Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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?
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.
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...
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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,
If you want to be happy for one month,
If you want to be happy for your whole life,
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
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.
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.
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. ;)
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.
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.
PS: also some Sago palms which I forgot earlier
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
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.