Ragna’s back garden – A.K.A. The stress-free zone…
This is the scene Ragna framed looking off her back patio – there she goes framing things beautifully again. I like the sign they hung from their covered patio – and it is true! In this bed, at least right now, the tall bright pink phlox (Phlox paniculata) is stealing the show. Lets scan 360 degrees moving clock-wise from the left side of the back of the house before we move in for close-ups. I am attempting to get you to feel what I felt scanning the yard at first glance off the back patio. My jaw must have been on the floor. Then I went in like a kid in a candy store to explore. Take a look one last time to get your bearings – the blue framed structure at the back is 12 o’clock. Okay lets go….This is the the left-side of the back of the house – note: Like in her front garden, Ragna uses another yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) to frame a pretty little scene.Ragna said she changed this bed out from roses to more xeric plants to simplify her maintenance. Inside the climbing structure is a red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) – her vision is for crazy blooms to be popping out all over the place – I think it is going to look out of this world! This woman has vision!HOT color everywhere…beautiful texture and movement…interesting hardscape….this garden has it all. Notice her cobalt blue accents throughout as well – nice continuity.Ragna has a lovely cactus collection on this inviting porch.Looking back at where we have just been from on the cactus porch – yes – really! Isn’t it amazing how much there is to see and how many surprises there are at every angle? Here we are at 12 O’clock – I love this purple umbrella plant (Trachelium caeruleum)bed – it looks like a picture with a blue frame to me.More “phlox in pots” in this whimsical garden bed.
Hey, where did the gate come from and what is behind it!? … well you can’t see that from the porch at all so we will explore that very special secluded garden later.Moving around back towards the house, there are even more relaxing spaces to enjoy.
Take a seat in the shade and enjoy the garden from another angle.The paving throughout the garden is just incredible….Ragna and her loving (CANADIAN) husband, Bob, paid attention to every detail! Mosaic pieces of art!
On the other side of the back of the house we have another yaupon holly framed scene…and look at the size of that sago palm (Cycas revoluta)!
And here we are back at the porch. Lets go see that secret garden now!You enter just off the cactus porch.to your left, a fairy birdhouse…I did not see her though……and to your right…so that is what that is! Ragna and her husband used to raise fan-tailed pigeons. What a gorgeous coop! I wonder if she has considered chickens?Peek around the corner…To find a completely hidden work area – oh yes all the magic happens here, and they have it all….Compost heap easily accessible…AND…wait for it….…a green house too!!!!!!!!!! This garden has it all. The layout is genius! We are not done in the secret garden yet folks – there is still so many more surprises. Now…what are those ginormous colanders?Old washing machine tubs that Ragna called appliance shops for setting her price of $5 each! So clever! This one is adorable with swiss chard. And this one is equally charming with succulents.There is even another shaded seating area back here. This area seems like it would be a great place to pray or meditate.Giraffe looks very spiritual here.Inland sea oats adds another whimsical element – it sounds lovely in the wind.More beautiful displays…and the gate that takes us out into the main garden.
Ragna’s garden has it all. I went over and over in my head how to organize the pictures, and show everything. The answer I came up with…I cannot possibly show you everything and I don’t think I am meant to. Ragna’s garden is so special and there is so much that you can’t begin to make sense of it all and that is why it is so special. Ragna’s garden takes you out of your head…it takes you out of this world to another place…I think she calls it, “The Stress-Free zone.”
I hope you enjoyed this gardens layout and got some ideas on how to layout the garden of your dreams with everything you need….and so much more.
The main things I took away from Ragna’s back garden:
1- TREES are so important for enclosure…creating such a special and secluded space.
2- I do not want to see my whole garden from any given spot. I think every garden should have surprises!
3- I need to have a private work space where I can do my garden chores….store my tools and wheel barrel…pot up plants, etc.
4- Get out of my head and have fun! …add more whimsical places…and if possible, a private meditative space.
5 – Last and most important – meeting other gardeners is fun, and very very special.Ragna and my son. :)Here is a photo of Ragna’s partner in crime, and loving husband, mister Bob, in a shell mirror made with Ragna’s own two hands. He looks like a super star framed in shells – and he is! He plays gospel trumpet…and the shofar! Very sweet Canadian man. :)