Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Designing to Solve Problems: Maintenance & Snakes

From the 1st visit with the realtor to our new home, I KNEW the garden around the house would be gravel with meandering paths & terraces of gravel further from the house.  And, siting of large pots with HYDRANGEA, drip irrigation of course, were paramount.

Leaving a cottage garden of 3 decades, our new garden is American Farmhouse, ca. 1900.  More importantly, its design will be for our 80 year old selves.  I must be 80 years old, have a gorgeous garden with zero worries about maintaining it.  A garden must leverage life, not the reverse.
This garden, above/below, I shot late last summer.  Limelight hydrangeas in the same situation as my new garden.  Loving, to the center of my DNA, this garden, I had zero clue I would soon be owning similar.  Alas, it's owned by a man, greatly talented, and strong.  My garden must be smarter, my strength not as great.  Game on.

Fearless, gravel will go to the house, similarly, below.

Interesting block +clapboard

Not wanting formality, gravel will lap at our century old pecan trees, Tara Turf will lap at some pecan trees too.

French garden design - gravel courtyard

As time passes, stone will be added to the gravel as needed.  Stone, below, added for rain issues.  And, I will site wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' at my front porch.  Vines or espaliered trees/shrubs add lush without space.

gravel bordered by pavers / french courtyard draped in wisteria

Knowing gravel terraces will be included, below, great anticipation in wondering 'exactly' where.
Screen-Shot-2013-06-10-at-2.49.40-PM.png 666×482 pixels

Transitioning to meadow, I will add checkerboard squares, below.

Make the best of both worlds using green grass paired with square pavers

Furlow Gatewood has smashed a bottle of champagne upon thousands of ships, below, with his allee of hydrangeas in pots.  Copy, it's the 1st rule of garden design.

Wildly, without knowing the deeper truths of our new garden, my initial thoughts for design are more than suitable at age 80.  Even life saving, for any age.  Snakes, the indigenous timber rattler.  Luckily have already interrupted a long king snake under the house.  Lucky, yet totally scared when I saw him.
Gravel is the best solution, trying to be safe, in defense of snakes near the house.  I got the memo, go me.
Sourcing pots now, I think I've found them !
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
Top 2 pics mine, the rest from my Pinterest Board, Stone.


Unknown said...

Love your posts however I've never commented before. I've read a few of your books as well,appreciate. I live in Pa. So I'm assuming the hydrangeas in pot idea won't work for me here because of our winters. Would that be correct?

Thanks for sharing

maryland said...

Drip irrigation for pots?

Erin said...

Gorgeous! But how do I stop the weeds and crabgrass from coming up in the gravel? UGH! I have to mow my driveway its ridiculous. Regrade and new gravel?

Tara Dillard said...

WEEDS, in gravel. Initially yes, with diminishing amounts as years pass. Will hoe at the new seedlings when less than 1/2", done. Will use
vinegar/water too. Did this in my last garden, though it was much smaller. New garden will also get the flame blaster. Gravel square footage much greater and need help reducing time to maintain.

Erin, don't know your drive but I sense that it might be asking to be a double strip of gravel with Tara Turf at its sides/middle. A classic.

Drip irrigation to pots, yes. The tiny spaghetti tubing. If you look closely at Furlow Gatewood's pots with hydrangeas, must look at better resolution pics than my blog post, he has drip irrigation to them. Beloved will install the drip irrigation which is simplified with most of the hydrangeas/pots set upon gravel.

Mary, some hydrangeas survive well into the north east, those will be your hydrangeas in pots.


Erin said...

Thanks!!! Flamer may be the answer. Crabgrass = my nemesis.

Lori Buff said...

You’ve got some beautiful images for inspiration. I hope some nonpoisonous snakes can benefit your garden.

J.W. said...

So lucky to have king snakes...they are the enemy of rattlers.

Beautiful gardens!

Jean Campbell said...

Dreams do come true. How wonderful that you will have space and time to bring all the elements of your fondest ideas for a garden together.

Utilize levers, hydraulics and wheels to do the things you haven't the strength for. You must take care of yourself in order to garden in your eighties.

cotedetexas said...

wow. it looks like it will be gorgeous.
ok - we had grass in our patch of yard. tiny.
and i wanted gravel
so the man pulled up the grass and put down black tarp then gravel which became a giant litter box, ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
in the heaat of th summer. uggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

so - i had them pull up the tarp - which should have never been put down and laid a very thin level of gravel so we could walk and not sink into it.

never had a weed. smell was gone.

don't use a tarp!