Garden Designers' Roundtable: Garden Love

Hello, my name is Jocelyn, and I'm a gardener. 
I'll admit that I have a problem, but if loving you (dear garden) is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Here are the top five things I love about my garden:

#5 It’s a labor of love
When my husband, Jim, and I purchased our house in 1985, the landscaping consisted primarily of wall-to-wall bluegrass. The backyard was ringed with worn out honeysuckle and dogwood hedges and the front yard was graced with the ubiquitous punctuation-point juniper placements of the 1950s “design” era. We’ve come a long way, baby. 
Blah has been banished!
Plenty of blood, sweat, and (only rarely) tears have gone into the making of our garden, and I’m not sure we’ll ever be done because we truly enjoy the process.  I distinctly remember a Mother’s Day some 15 or 20 years ago when I was prepping and planting a new bed in front of our house. A neighbor stopped by and said, “You shouldn’t be working out here – it’s Mother’s Day!” As fellow gardeners will know, my day-long, uninterrupted gardening marathon was a much appreciated gift!
Pfitzers, be gone!

#4  It’s my professional laboratory
Just how dry can we go?
Over the past 27 years we’ve planted trees, shrubs and perennials in ever expanding beds. We’ve created a water garden habitat for our pet koi, and a wild, grassy meadow. We’ve grown veggies and herbs and lovely containers packed with colorful annuals. 
The super-xeric side yard - who wants bluegrass here?!
However, despite my professional training in horticulture, my gardening know-how has been won mostly by experience. For every success there have been failures, too.  I have killed viburnums, cotoneasters, spruce, crabapples and more. Countless perennials have met their deaths at my hands. The lessons learned here have been invaluable, as I channel my experiences directly into my professional design and consulting work.

#3  It’s a wildlife oasis
Honeybee and Geranium
Sadly, many post World War II neighborhoods like mine are still boring wastelands of bluegrass lawns and overly manicured foundation shrubs. My lush and diverse landscape, on the other hand, provides food, water and habitat for a myriad of small critters. Birds? year-round. Dragonflies? a favorite. Butterflies, moths, and bees? delightful. Foxes? love.  Squirrels and mice? ummm…entertaining (in small doses!).
Blue grasshopper and little bluestem grass
 As my garden continues to evolve, I’ll focus on introducing more native plants to provide for an even greater diversity of wildlife – and enhance my viewing pleasure!

#2  It makes our house a home
Friends begin to gather for our annual Thanksgiving Day turkey fry
More than the interior spaces and décor, the garden makes our house a home. It’s informed by who we are both personally and professionally. It expresses our interests in the outdoor environment, an active lifestyle, fine art, and good food (not necessarily in that order!). Our garden is where we gather with friends and family to celebrate, commiserate, and live our lives “in the moment”.
Chef Jim and  Dave, a happy "customer"

The #1 reason why I love my garden: It nourishes my spirit
Spending time in my garden – whether I’m planting seeds, deadheading a perennial, turning the compost, or yes, even mowing the lawn – engages me with the seasons and the natural rhythms of life. In our hurry-up, man-made, and manufactured world, it’s gardening that marks the passage of time and gives it meaning.
Beauty can be found in the small things all around us.

What do you love about your garden?

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