Monday, March 22, 2010

"Garden Trek" Series - Episode 1

Now that Spring is officially here, I'm starting a series on the gardening projects we have going at our new home (new to us, at least!).

Last year we moved from hilly and fertile,  Tulsa OK (zone 7) to the flat and gumbo soil of Houston TX (zone 9).  Even though the move took us just a State away, it seems that my gardening life was launched much further and landed on alien grounds.  Below is a collection of pictures from my previous home, where azaleas bloomed unabashedly under a lush canopy of Japanese maples and oaks, surrounded by ivy, yews and boxwood...

The home was 9 yrs old, and in need of some sprucing up.  We added those garage doors and shutters.

I painted the window frames the same color as the throat of the azaleas... It is Spring time and the grass has not yet recovered from the Winter.

As soon as we moved in, we set up a dog run on the side of the house for our weimaraners. The small gated fence keeps them from using the backyard unsupervised... no accidents here, please.

The backyard was absolutely bare aside from the large trees. As you come in from the side gate, the first archway leads us into the backyard beyond.  I thought of this area as a 'foyer'.
Through the gated archway, the path takes us to the 'living area', where my hubby built this huge fire pit. Still Spring, so things don't look as lush.  And the Summer pots are still empty.

Here is a view from the patio

From the 'living area' another path leads us to the potager (kitchen) garden.

I had pyracantha climbing up the sides of the archway - not a best choice given the thorns (lesson learned)

Looking down the center of the yard into a very wet area where the whole yard drains to.  See if you can spot that face on the fence... I'm working on a project for the current home using it.

It took us 5 full years to get this backyard filled with all you see in these pictures.  Originally, it was a plain Jane, grassy lot with lovely mature trees.

So now to our current home:



I am very aware that it takes time and patience to grow a garden.  And I am always up for a challenge, so when we found our bare bones current home, we looked at it as an opportunity to make it shine... Stay tuned, we've got lots of projects in the making. Join us in our journey.


44 comments:

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

holy moley... your old garden looks like it was from a magazine. amazingly beautiful! i can't wait to see what the new one looks like. i know it will be stunning. i'm confident that you can figure out the new soil.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Thanks, Carissa. Both my husband and I love working in the yard... although things have slowed down considerably after the G-Man was born. Another fun thing about gardening... Other gardeners LOVE to share their bounty. So a lot of these plants were the offspring of my neighbors's. :)

nkp said...

Wow, you have quite the green thumb, Catherine. Sadly, I do not. We have been in our house nine years and every year I have plans, but they never seem to materialize. Must be amazing to have such a lush oasis, I'm sure your new home will be much the same once you put your stamp on it. I'm excited to get some tips from a pro!

The Zhush said...

Wow, good thing you took all those gorgeous photos of your old house to remember the stunning landscaping. If you created that, then I am sure you will create another heavenly garden in the new space. When we moved in 10 years ago, to our then new construction home, we did not have one blade of grass or a single shrub...I remember how overwhelming that was (granted we moved from a nyc apt) but I am sure all your experience will serve you well now.

Paris Pastry said...

OMG what a gorgeous backyard! All the lush green colors; beautiful! I bet it takes a lot of time maintaining it. But the end result is stunning!

Sandra said...

I will be following the journey on your new garden. I know it will be beautiful!

OneCraftyFox said...

Both homes are gorgeous, I can't get over how LUSH the garden is of the first. You did an amazing job with it.

My Owl Barn said...

Love these photos of the garden! You must be spending hours maintaining it.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Hi My Owl Barn, welcome. That yard did take a lot of maintenance, but we were lucky enough to have a crew come in to mow an weed, and I'd touch it up during the week. So pretty much the time was spent enjoying it.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Sandra, thanks for the vote of confidence. It will never be as perfect as yours, though.

The Shiny Pebble said...

NKP, I can totally relate. Dont' you live in AZ somewhere? I wouldn't know what to do in that kind of environment. Not a cactus person, you see.

The Shiny Pebble said...

The Zhush, gardening is such a frustratingly slow process that when you start up from zero like you did it takes that much longer to get it going. I hope yours is as lush as you want it to be by now. Thanks for commenting.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Paris Pastry, a gardening compliment from a Dutch lady means a lot to me. You guys are the masters over there.

The Shiny Pebble said...

OneCraftyFox, thanks. Keep your fingers crossed that I can make this thing work... the soil is such a loamy mess I can only hope the raised beds will do the trick.

Housewife Bliss said...

we did the same thing 3 years ago, I was so impatient for the finished look that we spent far too much money on mature plants, but it was worth it as now we are leaving and I got to enjoy the garden. I just loved what you did with old garden, the stations are stunning. Looking forward to seeing what projects you have lined up.

Housewife Bliss said...

by the way, I am looking for ladies who might like to guest post on my housewife inspiration series, if you are interested, email me at housewifebliss@googlemail.com and I will send you the spec. xx

Tracy F. said...

Your house and garden in Tulsa are gorgeous! They should be in a magazine! Your new house looks lovely, too. It will be fun to watch how you transform it into your own version of paradise.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Housewife Bliss, I kinda went for the finished look on the projects we have going here at the current house. Just because everything looked so desolate. So at least for the backbone of the garden I started with the plants a little more mature.

