The Long And Short Of It-A Garden Tour

Let’s have a tour of the garden, virtually. Our vantage point will be from the deck just outside the addition that joins the main house to the garage. You won’t have to do any walking at all, just sit on the comfy blue chairs, sip your cool beverage and listen intently to the spiel. Or don’t listen and daydream about whatever strikes your fancy, we are free spirited here at the Fairegarden. Let us begin with the daylily hill corner, an intensively planted area since it is the view from the lazyboy inside the addition where all blogging happens. The above zoom in, referred to as *the short* in the title, is the plot under the Crimson Queen Japanese maple that anchors the steeply sloping land. This slope was the property line between the main house, purchased in 1996 for daughters Semi and Chickenpoet to live in while attending the nearby college. When we, The Financier and I moved here in 2000, crashing Semi’s party house, Chickenpoet had moved out after the first year, we began a major renovation that included buying the house next door to demolish and build a garage on the site. This story has been told several times, and goes to show the old saw, truth is stranger than fiction, to be reliable. Back to the plantings. Nasella tenuissima, Sedum acre, Hosta ‘Sunpower’, forget me nots and Spiraea bumaldi ‘Magic Carpet’ in the background are a swirling miasma. The hard working foliage of hyacinths and daffodils is busy storing energy for next year’s blooms and is barely noticeable.

Pulling back some, getting *longer*, we see the bigger picture that contains the promising foliage of the daylilies, Hemerocallis for which this part of the garden is named. Last fall more of the hostas were divided and spread, for their golden color brightens this shady afternoon area well. Emerging fern croziers of Dixie wood fern, Dryopteris x australis also spread more thickly last fall will liven up the sea of spikes.

Pulling way back, the entire view is shown. On the left is the ramp to the garage deck with the purple adirodack chair placed for prime garden watching. Both hedges that line the veggie bed, Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Mops’ and Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ aka ‘Emerald Green’ are visible. But what is that bit of white fabric up there between the hedges?

Not the most attractive of arrangements, unless one considers the salads already consumed, spotless, clean and with no other critters sharing the bounty, this jerry-rigged hoop house is a close up worthy of a magazine cover. Using leftover reinforcing wire that used to be tomato cages, plastic rabbit fence and high quality frost cloth held in place with plastic coated paperclips, the winter planted lettuce has been an unmitigated success. Swiss chard seedlings are emerging from a fall sowing and a couple of bush tomato plants will grow up through the wire after the cloth is undraped in May. Sugar Snap peas are at the far end on bamboo tripods, inside the fence but open to the sky. Coffee grounds have protected all plantings from snails and slugs, if any were around.

Back to the base of the daylily hill, at the imaginary feet of Athena is the delightful mix of forget me nots, spent grape hyacinth stalks, yellow acorus and the seed grown Primula veris with their heads up and showing some orange markings never seen before.

Looking west from Athena, several items of note are spotted. Let us delve deeper into the view.

Traveling along the wall from the deck as it rises to full four feet height we see the newest container. Not really needing another pot, this one could not be passed by last weekend at a nursery open house near Semi’s home. The color and unique shape, plus twenty percent off all pottery brought it home with us. The plantings are lemon verbena that will be brushed and sniffed every time the path is traversed, golden lemon thyme, ditto, and Plectranthus ‘Blue Yonder’.

As the right slope of the daylily hill descends to the path, held in place with a rock wall, the group planting of violas is showing great strenth against the onslaught of ever encroaching daylily foliage. This type of massing has exceeded expectations for offering color between early spring and the later show of lily and daylily blooming. At the top of the hand written notes to self is the command “Plant more violas in large groups on the hill”. We will obey. A nearly hidden Phlox divaricata is bravely peeking up above the chaos.

Continuing on zoom, we see the stone steps just past the multi trunk silver maple. Very rickety those, they need some shoring up. The at one time filled in Scotch moss, Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’ risers have become patchy, overtaken by the native true mosses. A volunteer Dicentra eximia returns year after year from under a rock. On the left is lamb’s ear, Stachys byzantina, on the right is a giant foxglove volunteer, Digitalis purpurea with the promise of a tall and stately bloom of unknown color. Whatever the shade, the seeds of this very healthy specimen will be saved and scattered. The silvery grass like form of Dianthus is sending up flower heads for a waltz of great magnitude soon. Lower right corner shows the Hosta ‘Gold Edger’ trying to get into the shot. Above on the right, Filipendula vulgaris ferny foliage is helping hold the soil of this very steep slope in place with a tap root to another hemisphere.

