When Your Garden Becomes Your Passion
Every part of Kelly and Jim McDaniels’ garden is carefully planned with love…..and a glass of wine or two. Each evening they would plan and commiserate, glass of wine in hand, and carefully plan each area of their garden to suit their ideas and their dreams. Both are very organized in their planning and documentation. Kelly even has a big notebook where she has sketched and documented and photographed.
Kelly’s most favorite spot in her garden is a lovely quiet space under the pines that reminds her of her childhood home in Oregon. She carefully considered the acidic soil and shade and added plants that would thrive there. Jim’s seems to be the meticulous construction–from the borders of the lawn, to the exacting stone walls, to the placement of the fruit trees. And it all feels very close to nature.
Organics play a big role from the hauling in of good quality soil with lots of compost added, to the careful maintenance using natural soap sprays and fertilizers. While this seems like it would be a lot of work, once in place, there’s little work at all. After all, there are other things to do in addition to gardening. Like golf! Their favorite past-time.
The soil organics also make it extremely waterwise. Together they converted a strange sloping yard with lots of lawn, to a landscape with many levels and lovely vistas of the northern Nevada sky.
In many Nevada yards that are wide open to the wild areas, bunnies and other unwanted wildlife can decimate a garden overnight. But the McDaniels took the time to cover the outside of their fenced border with wire mesh buried beneath the soil line. Critters can’t dig through!
While my cottage garden is a mass of flowers, in the McDaniels’ garden, each perennial and groundcover is highlighted individually and carefully maintained to show its best viewpoint. The fruit trees are cleverly planted on a lower level, so that all the fruit can easily be picked from the upper level. Great concept, don’t you think?! The pond provides a generous drink for all the birds that fly in and the lovely sound of gently splashing water for the owners.
And its a haven for bees, birds and ladybugs – which they generously shared. Lots of blooming iceplant in the front is a sweet lime green with yellow flowers in spring and summer, then a beautiful orange and maroon in the fall and winter.
I’ve shared this fun landscape to give you more ideas of different things you can do with your garden, even when its completely open to the sun, wind and wildlife. But the very core of all wonderful gardens is the soil. Take a tip from Kelly and Jim — the soil works!
For more terrific landscape and gardening ideas, be sure and take a look at the ‘Related Posts’ section on the side of this blog page. And remember that there are several years worth of posts throughout this entire website to make your life simple and keep you up to date on the best of organic ideas. From many of my articles in related magazines like Tahoe Quarterly, to the very informative podcast interviews I did with experts of environmental importance.
And don’t forget to take a look at my new section on Organic Health & Wellness. Important things are happening that can help your body heal itself!
Connect with me if you’d like a personalized consultation or a presentation for your group.
Better health from plants and In sync with nature,
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