The Shiny Pebble said...

Tracy thanks, you are so sweet. If I remember well from one of your lovely posts, your home and garden are just fabulous. Way out of my league and gorgeous! You guys should go check it out.

Design Darling said...

i have complete faith after seeing your first home that this one will turn out incredibly! i loved the sneak peek into your space absolutely can't wait to see what you do with the new place.

p.s. my bag, tag, bag is up on my blog today — i hope i performed to your satisfaction! thanks so much for including me :)

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

I am sure the next garden will be even more beautiful than your first one. Although, I have to say, I would be heartbroken if I would have to leave my garden behind! I am wishing you beautiful week. :-)))

The Shiny Pebble said...

Thank you Couture! I am so honored that you take the time to look at my blog. Can't wait to hear more about your new ventures!

Love Where You LIve said...

HI again.
I had to see which state you spoke of when saying you're my "neighbor." Gotcha now. Have fun with your new place. Love the tulsa garden. Evokes a nice inviting feeling. I lived in Tulsa waaay back when.

Struggler said...

I really enjoyed seeing your gardens, especially what you achieved in your previous home. You're right, it does indeed take time to get a good result, especially if (like me), you're always more preoccupied with the inside of the house!!

The Shiny Pebble said...

Struggler,
Now-a-days I am more preoccupied with keeping the dishes and my hair washed. Nobody told me how time consuming motherhood is. Sheesh!
This time around we are having to hire out most of the outside work. We are lucky enough that the contractor is eager and keeps things moving. Cheers!

A Perfect Gray said...

wow! what a fantastic job you did with your former home. it was a real treat to see. we want photos of your new garden projects!

The Shiny Pebble said...

Hi Perfect Gray, thanks for commenting. I hope to post at least one new project a week... Come back often. :)

Kelly at Chatelaine Ranch said...

Oh, all this gorgeous green is making me...well...green!!! We're in a veritable blizzard tonight...winds swirling about and visibility at just about zero! Your yard, and potager are beautiful....why did you move?
I LOVE your blog, your photos, your writing and look forward to catching up on some older posts! Tomorrow will be a great day to do that since I'll be hunkered down! More snow expected, and there are already 2 1/2 ft. drifts in a few places. Happy Gardening! (yes. please feel sorry for me.)

Kelly at Chatelaine Ranch said...

P.S.....I ADORE that you answer back to your comments. I've been doing that, then notice that other bloggers usually don't, but I kept answering anyway...great minds think alike, you know....oh and by the way...You are
stunning!

Kellie Collis said...

What an absolutely beautiful home!! My goodness!! x

The Shiny Pebble said...

Hi Kelly, loved to hear from you. Bummer about your weather, I guess there is just so much skiing and hiking you want to do in one Season.
I loved Tulsa, but we decided to move here to be closer to Steve's parents - We wanted Grant to grow up around family.
Yes, I do answer the comments people were kind enough to leave because that's my idea of blogging: the back and forth sharing of information. I am so glad you do it too. :)
Also, about the looks... I only post the good photos. :)

The Shiny Pebble said...

Kellie Collis,
Thank you and welcome to my little blog. I'm coming over to visit yours as soon as the baby boy eats his breakfast.

Naomi said...

wow you old yard looks amazing! I can tell you both put a LOT of work into it. I really like all the zones and the "foyer" idea.
someday in the future i will most likely leave the city, and it will be mainly for one reason: to have a yard as glorious as yours!

The Shiny Pebble said...

Thanks Naomi. I was never really into gardening b/c city living never exposed me to it. Ah the beauty of suburbia. ;)

Jo said...

I've just stumbled upon your blog ~ so happy to have found it!

We have been in our current home for 8 years and are just starting to get the yard to where we want it ~ it's such an on going project. The previous owners hired landscapers who didn't know what they were doing. As a result, we've lost many plants and have had to totally redesign the yard.

Jo

The Shiny Pebble said...

Hi Jo, don't you just hate that?! But to tell you the truth, I have killed many a plant... Sometimes plants are just not meant to thrive, I think. One really bad spot was that semi circle under the trees... Nothing really ever worked for me there. Live and learn.

nkp said...

No, I'm in Atlanta, which actaully has a long growing season. But once the summer heat and humidity set in, I'm a goner and will not leave the bliss of my air conditioned house. ;0)

The Shiny Pebble said...

Nelya, Atlanta?! Girl you have no excuse. :) Awesome, though. I love that part of the world. We lived just a few hrs away in Knoxville TN - the most beautiful place on Earth. To me at least. :D

Martha said...

You've got a great garden in your old house -- it must have been hard to leave -- but just think how great it will be in a few years.

J Bar said...

Wonderful garden.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

I know it was so hard to leave that beautiful place!!! It was so gorgeous...now I know you're more experienced so this one will be more magnificent!!!

Reid said...

WOW! What a great job! I know you'll make the new yard just as nice!

Marie said...

Projects??? Don't I know about projects! Well based from your garden in your last house, you can turn this new garden around in no time to another masterpiece.
-marie

Ms. Bake-it said...

Well, considering the fabulous job you did on your previous yard, I have not doubt that you will be able to do the same with this one.

~ Tracy

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