I’ve been busy in the garden this past month.  The season makes it easy to want to be working the soil and planting new annual flowers you’ve missed seeing during the fall and winter months.

We have a relatively smallish backyard in our home of 30 years.  About 10 years ago I happened to be on a home tour of several homes in Newport Beach, California.  One of the homes we visited on the tour backed to Newport Bay and the tiny, postage sized yard had a knot garden.  I wasted no time, I cleared an area of my yard and planted almost 200 Japanese boxwood’s (believe it or not, I planted each and every one myself; I was younger and more energetic 10 years ago!).  🙂

Inspiration for knot/formal garden dreamers…

I had purchased a sundial from Smith & Hawkins a few years before (boy, do I miss that retail store) and that became the center for my garden.  I selected roses (Romantica Roses:  Guy de Maupassant and Eden; Hybrid Teas:  St. Patrick’s and Pearl) for the center of each boxwood corner and have been happy with it each time I visit the yard.  Each year I work on the outer edges of my formal space.  Our neighbor has a wonderful, old Alder tree and the roots invade my yard so it’s a bit of a challenge to keep plants happy in this root ridden area.  I did plant a Sally Holmes rose that puts on a great show each spring, but even Iceberg planted along the edges seem to struggle a bit.

You can see my neighbor’s alder tree.  She always asks if we want her to take it out since she knows of the roots that it sends out…I always say “NO”.  I’m a huge supporter of trees and plenty of them.  The red flowering tree is a bottle brush.  When the kids were little we called it the ‘bee tree’…when its in bloom like this all you have to do is walk nearby and you hear it buzz.  No, none of us have allergies to bees and no, we’ve never been stung by our bottle brush bees.

Karen't Garden April 2012

I call my garden a knot garden, but it really isn’t a knot garden, formal garden maybe, the boxwood’s would need to interlink to be a knot garden.

Karen's sundial, formal garden(Above) is a photo of part of our patio, the window is my kitchen bay window.

(Below) is a close up of the Sally Holmes climbing rose.

Sally HolmesSally has a ‘waverly sage’ salvia in front of her…it’s not in bloom yet but will be shortly.

Smith and Hawkins teak bench

I’ve trained the star jasmine on a wired geometric grid.  Sorry for the overexposed photograph.  Below is my hydrangea…I wanted to grow them all around the edges but alas, all but this one threw in the towel.

This sitting area was finished last year…the shade of the ficus trees make it the coolest spot in the yard during hot days.

Gotta run, my sundial says it time to get back to work.  Have a wonderful week.  Let me know what you are planting this year.

I’m visiting Centsational Girl’s Garden Party, let’s have a look!


Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style


the Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage


Favorite on the First with Alison at The Polo House