Color in the Garden

I had a grand plan for a bright, white spring in my garden.  I envisioned the existing white tulips, snow drops,  and daffodils interspersed with fragrant white freesias – all peaking their heads over a blanket of white Santa Barbara daisies.

White bulbs in the garden

I thought all of this would tie in beautifully with the pale pick roses, clematis, fuchsia,  and penstemon that would start blooming a little later.

But my garden loves surprises. – the first of which was that I  had forgotten that many of the daffodils that I planted two years ago were marked incorrectly and were yellow instead of white.

But the biggest surprise was that about half of the hundred white freesia that I planted were not white at all.  They were a bright red with a yellow throat. My small garden was filled with passionate red and yellow color – that I just love!

I expect the red and yellow will have disappeared by the time that all the pale pinks start their blooms, so I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.

Red Freesia
Red Freesia

If you need help figuring out how to bring color into your garden, I have found some fabulous sites.  Click on the binder below to see my collection of sites that help you select color for your garden:

Green Gardening

Even though we’ve gotten a heavy dose of rain this past week, California is still on drought alert. But if you’re like me you still want to keep your garden blooming. I started a binder to collect interesting tips on how to maintain your garden on a tight water budget, and I’ll be adding other useful tips for keeping ‘green.’

Click on the link below to view websites with some helpful ideas for keeping your garden green and environmentally friendly. Once you open the LiveBinder, click on the tabs at the top of the page to go through the different articles and websites.

Extreme Gardening

I love gardening, but as my dear friend Carolyn always says, “Anything worth doing, is worth over doing.”

Here are some gardeners who have done just that and taken gardening to the next level.  I’m so glad that they are willing to share their creations and adventures with us on the web. Click on the binder below to see some of these great sites. They are a true inspiration for the backyard gardener!

Great Gardening Websites

The City of Belmont had their Spring Garden Faire today. It was a nice event, and I especially enjoyed the tour of the award-winning Belmont gardens. The weather was warm and it was a picture perfect day.

Handed out at the event was a list of gardening and going green websites. Too bad they didn’t know about LiveBinders. It would have been a lot easier (and saved paper) to just handout two urls, instead of two pages of urls.

I have put these lists of sites into binders so that they can be more easily shared (and shared in a more environmentally friendly way) via email. Click on the binders below to see these great gardening and going green websites:

The beauty of Japanese Maples

I love this time of year when the delicate leaves of the Japanese Maples start to reach out to the sunshine. They provide spectacular color and texture to the garden landscape. I also appreciate their diminutive statue and love the fact that I can fill my garden with them and not block my neighbor’s view. But I admit that they have become something of an addiction for me. I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to grow them from seed which is probably a good thing. My garden and surrounding landscape is crammed with them as it is and this is just the time of year that they look irresistible in my local nursery…

Click on the binder below to see my collection of maples as well as the links that I found on growing them from seed.

Creating Garden Rooms – Spring in Evelyn’s Garden

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!