Gardens are my happy place, a refuge from the news, traffic, noise, and security checks. I embrace the blooms, the design, the human touch on a patch of the planet. It is a piece of heaven right under my feet.
A Year of Happy!
Inspired by a new year we follow a familiar path as we resolve to; spend more time with family & friends, learn something new, help others, eat better, exercise more, reduce stress, and save money. The list designed to inspire us to be our better selves often does just the opposite and creates more stress within the first month of the year. If only there was an easy way to achieve these resolutions! Well, “There is a garden for that!”
It’s that time of year to connect with family and friends, a tradition that sweetens the season for us. I hope you and those you love are preparing for your favorite holiday traditions.
A creative gardener transforms a strip of land into a magical garden
Gardeners today have less space, less water and seem less able to lavish time on their patch of ground. Yet ask nearly any gardener and they have no less desire for a beautiful garden outside their door. Inspired, creative thinking coupled with a fascination of the world of succulents enabled Lisa, a member of the Laguna Beach Garden Club in CA to transform a 15’ wide side yard strip of ground into a magical mix of low water use plants and artful touches, creating two thematic gardens.
There are shopping list and gift lists circulating during the Holiday season. Gardeners may not know what might make their life easier. So here are a few suggestions tried & tested by Linda Larson, A Traveling Gardener, wandering, wondering, noticing. . .
The Ladew Topiary Garden in Maryland is on the list of 1001 Gardens to See. Another list counts it among the top ten topiary gardens in the world. Others rank it as one of the top five gardens in North America. Wherever it falls on a list, it’s a true wonder. Yes, today topiary has its critics as it is not a naturalistic style for gardening. The best shrubs for topiary of yew, hemlock, and privet are not popular in today’s small private gardens. Yet a visit to Ladew Topiary is a walk in a world of green filled with art, color, and surprises.
The Alhambra & Generalife Gardens Granada, Andalusia, Spain
The Alhambra, in Granada, Spain looms large in the history of gardens. Monty Don, host of the British program, Gardener’s World, says “the Islamic mind changed the way the whole of Europe gardens” and the evidence bears this out the more I learn about the Islamic paradise garden.
Weather is an element of gardening. The sun, temperature, and moisture are along side us as we work to create our own piece of paradise. A late snow in Spring, a dry spell in Summer, an early frost in Fall are events that can throw us off course. A weather event, yet one we can work through.
Some of the best views in the world are from a garden.
If you find yourself in Monte Carlo and you don’t expect to win enough at the famed Beaux Arts Casino to shop for a Rolls Royce while you are there, I have the perfect adventure for you. Take the #2 city bus up the mountain to the end of the line to the La Jardin Exotic Botanical Garden. Hanging off a promontory point, nearly 500’ above the bustling tourist sites down by the harbor, this garden will give you spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, and the bay filled with yachts and sailboats. Gazing afar you can see Italy. Looking below, you see the lavishly landscaped rooftop gardens of the surrounding high-rise buildings.
Living in the wide open southwest I’m used to lots of space, wide streets and a spacious patch of earth to grow flowers, vegetables, and trees. Traveling this summer in Mediterranean cities I found an entirely different spatial atmosphere.