April 7, 2011

The Naming of a Garden

Does your garden have a name?  The idea of naming my garden has been in the back of my mind for a while now and as I was reading a post the other day about photography muses, it occurred to me that my muse is my garden.  It deserves a name.  

I took a tour through the back garden to see where inspiration might turn up.   The shade bed has started to fill out nicely.  Columbine are blooming and the Japanese maple is stunning in the dappled light underneath the Live Oaks.   The antique shutters have recently been added to the window (a shout out to my sweet husband) and I love them!   But nothing came to mind for a name.

This is actually a view that a year ago drove me crazy.  This is what I, not so lovingly, describe as my hell strip.  It's hot, dry and unforgiving and to make matters worse, it only gets late afternoon sun. 

Catching a glimpse of the water's surface visually cools the dry corner and I finally seem to have found some plants that can handle the conditions.  The Texas betony is blooming now and the pavonia is putting on buds that will bloom when things really start to heat up.  The grasses are tough and I added a white flowering butterfly bush this spring hoping that it will bloom with only a few hours of extremely hot sun. The pot was just added in the last couple of weeks and it really helps anchor and fill some space. Again, though, no ideas came.

This bed is getting some attention this year.  It has a lot of volunteer plants that need to be moved and there is some rearranging that needs to happen.  The mirrors along the fence add some depth to our yard.  It's a small space and they visually open things up.  Not to mention, they are fun to use in photographs, always lending a bit of a unique perspective.  You have probably guessed; no ideas.

This is my favorite area of the garden.  Its full to part sun conditions allow for flowers, flowers and more flowers!  I love flowers and color and this bed has both.  There was a time when I was a bit concerned about all the different colors in this bed but it has all worked out.   There are probably professionals that would poo poo some of the plant combinations but that's the beauty of your own garden; you add what you like!  Right now the Gulf Coast penstemon and the globe mallow are stealing the show.  But, no name...

I was a little discouraged until I thought about what gets my heart racing and legs running for the camera.  And that usually involves some kind of wildlife; whether it be birds, insects, snakes, rabbits - okay, not rabbits, lizards...and the light bulb illuminated!   Lizards, I love lizards and they willingly call my garden home; lots of them and they like being photographed.  Well, maybe they don't like it, but they tolerate it, much more so than any of the other critters I've mentioned.  

Which led me to think about what makes a home.  It's the place you want to be at the end of the day.  The place where you're comfortable, where you know you can be refreshed and find all your needs met.  These sweet lizards find that in my garden...no matter where they travel throughout the day, this is the place they call home...their journey's end. 

So, here is where I'll stop.  I've found my name and I think it's perfect for the anoles and everything else that calls this garden home.   Journey's End:  destination; goal; the place one wants to go. 

So I'll ask again, does your garden have a name?


  1. A wonderful name for a beautiful garden, Cat. I've long wanted a name for our garden, but I haven't found just the thing for it. One of these days, inspiration will hit -- I hope!

  2. I've often though about naming my garden too, but it seems weird for a small suburban yard. When I think of named gardens I think of large, old properties -- maybe on a hill.

    Like you I think about it once in a while. Unlike you, I don't have one yet. =)

  3. I like it a lot. Not only did you pick a name that signifies motion toward a resting place, but you took us on a journey in this post to get to your decision!

    (I liked seeing a few longer shots of your garden spaces too. Your close ups are always phenomenal, but I want to see the overall garden and design too when I visit blogs and gardens.)

  4. That last photo of the anole says it best. They have completed their journey and found their home - tucked in all safe.

  5. Thanks Meredith! I have no doubt you'll come up with something fantastic!

    Alan, I shared your feelings at one time but the more I've embraced the fact that my yard is my garden, it has grown a personality of it's own and it became clear to me that it deserved a name.

    Thanks Laurrie, The post naturally evolved and I liked the parallel too between it's content and the eventual name. I appreciate the feed back about the long shots ;)

  6. Beautiful photos, but that last one is adorable!!!! Love the name of your garden. No name here. Maybe one day.

  7. I love them - the name of your garden and the beautiful photos of it. My garden doesn't have a name but you've inspired me to come up with one.

  8. (( mad applause ))

    I love your garden's name. I would steal yours but it would take on a more sinister connotation.

    Unfortunately, we live at a weird crossroads where opossums seem to come to die. Sort of like those elephanty graveyards you hear about ... At least once a year and sadly sometimes more I have to call the city to come pick up the carcass of some unfortunate soul.

    I have often thought that our garden needed a name. If not the old opossum graveyard than maybe the pecan forest? Though it is a city sized lot we have 14 pecan trees and a whole lot of shade going on.

    Still searching.

  9. I think naming a garden is even harder than naming one's child. You don't want to sound pretentious or silly, and you want it to work for a long time, even though a garden is constantly changing. I think you've hit on a perfect name for your garden, Cat. And I love the picture of the carved head with the anole. It's fantastic.

  10. Thanks HolleyGarden. The last photo of the anole has appeared a few times on the blog because it is so darn cute! His expression is priceless!

    That is great Ginny! I'm so glad to have inspired you and look forward to reading your post when you've decided on a name!

