Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WEDNESDAY: Outdoor Wednesday - CdlV Gardens

Firstly, thank you to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for hosting Outdoor Wednesday. Please stop over and take a peak at all of the other great spaces today. (Link at the bottom, too!)

The Garden at CdlV, Summer - 2010

I love to play in the dirt - and I always have, though it wasn't always while planting flowers. I remember taking old screens at my grandmothers "farm" and screening dirt to make sure there were no rocks or impurities, and then making mud pies, taking mud baths - anything that I had pictured as being "luxurious", oh yes - my mother had a field day with the laundry. But as I grew up, or more accurately, when I moved to WNY, I really got into gardening - and found that you can get your hands dirty that way too! Now, I'm no expert - in fact, I have always told you that when it comes to gardening I'm a big novice - but I've learned a few things in my cultivation of the Garden here at CdlV, my tips as it were, and I figured today would a great day to share pictures, and those "tips" with all of you.

1. Layers
Just like in interior design, the richness of texture from layers of color, size, shape, and height build a garden from lowly to holy cow! Knowing absolutely nothing about gardening in the onset of our planning, I did take into account height, and tried my absolute best to keep color in the front of my mind. I've learned however, that in the grand scheme of things, Mother Nature laughs last, and sometimes those things you don't plan to grow so quickly skyrocket, while things that claim to be invasive, and fast growing linger on the sideline, eventually becoming shaded out. So, if you're planning a garden, or revamping your own, think about layering: color, shape (of leaf, flower, and stem) with the tallest in the back smallest in the front.

2. Plant "Outside the Lines"
Just like my interiors, my gardens are never one distinct style. There are some formal garden aspects, cottage garden points, English garden notions, and some ports of whimsy. Additionally, I avoid straight lines in my garden beds and plantings, and opt for curves instead. I find that curves in a bed, add a certain grace to the sightline, and are more flattering to the eye. They give the garden at CdlV a way of becoming separate from one another, making the yard feel more expansive, and more fun to explore.



3. Have no horticultural fears
I learned during the back breaking work of taking CdlV from zero to pretty decent work in progress, that you can't allow yourself to be afraid of the outcome. Mother Nature works her magic in the most interesting ways. If you plant something that doesn't make it through the winter - count it as an inexpensive learning experience, and if you plant something that you end up regretting, pull it out and give it to a neighbor or friend. My philosophy: If you like it, PLANT it! Your garden should be a full expression of you, and offer an exclusive peak into your soul for the few or many that you let in. Don't get bogged down in the particulars, because part of the joy in Gardening is the experience - don't let fear take that from you.


4. Create a Destination
Gardens, like interiors - are more than the flowers and the lines of your garden. There has to be a reason for you to continue your "tour", to continue the enjoyment of the space. We decided that the space next to the garage was a perfect place to create our idea of a destination. The pergola was my solution to the small dining room, and even though I would have loved to make it bigger, what we have is perfect, and gives me an opportunity to make more use of the greenspace. If you're looking for a spot to put a destination, you don't have to make it permanent. Think of a space perfect for a small table (even one from inside) that you can set a dinner space for the day. A fountain, or a bench, even a smaller- separate planting bed is a great destination point.

5. Use your Imagination
This should be my number one tip, but I think it's a great way to end this post. Above all else, the garden is THE perfect place to let your imagination run wild. Our homes carry certain constraints on our creative palette, but the open air of a garden can become the perfect place to let your mind free, and create explosions of bright color, fun and interesting pairings, and the ideal format for those qwirky follies you adore in the store, but question where you'll put them at home.

"Earl" peeping through the spent sundrops.

All in all, the gardens of CdlV are a work in progress, they will probably always fall into that category, and trust me when I say I'm ok with that. Some things are never meant to stay the same, and a garden, in my opinion, is on the top of the list. Now, leave a comment, then run over to Susan's, then make time to go get your hands dirty!

