Welcome to my Garden! . .
And let me preface this invitation with apologies - my garden is not really visitor ready.
Spring seemed to come too quickly - long before we had finished planting and pruning.
Spring came and still we had not cleaned up the winter debris, or tidied up the putting green
(the golf course did not trim it's huge eucalyptus trees
and they have been dropping berries and leaves on the putting green all winter).
It was a very busy winter in the Barnett house. I'm afraid we neglected the garden.
Trying to catch up with the garden duties has been slow.

I have a cottage garden.
It is really my husband's garden and for him it is therapy.
He LOVES to dig and plant and pot.
He LOVES that he planted the garden and that it is growing, thriving and beautiful.
He can SEE the fruits of his labors.
I love that his hobby gives him so much joy and so,
it is my little gift to him, although he is not aware of that.
He LOVES to garden!
So I try not to 'interfere' when the pots don't match
and there is no rhyme or reason to the plants
and every ornament put in the garden gets broken . . .
not to mention that the wisteria is out of control and there are vines where no vines should be,
and there are more pots than there is room if you actually want people to walk anywhere.
And the side yard isn't finished and the garden tools are everywhere. . . .
because this garden is a labor of love -
you see he does it for ME.
There are a lot of things to love in my garden.
My fountain is musical and beautiful - just ask the birds who come to drink and bathe in it.
This wonderful and bright yellow fellow I have learned is a Western Oriole.
I never knew this bird existed until it visited my fountain and delighted me with its beauty.
Finches of every color, wrens, sparrows and brightly irridescent hummingbirds are frequent visitors.
The hummingbirds are especially bold and come to examine us, hovering just inches from our faces.

But to be honest - the garden is what a cottage garden should be.
My home is very unpretentious and I suppose any other type of garden
wouldn't bring us the joy this untidy bit of real estate does.
The beds are not uniform, no color scheme exists here -
colors collide happily in every imaginable combination.
My husband loves to create pots of beautiful flowers -
so much so that there are an over abundance of them
and they continually creep into the pathways and seating areas.
When they become too much of an obstacle,
I move them - quietly -
to areas where they can be appreciated but not tripped over.
All around the garden, needing a good clipping, are roses.
Over 40 of them.
I chose most, but not all, of the roses - wonderful David Austin English roses,
Romantica roses and luscious scented old Heritage roses with petal counts of 60 and upward.
They are long lasting and remind me of peonies - which we can't grow here in Southern California.

So here are some views of my 'not yet ready for visitors' garden.
What it lacks in symmetry and good design, it makes up for in joy.
Mama house wren chose the outdoor speaker as her home.
Do we have a music lover here?
Old english style roses grow in clusters dripping with fragrance.

And, of course, the roses have to come inside -
armfuls of them in vases and pitchers - smelling of heaven.
This rose, a rich raspberry colored rose with big multi-petaled 5-inch fragrant blooms, is a favorite.
The pots, casually growing into the walkways, are my husband's loving creations.
Wrought iron from an antique french gate tops cast iron pillars to frame an entry to the putting green.
Wisteria, urgently in need of a manicure, climbs to the upper deck.
It is an amazing and beautiful sight when in bloom.
In the growing season it can creep along at up to a foot a day.
My husband has made sure that the garden is a feast for the nose, as well as the eyes.
Here, night blooming jasmine fills the night with heady perfume.
Grapes grow over the arbor, and create a shaded retreat beneath.
The lemon tree is abundant this year.
An antique dry sink holds vintage pots and orchids in a shady corner.
Impatiens and architectural fragments are a good combination.
Birdies welcome!
Large furry children, as well. Bailey frequently hangs out IN her water bowl.
A candle chandelier adds a touch of romance to a dining area.
Shady areas are brightened with ferns and bright flowers.
Spring brings a reappearance of the cameleon vine that is dormant in the winter. It serves as a beautiful ground cover, with touches of yellow and pink where the sun kisses it.
Colorful pots created by my sweet husband.
A gift from a friend, this lemon/lime tree is bearing it's first fruit!
Cymbidium orchids and begonias love this shady spot.
The rusty rooster was a Sawdust Festival find. The watering cans are vintage.
Another find at the Sawdust are these colorful ceramic mushrooms.
Bailey loves the garden and often helps my husband plant - much to his chagrin - as she loves to dump the nursery plants out of their plastic pots. I'm sure she believes she is being very helpful.
I love this rose. It is raspberry colored and very fragrant, and very petaled (new word?).
Another of the 40+ roses my dear husband planted for me.
My Eden roses. My all time favorite - they are not only gorgeous, they bloom year round - although not as abundantly as in Spring/Summer. They start off with hot pink centers and fade to light pink.
Hundreds of petals on this one!
Don't you just love lemons!!!
Miniature roses make great front border plants.
My husband has this ugly green spindly cactus-like plant that creates
this amazing 7-inch incredibly beautiful bloom - once a year.
The blooms last about 3 days and are gone!

One of my very favorite things is this large, black, cast iron urn and pedestal.
I love changing the plants each season for a fresh look.
Our front walkway, dripping with Eden roses.

I also love geraniums - there are so many varieties.
These sweet babies perched on my deck, all fluffy and huddled together,
while mom and dad birdy took turns feeding them. Soooo cute.
And speaking of cute - Bailey waits for a game of 'tug'.
Vintage stained glass window looks lovely with the light pouring through.

More views from the garden.
The apple tree will be raided by possums, raccoons and birds long before the fruit is ready, with the same story for the grapes. It's a rare day when we get a taste of apple or a cluster of grapes.
  Coleus and Lobelia brighten a shady spot.
English Garden rose by David Austin.
Abbaye de Cluny rose - huge peach blooms.
Bailey, the Leonberger Pup, at 6 months.
Edens and Morning Glory vine cover an archway.
Silvery weathered teak Lutyens bench and gazing ball.
Soft pink many petaled rose - I lost the name for this one long ago.

No cottage garden is complete without a Fairy.
Enjoy your gardens and remember - they don't have to be perfect to be beautiful!
I will be posting photos from our Garden tour next!
(Including recipes for our luscious lemon refreshments and instructions for our table projects.)
Keep an eye out!
Please comment and tell me about your gardens!
Love and flowers!


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