One thing I must cop to, this garden has been reworked since this picture was taken. I am trying to prepare it for the Master Gardener Tour in June. Lots of work to do. Some bowling balls were repositioned though still in the same linear manner, and an arbor was added. Another identical arbor is also scheduled for this garden. Will post on it soon.
I promised in my introduction I would talk about a bowling ball garden. This is mine! I had been collecting bowling balls for many years with little or no luck accumulating a lot at one time. I have finally found a source (albeit broken or cracked) for a great deal of bowling balls as you can see! Bowling balls work well as garden edgers because they are heavy, stay in place, do not rot and define a border in a big way. These bowling balls serve a functional purpose in that they help slow down run off from my driveway. Behind the picket fence backing the bowling balls are: Clematis on the picket fence, Rose of Sharon shrubs, and a few crepe myrtles; these are all backed by Thuja occidentalis 'Pyramidalis' with a few 'Emerald Green' mixed in (also known as Arborvitae). Behind the arborvitae are four red barberrys, a few privet and an Easter Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). During a good year (when we do not have a drought) this garden is filled with Impatiens balsamia, also known as jewelweed or touch me nots. Jewelweed is a native wildflower that helps to filter water and likes a moist habitat.
I have been told the sap in the joints or nodes of the jewelweed stems helps to alleviate poison ivy rash. This is very good to know if you are out in the woods and especially handy since jewelweed and poison ivy grow in the same habitat. Jewelweed normally forms a microclimate. No weeds will grow beneath it, and it rewards me with millions of orange flowers which the hummingbirds love. I truly hope it comes back wonderfully next year. Jewelweed sets seeds just like the shorter garden variety impatiens in that it forms a pod full of seeds. When the pod is ripe and is touched it explodes and often gives the un-initiated quite a start; as one of my gardening friends found out last year (Judie).
The blue looking evergreen tree next to my husband's garage is a Cupressus arizonica 'Carolina Sapphire'. I love this tree as it requires very little care and grows fast and is fragrant. Oftentimes these cypresses are sold in pots around Christmastime as a Christmas tree. They are very drought tolerant and I can honestly say I DID NOT water this tree at all this year.
I cannot let you go without telling you about my arborvitae. I did water these arborvitae about four times this summer. These evergreens started life in my garden in 2003 at about 3 feet tall and are now 8-10 feet tall. They have been in my garden four years. Sometimes arborvitae have problems with bagworms (never had them in this particular garden) and sometimes people don't like that the stems can come apart later later in life but they are wonderful screens, grow fast and are worth their weight in gold as a wildlife habitat. I have found when it is dark and very cold that these arborvitae will be filled with birds. It is amazing to walk by them at night and feel the flutter of small birds flying around because they were disturbed from their warm roosting position (the disturbance part was not intentional I can assure you). These trees like sun to part shade, and normal moisture. I am challenged in the sun part but have found part sun works just fine for these arborvitae.
Anyhow, one last note about my bowling ball garden. I have two hopes when people visit my garden and they are that people feel comfortable and that they smile. Bowling balls in the garden are whimsical and not typical but I can assure you, most people smile when they see them.
Let me know what you have in your garden that makes people smile. There is always something, even if it is a funny plant or view.
Have a good St. Patrick's Day-Make sure to wear GREEN!
This post has published with the comments. Sorry Skeeter! It may shock you to see it at first-but I think it is fine they are there. I hope you don't mind.
Skeeter was one of my very first commenters, and quite faithful. She kept me going happily for a long time and gave me lots of great advice. THANKS AGAIN!in the garden....