What is your 'vision' when you garden with roses?

linrose(6b KY)February 9, 2009

I know this is such a personal question, and one I'm sure that has been discussed here in the past, but I'd love to know what all of you have in mind when you plant roses.

Everyone I suppose has their own gardening style. Some are collectors, some try to recreate an historic landscape, some want to evoke a feeling from their past that they experienced in a loved one's garden years ago. Others may have stumbled onto rose growing by happenstance, like me.

I was an avid gardener in my 20s when I discovered roses. I was on a nursery excursion, something I did every spring. Sort of a personal quest for renewal after the long New England winter. I visited all the nurseries and garden centers, small and large, boutique and general within a 200 mile radius or so of my house. And I experienced one of those unique golden moments in a gardeners life. I found a little place tucked into the mountains far from most cities, or even towns. It was run by two ladies from England. They specialized in historic plants, not just roses. The grounds were lovely, lots of stone terraces and rock garden plants as well as well groomed lawns and statuary. In the house where they sold garden accessories, they served cream tea in the afternoon. When the weather was good the afternoon tea was served in the garden.

I bought my first rose there. It was Konegin von Danemark. Funny, I remember the staff trying to convince me to buy Felicite Parmentier instead, I don't really know why. I guess they thought it would be a better rose for a newbie. I think both are perfect for a newbie! Anyway it did the job, it got me hooked for life.

And now I've moved at least 10 times since then. And I've had as many gardens. All have been different. But all have had roses, and they always will.

So what's my "vision" - well, I would say that has evolved over the years. And while I wish I were still in my 20s with the energy that goes with that, the experience I've gained over the years has helped, a little! The mind is a funny thing right? We tend to forget the bad stuff and remember the good. So my gardens now are mixed with all the plants I have loved and have learned about over the years. And while I have never lived anywhere long enough to see my creations come to full maturity, I still have seen some real beauty wherever I have been.

What about you? Where has your rose growing vision taken you and your gardens?

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What a lovely post------Do you remember where that first nursey was? It sounds delightful-----Is it still there?

My son has a Perennial Farm -----I don't think he would have time to serve tea but the idea is wonderful

My garden has always been a sort of mish-mash of everything I love but most of all roses.

The garden of my dreams woruld be Mottisfont with a full time gardening staff---

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:26PM
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linrose(6b KY)

Yes Florence, I do remember. I had to google the name to see if it still exists, and yes, it does!!! It is called Perennial Pleasures Nursery in East Hardwick, Vermont. Alas they don't seem to carry any of the antique roses anymore, but they do have many heirloom perennials.

And yes, they still serve cream tea!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:58PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

A rose park, with arbors and benches and nooks and paths and statues and ponds...I try to keep that in mind. But mostly, I just obsessively collect, plant, prune, weed...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:26PM
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jbfoodie(z10 CA)

I think that as my obsession with roses intensifies, the garden plan evolves. Initially, I was interested in perennials, having fallen in love with the English cottage style garden. I bought my first OGRs at the Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, which is a green haven in an otherwise urban landscape. I brought home Madame Pierre Oger and Rose de Rescht. At that time I envisioned a garden filled with perennials and a few roses. Now, many years later, I have a garden filled with roses and a few choice perennials tucked in here and there. I think my garden view is that of a collector, though I do try to keep some space for the odd heirloom perennial in the remaining nooks and crannies.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:42PM
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What a fun question.

My vision might be different if I lived in a warmer climate or if I owned a big expensive home or had acres of land. My "realistic" vision for my humble Minnesota garden includes lots of hardy roses in mostly soft pink and pastel colors (think John Davis, Quietness, Morden Blush). My vision also includes generous quantities of old fashioned perennials and annuals also in romantic colors. Sky blue delphiniums, blue bearded iris, pink & white peonies, lilac catmint, tall garden phlox in lavender & white, white sweet alyssum, Annabelle hydrangea, and clematis growing up through every tall or climbing rose. Since I live in a tiny 135 year old cottage I might as well have an old fashion cottage garden to go with it, and what's a cottage garden without a white picket fence with an arbor over the gate. My arbor would be covered in roses & clematis. The garden would be planted all around the perimeter of the property on both sides of the fence. My window boxes would be overflowing with pink petunias.

