The white garden is very green right now. In a few days it will be full of flowers; even as I write this, several tulips have opened, and there are roses that will open within the week.
Here are some scenes from the garden from a couple of days ago:
The Katy apricot tree has doubled in size since last year.
Thyme cascades from the urn. Underneath it, parsley grows. To the right of that is dusty miller under the peach tree, and the large plant is an artichoke, planted from seed last year (to harvest this year). A carpet rose is in a pot near the wall, and jasmine grows from a pot on the trellis (which is 6 inch concrete mesh, hung on the diagonal). This corner could have had nothing at all, between the concrete footings for the wall and the house, and the two irrigation boxes. I used pots on top of these things to make the most of the space; the urn sits on one of the irrigation boxes.
I experimented with cyclamen in the corner, which is usually in the shade. It flowers in the winter, and I have heard it can grow all year outdoors here if kept in the shade. I have snapdragons behind it, and a mulberry seedling as well, grown from seeds from my neighbor’s tree.
I’m growing white alpine strawberries in several places in the garden. I grew these from seed. The strawberries are tiny, and they are white when ripe. They’re super sweet (like eating strawberry fruit leather!) and in more mild climates than mine, they will bloom all summer. Here they bloom in spring,February through May, and again in fall, October through December.
The meyer lemon trees will eventually grow to be a hedge that covers the wall between my front yard and my neighbor’s backyard.
They are just starting to open. When they all do, the perfume is wonderful.
Under the tree are the alpine strawberries, garlic chives, parsley, and green onions. There are three lemon trees in this planter (which was a slope covered with rocks before we chaged the landcape). Between the other trees are tarragon, oregano, and parlsey plants, and behind them, next to the wall, are green onions grown from seed.
In the pot is a bay tree, that I am growing as a topiary.
Below the planter I’ve planted calla lilies. These get afternoon shade from the walls near them, and in the summer, they’ll have shade from the apricot tree and dusty miller below it.
I do have a few things blooming right now. I have stock, that I’ve grown from seed. This can bloom all winter into May here, depending on when the plants went in the ground. This one was grown from seed last fall:
The dinathus in the urn will bloom in spring, and then burn and die in the summer heat. Though it’s a perennial in cooler climates, it has always acted as a cool-season annual for me in our climate. I got this one in a tiny pot at the nursery last fall.
The snapdragons are blooming in the bottom sectin of the garden, below the wall. They’re farily covered by the paperwhite leaves (the paperwhites bloomed in November). I think after the paperwhite die back all the way (important to give the bulbs strength to bloom again the next year) that I will have to dig them up and plant them in the back of the bed.
Above the front entry I have white Lady Bank’s roses. These tiny roses bloom once a year in spring. I planted them two years ago (they were the first things to go in, while we did the rest ofh te work in the front yard) and they were 12 inches tall when then went it. This year they have blooms for the first time. Up the edges of hte walkway I have more alpine strawberries, and parlsey on the opposite side. In the center I have daffodils, spinach, lettuce, and Star of Bethelem (which isn’t blooming this year, unfortunately). The euyonomous bushes will be pruned into spheres once they are large enough.
On the wall opposite the hose, the passionfruit vine is already leafing out. I’m hoping well get fruit this year, as it hasn’t fruited for me yet.
Primroses grow along the path on both sides of the walkway here. These started blooming in January. After the blooms die, they will be green the rest of the year. This spot is in the shade all year.
Within the next two weeks, the garden will be full of blooms.
Ah, so lovely! I love looking at your beautiful white garden..I imagine all the time you have taken to expand, create and work to have this beautiful garden. Thank you for posting 🙂
Patty From the NW
It’s amazing how much you’ve made of the space!! Cant wait to seem more pictures as it changes with the season.
Brandy, what a great white garden your have created. Amazing how you can pack so much in a small space and have it not only look beautiful yet be so useful. Congratulations, your hard work made something beautiful.
I jus wanna scoop up Ivory! She’s such a doll.
Your “green” white garden seems appropriate for St Pattys Day. 😉
Wonderful space. Thanks for sharing the inspiration. Our passionfruit attracts lovely gulf frittillary butterflies. I hope you get some too–the caterpillars are neat for the kids to see.
