Photo by Melody
It's time now to VOTE in our 14th annual photo contest! Voting ends November 7, so be sure to cast your votes for your favorites in each category here. Good luck to all contestants!

Voting Booth: My idea of the perfect garden is:

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Forum: Voting BoothReplies: 95, Views: 1,458
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dave

April 28, 2008
9:50 AM

Post #4875567

There are a total of 580 votes:


relaxed and casual with lots of flowers for arrangements
(181 votes, 31%)
Red dot


tranquil and serene, with harmonious color schemes and calm patterns
(117 votes, 20%)
Red dot


formal and traditional (clipped hedges and straight paths)
(6 votes, 1%)
Red dot


full of bold and dramatic foliage and flowers
(126 votes, 21%)
Red dot


an exotic, tropical retreat
(71 votes, 12%)
Red dot


seamlessly blending into surrounding natural areas
(79 votes, 13%)
Red dot


Previous Polls

ginnylynn
Blyth, ON
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
11:19 AM

Post #4875682

Bold and dramatic for sure! Dahlias, castor beans, bananas, canna and calla lilies - all the things a zone 5b garden should have ;-)
tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2008
11:24 AM

Post #4875702



I voted for 'tranquil and serene with harmonious colors'-- but that really isn't quite what I like--

I do like to work with color complements and shadings and that was the closest I could find.

I remember the old 'color echoes' threads and found them so interesting here on Dave's. We should do them again!
Artgal
Evans, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2008
11:43 AM

Post #4875744

I had difficulty voting on this one ... a lot of the options had appeal ... relaxed and casual; tranquil and serene; blending with natural areas. Possible to have all three of those in one garden.
SongsofJoy
New Hampshire, NH
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
11:46 AM

Post #4875756

I voted tranquil and serene - but I could second Artgal's comment of blending relaxed & casual; tranquil & serene; and blending with natural areas.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 28, 2008
12:13 PM

Post #4875830

Relaxed & casual for sure.
I don't have the foggiest idea what these others even mean.
When I get my whole acre of lawn covered with flowers I will quit!
Bernie

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Edens_Gardener
Clay Center, KS
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
12:29 PM

Post #4875887

Relaxed and casual here too. Not enough patience for consistent and structured.

jeri11

jeri11
Central, LA
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2008
1:11 PM

Post #4876065

I voted tropical but I also think my garden is tranquiel and serene.

Thumbnail by jeri11
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okus

(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2008
1:13 PM

Post #4876069

I liked relaxed and casual and tranquil and serene but I opted for the latter because no matter how many blooms I have I can't bear to cut them! The exception being sweat peas because the more you do the more they bloom.
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 28, 2008
1:39 PM

Post #4876223

i like lots of flowers but also love bold foliage and flowers. all about the flowers. i call my scheme "wild abandon" but that wasn't a choice.
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2008
1:50 PM

Post #4876268

Voted casual, lots of flowers... but DID look for "all of the above!"

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

April 28, 2008
1:51 PM

Post #4876274

Bold and dramatic ...I love it to take my breath away!
chrissy
dixieland
Fitzgerald, GA

April 28, 2008
2:29 PM

Post #4876443

I voted for tranquil and serene. I like the idea of being able to sit in a garden of serene surroundings and feeling closer to nature and God.
usaveteran
Bensalem, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 28, 2008
2:32 PM

Post #4876458

I voted for tranquil and serene - this reminds me of the many wonderful gardens I've seen over the years traveling to the Far East. Japan especially has some beautiful Zen gardens to relax and ponder life's questions. Vietnam also has some really beautiful gardens and some very peaceful surroundings.

Thumbnail by usaveteran
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Zarebeth
Circle Pines, MN
(Zone 4b)

April 28, 2008
4:18 PM

Post #4876981

I have some of each - except the formal gardens.
plantladyhou
Katy, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2008
4:31 PM

Post #4877030

Eclectic is what I would call my garden. To me an unstructured garden is the most tranquil so that an untrimmed plant looks as right as a dainty lily and anything goes. Nature does not choose colors or rows or heights but everything goes where it should.

plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2008
4:58 PM

Post #4877139

^_^ I voted for the exotic tropical retreat although I love all kinds of gardens so it would be really hard to choose a favorite.

