Tuesday, June 11, 2013

my garden tour

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I’m just a humble gardener, not a photographer.

But I’m trying to take better photographs. In fact, I’ve been reading about the golden hours of photography and this actually inspired me to get up at dawn this morning to see how this ‘magical’ lighting might look in my own garden.

Do you know what the golden hours of photography are?



After determining when dawn occurred in my area (you can also click on this golden hour calculator), I decided to wake up early to capture this light with my camera, but I quickly learned this soft, diffused lighting is seriously affected by our neighbor’s roof and a few trees in our backyard.


However I did manage to focus on a wispy spider web dangling over gurgling fountain water. I took a few pictures of this sleeping spider and this one came out the best.

I do think it looks magical, don’t you ?

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Each morning I check my morning glory vines (one on each side of the iron arch) and I wind the new buds around the metal. They love their sunny location and they’re such fast growers I usually need to wind them around the arch daily as I patiently wait for the vines to meet at the top.


 When I stand directly under the arch this is my view, as you can see they’re almost there.

I think gardening helps cultivate a sense of patience don’t you?


Here’s a shot of the other arch which is farther along in growth.

This year  I only have cool shades of blue and periwinkle with pops of lipstick red in my garden. All these cool shades seem comforting in the dry, hot Valley weather.

Funny, but this year I don’t have one smidgeon of yellow or orange anywhere.


Even my cushions are a deep Sapphire blue.

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Can you see the little piece of spider web?


At this early hour the flowers look so bright and crisp. I just wish you could smell the damp earth and feel the coolness of the air.


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After I cleaned my beds in preparation for the grad party I decided to focus on keeping a garden filled mostly with green shrubs… and now I only plant those flowers I absolutely love in a vase, so that means lots more dahlias and hydrangeas.


This year I’ve used black bark for the first time and I like it alongside the shades of green.


I have jars with pebbles and candles dangling from a Japanese Maple.


At night the lit candles look so pretty in mid-air.

DSC_0278’s a ray of morning light finding its way through the leafy branches.



An old mirror leans against the fence. It’s been there so long it’s fallen out of the frame.



In our patio is a dark corner that can’t grow anything but varieties of ferns.


This stone lion sits under a mural I painted that reads…

take time and smell the flowers


I painted green leaves that have almost become hidden by the real thing.


This stone bird sits in a weathered urn filled with flowers. I like to plant things in pots until I figure out the best spot for them. It’s easy to move pots around until you get it right.



This fountain is in the middle of our brick patio and we’ve grown accustomed to hearing the comforting sounds of splashing water from our windows.I heard once that the ocean has healing properties, and that people who are sick or depressed have felt mysteriously transformed by the smell and roar of the ocean.

Living with the steady sounds of running water makes me believe this is possible. 


A bench we bought at a grade school auction sits under a arch. It’s filled with hand painted tiles made by Patrick’s fifth grade class.


This is the view of my garden from underneath the palm tree on the other side of the yard. When we moved in I planted Green Boxwoods around the borders because I love the classic look of an English garden.

As you can see, I only got a few good photos in that wonderful soft light I woke up for. Oh well. It went by too quickly for this beginner. And I didn’t realize how much dappled shade I’ve got in the morning. I probably should have read THIS before I took these pictures.


Oh, and here’s Stella keeping herself busy while I fiddle with my camera.

I hope you enjoyed this early morning visit to my garden. It’s definitely a work in progress. Right now I’m back in the gardening mood after a bit of a break so there’s been lots to do. Which is good, because I love it out here.

How bout you?

Have you had a chance to plant any flowers or vegetables lately?




I’m linking this post up with these friends:





Lori said...

Wow ~ what a beautiful spot Leslie! Your gardens are gorgeous and the pictures are wonderful. I will take some of that sangria and meet you out back!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Thank you for the lovely garden tour this morning! I'm envious that your plants are so mature already. My morning glories have just poked through the ground and I won't see flowers until mid August. We've had our first warm days now, so things should start growing quickly now. The early morning hours are my favorite to sit outside with a cup of coffee, but maybe I'll take my camera outside instead!

Pam Kessler said...

I adore all the statues. And the fountain is amazing. I used to have a tabletop fountain that was very calming to listen to, but then it sprung a leak and would slowly drip water all over the porch and it turned into more of a stressful thing. Anyhow, your garden is beautiful and looks very peaceful.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Wow, where to start Leslie? ... This is one absolutely gorgeous garden! It has such an cozy intimate feel with all kinds of nooks and crannies to explore. It has layers of color, texture and interest. Little surprises like the old mirror add so much charm. And I love the sitting area and that painted wall (stop and smell the flowers) is just awesome! ... I was so excited to get a peek of your garden on the graduation post. So glad you shared a tour. I'm totally smitten with your garden!

Sunflowers With Smiles said...

Lovely shots of your garden, I love dahlias but don't have any. The bench is a lovely keepsake too! Your garden looks so relaxing and like the pops of color throughout. Yes I love gardening too and think it is very therapeutic too!

Linda said...

Oh how beautiful Leslie!!
Thanks for sharing!

Leslie said...

Leslie! Your garden is gorgeous and I love the blue cushions and hydrangeas.. beautiful! The little mason jars are so fun and I've seen them used for just about everything. I use them for flowers and tea lights and need to try hanging them.

I'll be MIA for a few guests and a grad party over the weekend. Have a nice week!


Pamela said...

Your garden is just amazing as well as your beautiful pics of it! Thanx for partying at THT!

Lady of the Woods said...

