Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Garden Gates

I have always liked garden gates. At my new house, I have four that enclose the side yards on both sides of the house. They give the garden the feel of a secret garden, which I have longed for since childhood when I read English novels that described enclosed and neglected old gardens. 

Below is the deck immediately outside the kitchen door. We may eventually pull out this deck and replace it with kitchen garden beds, because this is the sunniest spot in the yard.


I'm inheriting the structure of a garden made many years ago. One owner lived here for 16 years until about 10 years ago. The perennial beds have been neglected, and I assume many have died, though dozens of daylilies and irises remain. I'll have to wait until next year to see them in bloom. Many saplings have seeded themselves in to the wrong places. But I love the mature "bones" of the garden, much of which is evergreen.  An azalea, large boxwood and what I presume is euonymous flank the gate leading into the front garden.


Here is the view looking in the other direction, toward the back yard. We've been able to place the bird feeder quite close to our kitchen and office window. It took the birds a couple of days to find the feeder, but they now flock to it in larger numbers than I ever saw at the old house.


Here is a gate leading from the back garden into the shady garden on the other side of the house. I'm not sure I'd ever seen a variegated holly before, but now I have one. We also have many mature dogwoods. I haven't yet been able to identify the low-growing, spreading shrub under the dogwood and many other trees on our property. One guess is leucothoe?


It's fun having a new garden to explore. A bit strange, though, to have to get acquainted with an entirely new property. I came to know the soils and sun patterns so well at the old place. 
I have not seen any bluebirds yet, so I put a photo of my former friend the bluebird on the header, as seen on the day before moving day. (Sadly, the movers seemed to have scared the bluebirds, and this was my last sighting.)

9 comments :

FlowerLady said...

What a wonderful place and I love the gates. Have fun settling in and seeing what is growing and does well there.

FlowerLady

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Gates and fences are great structures. I like you new gates. They invite you in and make you want to explore the garden. I am sure the bluebirds will return. I think they are rather shy birds. It took mine a while to settle in in my garden. I think raised beds right outside your kitchen would be perfect!!

Sheila Read said...

Flower Lady, I do like the adventure of discovery in my own backyard...

Karin, I think the gates are inviting, too. The way the garden is divided into separate areas make it feel much larger than just 1/4 acre.

linniew said...

Good grief you've found some kind of gem of a place there Sheila! Garden rooms, with gates, and mature trees and plants to work among... Yay!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

I am loving getting to know your garden with you...love the gates and the secluded feel...I like the idea of the kitchen gardens there and a deck or patio with a bit more shade...of course it is not my house :) the bluebirds will find you again...

Stacy said...

Oh, yes, gates! How wonderful. I love that kind with a low gate and then high frame across the top. I would think the hardest thing will be doing the "sensible gardener" bit and waiting until you've seen the place through most of a year before making big changes.

Sheila Read said...

Linnie, I couldn't believe our good fortune when we found this place. I was ready to make an offer before even walking in the house...

Donna, the patio in the shade is a good idea. I much prefer patios to decks, since I generally want to be in the garden and not above it...

Stacy, you're right - I am itching to get started planting and it will be hard to wait before making big changes. Thanks for the reminder to be patient ... In the meantime, I can start removing crape myrtle seedlings, which are everywhere. I didn't realize they could be such a weed.

PlantPostings said...

It looks like you've inherited a pretty incredible place! I love the garden gates and the views. Neat that you have a lot of feathered visitors!

Indie said...

I love the gate! I hope you find lots of gems in the garden when things start blooming next year! I remember my bluebirds being pretty shy as well when they first got here - it takes them a bit to warm up to a place. Now I see them all the time. I'm sure yours will settle in!