The only one I would not choose is the formal and traditional. While I sorta like traditional for interior decorating, I do not like formal style with clipped hedges and straight lines in my garden.
mamasita
Southern Dutchess Co, NY
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
4:58 PM

Post #4877140

I vote tropical because that would be my DREAM garden. It's difficult to achieve that when you live in NYS, and that's why most of my gardening is indoors. I liked what plantladyhou said and that's more my approach to outdoor gardening, too. I live between folks who go for manicured and the English manor gardens but I like the unstructured look myself.
Sofonisba
Beacon, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2008
5:12 PM

Post #4877220

I voted relaxed and casual. If I cut flowers or not, it's no biggie. I've got a hammock and my iced tea. Ahhhh...

I love that we all love gardening so much! It's wonderful reading everyone's posts here.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


April 28, 2008
5:22 PM

Post #4877275

I think my mom will get a chuckle out of this: I voted for "manicured"...I love my English Gardens calendar: it is my "dream" garden style.

Now, does my garden look like that??? Uhhhh, no.
Fairywinkle
Lodi, WI
(Zone 4b)

April 28, 2008
5:32 PM

Post #4877340

It all depends on the day! A garden is a place of mind reflected by the currrenty environment for me.
WILLIEB
Chimacum, WA

April 28, 2008
5:41 PM

Post #4877386

This was hard to vote. None of them really fit my garden.
I voted relaxed and casual. But I also have bold and dramatic - in that I have very unusual and uncommon flowers. I do not cut flowers for arrangements for me, but do give them away. Seamlessly blending into surrounding natural areas also fits my garden some. My "lawn" in a small meadow in the spring, with lots of forget-me-nots in it. Also have a lot of Sweet Honesty. These two are free flowing into the surrounding area.
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



April 28, 2008
5:57 PM

Post #4877460

I voted for exotic and tropical. I picked the one that was as far from what I actually have as I could.

I'm not satisfied or happy with my gardens as they are now. I'm not feeling the love. Although, if we'd get a year with some adequate moisture, that might make them look a lot better.
mamasita
Southern Dutchess Co, NY
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
6:02 PM

Post #4877480

Great thread! Isn't it wonderful we all don't have exactly the same gardening style? I enjoy reading what everyone else likes and does; the diversity in styles makes me feel as if WE are the garden!
roybird
Santa Fe, NM

April 28, 2008
6:37 PM

Post #4877651

I couldn't decide because I like them all! I have never seen a garden I didn't like, even if it is not my style. I think xeric cottage gardens are best for my area...but they can look very calm or dramatic or casual or blend with surroundings. Versatile gardens!
Colquhoun
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
6:58 PM

Post #4877754

We plant toward having a totally edible landscape. Its more important to use that our plants serve a use: food, medical, or even to feed the wildlife. We always seem to lean heavily toward natives and hierlooms.
plantfan_midge
Howell, NJ
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2008
7:09 PM

Post #4877796

I voted for tranquil and serene because that is what I strive for in the garden and in my life. The reality is I am in the process of redoing 4 beds because they are an unorganized mess and not at all tranquil or serene.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2008
7:15 PM

Post #4877821

Tranquil and serene was my vote. As others have said a few elements from the choices given could be combined.

I enjoyed the color echoes threads, too, Tabasco!

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jojoringer
Joey in Conroe, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2008
8:27 PM

Post #4878180

LOL where is the crammed and chaotic option?
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2008
8:34 PM

Post #4878210

Funny!
soapwort243
South Milwaukee, WI

April 28, 2008
8:54 PM

Post #4878316

I had to go with the bold and dramatic, as first choice, but they all sound great!

