.

Speaking of peonies, Mom has several herbaceous types as well as some tree peonies. They are all just beginning their season of bloom, and while they're all lush and lovely, my personal favorite is her 'Shima-nishiki' tree peony.

She got this when we went to the Cleveland Flower Show two years ago. We will be going to the show again this year (it's only held every two years) and I'm hoping to find one of these for my own garden.

Behind their house, there are several separate gardens, including a rose garden.

She has some English roses and a couple of Weeks® roses - 'Chihuly' and 'Hot Cocoa.' I have these two roses in my own beds and they are two of my favorites.

Mom lost her 'Chihuly' to our weird winter this year, but she loved it so much she replaced it. I had the same thing happen with my 'Diana, Princess of Wales,' and I replaced it too. Sometimes a flower is so beautiful and brings you so much enjoyment that you're willing to put out the money again, just to have it. These two roses are just such flowers.

Under one of the trees, Dad laid paving stones and created a small patio area, on which Mom set a small table and two chairs. She also has a small working chandelier that usually hangs from the tree above the table, but she hasn't put it out yet for the summer. This table setting really has a cozy feel under the canopy of the tree.

Under that same tree, you can see a wood and metal figure that Dad made. I think Mom had seen one similar to it somewhere and took a picture to show Dad. He can pretty much make anything that my mom dreams up and she's always dreaming...

More images from Mom's garden . . .

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