About Us

Marsanne Petty
I enjoy writing, reading, photography, history, investigating old structures and trying not to get arrested by entering said structures. I write for Skirt and for Ehow. I can be contacted at mapetty@gmail.com.

Melody Lee
I like to garden and wow people with my artistic interpretations of how flowers should be arranged. I also write for Ehow and Garden Guides. I can be contacted at annlees@gmail.com.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Magic and Whimsy in the Garden

Dave at The Home Garden has been thinking about
what makes a garden magical and he has asked his fellow bloggers for
their thoughts. I immediately knew the answer for me, but it took a
long time to get it into words. Hope you enjoy it!

When I started
gardening I made long narrow L-shaped flowerbeds on either side of
the driveway and the parking area. I filled them with flowers and
shrubs I liked with no particular plan or design. The flowers were
pretty but the design was – well, it was boring, there was no magic.
So I made changes – big changes. I made the bed on one side of the
driveway into a large square garden with a pond in one corner. And I
made the other side into a larger garden with a patio and another
pond in the middle. Notice the difference – I got rid of the
flowerbeds and developed gardens with a basic plan (subject to change
at any time).

I bought this statue of a dancing girl because it reminded me
of my daughters. She is currently dancing in the Hydrangea Garden.
Then I discovered garden ornaments – the magic of birdhouses, gazing
spheres and other things. I had collected knick-knacks for the house
for years until I got tired of dusting them. When you put knick-knacks
outside,the dust is part of the charm.
Then I began creating one-of-kind garden art from thrift store and yard
sale finds. Soon I had a jumble of items amidst the plants and I didn’t
really like the way it looked, but I didn’t want to get rid of anything.
There was no magic, just a mess. I needed a plan.

Who would expect to find a shiny gazing ball in the crotch of a tree?

One day I saw some pictures of some theme gardens in a magazine. And I
realized that I could create theme gardens based on my garden art. So
the square garden by the driveway became the Dragon Garden with a dragon
overlooking the pond. The other side of the driveway is divided into
five gardens separated by paths, each with its own theme.
The magic was back!

My husband made these flowers out of old horseshoes to go Dragon Garden,because its color theme is brown.

Five gardens separated by paths line this side of the driveway and parking area. One garden encircles a patio complete with table and chairs. Another garden contains a small pond with a waterfall, a bamboo fountain and spitting turtle.

I love plants – their texture and shape of the foliage and flowers and
berries and bark. But I am a gardener and lots of other people
don’t really understand my fascination with plants.
But they are enchanted by the hidden treasures in my garden, such as …

a spangly blue ball hanging from a hook …

a giraffe taking a break next to some hydrangeas …

buckets of sedums in my grandsons’ old wagon …

a basket full of mosaic balls …

an old-fashioned water pump and kettle planted with sedums …

and a monkey playing in the Tropical Garden

To me, the magic of a garden is anything that causes someone to smile –
a plant or garden art or a child discoveringhidden treasures.
What do you think?

The Tropical Garden even has a beachside café.

Thanks, Dave, for the chance to show the magic and whimsy in my garden.

Be sure to visit The Home Garden for more magic in the garden.


  1. I thought I was the only one with a disco ball in the back yard! Love your whimsy.

  2. Thw whimsy is one way to go to add magic! The gazing balls and yard yard are very cool. They give you something to draw the eye. The horseshow flowers were a very neat idea!

  3. I love garden ornaments in other people's gardens, but for some reason I don't have the knack for displaying them in my own. I need to work on that.

  4. I adore yards full of surprises and points of interest. Some people do it very well, some people do not do it well at all. I am a true fan of the whimsey.

  5. How much fun! I love the unexpectedness of it and the varied shapes and forms of your ornaments. I think walking your paths would be a little like coming downstairs as a child on Christmas morning.

  6. Forgot to add, you're probably right about the lyreleaf sage. The only things that do it in are too much sun (although it can take more than one would think if given time to adapt) and sitting in water.

  7. I love yard art!!!I love to see the smiles it brings to people's faces when they come upon it in the garden.And I love your's!!!

  8. Love the little table and chairs, so sweet. Thanks for visiting our blog!