I am in awe of your white garden. It looks like nearly everything you planted has thrived exactly as you planned it! That is truly an amazing accomplishment. Bravo!
How in the world do you deter animals? Especially at the front of the house. Just thinking of dogs and cats doing their business. Any small bush and my dog has to lift his leg. In our actual veggie garden he has learned to not go in unless we are with him. Love what you’re doing !!
It’s absolutely beautiful and functional. I hope my yard gets to be like this someday.
You have a real talent for creating beautiful gardens! You should consider offering edible garden design consulting for those of us like myself who love to garden but who can’t seem to figure it out! I live in OH and although we can’t grow for long here I know there is more I could do. But first I need to get rid of the destructive bunnies who are all over the place here!
The only problem I have had with dogs is with unscrupulous owners (there are a couple in our neighborhood, who don’t care if their dogs go in my yard and actually have encouraged it!) I had to say something to one who was letting her dog walk in my beds right in front of me. Most keep their dogs out, though. Dogs don’t usually come up into the garden; I think the retaining wall in front helps a lot with that. Dogs are not usually out without their owners. Most people in the neighborhood have dogs and most only have them out on a leash. Most of the food is above the retaining wall for that reason, too. Since I’ve noticed it wasn’t as much of a problem as I thought it might be, I planted chamomile in the back of the lower section last year and this year. That’s only a short time, though. The majority of the year, the bottom section is just flowers, and the food is up top.
The amazing thing is that I have less of a problem now than I did before. I think the lack of grass contributes to that.
Cats are another story. There are a couple of cats that are a problem, but they are usually in my backyard beds. When we open the back door they run. I did have one come in the house a couple of times! I woke up and saw cat prints all over my kitchen table! Several months later one got in the house during the day, and one night my husband and I looked up to see one coming in the window while we were watching tv! We scared it out.
I have designed and consulted on a few long-distance gardens as well as local gardens. Send me an email if you are interested.
You may want to consider a fence that goes a few feet below the ground to keep the bunnies out of your garden. You can put chicken wire or hardware cloth below the ground (as well as above) to keep them out, and if gophers are a problem, you can lined raised beds with it.
So lovely! I love the vision you have – knowing what blooms when. You have spent an incredible amount of time doing research – plus trial and error, I’m sure. What are your best resources?
you really have a gift – it’s all so beautiful!
Well, we have a “white” garden right now and can’t wait for it to turn green! Ha! Seriously, you’ve done a wonderful job with your landscaping.
Your garden is beautiful, and so is that dear little girl it makes me smile seeing her smile. Brandy, I must say I don’t know how you do it all. I am an avid reader of your blog and I am amazed at what you fit into your day. You must go to bed exhausted. Best Wishes to you.
We would be thankful for the lush greenness right now. We have had a couple weeks with mostly sunshine, and that alone is encouraging.
I love snapdragons, and don’t understand why more people don’t plant them with abandon—-they are so colorful, bloom like crazy, and will even winter over here when in a sheltered spot. That’s a lot of bloom for the bucks! And you probably have time to grow them from seed—I buy started annuals because the growing season is short. I need more white in my garden but seem devoted to pink and purple to a ridiculous extent!! I do have a beautiful mostly white clematis that has HUGE blooms–it’s tinged with purple but it’s gorgeous–later. I planted two in the same spot–one early blooming white and a later blooming dark purple–so I do get double use of that corner–it crawls up the post of the front porch.
The artichoke plant looks to be quite larger. Does that only make 1 artichoke heart? Haha, as I type this, I realize that I know nothing about growing or eating artichokes… I hope I don’t sound too stupid!
girl you really have a green thumb. i’d like to replace some dirt here like you have. i’m glad i got to see the making of the garden and the results. so clever to include edibles in your garden. everything is beautiful and growing so well. love it
Your comment made me smile! I’ve only had that kind twice.
It usually makes 4 or 5 per plant, though I have had plants make 8 to 12 before. The plants get huge.
That’s hard to say; I have learned from a lot of places over many years.
