Garden Week Inspiration

Virginia Garden Week has been taking place across the state this week, and yesterday my mom, sister and I took part in the Norfolk area “open garden” tours. The homes were absolutely lovely and the flower arrangements created by Garden Club members were phenomenal. A number of the volunteers on hand to discuss the various rooms were helpful in offering arrangement tips, and further inspiring my interest in the Garden Club. I’m more motivated than ever to add green new textures to my garden, with the goal of recreating some of the uniquely twisted knots and loops that graced many of the vases.

For my purposes, there was one garden in particular that proved particularly inspiring. Being that tours were in the historic Ghent section of Norfolk, gardening space was at a minimum. Yet one couple had turned their tiny backyard into an endless retreat through the use of meandering paths and natural screens around an incredible koi pond.

I liked the way nandina was used near the head of the curvy stream to create a screen that offered privacy while still allowing light to pass all the way through, and enticed the visitor to wander through the “secret” garden.

Nandinas create just enough shelter for privacy - and visually expand this small garden greatly.

Nandinas create just enough shelter for privacy – and visually expand this small garden greatly.

Seating was placed throughout the path, which was lovely since every curve of the narrow path offered a fresh view. I also liked in the photo below how the low growing evergreens near the stream that texture and visual interest, without presumably too many leaves to clean out of the water.

Evergreens and mondo grass add interesting texture to the smooth stream surface and river rock.

Evergreens and mondo grass add interesting texture to the smooth stream surface and river rock.

You can see in the back of this photo how this couple covered their skimmer simply by placing a tree with low branches nearby, just enough of a distraction to hide the plastic without making clean-up a pain.

Low-growing trees add shade and security for the fish, and conveniently obscure the necessary skimmer.

Low-growing trees add shade and security for the fish, and conveniently obscure the necessary skimmer.

And of course the entire pond was surrounded by shady protection from birds, making this a safe and delightful place for the numerous koi to swim.

Countless koi are calling this beautifully landscaped pond home.

Countless koi are calling this beautifully landscaped pond home.

Now that my own lily pads are turning green again – and the tadpoles are out in force – I’m excited to add some new landscaping to the edges of my water garden.

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