Saturday, June 7, 2014

What the Neighbors Saw

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be my neighbor. According to my back neighbor, he has the best view in the neighborhood: all the garden, none of the work. I think he may be right.


My Peggy Martin rose bloomed the heaviest on my neighbor's side of the fence.

There is no privacy in my neighborhood. Our HOA requires all fences be four feet tall and almost identical in design. We live our lives as if they were performance art. We are always on display.


I could have pruned this off but it seemed pointless and cruel.


Grass paths lead from the fence gates into the garden. The children next door love to come over and pet my four dogs.


My garden curves around an ellipse of grass like a giant Bodoni font C. When you have dogs, grass makes for a better playground than a perennial bed.


A view into the dogwood garden and a peek at the patio

I'm lucky to have incredible neighbors and don't mind the lack of privacy. After 10 years of gardening to the chatter of songbirds and a busy neighborhood, I might go crazy in the country. Or I might not.


The Etoille Violet clematis also chose the sun on my neighbors side
for the lushest display.


It took pity on me and flung a few blooms over to my side.


 A peek into the shade garden.

All of these pictures were taken from my neighbors' yards. We planted four trees when we moved in eleven years ago to help give the illusion of privacy.


Chester Thornless blackberries grow along the fence. My neighbor is free to eat whatever berries grow on his side. I leave the rest for the birds.


A view over the fence into the rain garden.

When my other neighbors had their fence built, they included a gate for me so I could take care of their garden, too, and tend to my plants that grow along our shared fence. 


Yellow yarrow and pink knautia grow near the rain garden. The reddish lump in the background is a happy dog in grass that needs to be mowed.


When I designed my garden, I picked plants I like. It didn't occur to me how much my neighbors would enjoy them, too.


My 'Night Owl' rose is recovering from a nasty bout with black spot
and a severe pruning.


The first people who lived in the house next door didn't care for their yard and it looked like a jungle so I planted this trumpet vine to block the view. Now I keep it pruned so we can both enjoy it while giving ourselves a small bit of privacy. (No special effects were used on this picture. I just shot into the sun.)


More pink mystery clematis growing along our shared fence.


I should find out its name but I enjoy its anonymity. 


My neighbors love the clematis so much I'm training several other vines along the fence. I garden and they show up at my door with homemade Indian food. Hooray!

65 comments:

  1. If everyone provided their neighbors gifts of beauty as you have the world would surely be a more harmonious place, Tammy!

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    1. I am lucky to have wonderful neighbors on all sides. I've had rotten neighbors in the past so I'm grateful for the ones I have now. :o)

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  2. Absolutely glorious Tammy. One day my garden will look like this. Note to self: buy more clematis.

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    1. Thank you! It's taken 10 years to get the garden to begin looking the way I want it to. I have a hard time resisting clematis. I stuff them in everywhere. :o)

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  3. This post could be named 'What the Neighbors Enjoy,' with all the best blooms and views on their sides. Sometimes I take pleasure in planting something on the inside not well seen on the outside, a kind of secret garden not seen by passersby.

    I like the idea of a gate so a neighbor can come over to tend one's garden -- I wonder how my nearest neighbor would react to that? She tending my garden, of course.

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    1. I was in my neighbors yard today planting extra obedient plant and a few daylilies that needed more sun. They're always happy to have free plants and I'm thrilled not to have to compost healthy perennials all for a lack of space or thoughtless design. Most of the people who pass my house have no idea of the garden in the back. :o)

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  4. Your neighbors are blessed with viewing all the beauty you are planting and nurturing. Would you please move next door to me? How smart your neighbor is to include a gate for you in his new fence.

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    1. I love my neighbors so I am the lucky one to have such wonderful people living around me. The least I can do is share my garden with them. :o)

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  5. I think you have the perfect neighbours. They must love you.
    Nice to be rewarded with an Indian meal.
    Happy gardening
    Helenx

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    1. Indian food for flowers is the perfect swap! :o)

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  6. What lucky neighbors you have! One of the conditions we had when we moved here was no HOA. There's no way I would stand for any committee telling me what I could do in my garden. Then again, I would like it if someone told my neighbors to stop parking their big noisy trucks on their front lawn. I guess I can't have it both ways.

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    1. Our HOA is absurdly inconsistent and some of their rules are idiotic. But they leave me alone. They recently told a friend of mine, who planted 12 trees ten years ago, that she needed to cut them down because she hadn't asked for permission. Her response can not be printed here but it rhymes with Truck Boo. But if my neighbors had a vehicle on their lawn, I'd lose my mind.