Following the wall to the fence at the property edge we pass by the wide steps to the top where the knot garden is located and see the pond flanked by the Japanese maples Crimson Queen on the left and Garnet on the right. Along the wall edge is the groundcover Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, golden creeping jenny shining brightly amidst the mess of other plants. Hellebores on the hillside continue to bloom.

Speaking of the hellebores. The four foot wide concrete steps that The Financier and I made to climb to the top of the property have evolved quite a bit from their original plantings. In the beginning, there were various creeping thymes on the risers with dianthus along the sides. Just one or two Ajuga repens were added for some blue with all that pink and the snow in summer, Cerastium tomentosum was the contrast silver foliage with white April blooms. On the slope to the right of the steps, the golden creeping jenny was to illuminate under the red maples by the pond. On the left was to be reds, mostly heucheras as the lowest planting. Quickly the ajuga and jenny spread and met in the middle, choking out the thyme. The dianthus all but disappeared and the heucheras were moved to the knot garden in a failed attempt at evergreen winter interest there. It was too hot, dry and sunny up there for their survival. Most perished and those left were moved to shadier environs on either side of the wide steps. The next interloper was the Euphorbia dulcis ‘Chameleon’, sending seeds from the two plants on either side of the pond to every part of the Fairegarden. One might think that they are the final king of the hill, but do you see the larger light green leaf in the zoom shot above? This is the plant that will inherit the earth. Not violets, dandelions, or even crabgrass, not henbit, corn salad or bitter cress, but the strongest of them all, Hellebores. Larger leaves, extreme tap roots and promiscuous seeding, thanks to the bees, make this the winner in Darwin’s battle. The next move, or lack of action, is up to the gardener.

This shot showing the very beginnings of greening of the Hosta ‘White Feather’ was to be the grand finale of this post. That is until something was noticed just under the placement of the watermark denoting ownership of the photo above. Do you see that smudge of orange?

There could be no more fitting ending to a tour of this garden in mid to late April than the most favorite of all the flowers here, the object of my love and devotion, the signature plants, deciduous azaleas. With over twenty-six varieties and a total of forty-one shrubs, this is what could be called a collection. Shown above is Rhododendron ‘Mandarin Lights’ just opening. To see the list, check out the page on the sidebar Plants We Grow-Deciduous Azaleas. It is hope that named photos will be added of each variety this year to the page, like the daylilies, tulips and daffodils have been handled so far. To read the post about them click here-About Those Azaleas-My Signature Plants.

Thank you for joining in for this virtual tour. If your wait was longer than usual, please consider getting a fast pass next time to view the rest of the show, er garden.


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56 Responses to The Long And Short Of It-A Garden Tour

  1. Frances, I so enjoyed my tour, but you saved the best to (second) last. I love that shot of the garden with the white feather in it. The angle of the stone meeting the fern, the sea of gold around the trunk, the pale hellebores nodding in the back row, and then you cap it off with garnet lace placed to lead your eye through, just gorgeous!

    Thanks Deborah. That view is one of the best here, even after the hosta turns green. Garnet is simply amazing. None of the other Japanese maples here come close to the branching elegance it offers. And believe me when I say, they have all been pruned ruthlessly to try and achieve that same look. It may have been the cutting off of every branch right to the trunk to fit it into the gas guzzler for the return trip to Tennessee after a short stint in the ground in Texas. Being taken to Texas in the first place in a different gas guzzler, the ever present minivan, branches cut to fit it in then as well! πŸ™‚

  2. Laurrie says:

    You have such contrast and tension between the wild steep slopes with rocks and contour, and your planted specimens, culminating with the formal knot garden at the top. This is a dynamic garden in every way, a whole system! What an eye opener for me. I have a flat open lot with foundation plantings and islands of garden beds… so different from your fascinating spill and tumble of Darwinian struggle. Loved the tour.

    Thanks Laurrie. There is a love hate with the steep slope of our property. It does offer great visual interest, no matter what is planted there, but working on it is increasingly difficult physically with each passing year. That is one reason why I have stopped weeding, cutting back the dead hellebore foliage, etc. It was fully planted while I stil had a little more vigor and elasticity to my muscles, we won’t even talk about joint health. lol Now, I dream of a level lot. One can always add gentle berms to that for interest. But, enough rambling, I appreciate your kind words very much. πŸ™‚

  3. Lynne says:

    Wow. Just…Wow!!! Your garden just blows me away. It was beautiful in winter, covered in snow, and now it is beautiful in spring even before everything matures.

