Monday, June 27, 2016

The Gardens, Dedicated to Our Dear Friend, Ben

Hello my friends!

Summer is keeping us on our toes!  Lots of catching up to do!

I have not shared many photos of the gardens, so I decided now is a good time!
Since there are so many, I will let them speak for themselves.  
The gardens are a work in progress, so please bear with me.  

How is your Summer?



Ben and his beautiful fiancée, Erica. 

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Ben Pelot, without whose support, these gardens would have remained just a dream. 

 I imagined them, drew the plans, and Ben helped me with the hard work...always with a smile.  Always a smile and a "Sure thing, Miss Andie!!"

Ben helped me make my dreams a reality.

You were taken from us too soon.  

Gracie said she knows you are an angel in Heaven now, because you were an angel on earth. 

We will miss your kindness, your friendship, your humble nature... I look forward to when we meet again, my friend. Until then, I will see you in the gardens. 

Miss Andie


  1. A thrill, so happy for you, your garden !! Some parts are already 'there', others just need the backdrop evergreen hedges to grow grow grow, block the neighbor views, create your rooms visually, because they are already there physically. I SEE your garden complete and grown and it is beyond marvelous.

    Especially like your garden pics with the dogs. Luff.


  2. Wow Andie, so stately looking! I kept looking for a castle! Love it all, especially all of the statuary! Your dog is so cute too! Have a great day!

  3. Oh Andie, once again I am aghast. It is just gorgeous. That Gabriel blowing his horn - I'm sure you found it for next to nothing on Craig's List. You are amazing.

  4. I adore the ivy growing under the front steps! It's like out of "My Secret Garden".
    This is beautiful beyond adequate words, Andy. The work it must have taken to create it! And the parterre, amazing and perfectly done.
    But the doggies make it sheer perfection, the sweetest flowers out there!

  5. Seems like yesterday when you first started laying out the design to this amazing place. Well done, you, Ms. Andie. Truly extraordinary. Wishing you the best Summer for 2016, and plenty of lazy, patriotic 4th of July wishes, my friend.

  6. It's fun and rewarding to see this progress. I remember when you first laid out the beginning garden. It's really grown, and you have many wonderful details added here and there. I'd love to stroll this garden in real life.

  7. What a difference a few years make! Everything looks beautiful Andie. Very European. Vanna

    1. Vanna! So glad to see you back in the Land of Blog! You've been Missed... Dawn... The Bohemian

  8. O.M.G. I think you must be superhuman to have created so much beauty inside and out of your home! Your talent and labor seem to know no bounds! Thank you for sharing your amazing home and gardens. I'm going out to weed and dream what I may be able to create after this inspiration. Thank you for the beauty that fills my soul today! Jeane

  9. Its just amazing what you've achieved! x Sharon

  10. I enjoyed seeing the gardens and furniture and your sweet dogs

  11. I'm rendered speechless! Enchanting, you've Created pure Magic in your Garden my Friend! I now think I NEED Ivy and Vines climbing all over New Villa Boheme'! Our Summer is in a word HOT... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  12. So many shots remind me of a french country side garden. Well done.

  13. I can only echo what everyone else has already said, Andie. How you've managed to recreate the atmosphere of a long-established Old World Garden worthy of a great English Country House in just a few years on a suburban lot I can't imagine, but you HAVE, and you've done it BRILLIANTLY.

    I've asked before, and still hope to get an answer: WHAT DO YOUR NEIGHBORS THINK? I wonder if they have enough sensibility either to appreciate or to be envious of what you've achieved?

    Sometimes spectacular achievements out of the ordinary bring out the worst in too many people. I hope that never happens to you.

    Love and HAPPY FOURTH of JULY to you and yours!

  14. ____________ FIREWORKS ____________

    The fountains in the sky in brilliance burst

    Over throngs who thrill as patterns spread

    In radiant arms of glowing hues disbursed

    Natant in the blackness overhead.

    Deafening as any cannonade

    Explosions follow soon the hiss and squeal ––

    Preliminaries to the star brigade

    Erupting floridly, yet quite unreal.

    Naumachia was naught compare to this

    Delirium. Decorum’s cast aside.

    Enraptured like Narcissus we know bliss,

    Non sequitur to what’s seen nationwide.

    Could joy we take in heaven’s fireworks
Earthbound hold us, while the Devil smirks?

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper

  15. Fantastic! Very pretty. But don't you have to hire a lot of help to maintain it?

  16. So beautiful!

    I love the photo with the bulldog!

  17. Andie,

    I've beenimagining what it might be like to visit your gardens lit only by the moon. The thought reminded me of Paul Verlaine's poem Clair de Lune, which I give you here in its original French followed by an English translation. I thought you and some of your friends might enjoy the haunting word pictures it paints, and the serene, contemplative, elegiac mood it evokes:

    ________ Clair de lune _________

    Votre âme est un paysage choisi
    Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
    Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
    Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

    Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
    L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
    Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
    Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

    Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
    Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
    Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
    Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.


    _______ Moonlight _______

    Your soul is a select landscape
    Where charming masqueraders and bergamasquers go
    Playing the lute and dancing, and almost
    Sad beneath their fantastic disguises.

    All sing in a minor key
    Of victorious love and the opportune life,
    They do not seem to believe in their happiness
    And their song mingles with the moonlight,

    With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
    That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
    And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
    The tall slender fountains among marble statues.

