Taken from the title of Mirabel Oser's wonderful treatise on gardens,it has always been an apt description for my garden most anytime of year. Here are some snippets,by no means complete of my gentle plea.
Entrance to the citrus grove and herb garden. Archway made from basic bent rebarb.
I am ecstatic to see this! Since I know your garden, the pictures prove how completely a garden is its own entity. There are things I hardly recognize, as the garden has grown and taken off in new directions. I think all gardeners have had the experience of gasping in delight over some bit of the charm the garden happily created on its own, because the wise gardener let it. The genius of the gardener is lovingly letting her creation find its own direction at times, something you brilliantly illustrate here.
Maybe later you'll feel like showing a couple of shots taken from above, yes?
These shots were taken a week or so before I went on holiday when I had tamed it somewhat. I took some shots from the balcony but the lighting just wasn't right and they do not do justice. While I was gone,it rained almost the whole two weeks so you can well imagine how wild it is as a result. Will try for some more. Much of the back garden's design was conceived from the inside looking out as I spend a good deal of time inside overlooking the garden when I'm not actually out there working. Right now am putting most of my garden energies into the 2012 Potager. Also,the autumn blooming salvias aren't quite out in full regalia yet,they will be spectacular when they do burst forth. To be continued.
I like wild gardens to a certain extent, but I suppose that my French heritage makes me want a bit of order in them anyway. I can't stand perfectly symmetrical gardens like Versailles or the Tuileries, but I do appreciate a certain sign that a garden is cared for and made compatible with human presence, like an English garden.
I adore English gardens as well. Our tropical climate here however, would have myself and a crew of at least two people out there with machetes and scissors every day. The front garden has more of an English cottage garden feel to it and because it's a much smaller space is easier to maintain. I will post some pics of it soon. A well maintained English style border is the equivelant of having two Jaguars in the garage(cars,that is ). They require constant maintenance and your own personal mechanic.
Casimira's garden is fantastic. At our old house we had a Tropical Folly which grew luxuriantly but only with regular watering. The rest of the garden was more Mediterranean with plants that could survive with minimal summer watering. Now we have moved to the Lot with a different climate. But everyone is complaining about the drought which has been going on for 4 months now. Our garden desperately needs some imagination to make it attractive but we can do nothing. The ground is so dry and hard that I cannot even get a pickaxe in it.
That's the situation I am in, Baz. The lower-growing plants seem to be doing okay, but anything tall is either stunted or covered with powdery mildew. I've kept the spaces I'm trying to cultivate small, but no summer rain has defeated even that minimal effort. The potted plants are happy, but are not a substitute for a garden.
A brief note on all the tiny terra cotta shards in a couple of the pictures. After Katrina ,I got a bunch of jobs in the French Quarter. All people of fairly substantial means,lovely courtyards. Word got out that there were a few gardeners like myself back in the city working and I spent a great deal of time down there. The Quarter did not flood but there were massive broken flower pots everywhere. I did not have the heart to throw them away,they were ruined,most of them. Every gardener knows about using shards for bottom drainage but this was a half a pick up truck load. So,I brought them home and over time I have smashed them into smaller pieces and used on the pathways. They develop a nice green patina over time and are a gentle reminder of that time.
My garden is in a similar situation to Bazfaz' s and Bixa's. Dry as a bone. It did rain once a couple of weeks ago and things perked up a bit, but now it's all dry again. It's 26° outside even though it's October.
Casimira, I love your garden. Gentle chaos has always been my theme too. I also love the glimpses of your house. That's just the sort of place I'd like to live. The climate seems to be ideal. So that's your dog? Sweet....
That was a great idea to lay down pot shards as a path. I would neve have thought of that.
I shall browse for a long time over your pictures.
Thank you spindrift. The "house" that I think you are referring to is actually the potting shed/studio. The gentleman who built our house built this little "house" as a refuge for himself to play cards,smoke cigars and drink whiskey with his friends. His wife was a very Christian woman and would have "none of that" in the main house. The house where we live is way in the background of picture #6.
I don't remember ever seeing a dry spell in that part of the world when I lived there for 15 years. But I suppose that children do not pay much attention to that sort of thing. We did regularly water the yard when there was no rain, so it must have been dry sometimes.
Lovely. I'm not ideological about gardening and enjoy all sorts of different approaches. You hard ground people, if you plant to be there for the long haul, I strongly advise you find a source for compost (you probably can't make enough on your own but it will help) and throw as much as you can manage to down. It doesn't really do that much in the first couple of years but after a few it really helps there.
Had not heard that term used "hard ground" in that context. Interesting. Oh,I do plan to be here for the long haul. I compost like mad and mulch,mulch,mulch. This time of year when all the fancy homes have their yard guys blow and sometimes rake the leaves (I prefer the live oak as they break down beautifully) and bag them up,I go drive round and pick them up and haul them home.Fresh grass clippings and my favorite,pine straw. Our soil tends to be alkaline and both the oak and pine lend some acidity to the PH levels.