    Thanks so much, Lynne. Every season holds my heart here, with great effort and treasure expended to make it always interesting. We are now reaping the benefits, after ten years of toiling, about average for a garden to get going towards the vision. Of course the vision is always changing. πŸ™‚

  4. Randy says:

    Lovely hosta displays. The azalea photo at the end is awesome! Around here hostas are a favorite deer food, we plant them where the deer might not venture.

    Thanks, Randy. We are lucky to not have a deer problem, living near the center of town. There are other critter issues, but just a nuisance really, not like the damaging deer. I hope you will visit when the big reveal post of the deciduous azaleas is published. We hope to catalog them as they open, being more sure of the identification of photos this year. πŸ™‚

  5. Les says:

    May Athena continue to shed her blessings on your lovely garden.

    Thanks Les for those blessings. πŸ™‚

  6. Joy says:

    Frances girl it is amazing what you have done with your garden in a difficult site with the hilling etc .. it is so beautiful and full right now too !
    I use gold creeping jenny as a living mulch in some places .. it can be a little tricky but I work it to my advantage : )
    Mandarin Lights is my one an only azalea right now .. I want more but room is tricky.
    I have a friend that totally adores “White feathers” .. yours looks so full and awesome in that location !
    We of the north ? have some catching up to do ? LOL

    Thanks Joy. The creeping jenny is doing very well this year. It likes moisture and nearly perished during our drought years, being overrun with wild strawberries and violets. It kind of goes dormant during winter, but the new growth of spring is always amazing. If I were you, I would MAKE ROOM for more azaleas of the Lights series. But that’s just me. lol πŸ™‚

  7. Frances – truly beautiful – loved how you gave us an overall shot and then explained little portions of it. The highlights for me – white feather hosta (got to get me some of that) and the rhodo – always one of my favorites too. Thanks for giving us this tour. Can’t wait to see it in all it’s summer glory

    Thanks Heather, glad you liked the concept presented here. Macro shots are lovely to look at, but it is good to see those plants and flowers in the context of the whole garden. Summer and the other seasons are nice here, but nothing beats the blooming of the deciduous azaleas in spring, for me anyway. πŸ™‚

  8. commonweeder says:

    What a glorious tour. The diversity in your garden is dazzling – as is your remembering all the names. I can’t wait to see the deciduous azaleas. We have a neighbor with an amazing collection of rhodies (300+) and nearly 100 azaleas. We have to wait until the first of June to enjoy them here.

    Thanks Pat. Wow, 300! Now that is a collection. After looking up the botanical latin names a few times, they get fused into the wiring! πŸ™‚

  9. Barbara H. says:

    Wow, what a trip! I couldn’t even break away to go get coffee. Next time, coffee will be in hand first. Thanks for the beautiful tour.

    Hi Barbara thanks. For me, nothing comes before coffee! πŸ™‚

  10. Kiki says:

    So Lovely..and such a super beautiful post..i feel refreshed with all that color!! I love the mass of photo captured my heart! It is always such a treat to see your garden !Fantastic!
    Happy gardening!

    Thanks Kiki. The violas have done very well, more will be planted in large groups this fall. An easy way to have color during the transition period from bulbs to perennials. πŸ™‚

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Aaarrrrgghhhhhhh I just wrote a big long comment regarding your gorgeous garden and lost it because I didn’t put my name and email in. I will have to come back later. Gotta get ready for work… Beautiful tour though…

    So sorry, Lisa. I hate when that happens to comments I leave as well. Very frustrating. Do come back later. πŸ™‚

  12. Frances–such a wonderful tour. I do love seeing the long views of your gardens. Gives one a better perspective on how you use the plants in the overall design. Great tour!

    PS….Is Obama going to stop by The Hop for an ice cream?

    Thanks Cameron. HA, we are actually working on that visit, but it probably won’t happen. Maybe next time. On the news it said he was visiting local breweries, and The Hop offers an ice cream flavor made from the reduced syrup from Craggy Brewing, a big seller! πŸ™‚

  13. Nice tour! I really like the shot with the retaining wall and the tree with the face on the left. You just get a good perspective of your garden and the slope.

