Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Garden

 My garden ....

.... this is not.

This is a garden from Colonial Williamsburg which is in this inspirational book.

 This is my garden.

 Well, I am impressed that the daffodils survived the mole city that the John Deere tractor made out of the yard.

 You need to know that we moved two summers ago. This will be the third summer in our very own new home. Though, it is an incredibly beautiful home on many acres of land, the way that we were able to afford it was to roll up our sleeves and give it the loving care that it desperately needs ourselves. It is definitely a make do and mend kind of adventure. (You see, my husband really is the pastor of a small country church - not a banker.)

The first summer was when we actually moved. The agenda was to scrub, clean and paint what we could and to pack and then unpack.

Last summer, as my husband put it, was the year of the dirt!

My husband was the general contractor for building my Mother in law's house just up the hill from us. Also, he had to figure out how to divert the virtual flood that was funneling right down through our dooryard. He dug trenches and added electricity to the barns and we got a new septic system put in just before the snow flew in November.
Where there were once vast tracts of green and luscious grass, there is, now, DIRT!

 This year, it's

On to the gardens!

These huge stones were dug up out of a wall that was in the way of the septic lines.
They are going to turn into ....


 .... a small version of this.


Do not you love a pathway that is so beautiful that it builds your anticipation? Where does it lead? I love a good mystery. Is this a stairway to some sort of hidden heaven? 

This picture is from another extremely inspirational book.


 Here is another piece of my garden. Tom built the wall and corrected the too steep slant of the lawn, last year.


 I have lots of ideas for this space.  I think that a sea of blue salvia annuals will be a temporary measure for this year.

Possibly, the split rail fence will go back on the upper level and I can train some old fashioned roses along it and put a line of  blue delphinium behind it.

Like this!


 That's the general gist anyway.

Also, there is a pretty and shaded bank that is visible outside of my kitchen window.


 The land has a very lovely shape to it that I have found impossible to photograph. If you could only see, I bet that you would start visualizing plants there too.


 It's shady and somewhat secluded. I want it to be naturalized with violets and forget-me-nots, the blue hyndrangeas that appreciate the shade. Rhododendrons, ferns, bleeding hearts and spiderwort. They all will have plenty of space to take over and do their thing.

I want it to be restful and contemplative and I think that we will hide a bench back there.


 Now, I bet that a couple of you recognize this beautiful garden. I've seen it featured in several books and magazines but I first fell in love with it because of this book. (The photograph of the row of delphiniums is from this book too.)


 This is my all time favorite gardening book. It is so well rounded and insightful in the ideals of the garden!

I cannot express to you how strange it is to be in the third spring without a garden to pay attention to.

It almost doesn't feel quite like spring in some ways. I usually am out in the garden every day, seeing what is coming up and how things are progressing. I still have some plants at the parsonage that I will be moving. They have been carrying on without me for the past two years but we will be reunited soon.
In the meantime, I have been enjoying much more space for indoor gardening.

I cannot wait till these flower. One is a very pretty hibiscus (left) and the other (right) is a cana lily. Both are so stunning and exotic.

 Goodness! I just brutally trimmed and repotted this "blonde Creeping Charlie" at Christmas. It's a monster!


 All of my plants are so happy that the sun is coming back again.


 Recently, I saw an article from Martha Stewart on how to add patina to your clay pots. I thought, "ummm ....  just water your flowers and wait a bit?"  Why go through all of the hassle?

 The orchid forest.

I bought them for different places all over the house but they just love it right here! The orchid in the clay pot, I bought last March. It bloomed all the way until the end of January. Now it has buds coming again. For fifteen dollars, that was the longest lasting bouquet that I've ever bought!!!


 Well, last March, I started to feel desperate to garden in some way. With a lovely touch of serendipity, Tovah Martin, creative gardener extraordinaire, had a provocative new book published.


 Tovah Martin is a woman who's name I vaguely recognized several years back. Now, however, I realize what a huge impact she's had on my life. She contributed a lot to Victoria magazine and I think that I just constantly ingested her style and ideas until it became a part of me. She is the master of the botanical touch.

When I bought this book, it was "off to the races" for me.


 How inspiring!





 She's really helped me rethink through what I have as resources to use.




 Not only are terrariums fun because they're little tiny worlds of their own (Complete with their own ecosystem and all), but, they thrive in places that other plants simply will not. In other words, they're pretty easy.






 Well, I just thought that I should be straight forward with you about where my garden stands. I have decided that I will be honest about the whole thing - weeds and all!


Katy Noelle


  1. Thank you for these wonderful pictures, dear Katy Noelle!
    I´m sure, that you´re full of power, to realize your dream garden!
    I love the light in your house- really wonderful- and the dark furniture and the nice ideas for showing the plants. You really have great ideas!

    Have a nice weekend-

    Love- Ines

  2. Dear Katy Noelle, Well, I was certainly well and truly taken in. My first thought was to look very carefully at your opening photograph in order to pick out, and comment upon, in what I hoped would be an insightful and intelligent way, your tulip varieties, even going so far as to consult a catalogue in order to come out with a name or two. What a fool I was!

    But, 'holytoot', how I laughed when I realised how much I had been duped, and even more, I am so sorry to say, at the sight of the reality which, with its struggling daffodils, is a little way off an earthly paradise. And then the disappointment that your husband really is a minister and not, as I secretly hoped, a merchant banker able to advise me on the merits of the dollar versus the pound, versus the euro, versus the Japanese yen. But for all of that, dear Katy Noelle, I am still with you.

