First, I’d like to thank garden scout/designer/promoter/guru Helen Yoest, who authors the excellent blog, Gardening With Confidence. Helen showed me some very nice gardens in the Raleigh-Cary area, all for the price of lunch and a bottle of wine. Believe me. I got the better of the deal. She has a great garden of her own and can tell you everything you ought to be doing in your garden and when. I ripped off her photo from her blog. If you don’t like it, Helen, feel free to sue.
One garden Helen showed me was Rose Cottage, the home of Jim and Sharon Bright. Boy, do these people work! They’re meticulous, too — I think Jim edges the grass with a laser. They have a narrow, deep lot in an older section of Raleigh that’s just loaded with personality and charm. Here‘s a shot of the rear garden looking back towards the house.
They’ve designed this section around a set of brick walks and parterres with a gazing ball (foreground) and fountain (background) as focal points. ‘Wave’ petunias, fanflower (Scaevola), angelonia, phlox, and roses are just a few of the flowering plants that provide knockout color. What’s neat about what they’ve done is combining the freedom of a cottage garden planting with the formality of the parterres.
Here’s a shot looking out from the house. Pretty nice, huh? As you can see, the neighbors aren’t far away, but the fence and plantings give lots of privacy.
Walk past the arbor on the left and you come to this — a beautiful, little vegetable garden and potting shed. Inside the shed, there’s not a molecule out of place. Jim and Sharon are better organized than the UAW.
Rose Cottage is going to be on garden tours this fall, many of which Helen organizes. So if you’re in Raleigh at the right time and want to see it, check her blog for info. As for you other garden writers who will want to do stories on it — ha ha, Southern Living has already photographed it! Eat our mulch!
The Grump extends his deepest appreciation to Jere Stevens in Cary, who helped us photograph a neighbor’s garden up the street. She also showed us her wonderful garden, pictured above. As Arnold would say, “I”ll be back.”
Finally, a big shout-out to fellow blogger Freda Cameron of Defining Your Home Garden. Her garden, which we’ll feature in SL next year, is designed around colorful plants that deer won’t eat. One big winner — Agastache, also known as anise hyssop. There were lots of different kinds and colors in full bloom when we were there. Why don’t I show them to you now? Because I’m in danger of becoming too nice and I just can’t let that happen.