Three years ago we finally gave away the playground equipment that spread over a clearing in the woods down from the patio. There were a lot of good memories attached to those swings and slides and climbing towers, and I was sad to see them go. But now I had space for another garden, and so, like a person that gets a puppy when the old beloved pet passes away, I turned my energy and affections toward this new project.
I envisioned a formal space, or at least the best attempt at order that my topography and woodland setting would allow. I bought a large urn for the center of the clearing. That was the beginning. Then I laid flagstones on one end of the area and hired a carpenter to build an arbor over them. I put a path around the urn, and we hung a swing from the arbor. Nearby I placed a birdbath. And I added a beautiful lady head pot, which gave the garden its name. It was a great spot for relaxing amidst the trees.
Last year I bought some rocks and outlined planting areas on the four corners of the garden. I placed shrubs and perennials with the idea of creating an outdoor room. On one side I put in boxwoods, and the end opposite the arbor I outlined with tea olives. Sigh! A limited budget meant the plants had to be small. Right now the "hedges" are dots that will eventually grow together to provide a sense of enclosure.
Here are some photos of the Lady Garden, taken earlier this year:
This past week I worked to add more structure to the Lady Garden. The single row of rocks around the planting areas needed more impact, so I added additional rocks to create low walls. I extended the rocks to form another border in front of the tea olives. This rectangular bed connects the two corner planting spaces on that end of the garden.
This is what the space looks like with the new rocks and planting area:
The Lady Garden has a long way to go before it meets my vision, but the best part of a vision is the creative effort required to capture it. I am looking forward to next year and the changes it will bring.