Gardening For The Soul :: The Garden That Love Built

I love to garden. In fact, seven years ago we lived “Intown” (Atlanta) on a third of an acre in an urban jungle, taken over by (the much dreaded) Kudzu and ivy. During that time, I had to make the difficult decision to have our lot leveled to create some semblance of order. So I planted, and planted  regardless of freezing rain or the sweltering Georgia heat. I planted fragrant Tea Olives, and Japanese Maples. I hired world renowned landscaper Ryan Gainey to create a Japanese Garden surrounding our brick courtyard (the only area I didn’t do myself). On a side note: If you have met Ryan or have not, he is someone that you will never forget. His signature robes and dry wit, have stopped people in their tracks (literally). Someday, I’ll devote an entire post to this unique and talented soul, so over the course of eight years my garden became many things, it was a sanctuary, a place of healing and on most days better than retail therapy. After a time it became lush and fragrant, we had garden statuary from all over the world, inherited from the previous owners (an unexpected surprise after we started clearing the property), all aged to various stages of mossy patina. The year before we moved I was honoured to be asked to be on the Decatur Garden Tour. When 100’s of people came through the gardens-my emotions ranged from pride to cold sweats (the latter induced over seeing many feet trampling over my years of  hard-work). When we moved to the North Georgia, it was like leaving a long lost friend. In fact, I had to stop driving down my old street several years ago because the current owners evidently do not share my love of gardening (at all).

When we bought our current house with a decent size lawn, I couldn’t wait to start creating a garden oasis of more manageable proportions. Gardening for me has always been a passion, and I had a chance to start over. I would drive by my neighbor’s house (Ms. Jackie) for daily inspiration, she is a master gardener and such an integral part of our neighborhood. She is also an important part of my daughter’s life. When our daughter came to live with us several years ago from the foster care system, she sought out those who made her feel a “sense of belonging”.  One person who my daughter will tell you has shown her “every kindness” was Ms. Jackie. A remarkable woman who always made her feel special, and who has a heart bigger than the state of Texas. Daily, we turn up her street after school because if my daughter sees Ms. Jackie out gardening then it’s a good day. If she see’s Ms. Jackie’s King Charles Cavalier Spaniels out, her day gets even better, and I know it will mean a stop. It’s here that she is always welcome, and it’s a memory that I know my daughter will carry with her throughout life. I want to thank Jackie from the bottom of my heart for that. My daughter’s love for gardening was born because Ms. Jackie gardens, and it seems like every other day we make the trek to the local nursery to pick out one more flower. I wanted to share a few pictures of Ms. Jackie’s garden, the one that love built…

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 Photo-Vicki Bolick/The Ace of Space Blog

Here comes the sun…

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 Photo-Vicki Bolick/ The Ace of Space Blog

A bird bath becomes a planter filled with lush greenery…

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Photo-Vicki Bolick/ theaceofspaceblog.com

A quiet spot becomes the perfect place for our fine feathered friends to take a dip…

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 Photo-Vicki Bolick/ The Ace of Space Blog

Texture and colour abound here…

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Photo-Vicki Bolick/ The Ace of Space Blog

If you want a little colour inspiration take a cue from nature…

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 Photo-Vicki Bolick/ The Ace of Space Blog

Anything can become a scultural element….

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 Photo-Vicki Bolick/ The Ace of Space Blog

I thought this idea was brilliant, Ms. Jackie made a water-garden by submerging a tupperware container, surrounding it with rocks, filling it with water, plants & and a few gold fish… 

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 Phot0-Vicki Bolick/ The Ace of Space Blog

The road less traveled? I think not. It’s a well-worn path lined by a split rail fence lovingly constructed over the years by Ms. Jackie using fallen tree limbs…

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This quote is on a small plaque in my office, it was something that I picked up in Copenhagen, and is the perfect mirror for my sentiments…

Don’t forget to check back for our interview with the fabulous Lisa Gabrielson-Russo who is this week’s “Tastemaker.” Need more design inspiration? Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

As always,

Be Inspired. Be Amazing.

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