    Thanks Dave, that is a real view of what we see from the deck, as they all are. It looks better in person though. πŸ™‚

  14. debbie in knoxville says:

    Dear Frances, Are you near Knoxville? I would love to see your garden in person if that is possible. You are truly an inspiration. Every time I look at a post I am in awe of the work that I know has gone into your garden. Reading (seeing) your posts energizes my day!

    Hi Debbie, thanks. I am about an hour from Knoxville, due south. Perhaps we can make arrangements when things slow down here a bit. πŸ™‚

  15. Phillip says:

    Beautimous! Love the next to last photo of the hosta through the Jap. maple. And those salad greens look so good.

    Hi Phillip, thanks and love the new word! The salads from these home grown greens is so tender and fresh, garden to table with a little washing and spinning in less than five minutes. Now that’s local! πŸ™‚

  16. Rose says:

    Frances, seeing your garden in person is on my “bucket list,” but until that time in the future this virtual tour was the next best thing! I’d love to sit on the comfy blue chairs and just gaze at your garden, but I think I’d be jumping up every other moment to check out something new I spied. I’d definitely take some time to look at all your azaleas–I spent some time in the garden center the other day trying to decide whether to bring one home here. It was one of the ‘Northern Lights’ series which are supposed to be hardy here in zone 5. I went home empty-handed…for now. I love lemon verbena! Mine didn’t come back this year, which wasn’t surprising, but it’s on the ‘must-have-again’ list this spring.

    Thanks Rose, come on down!!! There are so many plants here that I forget what is in there until the photos get loaded and something gets noticed. You need some of these azaleas, the Lights series is truly hardy, Joy in Canada grows them! Go back right now and buy all they have. Or at least one. Lemon Verbena is not hardy, but a long lasting super fragrant leaved annual. I always have it. πŸ™‚

  17. GloriaBonde says:

    Frances, I love your garden. I love that you put in the evergreen hedge. And I think the “hoop veggie” garden is brilliant. It is a secret veggie garden. Later in the year do you remove the landscape fabric. How do you water? Or, do you get ample rain. Thanks for the tour. PS: You must be in great cardio shape with that wonderful slope.

    Thanks Gloria. The boxwood hedge is one of the better ideas we had. It makes a great background and the winter interest is fabulous. Now if only it wasn’t at a height that tortures my back to bend down and prune it. Lucky it is only once a year, four days, one for each quadrant is all I can handle. I will remove the fabric from the veggie hoop in about a month. I love that the lettuce doesn’t get splashed when it rains, and we do get ample rain most years. Even if we don’t, the veggie garden gets no extra water. I use the watering can filled from the rainbarrel for the initial planting if it is not raining. Actually I try to plant right before the rain if possible. As to my cardio health, let us just say that I do no exercise other than gardening, that is plenty. πŸ™‚

  18. turling says:

    I love the slope. It’s as if the canvas was hung to show everything more clearly. Granted, gardening that hill is probably unpleasant at times, but it is beautiful.

    Hi Turling, thanks so much. The hill does show every plant off better than a flat space would. It is getting to the point of not so unpleasant, as impossible for me to weed and prune like we used to, just a short ten years ago. Good thing it doesn’t really need much now. πŸ™‚

  19. the color in that garden is incredible! so much going on!

    Thanks DG, glad you enjoyed the virtual tour. πŸ™‚

  20. Breland Kent says:

    Very Interesting, Thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚

    Thanks Breland and welcome. Glad you enjoyed the tour. πŸ™‚

  21. nancybond says:

    Thank you for the tour, Frances — everything looks so lush in your garden already. Jealous! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks Nancy, spring has sprung here for sure. Lush is the word, with no weeding, there are various plants everywhere. πŸ™‚

  22. izziedarling says:

    This is so beautiful, amazing. Can you come transform my weeds right this very minute? Thank you!

    Hi Izzy Darling, thanks so much and welcome. I don’t even weed my own garden, it is a simple attitude adjustment. They are not weeds, they are wildflowers, good for the pollinators you know. If you have too many unfriendly types of weeds, you need more plants. πŸ™‚

  23. Goodie Girl says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I actually just watched the “Life” episode last night on plants. How amazing are they?? WOW!! I can’t believe the ways they adapt and have been around before anything! Have you seen that yet?

    On the Garden…it is fantastic. I am just about to plant mine this weekend for the year. Nothing is more peaceful then working outside in your garden that you have loved. πŸ™‚ AND food couldn’t taste better!