Of course this garden is mostly in my dreams at this point (there is no picket fence or arbor - yet), but I'm determined to get there someday.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:04PM
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jardineratx(zone 8, Texas)

I love this post! Sadly, I started gardening with no vision whatsoever, just wanting the plants that looked so beautiful at the nurseries that I loved going to on weekends. For years, I continued buying and replacing annuals and perennials, never thinking beyond the current season. The last few years, however, I decided that the best way to satisfy my urge to have so many differing plants is to have different "garden areas". I have two long borders that are primarily roses and daylilies, another area that I am trying to develop a tropical look in, one area that is designed for butterflies and hummingbirds, etc., etc., etc. What I enjoy is that I have to walk all around the house to see each "garden" because of the way they are located. It may seem disconnected to some, but I love the individual little gardens. If there is such a thing as a "recycled/reincarnated soul" I want to start a garden when I am very, very young next time around!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:51PM
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kaye(7a AR)

The vision started with us with a tangle of brush and overgrown trees..hard to envision. It happened step by step as we cleared the land and developed area by area. No master plan but the old garden roses came into the picture early on and are the mainstay in the garden now. I love to go back, as I did today through my online albums, and look at where it all started and what it has become, and marvel at the outcome. The winter is upon us now and I was longing to remember the springtime and why it is all worth the hard work that is going on now on decent weather days and in the past. My vision for the garden was to be able to stroll thru and see the result of the work that goes in and not regret the sweat and toil that goes in as much as the satisfaction of seeing a realization of a dream.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:12PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

My vision is a Mediterranean garden with informal plantings in which the roses take center stage. There are many companion plants but the main emphasis is on old roses, especially tea roses which do so well here, but also chinas, noisettes, polyanthas, Austins and others. The emphasis in on pink, yellow, purple and cream colors which blend harmoniously. It will take a few years for all the roses to mature but I'm already happy with the results so far (at least most of the time) and it's such a joy to see the roses and other plants grow and prosper.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:22PM
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Wonderful question, linrose: thanks for asking it!

My vision is that of a rich, full, abundant garden, with more roses than I can imagine ("Only too much is ever enough"); overflowing with foliage and flowers on strong, sturdy plants; full of odors, fresh or sweet or aromatic; where the visitor passes from sun to shade, from a narrow path to a small terrace to steps to a space hidden by evergreen shrubs. The garden is full of roses, but is not a rose garden: it's anchored by evergreen shrubs that stay green even in the faded brown of high summer and the snowfalls of winter; it has trees and shrubs for height and mass; it's full of interest from the Italian cypresses swaying in the breeze to the little wild creeping Veronica persica that starts blooming in February. There's always something to look at. It's a rose collector's garden but doesn't look like one, because there's so much happening besides the roses.

It's a modest garden as far as monetary investment is concerned. The hardscape is of the plainest, in fact quite rudimentary: no simple but handsome pergolas or trellises; no brickwork; no handsome stone retaining walls; no art. I hugely admire all these things but have no way of getting them: in this garden the plants and the site are the materials and the gardener is the artist.

This garden is in harmony with the environment it's set in. After the first year of watering, plants grow--or die--with the water the skies send them. The fertilizer is locally grown hay and our own garden and kitchen remains turned to compost. My job is to find the plants that will grow well in these conditions, and overall the survival rate is good. In the long droughts of the last few years the roses haven't flowered like I would have liked, but that's part of the picture; and there has always been something to look at and enjoy. Plants get pruned, but not much, and not automatically. I don't do pest prevention, but watch what nature brings in that way: hedgehogs and paper wasps, for example. The grass will never be a lawn, but I hope to eliminate the Bermuda grass in time, and plant bulbs in the grass, and have a piece of meadow while the cedars (Lebanon and Atlas) grow, with field poppies and cornflowers, flax maybe, and I hope I can find bulbs of the native gladiolus. The garden will change over time; plants will grow, others will be shaded out; the soil will improve, slowly. The roses grow slowly, but I see them getting big, even with the droughts. Plants introduce themselves into the garden. Surprises happen, welcome or not, and the results are incorporated into the overall design. The garden is a collaboration with nature, and it isn't static, but rather changes over time.

