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Real Gardens

Just something I found in some old files that I thought was worth reposting....the gardens of Mrs. Viator, a neighbor, and Joey and Edward, two wonderful friends. I hope you are inspired...

January 3, 2010


It is really cold outside, cold throughout the nation, and a great time to think of seed catalogues and garden plans. I am closing my little section on “gardens”. I have chosen to do this because I am not tending to it as I should and in my effort to simplify, closing it is a good decision for me. I did not want to erase it, however, for it something worth seeing – beautiful gardens of my friends. Anyway, perhaps these colorful pages here in the middle of winter will inspire you and you can take out your pencil and sketch pad and plot out a small piece of your yard that can offer you a huge return this spring and summer.

I have always wanted to enjoy photos of actual gardens made by gardeners that get their hands dirty and wipe perspiration from their foreheads and drink from the hose in July when it is blistering and the weeds are there. It seems, however, most that I see in books and magazines are contrived photos of make believe gardens created by hired professionals. While they are certainly lovely to look at, I am not moved nor am I motivated by them. For me, I'd rather see gardens that are imperfectly made, but made from the heart; ones that are examples of passion and pantries of natural food. Anyway, I hope to post photos of those types of gardens here.


Alfred Austin: Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.

There’s a wooden sign that says 1957 when you enter this garden and a feeling that says awesome when you leave. I am fortunate to know the keeper of this garden and have been able to walk through it many times and take in the beauty that she and her late husband have created over a half century. This garden is totally genuine and made from only love and hard work. There was never a designer or any professional assistance in this delightful place; this is here because she must garden. She told me once that the garden is something that motivates her to get up each morning and begin her day – checking to see what may have opened during the night and what may bloom today and gathering vegetables for the table and flowers for the soul. The weeds disappear because of the scratching of the hoe, never chemicals that kill injudiciously, and the vegetables are plump and vibrant from mostly compost and natural amending of the soil.


It is as though each flower has a purpose and each piece of flora is just as it should be, nothing is by chance, except perhaps the lazy lizards that jump from one clay pot to the next and spend time basking on old brick walls. They are random and I suppose quiet pleased to live in such a place as this garden. As a visitor, you realize immediately that this space is tended to daily and is precedence in the lives of the people who live here. There exists somewhat of a menagerie of birds and puppies that live amongst the plant life also, it is apparent that they too are tended to faithfully. All in all, it is enchanting, and beckons you to stay and inspires you to create.

Here is a snapshot of their vegetable garden; I felt healthier just standing near it.

The little house in the background was once on the grounds of an historic house and is now a restoration project that I am certain will be done in a way most suiting to its' integrity.

Here is a photo of my concord grapes trying to grip my arbor. Just as soon as they turn the most wonderful shade of purple and are exploding with antioxidants, the birds feast on them. It is very disappointing. I don't mind sharing, but they take everything.

the end

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