Thirty Days in the Garden: And in This Corner

We spend a lot of time near the back steps to our home. It’s a cozy spot, sheltered from the wind, and private, even on our small lot.

Lindy joins us on the back steps

The first of two steps are wide, accommodating several large pots. The pots once housed a hodgepodge of plants, but an unrelenting pest problem led me to clear them out and start over a few years ago

Any excuse to visit a nursery, eh?

The once-small succulent in the center of the old fountain

I disposed of the pest-laden plants, refreshed the soil, and transplanted a runaway succulent.

“Dr. Seuss” succulent reaching skyward

The white flowering azalea fills a pot of its own. The other two azaleas are surrounded by bellflowers. I was aiming for what designers call the “thrill, fill, and spill” of container gardens. The azaleas fill and thrill leaving the Serbian bellflowers campanula to spill over the edge. I won’t be winning any prizes in a garden show, but I enjoy the results.

White azalea at the corner of the house

Azaleas are great patio plants. They have shallow roots and prefer living under a tree, or in our case, the eaves of the house. I was stunned to learn that they can live for fifty years!

Pink azaleas, bellflowers, assorted succulents and “Dr. Seuss: the plant”, untamed

The succulent grew at an alarmingly rate, looping up, then down, then back up again. It started as a wee plant in what used to be a fountain. With little information to be gleaned from the nursery’s small plant marker I assumed it would remain small. In no time, it required a pot of its own, then a trellis, and a few hooks attached to the house. I eventually reshaped it to a more manageable size, and the plant continues to thrive.

March, 2021: the succulent reduced and reshaped, no longer topples over

I love this quiet corner of our garden. We’ve been eating lunch outside during this warm spell, and we’ll spend more time there as the days grow longer. One by one, the resident felines wander out to join us. It’s our little oasis, sorely needed during these trying times. It fosters contentment all around.

Tessa defying gravity on the poof, Serbian bellflowers in the background

32 thoughts on “Thirty Days in the Garden: And in This Corner

  1. It is a lovely spot Alys, especially for sitting and feeling safe and shielded from neighbours and the world! 😉 Your azaleas look so healthy… confirmation for me that they should not be grown in our climate. They can often be seen in gardens here, and never look particularly happy. Your succulent is out to explore the world… what an ambitious plant! Have a good day Alys. Am enjoying these posts immensely. 😃

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  2. We have an azalea I was given in a pot when I finished consulting with an adoption agency about 20 years ago. It has travelled with me to various addresses and now has a permanent home in our soil here. From what you say it should see us out 🙂

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      • And me! I actually googled Dr Seuss plant after reading your post, but didn’t come across anything as divinely inspired as your match!! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Dr Seuss plant and found it impossible to commit to any purchase when I went to a garden centre yesterday – everything on offer seemed so… predictable!

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        • I’m smiling away hear. First of all, you cracked me up with your impression of everything in the garden centre as “predictable.” I made up the term Dr. Seuss Plant and had included it in my original post. I deleted it thinking it didn’t add to the tale. I *should* find out the name of that succulent though. I sometimes seluth on the internet or in my Western Garden book, but I miss going to nurseries and getting professional help.

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          • No more, I’m afraid. I am no longer making clothes (though that might change if I’m out and about more in the future and get inspiration). Thanks for checking 🙂 ! I love your blog and it’s one of the few I read regularly, though I don’t comment often.

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            • Thank you! I’m so happy to have you along as a regular reader. I appreciate your wonderful feedback. So many of us are living in casual clothes these days. It’s hard to feel inspired to sew clothes you can’t wear. Do you enjoy other types of sewing? When my son was young, I went through a teddy bear period. I sewed three different versions until he eventually lost interest. It was a lot of fun. I’ve also made a few cat “beds” or pads from scraps for a local rescue group.

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              • Teddy bears sound great (boys are difficult to satisfy with sewing projects!). I’ve sewn quite a few face masks this last year, including for friends who then donated to charity. I’m quite chuffed to see these still worn months later. We moved recently so I will at some point have to make lots of curtains, but with the shops closed for so long, it’s been difficult to get the fabrics. xx

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  3. I’m so envious of your gardening ability. There is an azalea in my terrace that has never done well. I may dig it out and put it somewhere more protected. I’ve tried feeding it well but it doesn’t seem to help. The tree trimmers tromped a lot of my plants so I’m going up today to see how much damage they did. They are so young and tried so hard so I said nothing. Your back yard is the oasis I long to create. Just so peaceful and of course your fuzzy family that adds so much pleasure. Off to work now. 😉 I’m inspired.

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  4. Your patio is so gorgeous. I’m envious of the tile, we can’t do tile here. The steps are like a pretty stage for all your fab pots to share the spotlight. Will your Azalea’s bloom all summer ? The photo of Tessa made me laugh. Jim’s taken photos of Blossom surfing on the poof next to his desk. She loves that thing. It’s sure nice that the days are getting longer, more time to enjoy your fab yard 💓

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  5. I am loving these posts about your garden, Alys. Being introduced to the amazing Dr Seuss was fun. He is quite the fella! I also love how the cats are such an important part of your garden too. enjoy the tranquility that your oasis brings. 💜

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  6. It is truly a charming spot, Alys, and I think “oasis” is the perfect description. We have always enjoyed our garden and patio space, but after this year, I think we’ve bonded in a very special way. I have many more potted plants than I did a year ago. 🙂

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