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

April 28, 2008
8:56 PM

Post #4878321

I garden for the relaxed casualness, but i also have a few unusual treasures. For instance, I have my Cornus mas, or corneliancherry, a dogwood relative blooming it's heart out right now. The flowers are small but bright yellow and they come out way before forsythia. I like it also because up here on my windy hill, regular dogwood doesn't do so well.
Here's a pic of the blooms.
Martha

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gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

April 28, 2008
8:58 PM

Post #4878328

This is a better picture of Cornus mas.
Martha

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mamasita
Southern Dutchess Co, NY
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
9:04 PM

Post #4878355

I think I have seen this growing wild on the side of my road and wondered what it was, gardenmart. If it's the same thing, does it have a nice fragrance? If yes, then that's what I've been seeing and smelling. Do you think a cutting would root easily?

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

April 28, 2008
9:08 PM

Post #4878373

It is not fragrant, and it resembles dogwood a bit until the flowers bloom. It is like a dogwood without the decorative bracts. I expect it would be like trying to root Cornus florida, the regular dogwood. I have never done this so I wouldn't know about the ease or not of making a hardwood cutting. But you could try. It is over 8 feet tall now and there's plenty of wood to try it out on.
Martha
mamasita
Southern Dutchess Co, NY
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2008
9:11 PM

Post #4878382

Thanks so much. I'm going to take a cutting when the rain here stops. Couldn't hurt!
lovesthedirt
New Braunfels, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2008
11:58 PM

Post #4879166

I'm a newbie, my garden is hidden behind the fence because I am restricted in the neighborhood. So, my backyard is wild and naturalistic. The front is manicured by someone else. I love that each of us sees the garden as a reflection of ourselves.
tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2008
12:03 AM

Post #4879191


Pirl, LUV your color echo! Too cute! (-:
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 29, 2008
12:48 AM

Post #4879434

Thanks. Even the evil Houttuynia matches!
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2008
3:10 AM

Post #4880255

I chose the last answer about blending in with the natural surroundings but I still want plenty of cutting flowers, too. Or...maybe simplicity roses down the fence line as they are good for cutting, too!
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 29, 2008
3:16 AM

Post #4880303

jojo, that would have fit under my "wild abandon". what is it about us texas girls? lol.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

April 29, 2008
8:45 AM

Post #4880764

Beautiful pictures people. lovely to have a peek at your gardens. I voted Tropical, as thats where I'm headed. I do have a part that is relaxed and casual, and a couple of standard ficus at the gates, which kinda looks formal, but I really have a mix of garden types and have a couple of acres to play with, so I try different things, but the tropical resort style paradise is where I think I'm headed.

Thumbnail by weed_woman
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seemama
Kissimmee, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 29, 2008
10:11 AM

Post #4880816

It has to be an exotic tropical but I'm not sure about the retreat bit!
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2008
1:25 PM

Post #4881355

I voted for tranquil and serene, but I have islands with different focus. My plan is to someday do my front yard in tropical. I try for color echoes but am not always successful.
balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

April 29, 2008
4:40 PM

Post #4882287

Tranquil and serene, because everything in the outside is too discomfiting. The garden is a sanctuary, a place of joy and safety.

Thumbnail by balvenie
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wrightie
Metro DC, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 29, 2008
6:51 PM

Post #4882768

All of the above. I prefer a series of "garden rooms," each with its own unique style and atmosphere.
bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 29, 2008
7:40 PM

Post #4882985

Living in south Fl .,it has to be exotic tropical. But...lots of green, little constant colour! One has the machette in one hand and Top Tropicals catalogue in the other. But the wonderful fragrances, especially at night, make up for the lack of all year round colour you lucky ducks enjoy in the cooler climes!
A pic of a fragrant Oleander, blooming at present.

Thumbnail by bedouin
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AFDolly
Glennie, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 29, 2008
8:38 PM

Post #4883194

I voted relaxed and casual.This is the second year for this bed.Spring here in Michigan Aleta

Thumbnail by AFDolly
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Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2008
9:08 PM

Post #4883361

No "other"? I like tranquil and serene with bold and dramatic foliage and flowers.

