Monday, November 10, 2014

My Friend Irene's Large and Whimsical Garden in the Country Part I

Good morning all! I hope it is a wonderful one and that you all take a moment to remember the sacrifices all veterans make each day so that our country can be free as tomorrow is officially Veteran's Day.

I am trying to still blog and take pictures of what is going on in my new gardens but it is hard. Oftentimes I only have my mobile handy so that is where most of the pictures go. I don't normally upload pictures to the blog from my mobile so then I am without pictures. I really need to do better as there are exciting things happening in Tiger Way Gardens. The main one is that the house is nearly finished and that I have been able to landscape--finally! Tearing up all of the land in front of the house for the geothermal heat, and tearing up all of the land in behind the house for the septic system, and not having any soil around the house has made it extremely difficult for me to landscape. I'm happy to report those issues are over with now. I have graded the yard and backfilled (with some help from my backhoe guy), and am busy making a new vegetable garden and foundation gardens along with setting up lighting and so on. At any rate, I'll try to get some pictures soon so you guys can come along for the ride and follow some of my thought processes. Today's posts (and Wednesdays and Fridays--hopefully) will be about my friend Irene's beautiful and large country garden. I visited her home back in August and had a delightful time spending time out with my friend. She, unfortunately, lives on the other side of town from me so we don't get a chance to hang out often. I took a ton of pictures of her garden as I knew you all would love it! While looking at the pictures take note of the textures you can find in Irene's garden. I am a big texture person over color or anything else you may find in a garden. Irene is an expert at weaving textures along with garden art into her landscape. 

Let's start with a wonderful purple martin house right next to a pergola in behind Irene's house. You can just see the start of a vine climbing the pergola; which actually covers a short staircase down into the back garden. The weeping Japanese maple and shrub behind it add some nice texture.

Here we are under the deck where there are a multitude of tropical and house plants. I could not help but love this vine growing in this beautiful designed pot. Irene has a very large collection of tropicals that she takes into the house each winter into her sunroom. Well, this year she was gifted with a greenhouse (as you shall see) and I bet she is going to have an easier time taking in all of these plants and will really enjoy her greenhouse.
This is looking east in her back garden. The PeeGee hydrangeas is trained to a tree form. This kind of pruning takes a lot of work and time. It is a really neat way to grow these hydrangeas if you can train one like this. For me, I've had no luck creating tree form plants.
More shrubs along the back of the garden. Here a golden mophead shares space with 'Bonfire' patio peach and a hydrangea. The bed is lined with brick. I am not sure if they were brick left over from the house build or not. Irene and her husband custom built their house about five years ago-so this garden is only five years old.
Irene loves whimsy! I know whimsy is not for everyone but you have to remember that each garden has to please the gardener. That is paramount to loving your garden and maintaining it. This bird feeding station most likely pleases our feathered friends a lot! Especially if they read the sign and see that they are welcomed.
A small bottle tree in the form of a peacock brightens a shady area. See how the pulmonaria (gray foliaged plant) plays off from the sedge's spiky foliage (lime green grasslike plant)? Then there are some rounded leaved plants as well. If you are designing a garden and can successfully combine textures, ie; bold with subtle, fine with coarse, and vary plant forms you will be have a very interesting and attractive garden. Color and bloom times and repetition are easy compared to textures.
Irene's husband is from Puerto Rico so here is her homage to her husband's homeland-the beach!
A berm with several types of massed shrubs bordered by a privet hedge adds interest and gives the garden a sense of formality. The grasses really set it all off too.
I leave you with a long shot of the west side of the garden looking up to the pergola you saw in the opening picture. Do come back later this week and see the rest of Irene's large garden....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. This looks like a fine place to stroll through.

  2. Thank you for sharing this fun and lovely garden. I love that frog face!

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Such beautiful combinations of form and texture! It's hard to believe this garden is only 5 years old.

  4. Well, I'm one of those folk who DO like whimsy! Thanks for showing us this great yard/flower beds. I look forward to seeing more from Tiger Way Garden soon.

  5. I too love whimsy and hope to see more in Irene's garden postings to come!

  6. Hello Tina girl !
    I love seeing other gardens like this .. even though out of my grow zone there are many plants that we share still .. and yes ! the texture is a huge element here .. very pretty indeed ... and I love a wee bit of whimsy so that is very cute. For a garden that is only 5 years old ? it is very impressive already !
    Joy : )

  7. Can't wait to see the rest. Love it.