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    2. Truck Boo...I'm highjacking that one...ROTFLMAO

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  7. I wish I could have clematis sprawling over fences like you...but alas that aint NEVER gonna happen! Lucky you x

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    1. How come? Your garden is fabulous! I'm sure you could tuck in a clematis somewhere. :o)

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  8. That Clematis is stunning! How wonderful that your neighbors enjoy your garden as much as you do! Our neighbors are pretty nice, too, and we have similar gardening styles. Isn't this a fabulous time of year?! I'm afraid my computer is getting a little neglected lately. ;-)

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    1. All I want to do is be outside. I can hardly wait for school to be over so I can relax in the garden every morning. :o)

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  9. Tammy, you seem to live in a nice neighborhood. I am not sure I would find it easy to fit in though (there is a 1000 feet of trees between here and the closest neighbor).
    As for your clematis don't read the end of the line if you prefer not to know but I am pretty sure it is Ville de Dijon (French 1899).

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    1. It's your basic cramped American subdivision but it does have some nice perks. However, the houses are way too close together and I'd love more space. We have a thickly wooded area across from our house so I enjoy not having to see other houses when I tend my front garden. So, my mystery clematis is French, eh? Then I'll rename it Belle and think of the Moulin Rouge and Toulouse-Latrec. :o) Had I been alive during the Belle Epoque I'd have been a showgirl there. ;o)

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    2. It is actualy Ville de Lyon - I don't know why my fingers typed Dijon!
      From the picture of you in a previous post, you would have been a perfect showgirl.

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  10. Love all the roses and clematis you have growing on your fences. Definitely a good way to make good neighbors and friends. I think here our yards are smaller than yours, but fences and hedges are allowed to be high enough to screen one yard from another. We still talk to the neighbors over the fence, or through the hedges, though. And the seven year old who lives in the house to the left is always squeezing through the shrubs to pay us a visit.

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    1. My yard is wide but not incredibly deep. However, I'm lucky in that our house was built a bit closer to the road than our neighbors so I have more space in the back. The openness takes some getting used to but everyone tends to mind their own business. If I had nosy neighbors, I'd go crazy.

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  11. I love your blog and your garden! You have inspired me to get out of my comfort zone (no pun intended) and add more variety to my Rocky Mountain plains garden in Colorado. I will be visiting my sister Michele this coming week and we plan to come over for a visit...she promised I could see your gardens!
    Claudette...another passionate gardener!

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    1. I'm looking forward to meeting you! Check out the book The Undaunted Gardener by Lauren Springer. She gardens in your area and has some great ideas. :o)

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  12. It looks good. Can you come be my neighbor. I have one on each side with nothing in their yards.

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    1. My garden is definitely the exception in my neighborhood, although I have another neighbor who is working on a shade garden. Most of the people here just stick in a couple of boring shrubs and call it quits.

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  13. You are so very lucky to have good neighbors, and boy do you have a lot to take care of. You are one of those gardeners who makes it look all so easy.

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    1. Gardening definitely requires stamina! I work in the garden almost daily. I will admit to having a lot of energy/tenacity and a very "Figure it out/get it done" personality. Honestly, I drive myself crazy. :o)

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  14. What a really lovely post, neighbours can be very tricky! Your roses and clematis all look gorgeous and Etoille violet is one of my favourite clematis.

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    1. Thanks! I've had some really rotten neighbors in the past so I enjoy having normal, sane ones now. I've dealt with my share of lunatics, unfortunately.

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  15. Lucky neighbors all the way around! I have a friend from India who occasionally prepares me her traditional foods. Good garden for good food, joy to the eyes and feast for the belly: a good swap I say. I will say that when Peggy Martin blooms, they should double the servings of homemade Indian food!

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    1. Peggy Martin is an overachiever, for sure! She makes the rest of my roses look like slackers. :o)

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  16. Peggy Martin rules !! Fantastic ! In fact all the climbers look as if they love to bask in the sun on your fence.

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    1. The fence does seem to be a popular spot. :o) It gives me more vertical space to work with since I have a hard time resisting any clematis. :o)

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  17. I would live next door to you in a heartbeat! I LOVE that Peggy Martin rose! I will tuck the name away for my next and last move where I plan to plant whatever I always wanted.

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    1. It's a really tough rose! It's also known as The Rose That Survived Hurricane Katrina. It's a vigorous grower and almost thornless. :o)

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  18. I tell you what, I'd pay to live next door toy you! Fancy putting a gate in for you, that had me laughing out loud!
    I'd be weeping if all my prize blooms grew over my neighbours fence like that, what a cheek they have! And what an amazing array of flora your neighbours get to enjoy, and that's without your fab dogs....I'm not surprised they feed you, it's the least they can do! What a fab post!!!xxx

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    1. Thanks! They put up with four barking dogs so I think it's the least I can do. :o)

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  19. You have amazing gardens and neighbors....my next door neighbor says the same thing...best view of gardens with no work!!

