Sometimes just the right touch can make a beautiful project spectacular
Last Summer I finished up this hardscape remodel in Mission Viejo.  The homeowner put in new landscaping to compliment the new look of the home, but the patio was still a little bare.

A quick trip to a local nursery and we found these great pots (lightweight as well)
We planted them with spiraled spruce and bacopa - and the result was stunning!
You can view the project blog here to see the before and after photos.
Before we begin our garden tour (I'm stalling because it is my garden we are visiting) I wanted to express how important I think water is in a garden.   Not only for its reflective quality. . .
for it also attracts wildlife (I have never been so delighted as when a hummingbird stops to take a little bath in my garden fountain, or takes a sip mid flight)
While ponds are beautiful and tranquil
I prefer the sound of water in my garden.  Nothing compares to the music created by water, whether large or small.
Claudine's Garden

I'm actually relieved we are doing a virtual tour this year, as my garden has been suffering from blatant neglect
Flowers have gone unfertilized, untended, untrimmed and the beds are full of leaves, twigs and the occasional weed
Thankfully, my sweet husband took up the slack and planted beautiful color pots (also now untrimmed and untended) to brighten the garden for me
Sometimes my life gets a little ...
Tending a garden takes time
Despite the neglect, spring has been coming along nicely
I would have to say that although I have a garden, and I love gardens -
I am not a gardener.  I don't cultivate, I don't take clippings and coax them into growing roots, I don't wax poetic about which fertilizer to use,
or grow vegetables in containers and make my own salsa from it.
I simply don't have the time to be that involved.
But I so appreciate those who do, and who seem to do it so effortlessly. 
 I admire my friends that have organized and tidy gardens, 
with plants trimmed of spent blooms, 
with lettuces and herbs and other edibles; 
roses that are properly pruned
and glass topped tables that don't bear the words 'wash me' in the dust. 
You are the true gardeners. 
Despite my lack of time and skill, Mother Nature has been kind to our garden
(probably also due to a nice wet winter)
and there are spots that are camera worthy
like the plump blooms on the double geraniums

the penstemon
the color pots my husband put together

and this supertunia specimen we picked up at the garden show this spring

Also coming along nicely are the succulents -
our first attempt at growing them
in fact they are growing more rapidly than we anticipated
The fountain bubbles happily and is visited by sweet little birds that add to its music with their song
the apple tree is busily producing fruit, almost as quickly as the raccoons and possums
(and horrified here - rats)
are nibbling away at them
and it looks like we will have plums this year -
only the second time the tree has produced in 10 years
there are tangerines, grapefruit and lemon trees that produce every year
and a pineapple guava and a mango tree that are a little fussy and may or may not

But when all is said and done, my garden is really all about the roses
They seem to thrive on neglect
especially the Edens, which sprawl in great abundance over the front of the house

As far as roses go, I prefer ones with a very high petal count

as they last much longer
and remind me of  Peonies, which we can't grow here in So. California
and I like the English or Romantica styles for their form and fragrance

This rose was close to the fountain and caught its spray, like a sprinkling of diamonds

Another reason I have roses . . . big beautiful bouquets!
thank you for visiting my garden!

In Washington, Utah - near St. George, my brother-in-law Gene has taken on a bountiful hobby
His tomato passion has been growing for a few years now - last year he harvested over 400 plants and of nearly every variety imaginable
At his main residence in Salt Lake area, he built a greenhouse - climate controlled and efficient - to house his hobby.  It's a perfect compliment to his 'other' hobby - cooking!
but the milder climate in Southern Utah is producing beautiful results as well
for all the tomato plants, and one eggplant . . . which may develop into a new passion?
I'm so impressed!
You are amazing, Gene! 

thanks to everyone who has visited or participated in our Garden Tour!


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