We live in the country(upstate ny) but have a cat problem as well. Just one cat, that thinks my property is its litter box. Last year it went right in the middle of my strawberry bed! Rrrr…. I have fenced in my vegetable garden, but we have five acres, I cannot afford to fence everything. We also have a family of deer that eat everything that is unfenced. They seem to always know when my day lilies are blooming because they always eat all of the blooms!
Your garden is so beautiful! All of those fruits and vegetables sound so delicious. How do you keep your strawberries from expanding everywhere?
Brandy, it looks beautiful! I love how well you’ve succeeded at hiding the edibles in plain sight. I went back through several “white garden” posts to remind myself what else you’ve grown there. Do you grow edible sage? I was thinking that if you ever got tired of the dusty miller, you could plant sage. Obviously, it’s a woodier plant, but the leaves are (sort of) similar. A bit greener. Also, your purple leaved plums are gorgeous in bloom, but if you ever decide they don’t “fit,” an Italian plum has white blooms. Have you ever considered a white lilac? I don’t know if it would get too bushy for your space. I’m just thinking of double-duty plants. Love the white garden. In SLC it seems it’s all yellow this week–forsythia and daffodils everywhere.
makes your heart sing. let it be said I am a cat lover and had moggies most of my life, however the one that keeps pooping in my car port is not endearing itself to me. Having tried all the usual deterents a professional gardener told me to put a deep dish of Jeyes fluid(a really pungent disinfectant) in the area. apparently cats hate the smell. Not this miscreant, it only went and pooped right next to the pot!
I have sage in the backyard. It is flowering right now–purple blooms 😀
I considered putting in Santa Rosa plums, as they have white flowers, but we missed the dark leaves of the flowering plum tree.
Lilacs burn in the sun here; they can do okay if they get some afternoon shade. I would love one there but I don’t know how I would fit it in, because they get so big. I definitely considered one.
I have a yellow Lady Banks rose in my back yard growing on a trellis by the storage building. It is close enough to my clothes line that I can smell those roses when they bloom. I have looked for a white Lady Banks to put on the other side of the building but I am going to have to order it online as our nursery does not carry the white Lady Banks. This past weekend I used some of my “mad” money and a good coupon to buy 4 rose bushes to go in our back yard raised bed. It used to have a huge tree in the bed. The tree died with our drought and it was very expensive and tricky to take it down because the tree stood between our house and my husband’s workshop. It was very large tree and the professionals had to be very careful cutting it down. I had them mulch it here and leave me the mulch to use in the garden. It took a long time but we got all the mulch into the rows between our raised beds in the garden area. So much better than going to a landfill or something. I plan to put a bird bath and rose bushes (I got some small tea rose bushes in 4 different colors) to fill in around the bird bath. We also have feeders for our feathered friends out side our fence area. I have a dachshund and a basset hound that like to catch birds. I do not feel it is fair to lure birds into the back yard to be eaten by my dogs…so I just have water for them in the fenced area for the dogs. I also do not want bird seed falling into my flower bed. Our feeders are on the side of the house by my kitchen window so I can watch birds and squirrels while I do dishes and kitchen work. Makes it almost fun.
Alpine strawberries don’t put out runners; they grow from seed. They don’t spread out because of that. I do have strawberries in back that put forth runners, but they have never taken over. It would be lovely if they did!
I love your garden photos! Your garden is magnificent–and seeing that I’m just starting to see the outline of my garden beds under snow, it’s lovely to “pay a visit” to a warmer climate this way.
Brandy, your garden is beautiful! I have decided to redo my ‘front yard’ garden this year and am studying what you have done closely. You show us how to have beauty in the garden on a tight budget which is important to those of us who live frugally. Thank you! patsi @ a working pantry http://aworkingpantry.blogspot.com
Citrus peels work well too. Just lay them down near the problem areas. You will need to keep applying.
That is SO not fair! We don’t have a sprig or even a swollen bud here in St. Louis.
