Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wisting Away...

Spring is nearly afoot!  I have been dreaming about it all winter!  We planted the boxwoods and the tulips in our front formal garden on the day before the first snow in our Chicago suburb!  As I placed the final bulb with my frozen fingers I lamented the end of the gardening season.
In our brand new suburban neighborhood there is nary a tree to be seen!  Built on what was formerly a corn field, the clay under our feet had become hardpan.  All summer we toiled to dig garden plots in that soil!  It made our measly 1/4 acre lot seem much bigger! We finally hired a giant man from Craigslist to finish our work.  He was the strongest, biggest human being I have ever seen close up!
Two feet deep on either side of the house we removed soil and replaced it with tons and tons and tons of composted soil.  I filled those beds with hundreds of perennials.  The side gardens will be somewhat informal.   Three foot deep lavender beds in a six foot circle in the front yard filled with stones (gathered by the neighborhood children at 10 cents each), gravel and sand so my lavender wouldn't get wet feet! When I first dug the "lavender pit" my neighbors asked if I was building a pond.  It rained for two days and none of the water drained from that pit!  I built a drain.
I moved concrete garden ornaments like chess pieces.  My neighbors, again, wondering what I was up to!  Ten O'clock at night and Andie is moving a 200lb cherub just a smidge to the left...then to the right...then to the other side of the yard.  Yes.  I am THAT neighbor.
Well, with Spring comes exciting new challenges!  I am so excited!  We will finish the formal gardens the chess garden, add a reflecting pond, begin the espaliered fruit trees and the pleached alleys!
I have chosen pea gravel (off white, not brown) for the walkways and the patio.  All of our neighbors have cement brick patios and walkways (heck, everyone in Illinois does, I think)!  I want something more timeless and classic...
We are only allowed to have a four foot fence and it has to be plastic.  *groan*  I have decided on NO fence and pleached borders!  Pllllt!  Take that, neighborhood association!  Ha!  It could be worse, some neighborhoods we looked at required that we submit, in writing, our garden plans (including flowers) a month in advance for association approval.  Nazis!
Oh!  We are planting rose bushes around my FREE Craigslist pavillion.  Gracie gets to choose them.  For every 100 recyclables she puts in our recycle bin she gets to choose one rose bush for our rose garden!

Craigslist pavillion, soon to be surrounded by roses!

I cannot wait to sit on that (Craigslist) bench, surrounded by the heavenly scent of flowers!

I am currenly researching the methods by which to construct a reflecting pool for this lovely spitter...

Something like this, but long and narrow...

Like this, but smaller...

I have chosen the fruit trees I intend to espalier on the side of the garage.
Some inspiration...

A pleached alley  on the right side of the house will lend privacy while looking fabulous!  Much better than a plastic fence, I say!

And for the left row only, though...

Pea gravel pathway...

Formal inspiration...

Informal side yard...

The Chess Garden...
Painting by Dimitri Glazyrin

I am making my own wire topiaries to be covered in ivy and placed in small iron garden urns...

Is anyone else as excited as I am?  Are you doing something new in your yard this year?

I just read the forecast.  NINE MORE INCHES OF SNOW?
Oh well!  More sledding!


  1. This will be beautiful, I'm sure. You have such great Craigs List finds. I love all of your inspiration photos!


  2. What great inspiration! Oh, i have lots of new gardening projects ready to start! LOL Last night I sat down with seed catalogs and ordered some new seed! I adding a small edible flower garden, a moonlight garden and cutting garden this year!

  3. Wow! Grand plans. Looking forward to seeing the results.

  4. Well Ms. Divine, sounds like your garden will be the bomb!!!!! I love to garden, I have a very small yard and since I am on the river and we flood sometimes, I have to be carefull what I do, as the flood can kill it. Down fall of having a home on the river. I want to come see your progress. L and H's. Richard and Sissy

  5. Wow, what fabulous plans you have. I think I might be as excited as you are! I'm very keen to see how the espaliers work out. I've been thinking of doing some myself.

  6. Naughty girl wondering where my dreamy Cabana Boys keep their straws!! *LMAO* I'm adoring your lovely little Spitter... when I was a child and we were in Europe I always thought it was hilarious to see the Statuary Fountain Cherubs relieving themselves into the Fountains! *LOL*

    Guess I'm not the only one dreaming of enchantment right about now! Your Plans are very creative. Dawn... The Bohemian

  7. is that vivaldi? spring? yes, it's on the way. love that God gave us seasons to keep us from being bored (though some of us in SoCal don't get enough change). appreciate your sentiments over at FatScribe. thank you. my best to hubby's department and his colleague's family. public service like that is admirable indeed.

  8. I'm lovin' your plans Andie! Will they still let you keep the pleached trees? In my neighborhood it's 6' on the fence...but my neighbors built a berm and put the fence on top and got away with it. Last night we received 4" of snow.....poop. Vanna

  9. Work in progress .... I think ... right? The pictures you have posted are really wonderful, very inspiring to me ... Thanks for the sweet comments that you often leave ... they make me very happy. See you soon ...

  10. I love your enthusiasm Andie! Your free Craigslist find is wonderful but it’s your spitter I’m coveting! If you put in a reflecting pool keep in mind you might need some kind of barrier to keep kids from falling in that thing since your yard won’t have a fence. I have a whole bunch of open dirt out back of my studio that will be begging me to transform it into my secret garden so I’m excited to get started. Now if only the snow wouldn’t appear tonight and the snow we have would melt I would be set to dig!

  11. Wow! you have lots of great garden plans-it will all be beautiful!!!
    I love that pavillion-I can image it covered with roses.
    More snow coming tomorrow night for us too.

  12. I do love seeing formal gardens. Those espalier images are very nice.


  13. I enjoy reading your posts! I can almost see you working out there while I'm reading. Can't wait to see your finished gardens, your property will be beautiful, I'm sure!

  14. Oh WOW! Your yard is going to be amazing! Your garden is going to be just amazing! I am following you now and I am really looking forward to seeing photo of the gardens once they are done! You have a great blog!
    hugs, Cindy

  15. See here for more espalier ideas:


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