On Friday we looked at a very specific garden–my Mom’s in southern New Jersey. But she lives in a retirement community and as I was walking around the community on a brief trip down there last week, I had a chance to assess the gardens of the other residents as well.
It’s a rather large community–a few hundred homes–but only a couple of different models of homes so the residents have done quite a bit to make their homes different from one another. Some have done very little and some have done quite a bit, surprisingly. And I always love seeing what folks do in the way of “garden design” to personalize their homes.
Garden ornaments, too, tell a lot about their owners and almost every type of ornament imaginable is in this large community (it probably will come as no surprise to hear that my Mom’s is one of the “less” ornamented homes).
The homes have a small front yard and small side yard–which on some models also serves as the entry to the home–and a very modest back yard. Nevertheless, I saw trees of every possibly type in both the front and side yards.
This birch, for example, would have been much happier in some other place.
This is a much more successful planting of several good sized trees, both deciduous and evergreen. There’s a maple and dogwood, plus a weeping alaskan cedar of note, as well as the smaller evergreen shrubs. This yard was spectacular overall.
In the older section, there was an entry portico. Several homeowners got very creative with those and grew vines, both annual and perennial. I saw lots of mandevilla, clemetis, morning glory and even wisteria!
This arbor had 5 leafed akebia. The underplanted bed was full of roses. And the tree is a Callery or Bradford pear, a very popular tree in this development.
Evergreens were incredibly popular as well. Some homeowners just painted with evergreens. Others had mixed evergreens and deciduous plantings.
This is one of the better more mature examples of the evergreen plantings.
This yard had abit of everything, including a small waterfall up against the house.
And tropicalissmo is alive and well here! These are just a few of the many mandevillas this owner had–as well as several clematis and lots of geraniums and hibiscus. You’d need the iPhone 5 panaroma camera feature to capture all of it!
I even saw tomatoes in an Earthgro™ box on one homeowner’s back deck. Gardening is alive and well here.
What all of this variety in very tiny spaces shows is that gardeners’ creativity will shine no matter what the circumstances. Someone who loves to garden will find a way to garden and a place to garden no matter how small the plot of land.
As autumn is upon us and the gardening season is winding down (in the Northern hemisphere anyway) use the slower winter months to reconsider your gardening style(s). Who knows what creativity is inside you?