The garden is a place to go every month of the year. It has places to sit, places to lie in the grass, places to hide, places to see the view.

The garden is a work of art, designed to be beautiful as a whole, at least in intent, and not only a showplace for individual plants. In planning the garden I take into account my own means (money, labor, etc.), the visual environment--the country--plants I want to grow and that are suited to the environment, degree of formality or informality of a given plant, views, the desire to have a garden that's interesting all year round, and so on. Beautiful plants do not a beautiful garden make, and I want a beautiful garden.

This last sentence is probably the actual answer to your question. I want a garden that has the grace and dignity and freedom of the natural landscape, but with a concentration of beauties that is the aim of a garden.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 3:52AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I'm not sure I have defined my vision. I call my style "informal bohemian" which translates to no style at all. I spend almost all of my free time in the garden or on the patio looking into the garden. Drinking beer is one of my hobbies and about 90% of it is consumed in my garden during "planning sessions".

My garden is more soothing and educational than beautiful. As long as it is healthy, it will amuse me. My quest is for plants that have a long season of interest and, most importantly, stay green throughout the summer and well into the fall.

There are many necessary ingredients: arbor, bench, rocks, garden art, bird feeders, birdhouses, bird baths and hummingbird feeder. And plants which supply form, foliage, blooms and fragrance. Throw it all together and you get more of a result then a vision.

A place to plan:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:27AM
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blackcatgirl(8 austin tx)

Harry - wow! How incredibly beautiful!

My garden does not have good overall plan. That is my wish - to someday have a professional help me lay out my garden. I wish to live somewhere where there is rain, and decent soil so I can place my roses in the ground and watch them grow.

A professional layout, a full time gardener/groundskeeper (Jon in England are you listening???), and many many roses of all varieties and butterfly and hummingbird enticing plants....all relatively drought resistant would be wonderful. It would be a hodge podge nonethe less - a riot of color probably, so we'd call it a "cottage garden", but I'd try really hard to keep things harmonious.

If I can't have the above, I'll take Harry's yard. Just stunning!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:56AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

My garden is absolutely my life's work. I think it might amount to an obsession. In 12 years here I have come as close to recognizing my vision as I could. It started with a beautiful wild isolated piece of land. My vision was exspansive. I was strong and full of energy. I believed I could do almost anything. I wanted to create a place that was like a world apart where one could become lost. I wanted romance mystery and magic. I did alot of thinking about how to create these feelings. I didn't make paper plans. The garden is in a way a series of vignettes connected by winding paths. I love to collect roses so it is also a collection. I feel very strongly that gardening is an artform and connecting it to other artforms such as poetry and sculpture mean alot to me and are included in the garden. Over the years the roses have matured and I have worked steadily away. I don't intend to ever finish.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:22AM
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kristin and harry
thanks so much for the lovely garden photographs.

I am a Florida gardener who has always loved roses but only recently became aware of heirloom roses. They evoke my Delaware grandmothers garden and I aspire to a cottage garden here.

My vision changes often as my subconscious is allowed it's way in the garden. I try to think like a child, "that's pretty" or "I want that" and my garden grows.

I like to garden the way I play tennis "Don't think just do" and good things happen more often than not.


P.S. kristin, are the blue/purple flowers perovskia? catmint? another type of sage?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:46AM
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I want a garden that is like a fantasy. Here is a picture of what I want with many antique and DA roses thrown.

