Thursday, June 27, 2013
Best's gardens really are the best
A few months ago, when Denise Best spoke for our Crossroads Garden Club Meeting, she invited us to visit her garden.
Later, when I asked if she really wanted us to come and impose on her hospitality, she said a South African never invited someone if they didn't mean it and she would love for us to come and see her garden. We were eager to take her up on that offer.
When we arrived, last Saturday morning we realized that the term garden was incorrect. Denise and her husband Alistair have worked for the last fifteen years on a series of gardens that surround her home. We also saw that her garden was a labor of love because in every corner, there is something beautiful and built with the couples own two hands.
The first garden we saw is actually Alistair's rose garden. His family in England were accomplished in growing roses and the garden is filled with beautiful David Austin roses. It's obviously a labor of love. Denise said that the rain had beaten most of the blooms off, yet there were plenty of beautiful roses to see.
Next to the garage is a miniature peach tree in a pot, a gift from a visiting family member. Mary and Paul are standing nearby.
We first went around to the front of the house. Cindy and Wendy follow Denise to start the tour.
Here a patio aid by hand is a pretty patterned walkway and steps that lead to a path along the front of the house.
We loved the unusual cedars along the front walkway.
The stairs in front of the house are flanked with pots, filled with shrubs and coleus.
We loved the whimsical flamingos adding color to a bed beside the steps.
Here is a better view of the steps and potted plants--also, Mr. Horseley, one of our club members.
In front of the house were lime coleus and also red and green ones.
Next, a rain garden with ornamental grasses at the top and bottom so that rain filters through the top and is held there to water the plants in the center.
Next to the rain garden is another set of steps made from landscape stones. This is such a simple solution to terrace a sloping area. At the top of the steps, the big pile of mulch recently delivered to the front yard but generally out of sight except for this view.
And on the side of the house, tropical plants grace another walkway.
Our club members were mesmerized by all the beautifully arranged plants and trees.
I loved it when Denise described all her plants as "she." She loved the shape of this tree and I do, too.
This Japanese maple has seeds that look like angel's wings.
And Denise, a Master Gardener, was so informative and animated while talking about her garden. She was very hospitable and obviously knowledgeable.
Alistair, flanked by the couple's two dogs helps with the tour.
Beside the rain garden is a butterfly garden with a blue gate, a blue fence and a bluebird church. Denise said the trees had grown so tall, giving the butterfly garden too much shade in recent years.
Another path leading to the back of the house was so lush and beautifully landscaped.
I love this area next to a window.
Peaceful and beautiful.
At the back of the house, a chain-link fence is covered by beautiful vines.
And that was just half the tour. More tomorrow.