I'm over from "From My Front Porch..." and I adore your garden! I spend most of my time gardening trying to get a lush and flower filled look here in South Florida which is VERY DIFFICULT but I will not stop trying. I also have a fountain in front and its been on for years since we first plugged it in, and in the back a pond with a waterfalls sounds. Water sounds ARE healing, for sure. Dont worry bout your pics, they are all perfect to me and I saw the gossamer strands of spider web before reading your question if we see them...your pics are gorgeous! garden blessings, lady.

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you so much for sharing your BEAUTIFUL garden! The colors are soothing to my soul. The only real color I have in my house (besides brown and lots of white) are green and blue with an occasional pop of red or bright pink so I LOOOVE your outdoor space! And I am coveting that gorgeous water fountain. The statue of Mary is beautiful, and the hanging candles and the bench Patrick's 5th grade class made are just perfect. I feel relaxed just looking at the pictures.

Fishtail Cottage said...

Everything is gorgeous (except for the dog hope to have you join Fishtail Cottage's gardedn party this week! xoox, tracie

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

Hi Leslie! Your garden is gorgeous! I love how the pictures look during the golden hour! Such beautiful plantings and statuary and greenness! It looks so quiet, peaceful and private! My backyard is a real problem that I've yet to figure out what to do with. It goes uphill on both sides since we have a walk-out basement and the back part is narrow and angled as well. I swear, there isn't a level part on our entire property! Even the front slants down towards the street! I'd really love to give it a private, sanctuary feel but am lost. There is a large side yard in the front, slanted but workable in some ways. That's one area I'm working on this year. I need to start listening to my ocean waves sound track during the night. Maybe it will perk me up and get me more motivated. I love the sounds and smells of the ocean! So rejuvenating! Thank you for sharing your lovely yard! I'm pinning a couple of pics and always give credit to the originator. Enjoy your photographing! Hugs, Leena

Gypsy Heart said...

I love it, Leslie! So much greenery splashed with bits of color. I adore fountains! I honestly agree that the ocean and a beach have healing powers ~ at least for me. It's like therapy for me.

You've done a beautiful job and I'm so grateful you allowed us to visit! The spider web is so delicate...amazing how much work they put into them isn't it?

Enjoy having your hands in the earth...I think that's healing too.

P.S. No planting for me...just packing! :)

Susan said...

You are a wonderful gardener and I'd say you are a super photographer, too. Some of those photos of your garden are stunning! Great job on and photos. Susan

Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Morning Leslie, My word, where to start, there are so many beautiful photographs to enjoy. The photograph of the cobweb is so beautiful, you can see how lacework was created when you look at this photograph.
I agree with you, water is very soothing. We have a water fountain in our garden and when we have a warm sunny day, there is nothing like the trickle of water to make you feel relaxed, well of course not forgetting a comfy chair and a good book.
I love the artwork, "Take time to smell the flowers" as I believe that is what a garden makes you do. I am outside each morning checking on my seeds and seeing what is growing and I never fail to get excited when I see a seed head popping up through the ground.
Leslie your garden is really lovely and it was a joy to wander around with you.
I have so enjoyed my visit that I have become a new follower.... your 330th in fact.
I would like to invite you to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! when you have the time, as you will be made most welcome.
Best Wishes to you,

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Your garden is stunning and your pictures are gorgeous. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty said...

I almost could feel the cool morning air in your garden on my tour! It's all so lovely - thanks for sharing!

Art and Sand said...

I am reading a good book, one I don't want to end, so I'll drop by to finish it in your beautiful garden. Lemonade with an orange twist maybe to add some color.

Oh, how I would love to sit in your garden and relax.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful garden! I love the colors and the lions and the fountain. Yes, the sound of water is very relaxing. . .we live on a Great Lake and leave our bedroom windows open in the summer time so that we can hear the gentle waves. I swear that I sleep like a log!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Leslie, What a gorgeous yard you have!!! And you certainly captured the "golden hour". The spider web looks like it was spun out of shimmery silver!

Bonnie said...

Leslie, I think we could talk gardening all day! Your garden is lovely. We like all the same things.

I got up very early this morning and enjoyed the beginning of the day but began pruning here and there and pulling weeds and two hours passed quickly. It was so nice not to be so warm.

I must get up early again and make photos in the golden hour. Your photos are very nice.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Leslie, You have done an amazing job creating this gorgeous garden! Thank you for sharing your pretty photos at the Open House party.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Your gardens are fabulous and the photos are perfect. Yes, best to take pics outside early or late or even on a cloudy day.

Patty Rumaker said...

Your garden is just beautiful and your photography skills are incredible. I just found your blog Through My Front Porch to Yours and I am your newest follower. I am trying to be a better photographer and so I really enjoyed seeing your photos!
Thanks, Patty

Penny Carlson said...

Your garden is wonderful! I love your fountain.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Your garden is beautiful! I just love the bench from your son's class! What a sweet piece to have in your garden. :) Loved seeing a pic of your sweet pup! (even if she is digging..ha!)

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Oh Leslie,

You have a backyard PARADISE- I could practically feel, hear and smell it's magical properties while visiting this gorgeous post.

Wow, Just wow. I love it.

I am a new gardener and patience is a necessity - so I am working on it!

Kathy said...

This is a marvelous post on the Golden Hour of photography - your garden is gorgeous - love the flowers and garden decor! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Preppy Empty Nester said...

What a gorgeous garden!! I am now going back to read your past posts. Looks like a great blog!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

You have the most beautiful gardens! You must have the greenest thumb in your neighborhood! And you show your outdoor spaces at it's best. What lovely light and gorgeous shots, Leslie!

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