My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ABC Wednesday: Gorgeous Gardens!

Greetings, and welcome to my first post from our new digs! I fear life is still busy chaos (I composed most of this post a couple of weeks ago), and doubt I'll be able to manage reciprocal blog visits or individual comment replies. My apologies. I've added an update at the bottom of this post for those of you who are interested!)

Some of you may recall my Accidental Garden post from "A" week, wherein BW and I stopped during a bike ride to admire a Backyard Wildlife Habitat sign and were generously invited in for a fun tour of the amazing back yard gardens. Well, who says lightning never strikes twice in the same place? We got invited in to tour yet another incredible backyard while riding our bikes downtown one recent Sunday! Granted, this situation was a bit different as this time we already knew our hosts, having met and chatted with them and their dog Annie several times during dog walks when we lived at Dragonfly Cottage. But though we knew them and knew where they lived and that they had a lot of flowers, we had never been to their home before.

So, come on along with us on our tour! I only regret that I can't share the incredibly flower-perfumed air or the sounds of birdsong and whirring hummingbird wings that were an additional and lovely part of being there in person.

This profusion of petunias greets you at the front of the house - a mere hint of what awaits out back!...

What a colorful welcome!

A flower-festooned flower cart that Rod built is the main attraction on the back patio...

Rod made the cart and does most of the gardening. 
He also built their house himself, did all the landscaping, 
is an INCREDIBLE photographer (the man needs a blog!!), 
and was at the kitchen sink peeling beets when we showed up. 
A true Renaissance Man! :-)

The patio and adjoining deck are bursting with flowers in addition to those on the flower cart, including this gargantuan geranium! I took the photo with BW in it for a sense of scale! :-)

Rod and Jane adore birds, and their entire yard and gardens are designed for maximum avian benefit. They've planted many trees over the years, have multiple birdbaths, bird houses and various kinds of bird feeders (I can't even remember how many hummingbird feeders Jane said are spread around the property, but noticed half a dozen without trying), and the flower selections are made with the birds in mind. Most of them attract hummingbirds (especially the Red Birds in a Tree), while the sunflowers are planted to feed the seed-eating birds. Of course, butterflies and other pollinators enjoy it too!

Here's an overview photo of part of their main backyard garden, which also includes some vegetables interspersed with the flowers for everyone's dining pleasure...

A feast for the senses as well as for tummies!

This garden is definitely ready for its closeups, but first there is someone you need to meet. For as we know from Artie on our Accidental Garden tour, every good garden tour requires the assistance of a Canine Tour Guide and this time we were accompanied by Annie...

Sweet, pretty Annie, eager to get going

And now, some of the stars of the garden that made me gape, gasp and gawk. I've identified the ones I know (or that Rod told me), but mostly I'm just going to stop gabbing and let you enjoy all the beautiful eye candy...


A gregarious and glorious gang of blooms!
Back to front (more or less):
Red Birds in a Tree, Purple Coneflower (echinacea),
red poppies, brown eyed Susans

Sunny Sunflowers

A red Sunflower
shot through a gap in some sunflower leaves

Cosmos and Zinnia

Hot Papaya Echinacea 

Zinnia and friends

I took far more photos, but Annie seems to be saying...

"Good grief, haven't you seen and photographed enough?
They're flowers, not kibble, so what's the big deal?!"

Our grateful thanks to Rod, Jane and Annie for their hospitality, a fun evening spent in their beautiful gardens, and the invitation to return and take more photos (next time of the hummingbirds!) :-)

Meanwhile, get a gander at more gee-whiz photos at...

Quick personal update: For those of you following our new home construction/moving odyssey, all I can say is thank goodness I prepared a few ABC Wed/SkyWatch Fri posts when I still had a life. We closed on the new house last Friday afternoon, and though various contractors still need to do various things to it (plus landscaping), we did some cleaning that day and started moving our stuff that weekend. The movers moved our heavier pieces of furniture on Monday morning, and that afternoon we got our phone/internet/tv switched over and had all the construction flotsam and jetsam cleaned out of our ductwork. We and the dogs spent our first night in the house Monday, moved the last of our belongings over here last night and are heading back to the rental this morning to clean it, then have to mow the lawn and shampoo the carpets tomorrow so we can hand over the keys on Friday when the lease is up. 

