Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 2013 GBBD - Preparing Your Garden for a Tour

“We all walk through our neighborhoods wondering what’s on the other side of the fence.”
~Nan Sterman

'Orange Ice' Bougainvillea, Agave bracteosa, Senecio mandraliscae, and Hunnemannia fumariifolia - a heavenly combination! Photo: Nan Sterman
‘Orange Ice’ Bougainvillea, Agave bracteosa,Senecio mandraliscae, and Hunnemannia fumariifolia – a heavenly combination! Photo: Nan Sterman
"Preparing Your Garden for a Tour" is my latest piece in Pacific Horticulture. Only available online, you can read the full article here 

What makes a garden great? Ron Vanderhoff of  Roger's Gardens shared recently how many gardens are "Beautiful in a picture-postcard sort of a way; often for a moment in time. Gardens to look at are fine, but a garden that draws you closer, that plays with your senses and that you can communicate with in a sort of back-and-forth manner – that’s a great garden." 

He continued "Gardens should also sustain a person's interest. Even a picture-postcard garden might engage the participant initially, or even for a brief while. But what if you were around that garden almost every day? Would it still engage you at another season or another year? That's the difference between a great garden and a good garden."

That got me to thinking. A great garden is one you love. 

Welcome to behind my garden's gate. Introduce yourself to the garden I love.

My garden isn't perfect in the trend-setting magazine perfection sort of way.  It however, perfectly suits me.

What it lacks in discipline, it makes up for in enthusiasm.  Watch the bloom-factory rose 'Betty Boop ' petals unfurl as the camera lens moves in ever closer. 

A prolific bloomer, this girl does not know when to stop. In her case, it is a good thing);- 

In maturity, the floribunda rose 'Julia Child' rose grows more fascinating. Some plants get less attractive when you get close in- not this beauty. 

Interior designer, author and lifestyle expert, Alexandra Stoddard recommends a touch of yellow in every room. 

For the color's uplifting psychological effect- I believe yellow belongs in every garden. 

Some plants get less attractive when you get close in- 'Julia Child' is elegant in every season. 

In the background you'll spot this purple  iris. The original plant was dug from my mother's garden. 

Other families pass furniture and jewelry down through the generations. My mother passed on something deeply personal- her plants. I see her smile in every bloom. 

The stake in the foreground remains as a requiem for a tree rose that died of strangulation.  This spot needs a bit of vertical structure to anchor the corner. What, I haven't decided -perhaps something sculpted and classical.  It has taken since 1986 to change what was once a bare corner into this magical mayhem- I can be patient. 

The nasturtium hopped from a nearby sunny spot into where the Mother fern decided it was happy. 

Grasshoppers aren't on my top ten list of favorite critters. They bring out my crueler side. I like to think that I am generally kind- but I do believe the only good grasshopper is a dead grasshopper.  

'Lillian Austin'  is the Maui sunset painted on rose petals. 

'Our Lady of Guadalupe' made its way into my heart courtesy of a niece. A beloved house-guest  of the first order, she brought the first of the triplets which front the herb garden as much for their story as for their delicate color.  This rose was born of a partnership between the United Farm Workers and Jackson & Perkins.  A portion of the sales were dedicated to the Hispanic College Fund. 

A Growing Passion, hosted by California-native Nan Sterman, launches on KPBS, May 2, 2013.

A Growing Passion, hosted by California-native Nan Sterman, launches on KBPS and KPBS.com on May 2, 2013.Find out more and discover how even if all you have in seed money is $1, you can help   A Growing Passion  get growing  through Kickstarter,

Linking to GBBD- Garden Bloggers Bloom Day 


  1. This was such a feast, my dear. I LOVE your garden and all the Roses are soooo very Beautiful---beyond Beautiful---they are stunning! What I love about your garden is one can see the LOVE that you have for ALL the plants and flowers. So everything works because they are all as happy as can be!
    The pictures are truly Wonderful Lydia....I look forward to more and more as the seasons go on....!

  2. Love the photos L!! Were these the ones Gerry took? Side light? Sorta makes me want to have a garden...sort of. I'd rather cook, I think! xo

  3. The top photo is by Nan Sterman.

    The rest were taken by Gerry while I weeded (I need the exercise more than he does).

    Sue- You do garden- your just not as insane as I am):-

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog. Your roses are so beautiful!!

  5. A world away...lush with roses and color. I must wait at least until July for what you have now!

  6. Very sweet post. I loved your beautiful photos. Thank you for visiting me-glad to have found you!

  7. Thank you, serenity.

    Gardenbug- Take heart - in July you'll have lovely roses and I'll be begging for outdoor air-conditioning):-

  8. Thank you, Lee. Even when work is too crazy to post my own garden, thanks to Carol's GBBD, I can count on my fix of beautiful garden's from my study chair.

  9. My Iris bed is full of my mother and grandmother's Irises (and probably my great grandmother)... When we moved a few years ago I had in my contract that the Irises would not stay! Happy GBBD :)

  10. Your roses are gorgeous! I love to look at them, but only in someone else's garden. They are way too finicky for me.

  11. That is a glorious riot of colour! And a clearly much-loved garden, which is the best sort. I have seen gardens that are, on one level, beautiful, but that lack, for want of a better word, soul. There is no sense of them being the result of someone's passionate attention. I always look for a sense of a garden being more than something to look pretty, like your stake, marking a place where something happened, and something is about to happen. Signs that the garden is a living, changing expression of someone's love.

  12. Beautiful!
    You have just about every color there is!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  13. Your garden is beautiful Lydia. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment over on mine too.

  14. Your garden looks fabulous. But then you manage to showcase beautiful vignettes year-round. You are a true gardener, my friend!

  15. You have a lovely garden thanks for letting me have a stroll around – and thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I especially liked your roses, but I am a bit biased when it comes to roses - I just love them!

    My tiny London garden is the most important room in my house, I am disabled and housebound and my garden is the only place where I can go outside. I have designed the garden so I have lots of evergreen plants and I have many plants in flower every single month of the year, even this cold winter I have had that! My garden serves many purposes besides somewhere to be outside, I used to go on photo trips in the past, these days the trips are confined to my garden, but often just as eventful and exciting :-)

  16. Wow! what a fine collection of roses, we have a couple of months left to wait for ours but your beautiful garden brings the summer that much closer.

  17. Your roses are so beautiful! You must be a good gardener. Especially love the last pink one!Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog:)

  18. Your roses are so beautiful! You must be a good gardener. Especially love the last one. Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog:)


Comments are encouraging blessings! Please send your thoughts- unless you look like a robot, in which case you'll be ignored.