    Thanks Goodie Girl, and welcome. I have not seen that show, but it sounds very interesting. Plants are truly amazing, and food plants are the BEST. πŸ™‚

  24. Kathleen says:

    It boggles my mind all that you have going on there Frances. Of course, I focused on Primula veris. I’ve never seen those orange markings inside either? Maybe you’re onto some new cultivar here?? I have seen the doubles ~ those are very pretty as well. Thankfully I can look at them in my own garden this year. πŸ™‚
    It looks spectacular in Fairegarden ~ very lush and full of life. That ‘Lady Jane’ tulip from the last post has to be added to my garden as well. What a knockout.

    Hi Kathleen thanks so much. I looked at the other P. veris and they all had those orange blotches, I just never noticed. If all of that species do not, we do have a unique one, since they all came from seeds or divisions of one plant that itself was started from seeds from Thompson and Morgan many years ago. Lady Jane is a good one, excellent at returning as well. Are your primulas from those seeds I sent? πŸ™‚

  25. ramonakent says:

    How lovely!!

    Hi Ramona, thanks and welcome. πŸ™‚

  26. I do so love your garden. Especially today’s pictures. I won’t be up to my garden until the 1st of May but I can imagine what is going on up there by looking at your beautiful garden. Mine isn’t nearly as elaborate as yours but I’m working on it. Maybe some day.

    Hi Valerie, thanks so much. I am sure your garden is lovely as well. A garden is a journey, not a finished project, always changing. That’s the fun of it. πŸ™‚

  27. Kelly Sheehan-Funk says:

    Thank you. Such a deep sense of relaxation came in looking at these beautiful photos.

    Hi Kelly, thanks and welcome. I am glad you feel relaxed while visiting, that is part of the intention. πŸ™‚

  28. shirl says:

    Hi again Frances, what an inspiring tour especially on a dreary wet day! What a fantastic variety of numbers of plants you have. Everything in your garden is way ahead of ours here. My hostas have not emerged at all and my garnet Acers are still holding on to their leaves.

    I too love that second last shot although each view is a delight today. Now, your feather hosta has caught my eye. I must keep an eye out for that one.

    My trip to collect my daughter has been postponed to an early pick up tomorrow morning. Her younger sister is cooking our meal tonight. That is always a lovely treat. I’ve now been able to fit in some blog browsing which is a bonus too.

    Always a pleasure to visit your garden, Frances. It would have been lovely to meet up with you at Malvern. Wishing you a great weekend πŸ˜€

    Hi Shirl, so nice to see you and thanks for stopping by. I was wondering how you were affected by the ash cloud, did it dust up the plants? Hope the trip to pick up the older daughter goes well. How nice for someone else to do the cooking! Best wishes for you and your family. I hope we can meet someday. πŸ™‚

  29. Nancy says:

    Beautiful, beautiful garden – ours is currently in the overgrown state – we’ve had too wet of a spring so far to accomplish much, but yours is truly an inspiration. Lovely! I especially like your “modified hoop house” – we call that low tech here and have a few things put together in similar means! Looks like its working well for you – my winter garden suffered as we had 5 degree weather this year – not typical for western Washington state. Love those pansy faces!:-)

    Thanks Nancy and welcome. We are pretty overgrown at the moment as well. 5 degrees is too cold! Hope your garden snaps back. Even the hoop house wouldn’t withstand those kinds of temps.

  30. Rachel says:

    What a beautiful garden! Everything is so lush and well-planned. My husband and I are currently in the planning/planting stages of our yard renovation, and it’s intimidating but fun! How long did it take your Emerald Green Arborvitae to get that tall? We just planted some, and are hoping for privacy sooner rather than later, LOL! πŸ™‚

    Hi Rachel, thanks and welcome. The arborvitae were planted in 2002 as tiny one gallon pots from Walmart. I hope yours began life in your garden a little larger, but they do grow fairly fast. For faster privacy try Leland Cypress, they get much larger than the arborvitae faster. πŸ™‚

  31. Being a herpetologist and a travel writer I have always found the beautiful swamps of Louisiana fascinating…

  32. Tina McManus says:

    Stumbled upon your blog thru WordPress. What a beautiful and interesting presentation. Good ideas for hilly sites. Thanks for brightening my day.