    @dm, thank you! Possom Kingdom comes to mind but it's horrible word play on the situation. Your lot must be beautiful with all those lovely pecan trees. I tried to visit but your Blogger profile is turned off...do you have a blog?

  11. I couldn't agree more Pam - it was a thought provoking exercise and it took a bit of letting go of insecurities for those reasons you mention. Thanks for your encouragement. Btw, did you notice, there are two anoles in the photo?!

  12. A perfect name for a perfect garden! And the lizard photos are very nice. You were so lucky to get those shots!

  13. What a beautiful name Cat. I too loved the journey you gave us, looking at larger views of your garden and contemplating a name. I named my garden inadvertantly. I needed a blog title and combined the name of our community with the fact that our property has historically been referred to as 'The Corner'. It stuck and now I have come to refer to the garden by the same name.

  14. Cat, My garden actually has two names. The first is Carolyn's Shade Gardens, the name of my nursery. I didn't really pick it, it evolved. Originally it was Carolyn's Walker's Shade Perennials because if I used my whole name I didn't have to register the name with the state. I decided that was too long and perennials not user friendly so it became Carolyn's Shade Gardens after several incarnations. My property/house is (and historically has been) called "Wayside Cottage" because it was the gardener's cottage for the estate "Wayside", dating from the 1600s--a lot of history here. Carolyn

  15. Perfect name! It is a lovely place to journey to and to stay. I love the photo with your reflection.
    I have divided my garden into sections with names...The Century Center (Agave..), Walk through Garden, Sunny Garden, and I'm still working on the rest. Maybe, one day I will have a name for the entire garden. :)Have a good weekend!

  16. What a delightful journey you took us through, Cat, in the naming of your garden. I love the last image of the lizard peaking out. I, too, have many lizards in my garden and it always make me smile when I see them. Love the name for your garden, too. Home...there really is no place like it.

  17. Thanks for sharing your journey and beautiful photos of your garden. They are all beautiful. I love your new shutters too! I think you came up with a fabulous name that reflects the owner of the garden and the character of the garden as well. I refer to the entire garden by my blog name but we refer to the different areas within our garden by various names...the woodland garden, the children's garden, the azalea garden, ...well, you get the idea

  18. Cat I love the name and the shots of the lizards especially the little guy...mine have been unofficially Purple Door Gardens...funny story about our purple door and so it just seemed right which is why the business is named Purple Door Garden Designs...most of the garden areas also have names (meadow, white garden, pond, wall garden, etc)

  19. Cat, I love how your name evolved through out your post! Perfect ending and a perfect name!! You have inspired me to think about a name for mine, something I had never considered before. Oh the creative juices are flowing. Beautiful pics Cat, the last one is a sweetheart!

  20. So long post and I did have so much to say but it so hard to remember what it was:) First I love the last shot it so Funny:) I don't have name to my little garden it just part of my home where I miss always when I'm not there and thats why my blogs name is homesick:)
    Have you though different kind of grasses/hays to that difficult corner!!. There is so much different grasses/hays very tall and short and don't they tolerate dryness very well. If I had any space left I would make a hay bed.
    I love your garden it looks very pretty and there is different kind of spaces which I like so much. Why you live so far away it would be so nice to see that in real life:)
    Have a nice weekend

  21. That's perfect - almost as perfect as that first image of yours, which looks like a magazine shoot. Beautiful combination, I've never really thought of using yellow comumbines, now you have got me thinking!

  22. Great name!

    Yes, we call it Gilmore Gardens. My husband is the english literature-type so he is always naming thing like the English do and I have grown to enjoy it.

    It does sound a little pretentious at first when given to a small town lot... but this is no ordinary lot! It has been more intensively & lovingly gardened than many large properties in our area. It deserves a name!


  23. Oh Cat, what a wonderful "Journeys End" you've created for your Lizards. I love your garden! Mine does not have a name ... each "area" has a name but I haven't found a name for the whole garden yet. I'm going to ponder that! Your lovely shutters are to die for. And lastly, thank you for reassuring me about the plant combinations ... I worry so that I'm planting the "wrong" things together, but you are right - Its my garden and I can do what I want to :)

  24. I've never named the garden, but being Anglophiles, we named our house many, many years ago, "Crow Cottage" (our last name begins with "C-r-o-w..."). So the garden could just be Crow Cottage Gardens (as there are many little areas of gardens around the property. I thought your garden name was going to be "lizard pad" before I got to the end. Love your garden and glad I happened on your blog for the first time today.

  25. I love your name. It's perfect in both feel and truth. The last pix of the anole looks like he's tucked in for bed. My garden has a name: Casa Mariposa. :o) When it came to naming my blog, I named it after the place it would be about- my home for butterflies. It was what I had always secretly called my garden.

  26. Perfect! Absolutely perfect. (The photo with the wooden sun w/ the lizard on it just 'stops traffic' - another incredible shot.)

