Saturday, December 31, 2011

Digging Up Great 2011 Garden Moments

          2011 was a great year for my garden obsession.  I started this blog and I had great opportunities to see gardens not only in the States but also abroad.  Some of these moments never made a mention in Garden Envy, but nevertheless I came away with great memories.


          Last winter we visited Parque Retiro in Madrid (above) and on a chilly walk to a nearby restaurant for bocadillos we walked past this museum, accidentally turned around and saw this amazing vertical garden.  My mouth dropped open!


          It was the first time I had seen a garden literally growing on a wall and since then I have seen three others, all in London.


                                               I particularly liked this one over a pub.

In England, I enjoyed both spring and fall seasons this year.  It was beautiful to see lots of large, old trees blooming profusely in white and pink, different from the So Cal springtime I normally enjoy.  And a bucket list of gardens to see here in England, of course, is reason enough to bring me back again. 

          On my way to the Kew Gardens in London I fell in love with some of the neighborhood houses and took these photos of the same home with its wisteria blooming in spring and,


then its foliage in the fall.  I could easily see myself living in this charming borough of Richmond upon Thames within walking distance of this royal botanical garden.

I would love to recreate this container of variegated tulips and violets from the Kew on my own patio this coming spring.

          I stayed at two hotels with small courtyard gardens. This small but peaceful formal garden (below) was an unexpected bonus in Bath, England at the Kennard Hotel.


     And, I chose the Aster House in London because I read that it features a small garden that serves as the home of a few beautiful ducks and can be accessed by one (quite popular) room.  I didn't get the room but I was still able to enjoy it from a window above, overlooking the garden.

          In Dublin, where I also checked off seeing the Book of Kells from my bucket list, we sought respite from shopping for Irish linen and wool sweaters and walked through St. Stephen's Green.

          Stateside, another jaw dropping moment was seeing the enormous oak trees dripping with Spanish moss in Charleston, South Carolina (below).

But even with the travel opportunities I had this year and all the new gardens I visited, one of my favorite garden moments of the year occurred when my recently planted stephanotis bloomed for the first time.  This small white flower has one the loveliest scents the world over and is one of my favorite flowers.  I remember using a ribbon of stephanotis to braid through my daughter's hair on her communion day.
And now, finally, it grows in my own back yard!

                 I hope 2012 brings you great garden moments! Happy New Year from Garden Envy!