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

April 29, 2008
9:38 PM

Post #4883463

Dear Bedouin,
We are having "spring" here at the moment in MA. I put out my potted hibiscus, the "tropical" portion of my garden this last week as daytime temps made it up to the high 60's and evening temps were in the,gasp!, high 40's. Still too cold for my one bird of paradise and one bougainvillea. I may have to go out in the rain tonight and bring them all in since it sounds as if we are going to get 37 degrees tonight. Not freezing, but hibiscus do like it a bit warmer. I would have voted in the "other" category. Next year, about the last week in March, I will come down and help you wield the machete and appreciate your garden!
Martha
Kathleen
Panama, NY
(Zone 5a)

April 29, 2008
10:19 PM

Post #4883666

We're headed for the 20s tonight. At this time of year, I just like mine alive! I didn't actually vote. Mine is a farm garden, some antiques, some herbs, some veggies, some whatever comes up.
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 30, 2008
12:06 AM

Post #4884079

bedouin, that was funny.
terriculture
london England
United Kingdom

April 30, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #4884133

Relaxed and casual for me!

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bigcityal
Menasha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 30, 2008
2:59 AM

Post #4885022

I voted relaxed and casual, but I can appreciate any of those styles when I see them.

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bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 30, 2008
3:19 AM

Post #4885127

GardenMart, I bet you can grow all the wonderfully fragrant violets in your zone. I'm struggling with some northern Viola Odorata and am lucky to find a couple of little violet flowers on it. So many of mine have died, but I plod on, regardless, as I love them. Someone did give me a Florida tropical violet which can take full sun, so I'm able to enjoy these beauties every now and then.

This info is off topic, but I thought it would be of interest to those who plant for fragrance:
Violet's elusive fragrance: http://www.onlineagentur.de/urban/viol_beschr.htm
The Science of Scented Memories: http://www.humanflowerproject.com/index.php/weblog/comments/the_science_of_scented_memories/

Mamajack I should have mentioned boots as well, as the land crabs have made 2 huge holes in my garden this week. Poked a rake handle down both holes. The handle disappeared!. The hole is about 8-9" wide. I really should take photos for posterity! I've had plenty of holes before, but NEVER this size or depth! I wonder if my garden is sinking into the harbour! I'm not joking...so many hollow noises when I push the wheelbarrow around the chattahoochee! Its scary...
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 30, 2008
3:57 AM

Post #4885311

whaaat? land crabs can make holes like that?
bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 30, 2008
4:15 AM

Post #4885396

Unless the land is collapsing beneath my feet, the only horror that makes holes in the garden are the land crabs. I've never, ever seen any this large or this deep or even this straight down. 2 in 1 week. I'll take a photo of both of them tomorrow. The land crab I caught had a span of 12" from claw to claw. Simply horrible things. And the stink when they are dead is certainly no pleasure! Granted I kept it a few days to show my DH. I think if it is a land crab, it must be absolutely enormous. Much larger than the 12' one.
avianut
Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

April 30, 2008
12:16 PM

Post #4886058

It depends how you define the terms... is this "bold"?

Thumbnail by avianut
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bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 30, 2008
1:55 PM

Post #4886527

A collage of the land crab holes. My question is: if the visible land crab holes are this large and deep, I wonder just what the underground damage is! Now if they would just knaw on the 2 storey rubber tree roots on west side which probably are probably grow across my property and more, and demolish the invasive roots of the fichus hedge on the east side, I'd be in utter bliss!. I've been told that fichus roots can go 2 storeys high and come out of a toilet! Shades of a horror film!

Avianut you have designed a beautiful combination of colours.
The garden photos are delightfully peaceful pockets of nature.
Anyone have butterfly plants included in their gardens?

Thumbnail by bedouin
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mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 30, 2008
1:57 PM

Post #4886535

avianut...that's bold to me. you oughta trade me some of those yellow (i think) kniphofias. lol.

bedouin...that's just plain spooky. do the land crab carcasses at least make good fertilizer?
dmdula
Morganton, NC

April 30, 2008
5:17 PM

Post #4887481

I wish they had all of the above! I voted natural surroundings because I did a research paper a few months ago on building backyard habitats!
bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 30, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #4887984

mamajack, hese land crabs are so fast on their feet I've only caught one (12" claw to claw). And that was quite a feat with me jumping up each time it came in my direction! I kept it for a couple of days and the smell was unbearable. I dont think I'd ever want to use it as fertilizer. Between the land crabs and the iguanas inundating our zone, I think maybe 'types of gardens' should include critters one hopes will not visit our gardens!