    Clearly there is much to be done outside in the garden, but how exciting to be at the start of such a project with time on your sides to bring it to fruition in due course. I really do believe it is the running of the race which is so much more important, and life enhancing, than the winning. The stone wall is magnificent and makes a very bold statement. If you were to ask my advice, which wisely you are not, then I should say in making the garden, start from the house and work outwards, slowly and carefully getting it right, and always having in mind some overall plan for the whole. Tend what you have done, and it matters not a jot what the rest is like, weedy or otherwise.

    I was delighted to see one of your favourite books is 'Cotswold Gardens' by David Hicks. For me, he was the most inspirational of interior and garden designers. My mother was a guest at his wedding and I knew his wife when she was Lady Pamela Mountbatten. The photographer, Andrew Lawson, is very well known to me. I consider him to be one of the best of garden photographers working in the UK today.

    What you are doing with your house is magical -so many imaginative and stylish ideas. All most interesting. And yes, just allow water to run down the sides of terracotta pots for a rapid ageing effect.

    Have a lovely, restful weekend.

  3. Dear Katy,

    Another wonderful post full of energy and romance. I have no doubt that you will turn that empty "mud covered" canvas into a haven. What a view from your kitchen window! Lovely.

    I am now inspired to try a terrarium :0) The speckled eggs in the teacup, what a great idea!

    Thank you for making me smile on this Saturday morning xo

    (You also mention Victoria Magazine, we ARE kindred spirits :0)

  4. Dear Kathy,

    All those books on gardening....It's like looking into my own bookcase :-)! Your dream garden sounds like an enchanted garden to me; the flowers you mention, the places you want to grow them.....that beautiful stairway to heaven! I can see it all grow before my eyes. You are very lucky to have such a handy husband who can help you realise it all! To build a house....that's quite something!

    Wish you good luck with the project. I will definetely follow your progress!

    Happy sunday!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

    Your son looks very sweet!

  5. It's fun to work on a black canvas and your imaginations are really good. I'd be eager to look at the end result of the steps!
    Your indoor plants seem to do great!
    The terrariums are awesome. Good luck with the Green Painting! Have fun!

  6. Oh so pretty! I wish I was green fingered! Those gardens look fabulous! I love tulips. My house is full of them at this time of year, but alas, not grown by me. There are a few excuses for daffodils outside my window but not the show you can see in surrounding gardens.Cx

  7. Katy,

    Just a quick comment to say hello - it's 11.30pm and time for bed here! But I will be back tomorrow for a proper read and a more detailed response.

    See you tomorrow. Night-night.

    Jeanne xx

  8. Morning Katy,

    I have to say first off that I totally agree with Edith about starting near the house and working outwards. You have such a large plot and could easily become disheartened at the magnitude of the task you undoubtedly have. After all you are creating a garden from scratch, but I know you are up for the challenge and that you will create a thing of beauty. It will be a boost for you to get your ideas and the plants to fruition in the area that you will be enjoying the most i.e. near the house - with a bench or two and perhaps a table and chairs to enjoy al fresco meals amongst the frangrant flowers. Oh Katy I can see it now!

    I love your choice of gardening books and the terrariums look fun and are very effective. I adore the little vignettes you have created with the glass bottles and speckled eggs. Really wonderful!

    Those slabs of stone are amazing and would have cost you a fortune to buy and you have it all for free - they will make wonderful steps up the sloping lawn.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Hope it's sunny for you!

    Jeanne xxx

  9. Oh, I like your garden already. That view is amazingly stunning! The big stones are incredibly great. Looking so so forward to see the way everything turned out, Katy Noelle!
    Have a lovely new week. xoxoxox

  10. Oh! darling you have such wonderful ideas for your garden. You have been a constant source of inspiration to me with your beautiful photos and expressive writing. Enjoy your day.

    Love & Hugs

  11. Katy,
    Reading your post was a wonderful way to start my day. I am still laughing from your introduction. I can envision your wonderful plans and love all of the beautiful books you have to inspire you along the way. I always find that planning a garden is much of the fun. We just planted six more bare root roses over spring break and I find myself checking on them a few times a day to be certain that there are new sprouts of growth. I am so looking forward to filling my house with roses this summer. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful property and its plans for the future. - xo Julie

  12. Good morning, my dear Katy-

    I just answered your lovely comment in my blog- that´s what I usually do- but I don´t know, if you´ll read it, so I tell you, that I do this to every comment I got!

    I could understand, what you wrote :-) and I´m glad, that you like my flowers and my beloved dog Ginger :-)

    You can use a translator for the blogposts. I click the right side on my mouse- and then I click to: translate with livesearch. Maybe you can do that also! It doesn´t translate exactly- but I can understand nearly all. So you could read my posts...

    Yes- we both aren´t like the most women in this modern time- we´re a little bit, like these lovely and funny housewifes in the 50´s- aren´t we ;-)) We aren´t desperate- we are full of love, with the things we have to do. I wish- the young ladies at this time would be able to be a little bit like we both :-) I hope, my wonderful daughter will be like we, one day...

    Love and hugs from Ines :-)

  13. Oh- ps- I got a translator for you on my page- look at the right side under my dog :-) I´m happy, that I found that!

    Love- Ines

  14. Dear Katy Noelle,
    your sense of humour always makes me smile and I admire also your skills to see things in their right proportions :)
    For us - I mean, for me - there´s very often a big distance between want we want or would like and what is the reality!

  15. Katy, it must be just amazing to wake up everyday and look out to your gorgeous land! I love looking at your pics. Have a beautiful day. Terri


Short and witty, long and heartfelt, just a blip to say hello - I love all of your comments! Feel free ...