Thursday, October 16, 2008

Georgia Flower Garden

This will be part 1 of a two part series...

When the Saint and I purchased a boat, we had no idea it would entail a Flower Garden as well. See this big old ugly shelter we had installed to keep the boat clean? I have hated this big old ugly thing from day one! First we had to remove 8 big trees to make room for the metal monster. Of course, we cut each of them down and chopped them up, all by ourselves. Just call me Lumber Jane! We had firewood for several winters so that was a plus.

Once the shed was in place, we ended up with a rather large empty area so I slowly started to add things to distract the eye away from the shed. The first thing was the white picket fence that we had salvaged from a home renovation project. I told you about that with my Gas Woes story a while back. I planted a LeAnn Cleyera on either side of the fence then added the Japanese Loquat to the left of the fencing. I added a park bench in front of an already existing plum tree. Peony are located in the rock circles. The stakes represent where miniature Elephant Ears are located. I made the round planter from stones we had moved from around a dead tree. I made two rectangular planters from free brick picked up at a job site in a new housing development. You can only see one of them here but the second one is balancing out the garden in front of the bench.

So the garden begins. I did not like the way the gravel from the boat shed was falling into the garden area. This entire area has a gradual slope from the shed to the bench. We had some border stones around the grass border of the yard that were in place when we moved into the house. I never liked them there so decided it was time to remove them.
Knowing it would be next to impossible to get them into the ground level plus a lot of work, I decided to do something different. I laid them on their sides to form a little wall. I then back filled the area with the gravel.

We found these big stones along the back of our property line and never could decide what they were for, but I decided they would make good steps. I had to get the Saint to assist me with those stones as they were very heavy. He got them from the backyard into the garden area with the aide of a dolly (hand truck). They were so heavy they bent the dolly platform! He also helped me get them into place.

So I guess you could say that the boat shed is Level 1 of the garden. That Oleander bush is no longer located there as I knew in time it would be too large so I moved it to the other side of the garden. Mistake as I almost lost it. I will talk about that another time. Getting back on course here, Level 1 evolved as one of last springs projects.

I tackled Level 2 this spring soon after a tonsillectomy. One of my faults that I inherited from my father is, when I have something in my head, I don't stop until I get it done! Thanks for that trait Big Daddy... argggg... I took my favorite flat blade shovel and started to level out the dirt to make a pathway. You can see a brick planter but we will talk about that tomorrow with Level 3. I have already shown you the Half Circle planters a few weeks ago. That started this level project then the idea of adding a straight wall was in my head. Again I was looking at the border stones at the boat shed. I did not have any left over and was not going to steal any of them for this project. So I ran to the garden center to pick up a few of the shorter ones. You can see how much of a slope I had to deal with by the angle of my little red wagon. It took me all day long to dig out the dirt as I ran into some Georgia Clay. Not fun stuff to discover. In time I had a completed wall and filled in the pathway with pea gravel. My only regret is, I did not put landscapers cloth under the gravel. I don't like using it in the garden but for a path, it is fine.

Tina, do you see that gnome under the dogwood tree? Some of you may know that the Saint hates gnomes but I found this little guy on the cheap and slipped him into the garden and it only took the Saint two days to find him. He just giggled and said, "I said NO GNOMES" He knows this is my domain and to stay clear so he let the gnome have his new home.

Remember the free house bricks I just mentioned? I needed those bricks elsewhere so those planters got a fresh look with new border stones. Tina calls these Castle Rocks and I like that name so Castle Rocks they will be from here on with me. So the two brick planters which are now Castle Rock planters are separated by levels.

I had parsley to the back of this planter and put purple Perwinkle (Vinca) in the front. See the beautiful Homestead Verbena beside the planter? I told you in the past it was large!

So now Level 2 is a complete Level with 4 Elephant ears, 5 Peony, Vinca, Verbena, 3 Dogwood trees, Gay Feather, Salvia, Sedum, Mexican Heather, Petunia, Red Star, Alyssum, Blue Daze and Multi-Lantana.
Look at those miniature Elephant ears. I think the Big Box store had them mislabeled because they are huge and get bigger each year!

As I was putting in the wall stones, I broke my hand shovel (thanks clay) and sent the Saint to the Garden Center for a new one. That sweetie of mine came home with two shovels and two Dwarf Lilies! I think he was feeling sorry for me doing all this work so soon after surgery. But he knows I was having fun! So I had to plant them somewhere and came up with the idea to make a little triangle planter at the end of the pathway.
I am happy with the way the triangle planter turned out even though it was really tough as the clay was super bad in that area. I don't have much clay in the garden or the yard but in that area, I sure do. I moved a statue here and there to conform with the new design. I am now happy with the over all look of Level 2. As you can see everything is thriving and looking like a nice area to take the eye away from that ugly metal monster!
Tomorrow, I will show you Level 3 of my GEORGIA FLOWER GARDEN, In the Garden...


