Monday, April 8, 2013

Grow Write Guild Post #2 Dream Garden

Grow Write Guild

While the first prompt for this series (My First Plant) seemed pretty simple, the second prompt seems vast. I didn't respond immediately, so I've had a little time to consider it. Since I'll be out of town this week I wanted to submit this before the next prompt is issued.

Grow Write Guild #2  Dream Garden
I could write a very large book with detailed chapters on my dream garden, how it would look, what I would grow, etc. Since I was young, I've cut out pictures and ripped pages from magazines with photos of gardens and houses. I recently came across two large binders full of pictures I'd kept about 15 years ago. (Turns out my taste has not changed much.)

Discovering Pinterest changed all of that. Not only did I have virtual "boards" to pin photos and ideas to, I was suddenly exposed to endless photos, how-to tips, and concepts for gardening. If you'd like to visit my Pinterest page you can get a glimpse of my dream garden there.

While the photos in Pinterest reflect my taste, my interests, they don't quite match the image in my head. 

The garden that influenced my ideal was Filoli in northern California. As a teen in the 80s I watched 'Dynasty', somewhere I read about the actual estate that was filmed as back drop. I managed to convince my mom to take a tour on our way to visit relatives in Southern California. The rolling hills just south of San Francisco are a contrast to the mansion and formal gardens. Seeing those gardens, visiting that place, and enjoying a climate much different from mine - left it's mark.

Yet my dream garden does not involve manicured lawns or formal gardens. My dream garden is so multi-faceted I find it hard to describe concisely. This writing prompt is the first time I've tried to view it as a whole. It has made me realize that aspects of the gardens I've read about or visited have all merged together to form a patch work quilt of ideas.

Here's a thumbnail: my dream garden has crushed granite pathways, perennial beds with edibles mixed in. A rustic shed in a corner to use as my studio/potting area. An outdoor area outside the kitchen to eat and relax under huge shade trees. Vine covered trellises and a few containers with flowers surround an outdoor seating area. Essentially it is the place I would most like to be.

Am I creating this in my current yard? No. As I write I realize that my dream garden exists in a climate that is sunny and warm. A lot of the things I can do in my dream garden just don't happen in the rain. In the Pacific Northwest eating al fresco can be risky, having a dry place to sit and read can be iffy.

So I'm biding my time, learning about vegetable gardening at a community garden and trying to mix veggies with flowers on the back deck.


  1. We are so beholden to our climates...I would so love to grow a citrus tree! In Montreal this just can't happen. My response to this prompt is here:

    1. Siobhan, thanks for your note, please excuse the lengthy pause. I was out town and am just now catching up with the Grow Write Guild.

  2. I have been learning to vegetable garden as well, starting out on my apartment balcony to now 3 raised beds in the backyard and still learning. I love your dream garden , it sounds like a wonderful backyard to have. i agree with not having manicured lawns, i can't quite understand the need for it. here is my dream garden post :
    I noticed that you were tracking vegetables with notes on your community garden page, Do check out my iPhone App: GardenLog ( It lets you maintain a log of your vegetables through seed to harvest, adding notes for each. I will be happy to send you a promo code to download it. I can also be reached at: gardenlogapp @ gmail . com

    1. Thanks, just read your post and left a comment there.

  3. Funny, I feel like I could write a book about it too! Wow, it seriously sounds like Pinterest was made just for you. Ha! Like you, my dream garden does not exist in my current state.

    Here's my dream garden... My Dream Garden


    1. Amy, I may dream of warmer places, but spring has hit here in the Pacific Northwest and it seems almost perfect. Now I'm a little behind in planning my real garden. I left you a comment on you post.

  4. Oh Pinterest! It's been a blessing and a curse because of the hours that pass whenever I'm there! I am North of you (Vancouver BC area) but our growing seasons are very similar, although you seem to get spring a little earlier than us (and I love Portland, btw). It's funny, I thought I knew what I'd want in my perfect Dream Garden but once I tried to write it down a lot changed. Like you, the idea of mixing edibles in with perennials is very appealing. It's something I'm trying to incorporate more this year. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my Dream Garden post too.