    ~ Paul Verlaine, from Fetes gallants, 1869

  18. Andie,
    Just letting you know that this blog post of yours inspired me to buy a gardens 2017 wall calendar -- this one.


  20. _____________ Vines _____________

    Effortless, enduring, undemanding
    They grow like hardy jungle weeds it’s said.
    Inside or out –– whatever spot they land in ––
    Over time –– no matter what –– they spread.
    Lengthening tendrils will attenuate,
    And leaves grow limp and yellow as they curl;
    Though life persists, the vines degenerate
    Etiolating, yet they still unfurl.
    Does loss of beauty loss of value spell?
    Vines at root retain vitality
    In death-like state they, even so, foretell
    Nature’s perseverance in reality.
    Eventually, if cut back, they will return,
    Show new leaves, and so their keep they’ll earn.

    ~ FreeThinke

  21. _________ God's Garden _________

    The Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,

    And He set there an angel warden

    In a garment of light enforced.

    So near to the peace of Heaven,

    That the hawk might nest with the wren,

    For there in the cool of the even

    God walked with the first of men.

    And I dream that these garden-closes

    With their shade and their sun-flecked sod

    And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.

    The kiss of the sun for pardon,

    The song of the birds for mirth, ~

    One is nearer God's heart in a garden

    Than anywhere else on earth.

    For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees

    Where the angel of strength was the warden

    And the soul of the world found ease.

    ~ Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858-1932)

  22. ____________ Conservatory ___________

    Kapok fills the cushions on the wicker ––
    A busy English “fruit and flower” print.
    Tendrils green and shades of orange flicker
    Harmoniously. Detailed like a mezzotint,

    Yet warm with citrus hues, highlighted leaves
    Scrupulously shaded, lissome brownish twigs,
    Awake a sense of comfort that relieves
    Nostalgia for the sight of ripening figs.

    Delighting as the heavy greenish fruit
    Evolves, grows purple, tender, moist and soft
    Reaching sweet perfection bound to suit
    Sons and daughters jousting in the loft

    Over whom no one exerts control.
    Now, who will play the future gardener’s role?

    ~ FreeThinke

  23. ____________ Non Sequiturium ____________

    Kale, kohlrabi, Swiss Chard, Brussels sprouts -
    Asters, mums, tea roses, baby’s breath -
    Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, doubts -
    Heliotrope, petunias, laurel wreath -

    Yarrow, carrots, parsnips, turnips, bloodwart -
    Salvia, canna, birds of paradise -
    Azalea, rhododendron, plantar wart -
    Nandina, lilac, dogwood, aphids, lice -

    Dates, raisins, nutmeats, citrus peel -
    Elms, poplar, maple, pin oak, beech -
    Ragweed, Joe Pyeweed, goldenrod, piglet’s squeal -
    Sweet pea, bittersweet, a ragged urchin’s screech -

    Orange blossoms, tender river reeds -
    Nasturtium, deadly nightshade –– widow’s weeds.

    ~ FreeThinke

  24. I think it's great they way these poems posted by FreeThinke complement the moods suggested by Andie's fantastic gardens.

    You two ought to get together and do a big coffee table book. I bet it would be a wow.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Sorry. I didn't mean to post the same thing twice.It just happened. I came back to check for new comments, and discovered the error.

    I meant what i said about the coffee table book. It would be duck soup for the two of you to put it together.

    Please consider it.



    This was very sad news, but I was not surprised. The McLaughlin Group has been a ritual that defined Sunday morning for me for the past twenty-two years –– ever since I stopped attending church. Can't imagine what life will be like without John McLaughlin, but he'd been looking peeked most of the past year, seemed low on energy, lacked his usual brisk, acerbic tone, and slouched in his host's chair as though exhausted during many of the recent episodes.

    Last Sunday –– just three days ago ––, I tuned in with my usual cut of coffee to watch the fur fly, and was genuinely shocked to see the announcement preceding the program telling us in Mclaughlin's own words that he would be absent for the first time in 34 years –– ever since the program began.

    Even so, he still managed to announce each change of topic in a series of recorded messages, but his voice sounded weak, his speech slurred, and I sort of knew he wouldn't be with us much longer, though naturally I hoped he'd be able to return for another round or two, and at least see us through the election. Alas! It was not meant to be.

    Luis Rukeyser's untimely death several years ago, left a big hole in PBS's programming. Losing McLaughlin may very well sound the death knell for the organization as we've known and loved it. The quality of programing has been going steadily downhill for several decades Downton Abbey notwithstanding.

    To lose Antonin Scalia, Downton Abbey and John McLaughlin all in one year –– especially THIS dreadful election year –– is depressing and discouraging.

    I think it may be safe to assume he suffered a stroke, but what difference does it take what finished him? He was a doughty old guy –– a lovable curmudgeon, an American Original, who had become an institution.

    He will be sorely missed, and we are unlikely to see his equal again in our lifetime.

    Bye Bye, John. We loved you.

  28. We all love and admire Andie a great deal, and rightfully so, but WHY do we never talk to EACH OTHER?

    People place lovely comments here –– but it's as though they were placing WREATHS in a GRAVEYARD.

    Frankly, it's a little eerie.

  29. By the way, that secretary looks pretty darned good just the way it is. It has great lines –– as if i needed got tell you. ;-)

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