  27. lovey post Cat and I like your chosen name and the thought behind it, with a smile I realised it would work for me but in a different way, I've always wanted a garden and now I'm retired at last I have one ....
    my garden is large (to me) and I have named different areas, my house has a name which the previous owners gave it, I've never thought of naming my whole garden before and have been thinking about it as I have read your post and all the comments, I'll let you know if I decided on a name,

    like Laurrie and Marguerite I very much appreciate seeing some views of your garden, Frances

  28. Hey Cat,
    I think you picked a great name! I would be totally happy living in your garden sitting on the swing all the time. I hope my journey ends somewhere in the "nearby" area ;-)
    Hope everybody is well.
    Take care, sandra

  29. It´s a nice name for a nice garden and a good inspiration!
    I gave my garden the name, when I started blogging about it! "Gesine Seepferd" was my nickname since childhood and Seepferd (Seahorse) seems to fit perfect to the maritime touch I want to give to the garden!
    Wish you a wonderful week!

  30. @Sage Butterfly, thank you! I do feel blessed to catch so many shots of the anoles!

    Interesting to hear how you came about your name Marguerite. I'd wondered if you called your garden by the same name.

    Carolyn, so amazing the history your home holds. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks Amy! I remember your post about naming different sections of your garden. Mine has informally developed that way over time too. Some areas though still could use a name!

    Thank you Diane! The lizards are so joyful - I love them too!

    Karin I always enjoy your photos of your woodland garden. It is such a different garden than anything we have here...so beautiful!

    Thank you Donna. I love the name you chose for your design business. Hopefully, we'll learn the story behind it!

  31. Thanks Julia. Can't wait to hear what you're creative mind comes up with! Keep us posted (ha! no pun intended!)

    Hi Henrietta, I wondered why the name of your blog - thanks for explaining...it all makes sense now! Yes, I have planted grassed in the hell strip corner and I'm hoping they will thrive! Thanks for the suggestions. Wish you were closer too but love that we've met and can share each other's passions for gardening and photography over the web.

    Thanks Janet. The best thing about those columbine is that I planted one a few years back and they have reseeded in a beautiful row and provide the nicest pop of playful yellow. They look so pretty against the red of the maple.

    Hi Julie, Absolutely it deserves a name! It's nice that your husband went to the trouble to name the garden!

    Christine, planters of poor plant combinations unite!! The shutters have been a long time coming and I came across them at an antique show. They fit perfectly and were cheap! Love them and I'm glad you like them too ;)

    Hi Bex, welcome and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I considered naming it something to do with the lizards and for a while thought it would be the garden of the green anole only in spanish but the more I thought about it, I came to Journey's End and I just really liked it!

    TS, I love the name of your garden (and blog)! It fits perfectly! I love that picture too ;)

    Thanks so much Shyrlene. They truly make me run for the camera!

  32. Frances I'm eager to here what you decide on for a name. So lovely that you've realized your dream of having a garden and that you have the time to devote to it.

    Sandra, I would love for your journey to end here in Austin too! Plenty of room on the swing ;)

    Gesine, I'm so happy to learn the meaning of your blog name; I've always wondered. It fits perfectly! Thanks for sharing.

  33. I love this post, you truly are an artist. I do not have a name for my garden but have named the individual beds, mostly related to there location in the yard. After reading this post and all the comments, I may think about renaming the beds. Something more creative than 'The Front Entrance Bed' and 'The Driveway Bed'. I named my blog 'Fawne's Dirt Patch' because of my name and I wanted to use the fawn picture my daughter took as the header picture. The 'Dirt Patch' part seemed more appropriate than garden at the time. I absolutely love the name you picked and the journey you took us on. You are a gem.

  34. Thanks for visiting my blog! It's nice to meet you :-)

    Wow, your garden is beautiful. Love the name. My whole garden doesn't have a name, but two sections do - the beer bottle garden and the family garden. The plants in the family garden share names with the members of our family. The beer bottle garden is edged with pounded-in upside-down bottles (creative huh? ha).

  35. Cat, I named our garden in the honour of my wife... I am so lucky to have her as my partner in life and what more but to dedicate what I do in the garden to her... As always, I really enjoy your post... and the pictures, especially the bee with the sage flowers?

  36. Fawne, thank you sweet gardening friend. Your thoughtful words make me get a little teary after the week we've had. I enjoyed learning about how you came about naming your garden.

    Ginger, it was my pleasure. I'll go back and search your blog for posts about the beer bottle garden...I'm intrigued!

    Lrong, the bee is sipping from a Texas Betony. I love how you always show such respect and love for your wife...I should have known you would name your garden for her.

  37. hello Cat, I have decided on a name for my garden
    'The Solitude garden'
    I've just written a post explaining why I feel this is the right name for a garden for me, thanks for starting this thought, Frances x

  38. I've been kept away from the net as I've said and so missed this post of yours. Thankfully Frances just recently posted about hers and so I was still able to get to yours via her link. It is a wonderful post that gives one much food for thought. Journey'es End sounds perfect!

    I don't have a name for my garden. I do have dreams of owning a place in the province someday. A bigger tract of land preferably on a high elevation with views of the sea or ocean. Dream big, right? Maybe then, I will come up with a name.

  39. The photo in the mirror is a wonderful image. Very special.

  40. I love the mirror photo. Excellent image (no pun intended).


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!