Gardens, glorious gardens! I love gardens! There is nothing that gives me more pleasure, satisfaction, and inspiration than visiting beautiful gardens, or getting my hands dirty trying to create my own vision of a glorious garden."Creating gardens is the highest expression of living a good life."
- Francis Bacon
Just what is a “glorious” garden? To me it means a garden that is well-designed, contains well-selected and sited plantings, is adapted to its environment, is filled with personal favorites, and is beautiful in all seasons. Mostly, it is one you love to be in and long to come home to, that envelops you in safety, serenity and beauty, and gives you a refuge from the stress of modern day living.
I love to visit gardens to get ideas for my own, to see new varieties, how they are used and try to figure out how I can adapt the ideas I see to my own space. My own garden is about 2/3 of an acre in Zone 7b in the Atlanta, Georgia area, and the back end of it is filled with mature forest trees that create a lot of shade in the summer. I love the trees—oaks and hickories mostly--and enjoy how they change through the seasons and affect the light. But they create one of the biggest challenges I have which is to grow some of the perennials I love best that require full sun. So, I will keep the trees, and figure out how to work around the shade.
I have a few personal goals as I work on my own garden. And knowing that creating a garden is a lifelong pursuit, subject to the whims of weather and the changing personal tastes of the owner, it must be adaptable. Or rather I should say that the gardener must be flexible and willing to change things that don’t work--like color combinations, plants that become too aggressive or outgrow their space, and those that die for no apparent reason.
One of my goals is to have something in bloom every day of the year—and I have achieved that goal. Even in winter there are many options (at least in my zone). In January, for instance, some early Camellia japonica varieties will begin to bloom, as well as hellebores (Lenten roses) and even early bulbs like snowdrops. And, of course, there are annuals that will grow and bloom in winter such as pansies, violas, and snapdragons.
The choices among trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, annuals and more, for color, scent, texture, size and use are almost limitless. The reason for organizing the website based on the seasons is to show that there are exceptional plants to choose in every season no matter what effect you are aiming for. Everyone won’t love everything—but that’s the beauty of it—the choices you make will reflect your personal taste and vision, and will be the purest expression of you.
Your garden can be your own private paradise! Select your favorites for a springtime full of color, scent and beauty.
The garden in summer is a time of bounty and beauty. Select your favorites for for a joyful summer of color and fragrance.
Make your fall garden as lovely as your spring garden by choosing special trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs for fall color.
The garden in winter is a glorious time of year. Your winter garden can be special with the right plant choices.
Plant of the Month