  1. Nice job Skeeter! I really like the triangle bed, and love your use of those scalloped border stones on their sides. You made great use of all your found stones and bricks.

    Love those 'miniature' elephant ears too! ;) Wish I could leave mine in the ground over the winter! I had to cut off a few leaves when I brought in my big green one so I could fit it in a corner in the dining room.

    Isn't it funny how one thing so often leads to another? Buy a boat. . . install a shed to keep the boat clean. . . cut down some trees. . .add a fence. . . plant a garden! Planting it while recovering from surgery. . . priceless!

  2. WOW! HUGE difference from before to after AND alot of work! Let alone the clay. Beautiful way to conceal a trouble spot, you did a great job!

  3. Wow, great job Skeeter! You have been really busy with that part of your garden. Nice way to disguise something you don't like looking at. Everything seems to be filling in nicely and I love the paths & edging. Can't wait to see part 2!

  4. I really like the way you have everything edged in brick. It looks clean and neat, very nice. Love the verbena! And the cat statue.

  5. Good Morning everyone!

    Gardengirl, I really do like stones, bricks and other fun stuff arranged in the garden. It seems to break up a massive cluster of plants keeping things a bit more organized. The little triangle planter was an afterthought with the surprise lilies but turned out really well plus gave me the opening I needed to continue the walkway around the corner. I really do like the elephant ears. They are so tall now, those pictures were snapped a while back but I had the Saint snap one of me standing in them to show how tall they are now. I will slip that pic in at some point. Things do seem to snowball for me where the yard is concerned. When we had the Bass boat it fit in the garage but then came this big fella and boy, did things change! Oh well, for the best I guess. Not even surgery will slow me down in the spring time as I love playing in the yard after a long boring winter...

    Dawn, thanks for the praise! I had to do something as that big ugly metal monster was screaming at me every day! The Saint and I argued on how tall it needed to be and he won out with the taller roof! We have decided that when it is time to sell the house, we can advertise it as a Boat or RV shed so it may add value to the house when selling time comes along. That is when I will say,” Okay, honey, you were right" He likes when I say that... lol...

    PerennialG, Thanks and yes I have been a busy little beaver in the flower garden! It has evolved over the past 3 years. Each spring, I seem to add something new and different. I know things will change a bit next year but now I have a pathway to work around. I prefer a gravel pathway rather then overgrown plant look for fear of snakes getting my ankles. I have only seen one Rattler in the yard but do not want to find one while taking a stroll so the best for me is a marked pathway for better snake hunting. Cheap insurance in my book of life… lol

    Marnie, The Saints says I am a bit of a neat freak! I do like a finished look in this garden. I call it my Semi-Formal Flower Garden. LOL I have a dog statue in the garden also. I love my animal statues tucked in here and there. The cat will also assist in keeping the wall above it in place, so I hope. The Verbena has been pretty since early spring.

  6. You did a great job Skeeter. I really like the brick edging. I think it has a much cleaner look than anything else. Even though I use landscape timbers---thinking of changing all that---they rot--more so down here. The pictures are awesome. You really have worked hard on your garden & it shows.
    Well got to hit the garden.

  7. Found your blog through a click here and click there, everywhere a click click. Well, you get the idea. I love how your garden grows, you have done a beautiful job with it.

  8. WOW! It really looks great. Lots of hard work right after surgery, it must have wore you out alot.

  9. All I can say is WOW !
    Lumber Jane please come over to my garden and help me ? : )
    You have done one heck of a job .. I feel like an idiot complaining about what I have to do when I have seen this post ..
    You did a spectacular job !!

  10. Lots of work, but GREAT results! Doesn't it feel rewarding? Cameron

  11. Lola, Thanks for your kind words as always! :) I like the timbers also but they do rot. I have timbers around the Chimney planter and like them with the natural look of the woods nearby...

    Neabear, Thank you and welcome to our little garden world! :) I know what you mean about a click here and a click there! Funny the way you put it, I was singing the Old McDonald song and now it is stuck in my head! Moo moo here and moo moo there.... arggg.... Will be tough to get that one out of my head. I am a co-author to the Master Gardener Tina. She is the Head of this Blog and I am just a friend that enjoys keeping her blog going with daily postings by a joint effort. Tina will be back on Saturday and she will be happy to meet you as am I.... My garden is small in comparison to Tina’s but I do have fun playing in the Garden....