26 comments:

  1. The most beautiful on the street. I came to your garden walk a couple of weekends ago, and I was amazed at the diverse level of gardening there. What a great display. Your outdoor dining room was gorgeous!!! Don't know if you remember or not - but I'm the one who asked if I could sit and have dinner ... then again, who DIDN'T ask that question?? HA-Ha! Well, I have to tell you - I'm just as impressed with your blog as I am you and your garden. Thanks for giving us all a peak, and some of us (me) a reminder of how beautiful it really is. Karena P.

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  2. Great pictures of your garden-really like the heads!

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  3. Great pictures of your garden-really like the heads!

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  4. WOW! That's all I can say. Looks like you ARE an expert, Artie. All of your plants look healthy and at home! I guess all that humid weather this summer really helped your growing season. Love "earl" and his hiding space among the calla's. Glorious.

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  5. I agree with all of your tips, Artie. You know, you should divide and send to me. he he he.

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  6. Artie, you never cease to stun us, do you? I recently found your blog - thanks to several other design blogs that have you on their side bar (high respect, I can tell) and I've been pouring through the posts one by one. This though, wow. Who knew you could be so good at so many different things. LOL! You're a class act, my friend! Bri.

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  7. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Great garden. Love all of your yellow plants. that head is a lot of fun, too.

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  9. Artie - love this August schedule. Loving all the posts, including this one ... but especially looking forward to the TT spot. You always pull off amazing scapes.

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  10. Just wonderful Artie! You did a great job.....
    **Tami

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  11. Clap. Clapping. Still clapping. Nice job.
    Joyce M

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  12. Your flower beds are beautiful. You definitely have a green thumb and a knack for making great plant combinations.

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  13. A big smile crossed my face when you said that Mother Nature sometimes gets the last laugh. True! I often go out and just shake my head at the tangled mess that doesn't resemble the picture I had in my mind of what my flower gardens would look like.

    I keep at it, however. It brings so much joy!

    Your flower beds are very full and lovely!

    Becky K.

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  14. Artie your garden is fabulous! It's certainly an asset to the house!

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  15. Whew, first thoughts are gorgeous and a lot of work!! But then again, tons of perennials and saavy plantings, and it may not be as back breaking as it looks? How many hours a week are you working out there? Such a fab garden. I spotted some of what I've got in my backyard...miscanthus, black eyed susan, cone flower, viny ground cover. Gotta go back for second and third looks. Thanks Artie.

    carols

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  16. I appreciate the hard work you put into sharing your garden. Playing in the dirt is my favorite thing to do, too! ♥♫

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  17. LOVELY!!! Wanna come do mine? Tim

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  18. Beautiful photos...
    Like you I plant what I like. Either it works or doesn't. Come to think about it, I decorate inside my home in the same manner.
    My home and garden are mine after all. Enjoyed the post.

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  19. My husband is the "gardener" here. I just pick out colors and flowers that I like...or a themed area and he has a great time making it work. Your yard is lovely...I love all the colors. It looks to me as if you are certainly figuring it all out:)

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  20. Looks like I have the perfect place to bring my honey and a picnic. You wouldn't mind - I'm sure. :) I too, loved to make mud pies! :) Great story Artie. Not only are you a great photographer, decorator, designer, and gardener, but a fantastically talented writer. You have a deliciously crafty way with words!

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  21. SUPER pretty Artie, very rich and textural.

    I like Earl too!

    ~kelley

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  23. I love you baby! Allimosaun

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  24. I ab-so-tute-ly love your garden style.I firmly believe a garden should reflect the caretaker(we don't own our gardens-Mother Nature does).Who cares what anyone else thinks.It's your garden,and as long as it makes you happy,that's all that matters.
    Great post!

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  25. Great photos of your garden. I found that your gardening style is very similair to mine.

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  26. Artie, it's amazing to see how everything has filled out. You've done a great job. I hope you and Scott are enjoying the fruits of your labor!

    Hugs, B.

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