Entries in Japanese maples (12)

Thursday
Apr182013

The Most Beautiful Time of the Year in the Front Garden

This is the most beautiful time of year in my front garden; that is, if you don't mind gusty colors! When the azaleas are blooming and the Japanese maples are sporting their brilliant new leaves, I think you could see my garden from space. There is nothing shy about it!

When I was planting the garden, I didn't considered the impact of all these plants flaunting their spring colors at the same time. Clashing colors? Wine red, sweet pink, purple and fiery orange may sound like a set up for a queazy stomach, but I see only joyful exuberance when I look at my garden. So here it is: Be Happy!

Views across the front lawn:

Inside the front garden:

Below, Snow White and George Lindley Tabor azaleas don't clash at all!

Some views from the patio:

I love all this color. Too soon the bright blooms will be gone, and many of the Japanese maple leaves will become muted. Spring is a time to celebrate the end of the gray, cold days of winter, and I say: Enjoy the festivities!

Thursday
Apr112013

A Garden of the Heart

Aldridge Gardens is a 30 acre picturesque retreat nestled in the middle of Hoover, Alabama, with urban condos and shopping malls just moments away. Eddie Aldridge, its founder, once lived there with his wife Kay, but with plans for the gardens to become public, they moved to their current home overlooking a lake in 1996. In the new location Eddie has created another impressive garden, filled with plants he loves. This 2 acre personal garden is a garden of the heart, developed not for show but to bring joy to its owners. I was thrilled when Eddie and Kay invited me to visit their garden this week, and I am happy to have their permission to share my photographs of their special place with you. Enjoy!

Their beautiful fountain once graced the Aldridge's Garden Shop. I remember it well, for Aldridge's was one of my favorite places to buy plants!

This lace leaf Japanese maple also once was located on the site of Aldridge's Garden Shop. It is about 60 years old. It is still in a pot, though the bottom of the pot has been knocked out so that its roots can spread.

Here is another one of Eddie's special Japanese maples. This one is about 100 years old! There is a wire cage around its trunk to protect it from beavers, the creatures most notorious for destruction in Aldridge's garden.

Walking around the garden and viewing the lake, one feels the serenity of the space. It is very quiet, except for the birds!

Some more views of the garden:

Charming accents are featured throughout the garden. The butterfly bench is one of my favorites:

Eddie explains that while he oversees the main landscape, Kay's domain is the terrace. This area has great views of the garden and the lake, but I enjoyed Kay's lovely accessories, as well:

Eddie and Kay are well into their retirement years but remain active and very involved in the community. As all good gardens reveal something of the gardener's soul, I think this one reflects the gracious and youthful spirits of its owners.

You may also enjoy my previous post, Young Lovers at Aldridge Gardens