This Is What I Want!!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 11:55AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I know what you mean, knight. But you should be warned. Rainbows are fickle--they don't "bloom" continuously like our favorite roses. LOL

I like to have well-shaped beds with bold curves--the architecture of my gardens. Then I can do whatever I want within the separate curvy beds. Each bed tends to focus more on a certain color combination and sometimes type of rose. In most of the beds, perennials and bulbs are also included--that way I can do a bit more with contrasting leaf sizes and shapes--I always enjoy that. The back corner bed is closest to a cottage garden, mainly because it existed for 20 years as a perennial bed. A number of the perennials had to give way over time to my growing interest in roses, but the overall effect is still "cottage." However, my newer rose beds have a bit more space around each rose. I discovered that the rose can be more fully enjoyed--bush and bloom--if some mulched spaces show between plantings, so now I'm more into planning bed-shape, rose, and the space around it so the rose can "star" on its own. But I still like my more cottage-style garden in back where everything tries to grow on top of each other.

Actually, if I had a larger yard, I'd like to make a series of garden "rooms" divided by hedges and each room featuring a different style. Unfortunately, I don't have the room for that--which is probably fortunate for my back.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 12:59PM
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In the above post, I meant with many antique and DA roses thrown "in" all around this kind of storybook garden. The obsessive/compulsive part of me made me want to correct this(he he).

Kate, rainbows are fickle yes, but what could be better in this world than rainbows and roses blooming all around the garden in complete abundance.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:20PM
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LindyB(z8 OR)

Harry, your garden is beautiful. What a lovely place to sit and enjoy the garden. What good is a garden if we don't take time to step back and just enjoy it?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:29PM
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Hi Denise,

The bluish purplish flowers are Walkers Low catmint. I love it with roses. It also helps keep the weeds down.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:57PM
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linrose(6b KY)

I am so happy that so many of you have chosen to share your visions with the rest of us. It just shows how personal gardens really are. I find it interesting that most people chose to include their name at the end of their post. This doesn't typically happen with most generic posts. It just shows how deeply connected we are to our gardens and how who we are has so much effect on how and why we garden. It's our personal story.

Looking at your posts, it seems there are two general categories, the garden style theme - like catsrose's "rose park" or kristin flower's "cottage garden" or ingrid's "informal Mediterranean" or Denise's "grandmother's garden". Even harryshoe's "informal bohemian" - (maybe tongue-in-cheek but a name that I LOVE, BTW caught the beer bottle on the table, nice touch!) is a kind of style of garden.

Then there is the evocative garden theme - like melissa's "rich abundance" (a sensory delight!) and a design "in harmony with the environment" and mendocino rose's "romance, mystery and magic" (love it!), Chance's "fantasy" or Kaye's "realization of a dream". All of you have so eloquently put into words how you envision your gardens.

Thank you, and let's hear more stories!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 8:46AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Linrose, I think you inspired us with your choice of words. Asking about vision, that was so astute. It is a wonderful to get people to talk about their gardens. I am really enjoying this post. I hope everyone responds.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:18AM
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My vision was of a secret garden, just like the book I read as a child over and over and over.
Not having the money for stone walls or gates, I've tried building them with shrubs. This has worked in some areas, but not worked as well in others, since some shrubs take a lifetime it seems to grow into walls.
The vision was to walk in the secret garden, and see something like those pictures that Jon in Wessex posted of his garden. A full envelopment in beauty. Roses sky high, tumbling down.
My garden is nowhere close. It is, however, slowly growing rooms which may one day turn into my vision!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 12:11PM
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I know this will sound goofy, and anyone who knows me would probably have me committed. I would consider myself an atheist, that being said, I feel that although I may be the plantsman and keeper, that God is the proprietor, and He determines the ultimate design according to His vision.
It's the closest thing I have to a "religious" experience. It has not yet been revealed to me what the "plan" is. I'll have to just wait and see. He has already culled so many things, He must want the iris, because while I was thinking about quiting them after the thousands I planted after this last division a couple years ago and figured I couldn't keep the grass out of them, I discovered Poast. I also know He likes roses here, because that is one thing that really grows well here so far, unless He changes His mind. To be honest, I sometimes am a doubting Thomas, I can't imagine what a garden is going to look like with so few plant varieties, I would like one of every plant myself, but it is God who made the roses before He created man, but personally I am quite content with whatever "The Vision" becomes.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Lens, I don't think you're crazy, just someone who enjoys the journey, and I think it is astute of you to realize that the beauty of flowers dictates a designer and God because there is no rational or darwinian reason for beauty to have developed out of chaos. Flowers are illustrative of peace and love - how could love have developed out of slime?

