As the warm days of early fall turn to cool and blustery days of mid fall there will be more time spent pondering the garden from behind the glass. The birds will give us interesting views that before were provided by the colorful blooms and textural riot of foliage.The renovation of the main house included the placement of windows strategically for optimum garden viewing from the various comfy upholstered pieces of furniture we favor when in repose. In the living room is a window that looks out on to the lower deck and beyond to the daylily hill. The dual shepherd’s hook holding squirrel proof feeders is the sight line from my favorite lazyboy.Sitting on the criminally soft black leather sofa, better make that lying on said sofa, the view pivots to the garage deck bed , rock steps and farther to the shrub border that is punctuated by the eight foot tall orange cosmos.Moving from east to west we find the back door of the mudroom, viewable from the lazyboy again that looks out to the container line up along the wall and up the steep slope. At present the muhly grass is grabbing our gaze. The more subtle tones of the dark ajuga, silvery dianthus and golden creeping jenny that paint the step risers will become the focal point as the garden slows down to a snail’s pace.When the work was begun to enlarge and enhance the main house in 2000, there was a vision of the main view of the garden to be in the master bedroom from the loveseat positioned looking outward through glass patio doors rather than into the room. The pond was dug directly out from these doors to best be appreciated in all seasons. Winter day dreaming and garden analysis happened here while comfortably resting on the faded rose purple velvet seen in the reflection. Studies were conducted to see how we could improve the view, what colors would work, where evergreens needed to be added to balance and create the garden for which we yearned. In spring the spaces crying out for the cheering yellow of daffodils would implore us to race out and move the blooming bulbs to the empty spots. How can one know the best place for bulbs unless they are all blooming?Seasons came and went, the slope had been tweaked and twisted until satisfaction with that part of the garden was achieved. An addition was built to join the main house to the garage. The entire back wall of this new room is taken up by a twelve foot glass patio door that looks out onto the multitrunk maple tree flanked by slopes. The lower deck is accessed by these doors and the contemplation of the garden moved to the pair of lazyboys that were added to this room. The computer desk and another television completed the all purposeness of this space. The garden design of this part of the garden had been neglected in favor of the master bedroom view’s fine tuning. Thinking caps were donned to determine what was needed to improve this area. The daylily hill would need more plantings to extend the interest beyond the spring bulbs and the daylily two month parade. This is still very much a work in progress but the addition of asters, sheffies and rudbeckias has helped give color along with Autumn Joy sedum and echinaceas after the daylilies become mere green globs. Foliage diversity is still lacking.Sitting on the sleeper sofa opposite the pair of lazyboys, the view is shifted to the slope, shed and steps. There are more visual dynamics from this perspective. For serious analysis the sofa offers a place to spread the catalogs out and lacks the distraction of the laptop and blogging. We can move the laptop to the sofa, but normally sit at the lazyboy for that activity. We should change that name to lazygirl in this case.The final room with garden viewing is the kitchen. Granted we are not just idly staring out when in this space, but bustling busily cooking and cleaning up after cooking. The window with the stained glass piece is preferred by the cats to keep track of critter comings and goings, particularly birds in the cherry tree and winterberry hollies. We can see our neighbors Mae and Mickey’s garden across the street with the light vinyl fence. We end with the window above the kitchen sink. Quality quantity time is spent here so the view needed to be as appealing as possible. There is the stonework of the garage facade, cobalt blue containers (not in photo) with seasonal color and the sweep of Muhlenbergia capillaris along the far driveway with the tall pines behind. In the beginning the edge was lined with liriope to encase the small lawn on the side of the garage. More and better plantings were needed but the soil, if it can even be called soil, is the old gravel driveway of the house that was torn down to build the garage. That is not conducive to a flower bed, even the grass would barely grow there. In a dream the sea of swirling pink grasses came to us and the spots of existing muhly were raided to fill the long border. It has taken several years for the tiny divisions to fill in. The lower end is still sparse, for the liriope was left there, for reasons unknown. This spring that portion of liriope was yanked out and the muhly was planted. A few strands bloomed. The original interplanting of Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’ was much too short to give the wanted spring color after the muhly is cut down to four inches come early March. Those grape hyacinths have been replaced with taller Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and A. sphaerocephalon, the drumstick allium to extend the colorful view while one is toiling at the kitchen sink.
We hope you have enjoyed looking out our windows as much as we do. When the weather permits, the window watching always entices us to go out into the garden. But when that is not possible and there is daylight enough to make out the plantings, looking out the windows offers the next best thing.
The title of this post is from the lyrics of the Grateful Dead song “Box Of Rain“
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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