Holly…I live in the country of upstate NY as well and we have the exact same problems. Cats, actually our own, :p try to use my raised beds (which are fenced; they climb up and over, the little stinkers), as litter boxes and deer that eat, quite literally, everything that isn’t fenced in. We also have bears that have destroyed three hives over three different years (I finally got the hint and keep my bees elsewhere), and throw the bird-feeders around every spring and fall, foxes and coyotes that eat our hens (they are no longer free-range), and resident skunks that like to dig for grubs and…spray the yard! Still, I wouldn’t give up living here. We’ve just had to make adjustments. I might give up the 9 months of winter though…8 degrees when I awoke this am at 6:45am.
Brandy, your garden is a dream! And your photos of the hot-air balloon were just stunning! The sky! The rock! The colors of the ballons! Your children! Lovely, lovely…my kids were all oooing over how cute your little one was in the picture in front of your door. Just adorbs!
We are in the midst of planning a trip south and I’m trying super hard to be the most-frugal-person I have ever been for it! It’s really fun and challenging and I’m feeling really excited about all the prospects of free and almost free stuff for us to do. Thanks for the great inspiration!
Brandy, where did you buy the trellis? You said it has something to do with concrete? What did you use for the spacers for attaching to the concrete wall?
The garden looks beautiful, and I imagine, smell delicious.
It’s 6″ concrete mesh, and you can get it on a roll at Lowe’s or Home Depot; I got mine in sheets from a steel company. The squares are 6″ in size (hence the name). We just cut pieces of it to make our trellises. For the Lady Banks’ roses, they are just one square wide until you get to the piece that we used above the entry, which is larger. The other ones we set on the diagonal. For the passionfruit vine, I cut the pieces out in between to make it 12″ across. You can just cut it with wire cutters. We attached it to the wall with screws into concrete backerboard, glued together in layers. It is attached to the house in the same way, because I know that stucco alone won’t hold much (since it is only over stucco over styrofoam!)
Thanks. I showed it to my oldest and she thinks she wants to put it on one side of the barn , the downside of the hill where lower door opens. She thinks one would fit either side of main door…that side faces east. She likes the diamond idea. That down there is concrete block. Our old barn is stone foundation. That’s pretty enough as is.
I have a question about your technique at making cranberry juice. How do you go about it and do you can or freeze it after? I love your garden …..you have made it a garden of Eden. I wish we had a bit more sun up here on Vancouver Island.
This garden is on the north side of the house, and has been in full shade for many months. It is just now starting to get sun on about half of the garden. The part closest to the house, to the walkway in the center, is still in full shade all day. So, even though you are cloudy, you can grow these things in your area.
I canned the cranberry juice according to the directions in the Ball canning book.
Combine an equal number of cranberries and water in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook until cranberries burst. Strain juice through several layers of cheesecloth (I line a strainer with the cheesecloth. You could also use muslin.) Return juice to pan and combine with sugar to taste. Heat juice for 5 minutes at 190ºF. Do not boil. Ladle hot juice into jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
Add lids and process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
I then cooked the cranberries in a small amount of sugar syrup (just enough to cover) and dried the leftover cranberries in my dehydrator so that we got double usage from them.
Thanks so much for the info. Its pourin’ rain here so the cranberry juice will be made this afternoon and will try the dehydrator on the berries this evening. The balloon experience will be a wonderful memory for your children to carry through their lives!
thanks again for all the inspiration you give us readers
Well…life’s gotta get Not-so-Frugal for me here soon. I’ve decided to divorce my husband of 15+ years. It wasn’t a decision made lightly. Many things contributed this decision, including his having an affair back in 2009-2011.
That said, I’ve already located a house to rent with the possibility to own it, save for the part that it’s pretty small…but it’ll be MY place…never had my own before. Went from my parent’s house to my soon to be Ex’s house. And now I have to start all over again. Gotta buy a new bed, stove, washer/dryer, linens for a new bed, pots & pans, curtains….I will have SOME things, things that were purchased for us by my relatives at my 1999 Bridal Shower, that sadly went unused. Like a full set of Corelle wear. and a few small appliances. Also some things like a coffee table and a few end tables. Only thing I plan to buy new are the mattress set because sorry, but IMHO used mattresses are gross. The rest, I shall search for on Craigslist, Facebook sites..etc.
Then to actually MOVE! I’ve already contacted the gas & electric company. We will forego cable and just use internet access in our home.