Exotic Tropical. Pic of an iguana sunning itself on the dock at Key Biscayne. Fl.

Thumbnail by bedouin
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mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 30, 2008
7:25 PM

Post #4888031

lol. i like those guys when i see them in cages but i know our animal control people here have gotten calls to go out and get monster iguanas that had either been turned loose or had gotten out of their homes. and if i worked animal control i woulda quit that day cause i be scared of big lizards. lol. and land crabs are just so ugly i can't even bear to see them. and they are the ones that move sideways aren't they? can't imagine one that big. groooooooooossssss!!

sorry everyone...BACK TO THE FAVORITE TYPE OF GARDEN...
Willowwind2
Union, WA
(Zone 8b)

April 30, 2008
10:14 PM

Post #4888753

I voted relaxed and causal. No plan,no order, just buy what you like and plant it somewhere.
terryr
Bureau County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 30, 2008
11:33 PM

Post #4889116

seamlessly blending into surrounding natural areas is how I voted...but it should be "seamlessly blending into surrounding NATIVE areas". Plants native and indigenous to my area go on our property. Something that's "natural" isn't necessarily "native" or "indigenous" as the forum used to be. Such a loss to lose that.
Lynnie6868

(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2008
12:56 AM

Post #4889445

I hear ya on the "acre of lawn" lol I'm in the same boat here. I'm new to gardening, I love this website. I have to work on little areas at a time or I get so overwhelmed! I think any garden is tranquil & serene, even the bold colorful ones. I have a hard time deciding on which colors I want. I like everything I see, like a kid in a candy store!
Roxy1949
Siloam Springs, AR

May 1, 2008
4:45 AM

Post #4890447

I voted for the bold and dramatic flowers because I have limited space for my gardens and I enjoy watching what comes up each year. I have some perennials as my stabilizers, then add annuals for fun.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 1, 2008
4:59 AM

Post #4890487

I also looked for an all the above, but voted to blend in to the surroundings currently working on a woodland shade garden. So I guess that's why it's my fav, but will probably change when I start my next project. lol
Lynnie6868-tell me about it!!
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

May 1, 2008
4:39 PM

Post #4892146

I voted Tropical. I do require everything to be very fragrant, or edible. My begonias think I'm nuts.
picante
Helena, MT
(Zone 4b)

May 1, 2008
4:48 PM

Post #4892173

terryr, that's exactly how I interpreted it: blending into surrounding NATIVE areas. That is why I did NOT vote that way. Here, that would mean brown 10 months a year, white for one, and green for one. My friend Soferdig says "Irrigation is the key to happiness" [here in the Rockies]. This is his garden.

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crazyaboutroses
Thousand Oaks, CA

May 1, 2008
5:43 PM

Post #4892376

That crazy California sun just swallows up color! No pastels for this gardener. I prefer the hot colors-the brighter the better! It always puts me in a good mood to see green and color for in my area.
bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

May 1, 2008
5:43 PM

Post #4892377

Molamola, I too plant for fragrance. The nights are Tropically fragrant in my garden with the Brunfelsias pure white beauty and the their different aromas. I've never seen any moths visiting, which I expected. Both my Brugmansia Insignis died (baby powder fragrance) but the B. Cyprus Gardens with its lemony fragrance is doing well. Hope to have seeds again soon. By day the gentle fragrance of the Telosma Cordata is a pleasure plus the Passiflora Triloba with its sultry, wafting fragrance.

For those in the colder regions, I miss the hydrangeas very much. I have to treat them as annuals here, more's the pity! The beauty of the purple Wisteria is sorely missed in Spring. The massed colour of the impatients is almost finished now as the heat is building up.
holeth
Corpus Christi, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 2, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #4893834

Can I have natural looking AND a lot of blooms for cutting?
I love flowers, but I also love critters!
The garden is the beautiful theater.
The wildlife is the live action show.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 2, 2008
12:26 AM

Post #4893881

Very nicely said.
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

May 2, 2008
12:30 AM

Post #4893909

I think it strange that the poll is for flowers.