linrose, I've been thinking about your question for a few days now, and since I am better at being silly than eloquent, words escape me about what I'm trying to do with my garden.

I'll keep thinking about how to say it. I'll probably just find something from Ogden Nash just to maintain my silliness reputation. :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 11:12AM
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jon_in_wessex(z8/9 UK)

Thank all the multifarious Gods of the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Hindus for their incredible, joyous, pagan garden visions:)

And Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

Best wishes

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 12:51PM
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lol, Jon.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:04PM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Such a nice thread. The vision in my head when I started my garden was definitely "Cottage Garden" style. I love the intermingled, tumbling, falling over each other look. My idea is that I would increase interest by using height (arbor and trellis) and depth (beds of various sizes). I also was determined that you wouldn't see any dirt! I love to mix roses and perennials and annuals for color and bloom from March until November. I also love the challenge of finding the right plant for shade/sun and soil variations. Now I have reached the limit of how much garden I have time to care for, so I am constantly fiddling with and moving plants. My garden is a work in progress and will never be finished. It is such a joy!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:19PM
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more of a foggy notion than a clear vision really, all jumbled and rambling and roughly edged; a tapestry of green studded with luminous, nodding roses. And all of it tangled in a web of intoxicating fragrance. Like that.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:46PM
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senko(6b ePA)

This will be the second year for my second garden. Last year all the hardscape and trees were put-in. This year all the good stuff will be going in and I just can't wait for spring. My vision is: The garden should HUG the gardener. This might be different for different people. For me Harry's garden seems close.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:40PM
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sc_gardener(zone 5)

Great photos. Good for inspiration, mine is definitely cottage- as I am a plant collector and that style fits what I can do with the odds and ends. I have evergreens interplanted as well.
I have a lot of "floppies" interplanted with my roses as well. And herbs - catmint and lemon thyme and some mint. And Asters and mums and coneflowers. Some dayliles - the minis - fit in real well with my scheme.
But again - mine is evolving - because I refuse to put up with pouty roses. I have been known to rip out a few on a whim. I have sometimes regretted that though. I also try and garden around the japanese beetle season here that just ruins all the roses.
Just wish I had more $$ for the hardscape (stone, gravel, etc) the delivery fees for that stuff is astronomical around here.
I create my own mulch from my own leaves. So I don't have to buy that.
My goal is to be frugal, have something that will not be "fussy" , is cold hardy, (survives through zone 5 winter) and that does take a lot of time away from my family.
Harry: I am a beer lover as well. Although I usually partake AFTER I am done gardening where I hang out with our yardkitty.
Thanks for the inspirations all. I can't wait for spring.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 7:02AM
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Great topic!

