Thursday, June 14, 2012

You Inspire Me

BEFORE I LAUNCH INTO today's post, I want to thank all of you gracious, sweet people for encouraging me on the jungle I loosely refer to as a garden. I've always known that gardeners are the awesome-est people on the planet and now, once again, you've all proven it. So kudos to you. 

I still don't have the "afters" for the aforementioned jungle but hopefully soon. However, last time I was sneaky and didn't post all of my "before" shots. So, here are the "befores" and "afters" of my front yard rock garden and the entrance to my courtyard. 

Before, with lots of overgrown stuff. 

After. You can actually see the tiny gravel now. Yay! 

Before. Embarrassing. 

After, ah.... 

Before...madness and lunacy. 

After, we still need barkdust but at least you can walk without tripping. 

The other day while shopping at one of our local "we have everything" stores, my eyes caught hold of this flower, below. It looked like a Gazania on steroids. Above a fluffy, silver rosette were several of these pink (and you know me and pink) daisy-type flowers. 

Once the plant is out of direct sun, the flowers close up, just like
a Gazania, so this weekend I'll get a better shot of the flowers.

Here is the tag. It's a cross between a Gazania and a Gerbera. Apparently it's been around for awhile. My online search didn't reveal much other than the fact that it was trademarked in 1998 and that it is, indeed, a cross between the two Gs.

Have any of you heard of this and if so have you grown it? There
were orange-flowered plants too but, nah. Pink all the way!

Oh, and uh, it's hardy in Zones 8-10. Even though mine is a Zone 8b garden, I doubt it will winter over so I'll treat it like an annual. At $5.99 for a one-gallon pot it's one of the very few plants I've
actually purchased this year.

My Indigofera heterantha is beginning to bloom. I didn't cut it back last fall
 so it's really much too tall. I won't let that happen again. 

The booty on my patio is almost exclusively green this year. 

Ditto for my courtyard. 

Two leaning plants playing nicely: Cotinus and Verbascum. 

This is a smaller bed near my outer pond. Who needs flowers?
Unfortunately, I have a bit of sad new to report. Our garden matriarch, Willow, passed on last week. She was 15 years old. 

This photo is about 5 years old. 

I took this photo just a few weeks ago. A few days ago she looked lethargic. The next day she wouldn't wake up.
I'm pretty sure she went peacefully. It's the end of an era for us. 
Finally, the Albany Master Gardener garden tour is this Saturday so I'll be posting photos of the gardens soon. 


  1. Your afters are looking good! What a lot of hard work. Some parts of my garden are looking a lot like your before pictures. Ick. I need to get to work.

    Condolences on losing your kitty. Mine are getting up there, and I've lost others in the past, that I still miss. Willow was beautiful.

  2. Awwwww, I'm sorry to hear about miss kitty. That's the worst. I don't know why they can't just stick around forever. I LOVE the last picture of her in the path.

    Okay, onto a happier subject....your yard looks AWESOME!!! The bed by the pond is so pretty. Who needs flowers is right!

    I planted verbascum seeds once and they never came up. I think it's time to hunt down a plant. It's really pretty.

    The fern on the courtyard is practically glowing. Again, LOVE. The patio too.

    I've never heard of the gazbera, but I NEED one! I had gazania last year for the first time and they weren't my favorite. They turned out to be kind of an orangey color and I'm more of a pink girl too. I definitely need to keep my eyes out for one of those.

    I spy bishop's weed. Good lord, I planted that once and should be shot for it. I've been pulling it for three years now. It won't go away!

    Doesn't it feel good to have it all cleaned up so you can sit back and enjoy it? Of course, a gardener's work is never quite finished, is it? I was out puttering today and plan on taking advantage of the forecasted sun for the weekend. Hope you can enjoy a cup of coffee (or five) in your little piece of heaven.

  3. Oh...what's the fern in the photo labeled 'ditto for my courtyard'....I love it!

    So sorry about Willow, I dread the day. Why can't our silly sweet animals live longer!?

  4. Your gardens look fantastic. I am so sorry to hear of your loss! That is always the hard part of being owned by pets. But they are So Worth it!.

  5. That is really a nice work of the before and after.
    Somehow the garden still beautiful and so subtle with various shades of green in your calm cool garden.

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check it out in my latest post. You have a great day!

  6. Grace, your befores made me smile and think, "I'm so glad to see this is someone else's garden too." The girls and I will be spending a little time first thing this morning pulling weeds...I don't recall seeing your gardens so green, very lush and healthy looking, I love it!! Someone actually opened the package I sent Joy too, nothing was taken this time, think it was customs?

  7. Dear Grace ~ I'm so sorry to hear about Willow.

    What a difference in the before and after pictures. Gardening is a LOT of work, and to keep it all up takes TIME. Sometimes things in life come up that keep us from being able to stay on top of things. Oh how good it feels to trim, weed, dead head, clean up and make our gardens look presentable and pretty once again.

    My favorite blooms in this post are Indigofera heterantha.

    Happy gardening and know that you are always an inspiration to others also.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  8. So sorry about losing your beautiful cat Grace. She was very lucky to have your garden to roam ~ it's the most gorgeous place. Hugs to you.

    You definitely don't need flowers with all your gorgeous foliage. I think this post is so inspiring. It says to me that even when we let our gardens go unattended, they can be brought back pretty quickly to a place of beauty. It's good to know even seasoned gardeners have lapses in the garden. My neighbor just told me that my garden looked like "a lot of work!"
    I've never seen or heard of gazbera ~ but you know I'm all over the pink like you!!

  9. I am sorry to hear about Willow! So hard losing a loved one!

    Your garden is looking beautiful! All the rain has made everything so lush! Quite the year for ferns! I am not sure I have ever seen pictures of your front yard until now? Or have I, and I just am not realizing it?

  10. Joy and sadness...this post has it all. These creatures that pass through our lives leave so much behind.

  11. RIP, dear Willow. It really does seem like the end of an era when we lose a family member like that. I'm sure her sweet spirit will be there with you every time you work in your lovely garden, Grace.

  12. So sorry for your loss...she looks so very sweet :-( You have inspired me to trim back the plants in the backyard this weekend, though...I should probably at least be able to walk on the path, right?

  13. You've been working very hard and everything looks beautiful. The green patio and courtyard look splendid. Gazbera!?!?

    Sorry for the loss of beautiful Willow.

  14. Sorry for your loss Grace.

    I've been working and trimming also, so I can make room to add subsurface irrigation. Form follows function! Nice foliage.

  15. Was enjoying your 'befores' and 'afters' then I read about your kitty. I am so sorry. They take a piece of our hearts when they go.

  16. So sad to lose our old pets, I lost my old cat a few years ago.
    I must be messy I liked the look of your before areas , not that the after didn't look just as nice. Think I'll have to give mine a tidy up.

  17. Thanks for posting the before shots. I like seeing the whole picture of somebody's gardening journey. I love the greenery on your patio & courtyard. Beautiful!

  18. LOVE your afters! But your befores aren't as bad as you think they are. :o) So sorry about your cat. I know how hard that is. Your garden looks GREAT!!

  19. It's always hard to lose any furry family no matter how old they sorry.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  20. That's a nice way to go and also 15 is a good run. She was beautiful.

  21. I forgot to say, your before and after shots are great. Especially the "madness and lunacy" one! Made me laugh. You look as if you live in Hawaii where it appears all they do is not try to grow things but to try to hack things back. Very pretty, very green in your garden. I like it.


Thank you for being here! Your comments feed my soul.