    Hi Tina, thanks and welcome. Glad you liked the garden tour. πŸ™‚

  33. Joe N. says:

    beautiful blog, here. just beautiful

    (thank you)

    Hi Joe, thanks and welcome.

  34. Gardening is great, especially because it reduces CO2 and you can grow your own food.
    Nice pics and you hav some beautiful plants.


    Thanks and welcome. Glad you liked the tour. We agree, gardening is a postive activity. πŸ™‚

  35. Simply stunning Frances and especially the wispiness of the grasses intermingling through the plants – I really enjoyed the journey and seeing your little veggie area – I’m just starting to sow my veggie seeds.

    Hi Rosie, thanks. Grasses add so much to the garden, even the weedy ones. I am relatively new to veggie gardening, although have always had a few tomato plants and herbs. So fun to sow those seeds and have something to eat from the endeavor. πŸ™‚

  36. RainGardener says:

    Oh Frances that was just such a very enjoyable tour you took us on. I love seeing peoples places that way. I feel bad that I only show close ups of flowers mostly at my place because the long shots aren’t that great since I keep getting the organization of my plants wrong. Someday I’ll get it right and won’t be embarassed for everyone to see. I learn alot by taking tours like this and seeing the wonderful things everyone else has done. I can sure see why your latest container had to come home with you. It’s gorgeous! Thanks for the tour!!!

    Thanks, RG, glad you enjoyed the tour. I used to hesitate to show the whole garden, it isn’t nearly as pretty as the macro shots, but way more honest. The images are never as nice as the way it looks in person, but we can still learn something from them. My organization is wrong in most places too, but we keep chipping away at fixing that. That container has the most unique shape, it fits perfectly on the wall. πŸ™‚

  37. Hi Frances, You are WAY ahead of us!! Looks absolutely wonderful over there, though! πŸ˜‰ Happy Spring, indeed!

    Hi Shady, nice to see you and thanks. We had an up and down start with cold, then very hot, then cold. Now we are about normal and blooming on time. πŸ™‚

  38. Elephant's Eye says:

    That is a fancy new variety of my Plectr madagascariensis in your new pot. Mine needs redistributing to fill the summer gaps.

    Hi Diana, oooh thanks for that. The plect was an impulse buy as I was on the way to the check out at my favorite local nursery Mouse Creek. It has blue flowers and the foliage was eye catching. Plects are annuals here, but are easily overwintered as cuttings in the greenhouse. We also added Mona Lavender in the garden, a dark purple leaf.

  39. Christine B. says:

    I planted ‘Mandarin Lights’ last fall. Thanks for the preview. Hopefully. It’s got a skirt of snow right now, so just wishful thinking. I use Nassella tenuissima here, too, and wish it was perennial for me as it’s one of my favorite plants.

    Christine in Alaska

    Thanks for visiting, Christine You are going to love Mandarin Lights, it is the most brilliant reddish orange, really standing out against any other color in the garden. The Nasella is a good plant, even as an annual, the fine blades complement so many others. πŸ™‚

  40. Lola says:

    OMG, what a lovely tour, Thank you for taking us along. It never fails that the beauty in your garden always astounds me.
    Love the new container, it is to die for. I so like the unusual. Makes for more interest & gives the eye something else to get the attention of the viewer. The little skull is precious. Did you make it?

    Hi Lola, thanks for coming along. The skull was a hypertufa attempt that broke when I accidentally knocked it off the wall around Halloween. Alas Poor Yorick is his name. He has some dental reconstructive surgery scheduled for later this year. πŸ™‚

  41. noel says:

    aloha frances,

    i enjoyed a nice glass of champagne while i toured your enjoyable garden this afternoon…aaah an i didn’t even waste a drop walking around some of those pathways πŸ™‚

    enjoyed the tour emmensely and definitely worth the wait for your amazing azaleas…

    Aloha Noel. You would have spilled the bubbly trying to walk these paths, good thing it was a virtual tour. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you will like the azalea post when it comes about in the next week or so. πŸ™‚

  42. debsgarden says:

    Your garden is a wonderful tapestry of colors. You have too many beautiful plants to comment, but I must say how much I admire the hosta ‘White Feather’. I also love your deciduous azaleas. I understand your passion for them. I have two and plant to plant more if these do well. Thanks for the delightful tour of your garden.