I have a really small garden. Well, I'm renting at the moment, so all my roses are grown in pots. For the time being, I'm not really concerned about how the garden looks - just as long as I am able to cut the roses regularly and bring them indoors to enjoy. When I'm studying, I love to have some fresh cut blooms/roses, with some classical music (i.e Chopin) playing in the lounge room and some candles. I've just discovered Enya, and Secret Garden. Their music are truly beautiful, I almost feel as though I've been transported to a different world.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 7:34AM
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Great question! I'm not sure where my garden vision came from. I didn't even realize I was making a style, lol. It is very cottage garden like though I never knew anyone with a cottage garden. When I first started I had no clue what I was doing and I got to know what I liked over time.
Below is the entrance to my veggie garden. It is the best example I have of envisioning something. I didn't start it until I had been gardening for a few years which helps, and I did it slowly. To the left you can see part Fantin Latour. I planted that first before there was even the fence. I remember standing arms outstretched to figure where to plant. The fence and arbor went up, and I bought the grapes planted on the back side. I planted Belled de Crecy to the right of the arbor in front, there was not really a bed there yet. I just figured she would look good there. You can see just a hint of her in the view. The path was made where I seemed to walk naturally to the entrance so I built the bed out from the fence. Marie Pavie got planted in the corner of the bed. Way back in the back distance you can sort of see Hansa that I planted not long after moving to my house in 93 or 94. I planted that in the back corner of the lot. That was good decision when I had no clue what I was doing. It filled in the space, blocked the view beyond, and made a prettier view within.
To the left which you cannot see is a wisteria standard/tree that I've been training for a few years.

The shutters above the gate are to keep my one produce stealing dog out, lol.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 8:42AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

There are a lot of old estates in this part of the world. A lot of them are open to the public, and a lot of them have gardens. They tend to follow the same general outline - formally laid out beds, filled with whatever. I always thought they were extremely cool, and wanted 'that kind' of garden, but it took me a while to figure out that there was absolutely no reason I couldn't. It took a certain, small investment in measuring tools, which have also come in handy for other things.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 3:18PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Well I don't have a castle, but everyone can have a rainbow!

My garden vision isn't anywhere near complete yet. Presently it is nearly all roses, but it will end up as something like the Desert garden at the Huntington someday, I hope, with specimen Agaves and Aloes, along with a few olive and citrus trees, since I won't be able to do hundreds of roses when I'm a crippled-up little old lady.

But that will be ok, it's the journey that matters.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 4:26PM
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sabalmatt_dallas(Z8 Dallas)

I really don't have a set vision or plan. My vision evolves with each growing season as I learn about, evaluate and try new plants each year. I think my vision will continue to evolve as long as I am able to garden (at least another 60 years). Sometimes a family member or friend asks me "when will you be done with your garden?" Even though my property is jam packed full- my answer is the same- "I will never be done." My garden has a backbone of cold hardy palms, citrus, cycads, agave, yucca, subtropicals (ginger, banana, cannas, etc), broad leaf evergreens, bamboo, grasses, cacti, roses and herbs. I find new plants interesting each year and I enjoy them all. My first experience with buying a rose was when I was 9 years old. I often rode my bike to the neighborhood produce and meat market. The owner always had nice live plants for sale that I admired and spoke to him about. In April of that year I remember a beautiful rose that caught my eye. I asked the owner about it and he told me it's name was 'Tiffany'. I will never forget the fragrance. I asked the owner to hold it as I wanted to buy it for my Mom. I saved money from mowing yards and bought the potted 'Tiffany' two days before Mother's Day. I carried the rose as I rode my bike back a mile and a half home. I gave the rose to my Mom and she loved it. It still grows in her garden today and she is as proud of it now as she was on Mother's Day (31 years ago).

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 4:48PM
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I love the feeling of abundance supplied by seeing companion plants and rosebushes together. I also love historical plantings.
My dream garden would be to have China, Tea, and Noisette roses planted with Victorian era companion plants in the front garden,which would include wild clematis, and tri-color violets and forget-me-not.
In the backyard, an Elizabethan-era type garden, edged with tall eglantine to make a secret garden room, within it would be a greensward with a sundial in the center, edged with 'mother-of thyme' and the wild form of Alyssium.
and against the inside walls of the eglantine hedge would be r. arvensis, grown on wooden tri-pods, between these would be the white 'Rose of York' and a woodbine or two,
and in front of those, a lower circling row of the 'Apothecary rose'. Some fruit also, gooseberry, or medlar, or wild strawberries, because they have such pretty leaves and flowers. There would also be benches made from sod, that have seats made of wild English thyme.
Thank you for asking

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Hoovb, what a great photo of a rainbow! I feel encountering a rainbow is a lucky thing. You should expect a great year for sure! I will use the photo as PC wallpaper.

