Sunday, March 8, 2009

More Photos

Sickness has stopped by Casa de la Vanderdogan, and hit both me and Scott with some pretty nasty colds. Now that I'm back up and running, I've taken the time to do a much needed project while Scott rests: organize the many pictures in my computer.
So imagine my happiness when I came across these shots of the house during last year's Garden Walk. My front yard, above, is partially shaded where grassy, and fully shaded where flowers are planted, so hostas, impatiens, and annual coleus are my standbys. I was so happy to find this picture.
Most of the plantings in the backyard were planted during May31 - June 8th. The Garden Walk was July 12. So, my plants had roughly one month of some rather crooked weather to acclimate and flourish. Many of them were still in their acclimation stage, and didn't provide a pop of interest until later on, in August and September.

The back porch was appointed with some pillows and bench from inside, and some linen curtains and tassels. I don't leave the porch like this year round for several reasons, but I think that for the day of the event, people bought into the idea of the space being a nice respite for those warm summer evenings.

Scott and I put in a little more than 120 sq. ft. of planting beds in the back yard last year. In those beds, I tried my best to focus on perennials, and two beautiful River Clump Birch trees. These beauties grew 3' last year, just as the guy at the landscaping center promised. Not bad for $35 trees, huh?

Garden Walk had been planned for some time, but with all that I was doing to help Scott and Allison keep up with the demands of the event, I didn't have time to plant everything. So, some things were still in pots, but in the place they were supposed to be - and I spent time - even while people were walking through, planting them. A nice touch to be gardening during a garden walk, don't you think?

We are city zoned here, and so the houses are remarkably close together, about 5-6ft. on average. I wanted to create a winding garden that would break up the yard and the monotony of side by side by side. The leaning tree of Pisa was actually planted in my front yard when we moved in - and dying. I moved it to the back yard, and it flourished. So much that it became top heavy, and drooped. I have no idea what kind of tree it is - but hope that as the years move forward, it will find its roots.
The fountain was a last minute choice, and one that I don't regret. Made from resin, it weighs about 40 pounds, base and all, and would fool just about anyone in person into thinking it was ceramic. A clearance Target buy at $109.

I felt like the garden needed a little something extra during the walk - as the plantings weren't nearly as established as I would have liked for them to be. So I moved an unused table outside, and created an intimate dining table for two. This was shot by a photographer on the walk from my porch.

Notice the little stone retaining wall in the far left corner? In front of the leaning tree of Pisa? That is genuine Niagara Gorge stone, carried up by yours truly. We live right by the Niagara Gorge, and last year, as part of our group walking adventures, my friend Margaret and Dorothy convinced me to bring along a backpack and carry up some of that great grey stone. I'm really glad I did. It adds a lot of dimension and character to the yard.
I hope that as I dig deeper into the photos I took last year, I find those from later in the summer, when the garden really grew into it's own. Until then, enjoy these photos!


  1. Your outside is as beautiful as the are one truly talented guy! Missed you lately (yeah, I intruded).

    What's the latest word on Design Star??

  2. Love the birch trees, grasses and the stones. You must have two very small well-behaved dogs to keep it looking so great. I need gates, fences and hedges to keep my two from digging everything up on their way to China.

    G in CT

  3. It's an absolutely perfect space. Thank you for sharing!

  4. It's beautiful. I see lots of inspiration in your gardens!

  5. Evening, Artieness! Oh, I'm glad you found these pictures of your front and back yards - how lovely! Your home is just adorable! Spring is almost here and I need to get out and do a little gardening too. I do believe you've inspired me!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. Artie, I can't wait to see what survived the winter, how about you? I'm in for another bout of snow on Tuesday. We got lucky this time and missed the little storm that was predicted for today. Needless to say, I took the opportunity to stay in my jammies, scour the White Flower Farm catalog and bake cupcakes. Glad to here that you survived your colds. ~ Robyn

  7. I LOVE what you've done with your yard!!

    I may have to steal from you.....isn't there a saying about that? "Stealing is the most sincere form of flattery"? Something like that :)

  8. Sorry to hear you and Scott were feeling under-the-weather. Lots of it up here which develops into Bronchitis thanks to our crazy weather.

    Like you, Spring is still a few weeks away. (We are having a snowstorm today.) Though these photos are not of a garden in full bloom, they certainly bring me a smile. (Thanks Artie)
    Hugs -Brenda-
    P.S:--Scott take care of those sniffles.

  9. Artie, I just love your home and your yard! Gorgeous! I love to get in the garden & dig in the dirt & have some plans for more this year too. These are beautiful pics!

  10. artie, I just finished my first few hours in the garden a few mins. ago. Came here to rest before thinking about dinner... I loved your garden photos! So nice. If you have time check out my post today. I think you will enjoy it.

  11. Hi Artie,
    Thanks for coming by for a visit to my light post and your kind comments as always.
    I had a new blog makeover done from "The Shabbee Chick" and I'm thrilled with it.
    I'm so glad you like it.

    You back yard is just exquisite. You have a beautiful variety of plantings.
    Love the statue!

    Have a wonderful day.
    I'm happy to hear your cold is better.
    ~Warmly, Melissa ;)

  12. It was so nice to take a walk down last summer's memory lane. I just can't wait to see what the garden beds look like this year, with some of that stuff maturing, and then the new ones you're putting in. Will there be another garden walk?

    Justine :o )

  13. Love, love the porch and fountain! I'm certain it can't be possible ... but the Leaning Tree of Pisa looks like a ficus! Your home looks like a wonderful place to live.

  14. Great photos Artie! I'd love to see more! ☺