    Hi Deb, thanks so much. I am thrilled to hear of your deciduous azaleas, they should be much more widely planted. White Feather is ever so popular, but is turning green now. Still attractive though. πŸ™‚

  43. Most beautiful and inspring Frances. I have a steep hill too. And rocks to play with.

    Thanks Christopher. You do have a wealth of raw materials to play with. I look forward to seeing your projects. πŸ™‚

  44. Town Mouse says:

    What a great tour! I could just visualize myself in my chair, with a pair of binoculars in my hand to zoom in on the interesting items. Have to remember that technique for when I sit in the garden the next time…;->

    Thanks Town Mouse. You are spot on with the binoculars, the comfy way to get down under the jungle growth to see what is going on. We especially like to use them in winter, scouting newly emerging bulb foliage from the warmth of the lazyboy. πŸ™‚

  45. Catherine says:

    I loved the tour! It’ so fun to see how the garden looks and I love how you have colors and textures with just foliage let alone all the flowers that will be blooming soon.
    I think I need to add a deciduous azalea here, and the orange color of yours is just the color I would choose.

    Hi Catherine, thanks for joining us. Foliage is just as important if not more so than the flowers. It took us a while to figure that one out, but now we get it and plant accordingly. Glad to hear you will add the deciduous azalea. You won’t be sorry. πŸ™‚

  46. You do such spectacular macro shots that it is always nice to see those long views and get the context of your garden as it is so complexly planted and designed. Mark went out yesterday realizing he’d been doing that spring thing of being up next to all the unfurling plants and there were no shots of the whole plant let alone the garden!

    Hi Linda, thanks so much. It is hard to step back from the plants and garden, the macros are so much fun! It certainly helps to show where the plant is, if only for record keeping. πŸ™‚

  47. Tatyana says:

    I am late. Everything is already said. I agree with all the comments, your garden is fantastic, Frances!

    Thanks Tatyana, I am glad to see you whenever you arrive for the tour. πŸ™‚

  48. What an awesome tour of your garden. It really does look so natural too. Our garden is flat and I’ve often wished for a slope but I can see that such a steep slope would be difficult too. It sure does show everything off well though.

    Hi Helen, thanks. As has been said, be careful what you wish for! lol πŸ™‚

  49. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful lush garden you have. It reminds me of my Mother’s one day when I am not a student anymore I hope to have such a wonderful garden.

    Thanks Andrea and welcome. One day you will have a garden like your Mother’s, I am sure. Wanting it is the first step. πŸ™‚

  50. sequoiagardens says:

    You DO inspire me, Frances! A simple and lovely post, and photographs that take a muddle and make it a mix. Mine just remain a muddle. I will still get it right! As for your gardening (and writing) style… have I told you before I just love it? πŸ˜‰
    PS: move quickly through the comments to see all the smileys. Do you realise how much joy you radiate?

    Thanks Jack, you are too kind. Of course you get it right now! I do appreciate your visits here, but especially seeing your own incredible space in South Africa. πŸ™‚

  51. thehatlist says:

    this is incredible! im adding this to my hat list right now at

  52. brokenbeat says:

    utterly breathtaking…

    oh, and happy birthday tomorrow πŸ™‚ much love

    Thank you dear son. It was so nice to see you guys. πŸ™‚
    Love, Frances

  53. Andre says:

    I love this garden because of it’s lovely flowers and green ambiance.If you have time, visit this site : This is a wonderful flower site.

  54. Frances, wow everything is so lush and colorful. Some photos look like water color canvases. And I’m glad the tour was virtual, because I’ve been doing waaaay too much walking lately, LOL!

    Thanks Monica. There is nothing to compare to the light of spring, unless it is the light of fall. Glad you were able to take a load off. Binoculars optional. πŸ™‚

  55. Grace says:

    Hi Frances~~ Beautiful garden! Just lovely eye candy compositions. I think my favorite is the hosta ‘White Feather’ and how you have them placed in such a way to utilize the back lighting. And then the rocks, the maple, the Japanese painted fern…pure genius, dear friend!

    Hi Grace, thanks so much. You are giving me too much credit however, the backlighting just happens due to the situation of the steep slope, no thought on my part. Same for the hosta and fern, just plopped in an empty space, pure luck at the outcome. I did think about the placement of the two maples on each side of the pond. It has taken years for them to reach the vision. The one on the left still needs some nudging in the right direction. I do appreciate your kind words. πŸ™‚

  56. unforgivens says:

    I found your site from the page which has several sites that are strong enough to make the page. Your site is wonderful and beautiful..

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