    Sarah, Thanks! I had a lot of energy built up from laying on my hiney during recovery so I was ready to take on the world!

    Gardenjoy4me, Thanks for the compliment! Lumber Jane still has two huge sweetgums to drop by years end. And I don't do house calls. lol I moaned and groaned from the back, arm and shoulder pains but was having fun making the pains. I did most of my complaining during the hot summer with this drought and dragging the hose around.. Luckily most of my pretties are drought tolerant...

    Cameron, Thanks! There is nothing more rewarding then sitting back and enjoying a finished project. It just seems like projects never get finished around here before another one is started. But I finally have good bones in place for this garden.

  12. Wow Skeeter, what a great job. All that hard work sure paid off as it is all gorgeous!!!!

  13. Great job - you will have that shed hidden in no time. I like the pea gravel edged with bricks. I do that a lot in our garden as well.

  14. I am so very impressed at how much work you have done. Well done work, too! You have a very good design eye! I like pea gravel and would love to find a way to use it here! There are a few plants that love to grow in it and that works at c&l.


  15. Jean, Thanks. It was hard work but to me fun work. LOL Hope you have had a great week with lots of hugs and kisses... :)

    Phillip, Stop back by tomorrow and you will see how well the shed is hidden. :) The only problem is, during the winter the elephant ears and the leaves on the dogwoods are gone so I can see the metal monster. In time the dogwoods will hide it though, they are quickly growing. I do like the look of pea gravel because it seems to fit in well with the natural look in our yard...

    Gail, Thanks, the only problem with my design eye is, I start something then get the vision afterwards, thus having to undo everything I already did! lol. But in this case, it has all come together. Get you some Pea Gravel but get hubby to haul them around for you. That was one advantage to having surgery so soon before the work. The Saint had to do all the hauling for me... tee hee…

  16. Great post.

    I see one of you has added to your blog roll on the sidebar. I'd like to return the favor and add you to the blog roll there but I can't find an e-mail to contact one of the contributors of your blog.

    Help! ;0)

    Can someone send me an e-mail ( I believe mine is in my blogger profile on the left) so I can get some info from you?


  17. Skeeter--Just wanted to say that I've enjoyed your posts this week--and your Level 2 design is fabulous! Maybe you could decorate the boat garage in Christmas regalia until the dogwoods grow a little more . . .

  18. Holy cow, red soxs won tonight, when all else looked lost , 7 to 4 in the eighth, red sox down, we won!
    Heck, I wanted to comment again, I forgot to check e-mail this am! LOL!

  19. Dawn, they pulled that off very well last night. Good game but now they go to Tampa :( Don't think they can pull it off this year.

  20. Mr Brown thumb, Thanks and I will let the Master Gardener Tina know. Am sure she will contact you soon... :)

    Cosmo, The Saint would knock you over the head for suggesting that! If we had electric in that area, I would have lights on it. tee hee. I want to put wooden window panels in between the metal post but he will not let me. I want to put sides on the shed then decorate them with old garden tools, he will not allow that either. He is just no fun at times... Boring hubby of mine, gotta love him though because he does bring me surprise lilies... lol

    Dawn, Are you a Red Sox fan? lol. Yeah for the Sox making Dawn a happy camper...

    Jean, dont burst Dawns bubble like that. lol. Make your glass half full....

  21. Yep, I think Jack of all trades came close to hyperventilating, I had to tell him "don't be so serious" I thought they were a goner, sweet ending....but, odds are....would be nice....maybe....
    Pats are out, gone. Hope Brady gets better but Castle is young.

  22. Happy endings on the Sox Dawn!

    Skeeter, You did an awesome job with the big metal monster. I can't wait to see it in person someday!

  23. Skeeter, I am also a Red Sox fan and Dawn and I both know they have a very low change of going all the way. However we have gone all the way several times in the past few years so can't cry over it. Always next year. They had a good season anyway and I say, good for Tampa as they have the lowest payroll in all of baseball and are a young team. I do not have to like the fact the Red Sox will probably not win it but I am also a good sport about it.

  24. I am finally getting around to really reading and settling down. This area looks a whole lot different from when we first began talking last fall. The elephant ears especially. I am so glad I get to see pictures of all we have talked about-those steps, the levels and the beds. It looks fabulous.