To me, gardening is first for quality, fresh, delicious and most nutriscious FOOD. And the flowers are the treats, the ah's, the mmmm's,,, which are very important! Don't get me wrong, but I need physical sustenance, and to eat something you've grown from seed, well, there's just nothing to compare.

I heard a Chinese proverb once,

If you want to be happy for one night,
get drunk.
If you want to be happy for one month,
get married.
If you want to be happy for your whole life,
garden.
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

May 2, 2008
12:32 AM

Post #4893918

How do you spell new trisch us??? lol
FoxtailFavPalm
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 2, 2008
1:04 AM

Post #4894066

I voted an exotic, tropical retreat because most of my landscaping consist of palms! Love 'em.
WaterCan2
Eastern Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 2, 2008
3:52 AM

Post #4894917

Tranquil and serene... like in totally anti-stress. ☺
Beebers1
Sacramento, CA

May 2, 2008
5:36 PM

Post #4896977

I love relaxed w/lots of flowers for the butterflys, hummingbirds, bees, and I even get lizzards on my covered back patio where most of my plants live. I've lived in Mexico as a child, and HI so I prefer the tropical feel. On my back porch, I also have a turtle pond where I have raised two red-eared sliders from quarter sized to the size of sm dinner plates: Toni and Tuga. I have a beautiful plant from Puerto Rico that blooms every summer these huge white vanilla scented blossoms. I got it from my mother. She'd had it since 1975. I have a split leaf philly in my bedroom that is about 7 ft wide and 6 ft tall that I got in 1977 when I broke my back, it was about a ft tall then...SMILE. My collection is bromilliads, succulants, roses, grasses, cactus plants (one that grows indoors that is 7ft tall, don't know the name) geraniums, I cld go on and on. I don't grow a lawn. I go all natural. I love dish gardening. UR SITE IS THE BEST ON THE NET...RIGHT ON AND THANX
Willowwind2
Union, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 2, 2008
10:16 PM

Post #4898051

Nutritious!
SGolden
Quinnesec, MI

May 3, 2008
1:33 AM

Post #4898919

I voted for natural - as much as i adore the perennial gardens and annual flowers, my herb bed and salad garden, I still find my favorite flowers are those that grow and change with each season! Nothing like taking a walk in our parks near the lakes - you could go once or twice a month and there is always something new to see.

Thumbnail by SGolden
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bgrumbin
Barstow, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 3, 2008
4:57 AM

Post #4899631

I said "seemlessly blending" mostly because, out here in the High Desert, a person winds up killing an awful lot of otherwise delightful plants that simply don't want to survive under the arid, windy, blazingly hot in summer, naturally impoverished soil conditions that exist here. Fact is, I love the desert and marvel at the survivors that do manage to grow and flourish here. I kept coming back to see the desert time after time over several decades before finally buying my place to settle down here in the High Desert.

None of my own realities prevent me from appreciating places like the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, however, where they have precipitation in amazing quantities to help their florals and arbors along. Similarly I can appreciate the Wilbur D. Mays Arboretum in Rancho San Rafael near downtown Reno Nevada even though the notion, of having a riparian area or ponds such as are included there, is purest fantasy here in the genuinely xeric High Desert. Certainly not least, the beauties of the new McConnell Arboretum at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding California are a delightful horticultural exercise. So I'm aware of many different kinds of "perfect gardens" and voted as I did only because what I myself am going to be capable of creating is in fact going to depend substantially on my natural environment.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 3, 2008
4:11 PM

Post #4901080

I guess I would have to say my gardening style is relaxed and casual. I don't even really do much pre-planning other than to consider what I like, take into account the varying heights and textures, and pair up things that I think look good together. I'm still learning and making lots of mistakes, so moving plants around is something I do a lot of.

Ideally, as my garden matures, I want it to have that slightly crowded and somewhat hectic cottage garden look. That suits me and my lifestyle. ;)
dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2008
7:02 PM

Post #4901720

I'm going with relaxed and casual but I cannot bring myself to cut my flowers off:LOL: I like how they look in the garden too much!

