I live on a hill, so a glance from my deck affords me an excellent view of Evelyn’s garden – and this time of year it is spectacular! Evelyn spent 50 years building her garden. The foundation plants include enormous rhododendrons, fabulous camellias, and one sweet-smelling lilac.
I wish she were here to see it. She passed away five years ago, but I still think of that inspirational landscape as ‘Evelyn’s garden’. Fortunately the new owner hasn’t changed it too much.
Evelyn chiseled her garden out of bedrock – one small area at a time and the result is fascinating. As you climb up and down the hill that was her backyard, you moved from one garden room to the next – each with its own character. Some have fabulous extended views, while others feature an unusual plant as a focal point. You are drawn to stay and enjoy each room, but motivated to explore around the next corner. She created vast variation in the rooms – from ferns to succulents – but kept the foundation plants consistent throughout the yard (large azaleas and camellias). She added stepping stones and benches that made you want to continue the journey but stop and enjoy the scenery – all at the same time.
I miss Evelyn. I wish she were here to provide me with advice on my own backyard. I also wish she were here so that she could see that she was right about the princess flower I planted in my front yard. She really gave me a hard time for planting it in a very central location. I had liked the idea of the blue petals falling over the path to the front door. But the plant became completely unwieldy – exactly as she had predicted.
Since I don’t have Evelyn anymore to lend me advice, I searched the web for resources on how to create ‘garden rooms’. Click this binder to see what I found, though I’m sure my eighty year-old neighbor perfected it to an art that few others could master!