Thoughts on how to create a well-designed garden retreat.

Spring a surprise.


When you ask people their favorite season, you can get any one of the four seasons.  I’ve never done the research but I am sure they aren’t equally spread out over the four.  Growing up in the Indiana, it seemed that most people’s favorite season was Spring after a long winter.  Summer was usually a close second as it meant pleasant weather most of the time and no school.

When I moved south to Georgia, I found more people who liked fall because in the south, fall is long and drawn out and usually quite a pleasant respite from a long hot summer.  I used to say Savannah had two seasons, Hot and Not so Hot.  I found people there who thought winter was their favorite season which seemed ludicrous in Indiana. In Indiana, fall was nice but was a reminder that a long rough winter was just around the corner.

Here in Durham, NC, our springs some years seem to be over in a flash.  It’s the fall that seems to be long and pleasant and winters usually aren’t that much to be feared.  Fall can easily seem to be 4 months or more even if the calendar doesn’t say so.  Spring sometimes seems to last only 4 days.

Which brings me to my point, (finally).  One of the best things about Spring is that you can usually go out every day and find something new in flower, something new leafing out.  It’s surprise after surprise even though you knew it was coming.  The best gardens are designed with that in mind.  People like pleasant surprises.  The well-designed garden should gradually reveal itself.  It’s best if you can’t see the garden all at once or from one brief look.  A garden should invite you into itself to be enjoyed.  As you STROLL through it, you find pleasant little surprises and time should melt away.  It should have a variety of plants to give seasonal interest all through the year.  The spring flowers might evoke memories of years of Easter egg hunts in the garden.  Flowers from other times of the year might bring back memories of prom dresses, wedding anniversaries, births and birthdays.  A garden is never static even though some garden designers do attempt to design a garden that looks the same day in and day out.  They think of the “perfect” garden and hope for that look for all time.  There is a place for all seasons.  The garden should reflect that.  It is a way of marking time and years and most of all pleasant little surprises that turn into memories.

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4 responses

  1. Natalie

    I share the love of spring surprises. Even over the course of a day, new things emerge, bloom, or wither. It’s amazing.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

  2. Natalie

    I’m very much enjoying your posts!

    April 8, 2011 at 9:16 am

    • I’d say you are my number 1 fan but so far you are the only fan. LOL. Thanks for the encouragement and help spread the word.

      Sent from my iPhone

      April 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

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