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    1. I'm hoping to turn the little kids next door into gardeners. :o)

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  20. Love the Peggy Martin rose bush. Lucky neighbours. Unfortunately for me, I try to keep the neighbours garlic mustard under control. Not that they notice :)

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    1. Garlic mustard has invaded my garden, too. I have a big patch of it in a spot that's almost totally inaccessible so I'm not sure how I'm going to get rid of it. :(

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  21. You are very fortunate to have such great neighbours. Some people seem to have an aversion to gardens and are not as appreciative. Me, I'd love to be the neighbour that gets all those blackberries :)

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    1. By the time they're sweet enough to eat, the birds have devoured them so I just gave up trying to protect them. The birds hop along the fence gobbling them up. :o)

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  22. Oh, I would like to be your neighbour!!! What a garden!!! So much beauty and love in it!!!
    Have sunny and happy days.
    All the best from Austria
    Elisabeth

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  23. Can I move in next door? Oh wait, I just moved. Walking around my new neighborhood, I suddenly asked myself, "why do I have to grow (fill in the blank here - hydrangeas, star jasmine, whatever) if my neighbors have it? I can enjoy it without having to do the work or have it take up valuable space." On another note, did you get your Peggy Martin rose at Niche, by any chance? If not, where did you get it? I am finally going to have a trellis and think that Peggy Martin is just the thing for it. Niche has it but it's kind of puny. On the other hand, I can drive there and pick it up.

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    1. I bought it at Chamblees Roses (online). They have awesome plants that are nice and big for a great price. It's a vigorous grower. Don't grow what your neighbors are growing. Follow your heart and do what you want. I grew patrina when I lived in SC and my realtor wanted to know why I grew such "weird" plants. She thought anything that wasn't an azalea, iris, or rose was weird. What a limited POV. But I would love to have you next door!

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  24. I'm enjoying being your virtual neighbor.

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  25. I'm late to the party, but your neighbours are really lucky lucky folks...what gorgeous beauties to enjoy.
    The covenants for my neighbourhood says we can't have our front walls no higher than four feet I think, so I just planted a tall growing hedge.....tee hee.
    Oh by the way I would garden for Indian food too!!

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    1. I love pushing all the stupid rules as far as possible. :o) I'd have put in a big hedge, too!

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  26. Now if this isn't just the coolest post ever! I love a good neighbor and yours sound so fantastic! And their views are pretty fantastic too if I do say so myself! How lucky to have such lush blooms bursting into their yards...and I love that your one neighbor put a gate there so that you could tend the garden from the other side! You are bringing people together with your garden....life is good! Nicole xoxo

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    1. I'm happy to have good people to bring into my life. :o) Even when life feels bad, it's always good and better than we imagine it to be.

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  27. Hi Dear,
    it's me again! Thank you so much for your lovely visit! You make me happy. It's wonderful to have you around!
    All the best to you and I still want to be your neighbour
    Elisabeth

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  28. Hi Tammy, such an incredible garden and a really good idea to photograph it from the outside, looking in to give a sense of perspective. In our previous house the back garden wasn't overlooked by anyone and there was a great sense of seclusion, privacy and intimacy. In the new garden, our neighbours from either side can look in from their houses but the hedges that run along the length of the garden stop us from looking into each other's garden from ground level. I wish I knew the name of that clematis so I could get one too, it's so lovely.

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    1. It's Ville de Lyon. Another blogger ID'd it for me. It's a really deep, rich pink that's hard to resist. I'd love more privacy in the garden but have to work with what I've got.

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    2. Thank you! It's now on the shopping list. I might just feign ignorance anyway to give me an excuse to buy every remotely pink clematis I can find in the hope that one of them is the one pictured above.

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  29. That's awesome you have such great neighbors! What fun to share space and gardening. :) I love all your butterfly plants you included!!

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    1. My garden functions as a giant pollinator garden. If I didn't attract butterflies, then I see no point in gardening. :o)

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  30. I give my neighbors fresh oregano, basil, and rosemary (when it doesn't die in a harsh winter.) I get ratatouille and pasta in return. I accept that's even. After years of looking at my gardens and gardening, they planted alstromeria and a hibiscus this year. We can train them.
    Ray

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    1. I agree! I am slowly working on mine. :o)

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