It's been Africa-hot here all week - 100ยบ + nearly every day (argh! I need window treatments in the worst way, but how can everything be a priority?!), and of course having to concentrate on moving and now cleaning the rental, the new house is in quite a bit of disarray with most of our belongings still in boxes, and a great deal of time squandered searching for things. You know how it is - you start out all organized, packing things tidily and by category, well wrapped and labeled. By the end you're just throwing things in wherever they'll fit, and if that means your shampoo gets packed with your garden spade and waffle iron in an old box labeled "bed linens," well so be it! :-) Anyway, we need to get the rental out of our hair and get our fence and landscaping done (deadlines and dogs necessitate it be done speedily!) and get this house in some sort of order while still working around painters, plumbers, electricians, and tile-layers. I have a few mostly-completed meme posts in the hopper, but have no idea when I'll have time to resume my regularly scheduled blogging and blog visiting. Thanks for bearing with me! (And please, if I mention possibly moving again any time in the next five years, please just shoot me!) 

Have a great weekend (and happy Labor Day to my compatriots!)


  1. Awww.....I'm your first ;-) Finally moved in....super-duper! Yep, it'll be chaos for a while as there's always something to do. But, the big part's done. How did it feel to spend the first night in your new digs? So happy for you ;-).
    As for all the wonderful flowers from Rod & Janes....Gosh-O-Gee! How much work that must have taken to create such beauty.....kudos to them and to your keen eye and photo skills.
    Enjoy your new life...someday ;-). xoxo

  2. How wonderfully organized that GARDEN is.
    Like your blogging ahead! GOOD move!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. Gorgeous house and gardens and such a pretty dog.
    I'm pleased to hear you're in your new home and I hope all goes smoothly from now on (you deserve it!)
    I'll raise a toast to you and BW:-)

  4. He is a master gardener! That flower cart is phenomenol and all that color!!!What a treat to be there and smell all the wonder.

  5. Wow, impressed with your organizational skills♫...Impressive garden photos for sure...luv your dog♪

  6. Beautiful flowers, I love colourful gardens like that.
    It must be the season for moving two of my work colleagues are stressing out with the same thing. One of them has almost finished and is planning her first cake bake in the new house, I do like optimism. Good luck with the week ahead.

  7. Wow what a glorious garden! I am going to tell David about Rod to make him feel shame. Annie is so pretty, look at that tail! The cats of course would beg to differ with you as to the need for canine garden guides, they say what is really needed is a cat or two flattening your petunias by using them as a bed :0) Are those Brown Eyed Susans actually Rudbeckias? I love them. Glad you're now finally home!

  8. What a Glorious Geek at Garden Glory. Thank you so much - and I am happy to hear that you are (finally) in your new home.

  9. Well, clearly I hadn't read this post when I emailed you this afternoon! Congrats on the closing and hope the organizing goes smoothly. We actually shipped a s--tload of boxes here from Wis. and they are still sitting in the garage. Moving isn't for the weak.

  10. Lovely garden; such vivid colors. I'd love to have that in my backyard to enjoy every day.

    Good luck with the getting settled part. Moving is never really fun, but being in a new place always brings some excitement.

  11. All those flowers are so lovely! What a beautiful garden. I bet it needs a lot of watering in those hot temperatures.

    Congrats on moving into the new place! How exciting.


  12. Wow, That was a huge post - I hardly know where to start.

    I love how you keep getting invited into people's homes and gardens. I've only had that happen to me once and it was because I was with you!

    So much eye candy, it's hard to pick a favorite so I'm going to pick two. My first favorite was the "gregarious and glorious gang of blooms. I love a garden where so many things are blooming at once in so many colors but I don't like them if it's too messy looking and that particular gang is well coordinated despite the great variety and everything is in bloom at once.

    My other favorite is the one right below it. The Sunny sunflowers in various sizes and all in a line are perfect at the angle you photographed them and I reall love that photo. I even love the fun effects on the window behind them.

    Thanks for the home update. I can't remember what date you had to be out of the rental but I though it was 31 Aug - that was tight! Just two days after you posted this. Hope that went well. Loved the description of packing the toothbrush with the waffle iron and lawn tools. Totally can relate to that!!!! LOL


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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