I have enjoyed all the ideas here on this thread and have been inspired too. I can't wait to implement some of them this gardening season.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 11:05PM
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I Haven't a clue but it somehow it has never been ugly.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 1:13AM
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My vision for my garden has more to do with people than with a plan.

First, a place for our ten year old to pick as many flowers as she wants and to understand that beauty, fragrance and the miracle of plants are everywhere around her.

Second, a place for birds to live. This is also for my dh as he loves to take pics of them.

Third, a place of serenity and beauty for me to wander around early in the mornings with coffee.

Fourth, a place of welcome for my friends to come and visit and for my neighbors to see that a rose is more than a grafted hybrid tea.

Fifth, I expect that as I get to be an even older old lady, that it will pass away as the next person to live in this house will not love gardens, most probably, so I don't expect it to be a lasting thing.

Sixth, like labrea, it's always been beautiful, but I honestly don't know what I am doing. I am just having fun playing in the dirt.

Thank you for asking and now I can stop thinking about this question.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 11:47AM
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onewheeler(Z5 N.S.)

I definately want a rose covered cottage look and I want to be an old lady tending her garden. Of course this is gonna take me another 20 years to accomplish but I am patient. LOL

I love the look of a well tended, tidy garden. it will never happen here. I am just not that well disciplined. Life is too short not to enjoy all the beauty we can pack into our lives and share it with others.

Gardening is definately a spiritual experience for me. "You are closer to God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth".

The simple act of pushing that shovel into the fresh earth every April after a long tiresome winter is more refreshing than any other deed I can think of. It brings me pure joy, simple peace and delight.

Therefore, I don't think my vision will ever dim of what I strive for, what I long for, just a little patch of heaven here on earth to enjoy the rest of my days. I want to inspire others to do the same, to bring peace into their lives through this form of beautifying our earth, sustaining ourselves with vegetables and fruits we grow on our own land, keeping our senses alive with sights, scents and textures.

Also I long to replenish this poor earth even if it is only on my little patch, it has to start somewhere.

We can lose alot in this life but if we keep fighting the good fight and planting those gardens, using natural methods to lesson the load on our planet then I think our visions will eventually help all of mankind.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 7:51PM
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artemis_mo(z5b MO)

I don't have control over my garden. My garden seems to control me. No future vision...but I'm happy with my garden has given me so far.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:06PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I like very full beds. If I can see garden space and mulch between plants then I figgure I need more plants. My rose beds are VERY crowded. But I do spray them with a fungicide only. People see pictures of the roses and say how healthy the folliage looks so I must be doing something right.

I do have lots of roses in a bed section of my front yard and during spring flush it stops traffic. So it works for me and must work for other people too.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Although roses form the primary collection and focus, my vision is of a garden filled with trees, shrubs, lawns, vines, veggies and fruits, a place of bounty where fragrance, color and texture rule through the warm months of the year and hints at those elements the rest of the year. As I shaped the garden in its beginnings, I wanted to emphasize a feeling of welcome, a place where we and our friends could play, relaxing in privacy and comfort (and have a beer or two just like Harry!), a place with trails where the dogs and cats could race and wander through borders, beds and along the perimeter. Birds needed to be safe, and bees welcomed, so many of the plants reflect their preferred habitats.

I imagined a garden where neighborhood children would love to visit, munching on whatever was in season and taking bouquets home to Mom. We needed several different air paths to throw balls for the dogs to chase, and lots of hidey holes for the cats to dive into after they teased the dogs into a game of chase. Seating is very available, somewhere to sit in every room of the garden, and lush green lawn beneath the cherry tree just for lollygagging. ThereÂs room for a game of croquet. ThereÂs always a hammock to rock in and thereÂs always an orchard ladder set up near the fruit trees so that the kids can have the joy of a climb and help us thin the apples or pick the cherries, depending on the time of year.

