Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Amanda's Garden

by Leigh

I always enjoy the people I work for and every so often these business relationships turn into friendships which is one of the aspects I treasure most about my job. I was introduced to Amanda a few years ago and an instant friendship was formed.  Every project is a real collaboration between the two of us.  We bounce ideas off each other and she gives me free reign to really think outside the box and try things I might not normally suggest to other clients.

I want to take you on a stroll through Amanda's garden. It's a me!

Her garden is lush and green with pops of color everywhere.  Season to season her garden evolves and changes into something new.  It's never finished.  I look at it as a living work of art.  The ferns flush out reliably every spring and we carefully dig them up and cluster them in new spots where they set roots and flourish.  The moss and lichens cover the moss boulders making them look as though they have always been there.  After our rainy spring there were lots of  little mushrooms that created almost miniature gardens within a garden.

The garden is colorful and whimsical, so I'm never surprised when I turn a corner and find a little green garden goblin smiling back at me.   Consider him the welcome committee.

This little pathway and plantings were a new project this spring, although my hope is that it looks like they've been there forever.  Never one to be afraid of color, Amanda believes the more the better!

The placement of yard art is an art in and of itself.  She knows how to place things so that they adorn the garden as accents instead of overpowering a space.  As the breeze blows the gentle chimes can be heard throughout.  It's really an oasis right outside her back door.

Armed with cans of colorful spray paint, she gives birdbaths, furniture, pavers, trellises (and really anything that can be painted!) a new look each spring.  I'm pretty sure the birds enjoy the color changes as much as we do. This years color scheme is mostly red and purple.  And as we all well know....contrasting colors really make things pop!

These concrete pavers are anything but ordinary after Amanda gets finished with them.  A fresh coat of paint each spring provides color throughout the year.  The bed along the path is a hodge podge of herbs, perennials and annuals.  I never know what's going to be popping up and this season I enjoyed snacking on some freshly picked asparagus spears.

If I have learned anything from Amanda it is to expect the unexpected!  A showy Oakleaf Hydrangea blooms as Gregois the giraffe (I hope I spelled his name right!)  keeps watch over the Endless Summer Hydrangeas. 

Brightly colored ceramic mushrooms claim their spot among the Golden Moneywort that creates a blanket of color throughout the bed.  It seems as though they multiply every year!

Never one to take things too seriously...this little frog wearing a red speedo (which I'm pretty sure Amanda painted herself) sits atop the brick wall overlooking the pool.  The garden has seen it's share of hard times going through a blizzard, more than a few devastating hail storms, tornadoes and major drought but it always bounces back with more to give. Amanda's garden is a photographer's muse, a gardener's dream and the perfect spot to sit and relax.  I know that this space is food for her soul and it gives me so much joy to help my friend fulfill her visions.   Her creative spirit makes me a better designer and I will always be thankful to her for that.

Do you have a green thumb?  We would love to see photos of your garden in our Flickr pool

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.  To nurture a garden it to feed not just on the body, but the soul."
~Alfred Austin


Sarah Huizenga said...

What a wonderful riot of color. I have returned to a love of gardening this year, or least color and planting and photographing. I prefer small intimate spaces to garden in.

Carol said...

I always wished you lived nearby, but now I really do! Your work is so beautiful, and this is spectacular! I always had a brown thumb - until I learned not to be afraid to move things around, and now my thumb is ummm not brown, but not quite green yet - Im trying to pay attention and learn things - but I am also drastically behind this year in cleaning it all up to where it should be. I do have whimsical yard art, though so Amanda's garden is like my future vision. Sigh --- OK inspired to spend the weekend weeding

heyjudephotography said...

What a beautiful and happy place to be! I love all of the color everywhere. I have an extremely shaded lawn and garden and have struggled with what to do with it each spring. Where I can't have certain flowers and plants, I put garden decorations. :) thanks for taking us on the garden stroll today.

heyjudephotography said...

And I must add, would also love to have you living close by, for many reasons, but one of which is garden tips! Like Carol, my thumb is brownish-green.

kelly said...

love this garden leigh. adore the color and the whimsy. but especially the little paths and walkways. kind of a 'secret garden' feel. beautifully designed and photographed.

Dotti said...

Love, love, love your post! Amanda's garden and your inspiration are brilliant. Like others, I wish you lived close enough to consult with us. We have a nice garden ... but it could be nicer! Isn't it funny how gardening and photography go hand-in-glove?

terriporter said...

I think you're going to have to start traveling around the country so you can design all of our gardens! Amanda's garden looks like a dream come true! It is so hard for me to grow much of anything outdoors because it is either getting frozen back in the winter or scorched to death in the summer. I envy all of you who have beautiful gardens to enjoy. Gorgeous photos, Leigh!

Deanna said...

I need you, I really need you. Sure wish you would think seriously about Chicago in August!!

stephmull said...

What a gorgeous place! Love all the whimsy and color! I feel happier just seeing all those gorgeous photos!

stamper2 said...

What a fabulous tour of Amanda's garden!! I love the little art touches! How fun! I adore garden walks and this one was no disappointment! Thank you so much for sharing Leigh!

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