Entries in arbor swing (2)


Arbor Garden, 2016

The Arbor Garden, originally called the Lady Garden, is eight years old. It has taken that long for me to develop a clear vision of what I want. While it has not yet become the enclosed garden room I dream about, the plants along the periphery are growing; and it is easier to see what it will become. The Arbor Garden has always been one of my favorite places to sit and enjoy wildlife, but with rough edges and a large sloping layout, it has never been particularly photogenic. Here are some recent shots taken in and around the space, and at the end of the post I'll show you some views taken when the area was first being developed, so you can see some of the changes.

Overview of the Arbor Garden taken from the patio:

Steps leading from the patio to the Arbor Garden:

Some plantings beside the steps:

A close-up of 'Red Dragon' Persicaria, seen on the right in the above image:

Chinese Snowball Viburnum and Philadelphus, AKA Mock Orange and English Dogwood, next to the Arbor Garden:

Here is a view of the Mock Orange taken from within the Arbor Garden:

Hellebores grow around the Mock Orange. They have been blooming for months and have mostly faded to greenish-white, but they are still beautiful. Their lovely foliage is evergreen and will give the ground a green covering when the flowers are gone:

Here is the entrance to the Arbor Garden:

One of the first things I added to the Arbor Garden was this large urn. I put a fern in it every year:

This is a current view of the sitting area and the arbor swing:

Here is a closer view of the small sitting area near the arbor swing - don't miss the chandelier!

The plant in the green pot is 'Banana Boat' Creeping Broad-leaved Sedge:

I have a couple of small green chairs on the landing, which is a step down from the arbor swing. This chair holds a pot of plants, which have not grown enough yet to really show up. I also have planted some woodland phlox and some dwarf mondo grass between the pavers here::

Moss is spreading to cover the ground around the large urn in the middle of the Arbor Garden. A number of 'stepable' ground covers are intermingling with the moss and each other. Hopefully, in another year one will not see any bare earth. These are some of the ground covers, as well as some other plants that are planted in pots in the Arbor Garden:Clockwise from top: Maidenhair fern, Leopard Plant and Variegated Carex grow together in a large red pot; Creeping Jenny ((Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea') and purple clover blend together; Creeping Jenny and Oxalis; 'Ogon' Japanese Sedum and Ajuga; Impatiens and Dusty Miller are easy annuals growing in pots.

Finally, here are a few views taken years ago when the Arbor Garden was much younger. The top image was taken in May, 2008, very soon after the arbor swing was completed. Some stonework was done, and the urn was in place. The views below the top image were all taken in 2010:

 You may also enjoy reading some previous posts about the Arbor (Lady) Garden:

The Lady and the Arbor Garden

Rocking Along in the Lady Garden

I See You, Owl!



The Lady and the Arbor Garden

No part of my landscape has been more challenging than the Arbor Garden.It is located in the sloping clearing that once held my children's playground, a shady space on the edge of untamed wildness. Initially I dreamed of a formal retreat, an enclosed garden room bordered by evergreens and decorated with ferns and fragrant flowers.Maidenhair fern grows in two different pots in the Arbor Garden.

Fatshedera 'Angyo Star' is located at the entry to the Arbor Garden.

This variegated fig in the Arbor Garden is not hardy; it comes inside for the winter.The garden is still evolving. Formality has been a hard thing to achieve, but from the beginning I loved the spot for its proximity to wild life. Many birds nest in the area, and some stay year round.

Red-shouldered hawks help keep the population of voles in the Arbor Garden under control.

Originally I named this area the Lady Garden, after an elegant lady head container I placed there. Then a blogger in the UK got the nerve to inform me that in his part of the world "lady garden" referred to certain unmentionable parts of a woman's anatomy. That gave me something to think about. Now I knew why my post Sounds I Hear in the Lady Garden received so many hits!

Well, I wasn't going to change the name because of that, but two things eventually convinced me to rename the area to the Arbor Garden. One, the addition of an entry arbor meant the space now contained two arbors, the first being an arbor with a swing.This view of the Arbor Garden shows the entry arbor.Two arbors? Wasn't "Arbor Garden" the logical name?

The second reason was that I relocated the Lady to the woodland garden. This happened after she suffered a serious compound skull fracture earlier this year. I had brought her into the house prior to replanting. She was in the kitchen a few days before I got around to it, and when I started to move her, a huge chunk of her head fell off. I was horrified and could not understand, for I had barely touched her. I decided the terra cotta must have become fragile over the years, though I had always been careful to bring her inside during winter to prevent frost damage.

My Husband Lou was very solicitous. He told me to buy a new one, but I thought I could put her back together with Gorilla Glue, which is strong enough to repair everything from broken cars to marriages. It worked, though I did not know that Gorilla Glue expanded dramatically. My Lady was left with a terrible, thick keloid scar.

I tried to disguise the scar with paint. What I thought was gray paint ended up being blue once it dried, but I wasn't particularly unhappy with the effect. I splotched some more blue paint here and there to make it look like it was designed to be that way. When it was time to put her back outside, I decided to place her by the woodland steps, a new beginning for her post-trauma days. Here she is, before and after:

Meanwhile, Lou continued to express concern. He knew how much the pot meant to me. He was glad the Gorilla Glue worked, and he thought the blue paint looked fine.

Then my son said to me, "You know he broke it, don't you?"

"What?!! He broke it?"

"Yes, he knocked it over. It hit the floor hard. He didn't tell you?"

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I imagine Lou did not realize it was cracked. The soil and plants must have held it together until I touched it. But to this day he has not confessed. And he does not know that I know. Unless he reads this post.