I have always loved gardening. Growing up, my grandpa grew amazing tomatoes and carrots in his garden and beautiful roses and dinner-plate dahlias around his house. Home-grown tomatoes and carrots taste SO much better than those from the grocery store! I have some photos 'somewhere' of my grandpa's garden and I'll add them to this post when I find them. I loved spending time with him digging around in the dirt :) Even as a teenager I would wake up before anyone else and pull weeds while the birds were twittering away in the morning. To this day the evening and early morning are my favorite times to be outside.
My last home was a sweet, old cottage on an acre of land. Enormous trees were on 3 sides of the property and a huge laurel hedge on the 4th. It was wonderful... like my own little world :) I never did plant a vegetable garden but I grew tomatoes and herbs in pots. There were originally uniform planting beds around the house, very narrow and linear, but I expanded them into big, curved beds filled with flowers and shrubs and edged the beds with bricks salvaged from an old chimney. I was at a yard sale looking at a pile of old bricks next to the house and a neighbor of the yard-salers, who happened to be nearby, told me he was taking down a chimney and I could have as many bricks as I wanted if I came over to get them. What a deal! I was so thrilled to get those bricks! It was a LOT of work getting them but well worth it.
I was heart-broken when I had to leave my cottage home and it still makes me sad to think of it, but I am trying my hardest to make the most of the little outdoor space I have now. I brought some of the things that I could with me and, hopefully, they'll add some cottage character to my modern condo patio. I started dabbling with it last summer but found it hard to enjoy it with it's limited space and sunlight and was constantly distracted by the fact that it's overlooked by others' windows. Oh, and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself too :) I abandoned my efforts early in the fall but this year I'm starting early. Though I can't create the kind of garden that I yearn for, this is what I have and I hope to make the best of it... to enjoy it to it's full potential.
Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.
This is the start of my little garden.
Isn't this gorgeous? lol! While I can appreciate a great tire and nice wheels, I'm hoping that a new home can be found for the spare this spring :) I added this laurel bush as part of an effort to create some 'bones' to this little patio garden.
My bulbs are starting to come up... there's even a hyacinth bloom peeking out :) I kept these in their original plastic pots from last year. I have a variety of old, clay pots in different sizes that I'll pop them into when they're in bloom.
My sweetie helpfully suggested that we could clean up the patio by removing the moss and scrubbing the bricks back to their original color. I'm not sure that he really understands why it appeals to me more in it's current state than if it was a blank canvas of turkey-frank pink, but he agreed to leave it as-is. I'm happy that I have brick paving and not concrete!
Though I haven't named these sweet bunnies, they have been adding a touch of whimsy to my gardens for about 15 years. I suppose some folks might clean them up but I love them this way. Here they are patiently waiting under a chair to be placed in their new home.
I bought this little girl's shoe 'planter' at a local farmer's market many years ago. It had a couple of tiny succulent plants growing in it then. Those bitty plants have since taken over this pot :)
It's not looking all that pretty right now but the variegated foliage of this shrub brings a lovely brightness to this corner of the patio... and another touch of garden-y structure to this space.
That mossy thing to the left is a concrete pagoda that my sweetie received from a neighbor along with a old, one-armed buddah. I'm not sure how well these pieces fit in with the cottage garden theme I'm going for but at least they're not shiny and new :)
As soon as the spring weather arrives I'll plant annuals in my pots and arrange the chairs to make this a cozy place to relax. Thank you for taking the time to stop by... I'll be posting more photos as I continue to create my little garden in the city and I look forward to sharing them here :)