The roses are really the heart of the garden. You can smell them out on the street as you drive or walk by and they climb so high and in such profusion that they can be seen from a block away - itÂs important to me to share the bounty with the neighborhood, too, and I love visiting with our neighbors over the roses, sharing bits of history and knowledge about OGRs. It was my plan to take up watercolor when the garden matured but IÂm more focused on weeding and caring for it than I have been on learning how to paint.

I surprised myself with this garden. I thought it would be more chaotic (in an artful way, of course!) with lots of hanging canes dripping with rose blooms, narrower pathways that felt as though one might be lost in a jungle of roses, nowhere near the square footage of lawn we have, more of a transformative experience as though a visitor had wandered into a strange and wonderful world far distant from the suburbs, almost as if it were an abandoned secret treasure. Alas, one canÂt also have children and dogs in such a garden, and so, at least for now, our garden is instead open to the sunshine, spacious in its layout and, I must say, VERY packed with plants in its borders and beds. When we are old, and all the children have grown up and the pets are gone on to the Rainbow Bridge, and the garden has grown old along with us, then weÂll have that beautiful chaos.

Thanks for this question. It made me think about the garden in ways I hadn't formulated.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:34PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

My vision is first to stop buying roses and work on other things to improve the whole garden.To acquire more iris, clematis, and dahlias so the roses won't be lonely. I would like to have a small waterfall and pond, just enough to grow small water plants and have a few fish. I'd like to have a rose archway to stroll under. Ah, some of this is also a dream, or goal.
A nice pathway between the beds. To have a couple small trees in the back garden. More seating areas. That sounds like enough to make me happy.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:43PM
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linrose(6b KY)

I didn't expect this thread to be revived - but here it is!

I have neglected so many of your responses, and I feel bad as the OP and sort of moderator of the discussion. I am humbled by your honest expressions and delight in your journeys as gardeners. Thank you again for sharing! I feel I have come to know so many of you because of your responses.

len - I had to think about your atheistic 'religious' experience, that will take a while for me to process, but I kind of get it.

duchesse- I'm sorry I made you worry over this question, but I love what you came back with - people, birds, beauty and friends, that's your essence.

jon - the pagan - well, what can I say - I'd like to have a long conversation with you someday, you facinate me.

mauirose - I can see your jumbled rambling roughly edged garden/life - nice!

senko - you can't go wrong emulating Harry!

scgardener - frugal is good, I mulch my leaves too, noone need buy that good stuff

jj - Enya and roses and Chopin and candles- can I come over????

remy - yeah - it's really just instinct, isn't it?

luxrosa, I'm down with the historical aspect, that's kind of what started me on this quest

valerie - I love the concept of renewal

rita - I love full beds too - and I tend to "overplant" in my enthusiasm for that look. I hate seeing mulch too. Now I try to practice 'less is more' because it does help me with a certain restraint that my personality certainly doesn't want to happen.

suze - What a lovely poetic way to express what you do with your garden. I can begin to know you through that description of family and sharing. That last pic reminds me of my kids picking cherries, and enjoying them before they came down off the ladder!

carla - sounds just like what all of us want, not a bad thing at all, just a place to feel wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:53PM
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This is such a lovely thread, and I really enjoyed learning about everyones gardens and seeing your lovely photos. Sue, I especially loved your post and garden, and I hope that my garden will turn out like yours someday. I love the cottage garden style, and sharing plants with neighbors and family as well.
My garden vision will probably never happen, but I would love to be able to create a public garden, not at my home but in a central place in my community, for everyone to learn about gardening and enjoy. There would be room for children to play , we would grow vegetables to help feed the community, and of course it wouldn't be complete without a collection of old fashioned roses :)


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:23AM
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