Soothe that garden brain chatter

August 19th, 2010 Posted in butterflies, cats, fountain, patio, water features

Here’s some valuable advice a gardener once shared with me: create a soothing spot to frame your patio.

Cat sculpture for soothing garden

His philosophy: In order to relax and make that necessary segue from the day’s work to evening’s reflection, be uncluttered. Tone it down, make it easy.

Turks cap

Otherwise, you won’t embrace any peace in your garden. You’ll be jumping up to prune and fix and add 251 things to your to-do list: garden, work, and home. Isn’t it interesting how that works? Once we hit that mode, it’s hard to let it go. We see one plant that needs a haircut. Next, we realize we need to fix that window and oh my gosh, when in the world will I ever get the car in, and if I don’t make Christmas travel plans right now, it’ll cost a fortune to visit Aunt Mary. Wheesh.

So, gather around you some peace and quiet to whisk away the brain chatter.

For me, it was rather easy, because the poorly drained, shady site near the patio was a garden nightmare, especially since the former owners had filled it with “red death” loam. Plus, the pets want to hang out with us there. When we had three dogs (two rescued, one by choice) that was an issue, too. Plus, I didn’t have any $$$. Someone gave me three liriope divisions that turned into 300. Bingo! Now, it’s the rescued cats that flop down in the no-maintenance jungle.

Cat napping in liriope

(Another interesting note: when all our first dogs went to tennis ball heaven, stray cats moved in).

To spice things up, I added gingers.  Tradescantia albiflora fills in some sections out of view here.

liriope, gingers

Along the patio, turks cap brings the hummingbirds close up. Just a little spot of exciting red, but not much trouble at all.

Turks cap

At the sunny edge to the yard, there’s fragrant Marie Pavie rose and star (Confederate) jasmine trained as a “shrub” on a trellis. Around the rose, spring and fall bulbs and daylilies add seasonal excitement without frequent attendance.

For years, our water feature was a small, galvanized stock tank with a little pump through holey rocks. But it was troublesome. When the last pump pooped, I envisioned a fountain.

A few years went by while we traded creative ideas. Then, on our anniversary weekend this June, we stopped at Target to get a new coffee pot (not sure that’s included on traditional gifts, plastic & electrical maybe?). As always, we cruised the garden section. Sitting right in the aisle, on sale at killer price, there was our fountain!  The last one, too.

patio fountain

Yahoosers!  Since just about every gift that comes through this house has something to do with the garden, how perfect can you get? Sure, we’d imagined doing all these creative things, and you should too. But this was totally work free, and right now, that was just what my brain chatter needed.

Patio fountain

Oh, the plant in the blue pot looks pathetic right now after it had an “accident.” When it fluffs out again, this old-fashioned petunia is the perfect deep pink against the burgundy, including superb aromatherapy to join the rose, Confederate jasmine, and summer-blooming sambac jasmine in a large pot.

We turn on the fountain with our before-work coffee. Soothes us to corral the work brain chatter.

Patio fountain with turks cap

And it’s night’s  last sound to fend off  pillow-time brain chatter. Then, the toads hop into the water-filled basin to party down.

Patio fountain at night

To energize, we watch the birds, bees, and butterflies, including these Bordered Patch butterflies on super-sized brain chatter.

Until next week, Linda

  1. 15 Responses to “Soothe that garden brain chatter”

  2. By Linda on Aug 19, 2010

    Love that “killer price” fountain, and the butterfly video! What is hiding under the topsy-turvy hanging pots–lights, maybe?


  3. By Cheryl on Aug 19, 2010

    Are those terra cotta lights?? I have some beautiful pots that my brain chatter keeps trying to tell me to make hanging lights out of them, but I don’t have a creative bone in my body and the guys at the local box store looked at me as if I had lost my mind… Please tell me how!!


    Linda reply on August 19th, 2010 5:37 pm:

    Hi, Cheryl! See above replies. Will give you more details next week, but in the meantime, check out the video in the reply to Michele. Now I’ve gotta go play my pots.


  4. By Michele on Aug 19, 2010

    What a fantastic post, Linda!! I felt my shoulders soften just while reading. ahhhh. What are those terra cotta pots hanging up? I really love the way that looks. Are they wind chimes? xoxox


    Linda reply on August 19th, 2010 5:36 pm:

    Oh, this is one for you! They make music! I will put details in next week’s post. See above comment. Here’s the video where I was so inspired about garden stuff as music!

    This is so wabi-sabi that it is unbelievable!!


  5. By Iris/Society Garlic, Austin on Aug 19, 2010

    Really enjoyed this post! The fountain is great and I can imagine its soothing sounds. And I love the cat statue at the top!


    Linda reply on August 19th, 2010 5:34 pm:

    I got the cat statue at the original Miguel’s in their going out of business sale. But they’ve got them at their new location on Burnet Road. Oh, I think you so must have one!


  6. By Margie on Aug 19, 2010

    Beautiful…thanks for sharing
    You have given me an idea for a fountain I no longer use.
    I must have missed somthing because there was nothing that said what the upside down pots hanging were…are they lights?


    Linda reply on August 19th, 2010 5:30 pm:

    Hey everybody! Sorry I didn’t mention about the pots! Will add that to next week’s post. Darrel Mayers of the music group Mundi made those for me! He used them for percussion on his CD Apple Howling, “Clippers!” All percussion with garden implements, like pots & clippers! He made me some little drum sticks to play “pot music”. Then I hit my chimes to bring those in. Too fun! But for sure, you could rig them with lights. That is a great idea!


  7. By RBell on Aug 19, 2010

    There’s not much that is more soothing than the sound of water. Though watching the clam feeding of that Bordered patch butterfly would rank pretty high.


  8. By Katina on Aug 19, 2010

    wheesh? yahoosers? awesome is what I say.

    I, too, am trying to turn a section of my yard into liriope-dom.


    Linda reply on August 19th, 2010 7:05 pm:

    Yes, liriope may seem so traditional, but it works, especially with pets!


  9. By Kathleen Scott on Aug 19, 2010

    Your patio garden begs company–birds, butterflies, cats, flowers, flowing water. Just thinking about it lowers my blood pressure.

    Wonderful bordered patch video!


  10. By Darrel Mayers on Aug 20, 2010

    Delighted that the upturned pots have piqued everyone’s curiosity, Linda, and that they have survived for so many years on your porch!


  11. By Cindy, MCOK on Aug 24, 2010

    I absolutely love the fountain but dang, I’ve never seen anything like that at MY Target!


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