I really like every choice given in some way or another. I ended up picking what most reflects what I have going on right now...
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2008
11:34 PM

Post #4902577

Other - I need the garden to provide for my family. While looks are important, at this point production is more important. The price of food is not likely to go down any more than the price of fuel. Good luck & bountiful gardens too all.
Kittylover
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 4, 2008
2:11 PM

Post #4904460

I voted for exotic tropical retreat, but I would also include some of the other options such as tranquil and serene, relaxed and casual, bold and dramatic foliage and flowers. I would say my backyard pool garden is all of these. My color scheme is bright tropical colors -red, fucshia, purple, with of course white and green. I have Mexican Fan Palms, Japanese Banana, Black Magic Elephant ears, Hardy Hibiscus, Oleander (fuschia)Honeysuckle (white), Gardenia, groundcovers are Cyclamen (red), purple heart, mexican heather, persian shield, snapdragons (red) which I need to take out because they've gotten too tall, dianthus, and a low creeping red flowering bush that was supposed to be annual and turned out to be perrenial (which is great of course) but I forgot it's name. As most gardens it's still a work in progress but - I find it very relaxing to sit on my patio surrounded by beautiful and fragrant plants and watch the birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc.. My favorite time is early in the morning while I drink my first cup of coffee. I don't think it gets much better than this.

Anyone agree?
Esther
PS: also some Sago palms which I forgot earlier

This message was edited May 4, 2008 7:57 PM
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 4, 2008
3:39 PM

Post #4904862

i agree esther...that's about as good as it gets.
Kittylover
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2008
12:55 AM

Post #4906790

Mamajack,
So what does your "wild abandon" look like? What plants, colors, etc. - BTW - Those were some freaky land crab holes - I don't think I could garden there - I would probably end up falling in my pool - after jumping out of the way of shadows. lol
Esther
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2008
4:39 AM

Post #4907902

wild abandon...look at my trade list and you will see some of the things i grow. i am a relatively new gardener and i am always getting a new plant. some are mature but most are babies. in order to keep them alive i put them in any flower bed. then when they grow to maturity i see that i have to rearrange things but you know how slow that next bed is to get ready. also, i plant things not really knowing what their habits are. and some of those get out of hand. i need to slow down and catch up but i won't. my garden is just one big happy experiment for me. one day i would really like to have the whole yard dug up and just have paths to get here and there with no grass to mow. and then move all my plants according to height and colors but for now it's just going to have to do. i'm getting older so i'm slowing down on the amt. of yard i can dig and convert into flower beds in a season.
Kittylover
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2008
4:51 PM

Post #4909707

WOW!! You have a ton of really pretty stuff - but I can't picture how it's laid out - or how you take care of them all - I know about the getting older part - I don't get up and down too easy anymore - that's why most of the stuff I plant has to be minimal care. I've lucked out with a few things that weren't expected to be perennial. We had a family reunion at our house last september. I bought a ton of red cyclamen to brighten up the gardenia bed. I couldn't believe it when they lived and flowered thru the winter - now I need to buy a few more to fill out the bed. I've always dreamed of having a tropical garden - grew up in upstate NY -now I'm putting the finishing touches on it. Last year I had 4 passionflower vines - gulf frittilary (sp?) caterpillar ate to the ground and a bunch or red pentas that the Spinkx (sp?) moth caterpillar ate. I need to figure out what to get to replace them - It was neat seeing them - but I don't want to go thru that every year. I have just two patches of grass - one a dog run - hidden from view. The other is at the end of the pool patio - centered between two large quarter circle beds - at the two corners of yard. Front yard mostly grass - haven't done much there - a circular bed under tree filled with dianthus. Currently I need to move some Black Magic elephant ears - they are too close to patio edge - they get big and droop over patio. I'm going to move them back and put some dwarf lorpetulum as a small mounding edge around bed for them to droop onto. It's raining right now - so I have a reprieve. I need to get a digital camera so I can share pics.

