Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our New Southern Garden

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One of the fun things about buying a house in the winter is you have no idea what is in the garden.  Soon after we moved in on Thanksgiving weekend (remember?) we started hearing from some of the neighbors about all the wonderful things we would be finding in the Spring.  They all fell short.  So far here are but a few of the things we have been enjoying this month.

The cherry trees in front of the house gave quite a show a couple of weeks ago.  They are over now.  The garden underneath is full of perennials and ground covers just beginning to come on.  I have no idea what they are

They were so lush you couldn't see the house from the street.

The new front door.  The hardware was a gift from my mother and me for Christmas.  The urns are the real thing...they weigh a ton.  Can't wait for the ferns to get bigger! Some of the little pots need to be moved to another part of the yard and replaced with white impatients. And yes, I know, the coach lights need to be larger but they have to wait for the next lottery

This photo doesn't do justice to that white azalea.  White has never been at the top of my list in the azalea category but boy, was I wrong.  The Southern azaleas are just coming on. That's a rhododendron in green next to the fence.  You can't see it from here but there's a brook back there.  There were lots of daffodils in the woods earlier on.

There are over 20 azalea bushes in the back.  Believe it or not, some were lost when the heavy rains came a couple of years ago.

I have no idea what this is called.  Anyone?  It's a ground cover under the bushes in the front.  Again the photo doesn't do justice to the vibrant color of the flowers.

See? It's on both sides.  Beautiful color green.  Don't look at the grass.  It needs work, lots of it!

The shutters are to be painted this week in black.  I wanted a very dark green but my daughter wants black.  So black it is.

Again, the back garden, with a closeup of the southern azaleas.

Was that a white tail I just saw??

The other side of the garden with more southern azaleas

I am like a dog with a bone with these southern azaleas.  I learned about them from my dear friend Sandra Jonas.  If you haven't seen her blog it's a must!

And there's Lily, our champion dock jumper turned warden of the back yard.  She's waiting to catch the deer who visit the woods at least twice a day.  They couldn't care less about her...they just stare and go about their business.  The next door neighbors keep a salt thing in the back and feed them.  You can imagine the crowds this Spring.

This is how she spends her day.  The sous chef, on the other hand, has to be pushed out to do her thing.  Oh, and we have a bunny family too.  Saw the daddy yesterday. He already ate some of the new plantings for the vegetable garden.  My daughter thought it was cute.  Wait 'til they eat all her hard work.

Even though this yard is already beautiful and has great bones,  there's a lot to do to bring it back to it's full potential.  The house was empty for a long time so nothing has been fertilized in awhile.  I am waiting for the blooms to fall off so I can feed the azaleas.  There are about five or six bushes that have no blooms in them.

The grass is another matter.  Lots of weeds.  Has been treated once but we will need to keep on top of it to get it just right.  Needs seeding too.  The backyard was full of dead leaves and we just had them cleared.  Will need truckloads of bark chips.  (That's why the lights in the front have to wait) There's lots to do.  This is a long project but I'm up to the task.. Better than going to the gym.  Later...

Photos Lindaraxa


  1. Hello Julieta - I believe your unidentified perennials are dianthus -- common name, "pinks". I don't recall commenting before now, but I enjoy your posts immensely. I believe I came this way via Reggie Darling and The Blue Remembered Hills. Thank you for enriching my life each week. Susan

  2. You have an idyllic, beautiful yard with all those flowering trees, azaleas and rhododendrons. And to be honest, I prefer the grass the way it looks now, friendly and inviting, to something overly-green, processed and manicured.
    --Road to Parnassus

  3. Susan,

    Thank you for the name. I am most grateful for your nice comment. It's what keeps us going...


    My daughter has forbidden me to get into a "grass contest" with the neighbors! It can be an expensive proposition.

  4. What a beautiful yard! I'm such a nut about white azaleas that I had all the other colors, that were in the front yard, transplanted to the "back 40" and replaced them with all white ones.
    There's an old Southern saying, that the only color in your front yard should be green---the color of money... LOL

  5. It all looks quite lovely, and I think your coach lights are suitable as they are. How nice to be able to enjoy the spring - they were just about to pop when we we're in Hong Kong recently.

  6. Tracy,

    The former owners must have been real Southeners then. Most of the color here is in the back. Now I get it.


    I'm glad you like the coach lights as is. Spring and Fall were two of the things I missed most when I lived in Miami. I'm enjoying them to the fullest!

  7. Yes, those are most definitely "pinks"...they smell wonderful too, right? Sort of spicy? I had tons up north and loved them.
    I am SO..... glad you now have a real garden again. It makes life worthwhile! I am editor of our Garden Club newsletter, "Clippings", and am loving all the contacts and new information...
    Oh the rabbits: all my sunflower seeds, new phlox, and tiny new coreopsis were all gobbled up last year. I have always found "Deer Off" to be the best for both deer AND rabbits!
    Can't wait to see lots more pictures...

  8. Libby,

    Yes, they smell wonderful! So glad to know you are a gardener too...will need lots of help. I used to garden a lot years ago in Ct. but then moved to NYC and became citified. But it's all coming back, slowly but surely.

    Will pass the deer off info to Chris. She's Head gardener of the back yard. Has great plans for a potager. So do the rabbits!

  9. LucyWestie doesn't want to chase the bunnies? On my way. Love big backyards with bunnies and SQUIRRELS!! oh, mom says your yard looks like Augusta National. Just beautiful!

  10. What a wonderful garden, you lucked out! My advice to all who move into a 'new' garden, is to wait to see what surprises they find the first year.

    Also, not all Azaleas bloom at the same time, each variety is different, (early, mid-season and late) some will bloom as late as May.

    Re. the lawn...if it is green, let it be (lesser vert). You don't need the chemical fertilizers and poisons underfoot, especially if there are children & the Sous Chef running around on it.

    DO NOT PLANT ANY IMPATIENTS this year. They suffer fom a fungus that will spread in the garden.

    This is the longest comment I have ever made!! I need to visit.

  11. Have been following your blog and really enjoy it. Thanks for all the good recipes and stories. I am wondering where your new home is located. It looks like North Carolina. I am from Asheville and reconize a lot of the plants. They are beautiful.

  12. Snowy,

    Lucywestie hasn't discovered the rabbit yet and she doesn't know what to make of the deer although she's smart enough to keep her distance. I am wondering how long it will take Lily to figure out that fence is jumpable!


    What a coincidence. I lived 7 yrs in Hendersonville, and worked at the Merril Lynch office in Asheville in the late 70's. My son was born there also. Not as many rhododendrons here though as we had up there. I was surprised to see the one in the garden.

    This house is north of Atlanta on Lake Lanier. Thank you for your kind comments.


    Nothing would give me more pleasure than a visit from you. Pick the menu, you're on!

    Thanks for the warning on the impatients. You caught me just in time! Are the ones in the pots alright?

  13. Beautiful garden! Wish I had a green thumb! Unfortunately, my yard is looking really bad already this year!

  14. Lisa,

    The former owners were the ones with the green thumb. Hope mine comes back soon. Don't despair, it's work but it can be done. thnx for stopping by.

  15. I meant the azaleas were about to pop in Hong Kong, and in many cases had, and were looking stunning.

  16. What fun to let the mystery of your new garden unfurl. I'm a big fan of woody plants. You have some beauties there. I live close to a creek area and we get all kinds of wildlife, including foxes and coyotes. Lucy may smell warnings of "what's for dinner" and chooses to be inside. A potager sounds delicious.

  17. Home,

    No, she's just plain lazy!


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