Esther
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2008
10:06 PM

Post #4911074

i plant in the fall. that way everything is all settled in by july/aug. the following year. i rarely water anything except for the new plants waiting to be planted that i keep in pots under my sorry catalpa shade tree. even then i fill kiddie swimming pools and set the pots in them. and i use a lot of mulch. water can be short in texas and i try not to use it wastefully.

i don't live under a homeowner's assoc. so i can start new beds years in advance by putting down cardboard and hay and leaves trying to get the worms to help me as well as kill the grass. the grass has got to go but i can't dig it all quick enough.

if you are going to grow passion vines you need a lot of them but the gulf frit cats ate mine up as well. i didn't have enough and i felt sorry for them as there were so many. i would scoop them up by the handful to move them to a new vine. and if you didn't dig the passion vines up they should return this year just fine.
Kittylover
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2008
11:31 PM

Post #4911378

Mamajack
We live in a homeowners association. I don't need to start any new beds- most of them were already there - just needed ammending - I added a half circle bed under my big bay master bedroom window -the shape was already formed by the patio- just had to get rid of grass and ammend. That is where I have the three miniature gardenia and cyclamen and an oleander to shield dog run & a/c poll stuff from view. - I didn't dig up the passion vines but I haven't seen them. Shouldn't they be at least up by now?Most of my back yard is pool & patio - with beds surrounding. The patio starts as courtyard by kitchen hallway -with the door to the master bedroom across the courtyard - I have a control panel for pool/spa just inside master door - so I can heat up the spa before I go out. I love that!

I have two big pots that look tuscan - they are fake so they are lighter, but still heavy - Last fall for the reunion I just threw in pre potted azeala bushes, with a tray inserted for it to rest on - the bottom of pot is narrower - similar to waist up of an hourglass figure - the top has a grapevine embossed pattern. It was a real battle getting them out - I was hoping that the water wouldn't go beneath the tray - but it did. I'm collecting empty plastic juice/soda bottles to fill up the space so there won't be as much water. I still will do the pot within a pot. It makes water control easier - I do this for all my houseplants as well - It helps with the fussy ones that don't like to get their feet wet. I don't know what I'm going to plant in them. I'd like to find something that would live thru winter - but I don't know if that exists - the azealas didn't. I didn't expect them to. I want to put some other pots around the pool also.
Kat has a beautiful container garden (lizard lounge) inside a sunroom. Check it out in container gardening.(Container renovations thread)
Any Ideas?
Esther

This message was edited May 5, 2008 6:33 PM
mamajack
Fate, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 6, 2008
5:13 AM

Post #4913022

not with containers. i kill all of those. lol. my plants have to live on their own because as you said i have too many to baby any particular one.

yep the passion vines ought to be up i would think. but the temps have been so cool and maybe they are even cooler inside your fence.
bedouin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

May 7, 2008
4:34 AM

Post #4917635

Kitty lover, I agree. I voted for the Tropical! I too plant primarily for fragrance and butterflies.
Nothing like walking around the garden with the breeze wafting the fragrances around; watching the butterflies flitting from flower to flower, laying their eggs on the passiflower or Cassia's and watching the birds splashing in the birdbath. Also watching and listening to the parrots at the feeder with their Guard watching for their safety, foregoing his turn to feed this time!
The night fragrances of the Brunfelsias is probably a hallucinogenic, but in a wonderful sense! The different fragrances are better than gardenias,I think. I have a pond with a fountain. A toad visited for 3 nights some time ago. I thought all her eggs were eaten by a pesty heron who has demolished quite a few dozen of my goldfish tilll last week when I used a pool strainer to clean some debris from the pond! I found one fat tadpole, no legs yet, so I stopped cleaning up! Who knows how many of them are there. But even one is enough for me! But Mommy Frog is croaking somewhere else as I heard her tonight from a distance of a couple of houses! Wish she'd come back and lay more eggs!


This message was edited May 7, 2008 12:36 AM
seemama
Kissimmee, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2008
5:52 PM

Post #4919740

Bedouin, I put a sign up outside pointing the way to Ft.Lauderdale for all the thousands of frogs we have, very happy to share. I get them sitting in my Crinum leaves - waiting to catch insects - or sheltering from the sun. I like them but we do have rather a lot.
Kittylover
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2008
3:45 PM

Post #4945313

Bedouin - I have serious zone envy here - how I would love to have parrots feeding - that is worth savoring!
Esther

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