Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cemetery Gardens

This is my last post on Europe - I promise? I like putting my photos on my blog because it's an easy way for me to go back and relive my vacations. Sorry if I'm boring anyone!!! 

I think you'll find this post interesting because the cemeteries in Europe are very different from ours and quite pretty. This is the cemetery in Zermatt, Switzerland. Along with local folks buried in this cemetery, are the grave markers of many mountain climbers and skiers that died trying to ascend or descend the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, most of these hikers or skiers are young people  in their 20's and 30's.

Each plot has a pretty little garden. There is a faucet and watering cans available along the wall, and the locals come everyday to water the flowers and maintain the little garden. 

This is the entrance to a cemetery in one of my ancester's hometown.

Inside we found some very, very old graves.

and more pretty little gardens. 

Each headstone is very unique.

They plant shrubs, small trees and summer flowers.

This was a small cemetery behind a church in another of my ancestor's hometown. These are markers for soldiers that died in war.

This is the entrance to the cemetery in my mom's hometown where various members of my family are buried.

It is a very peaceful place . . .

with benches where you can sit for awhile.

There are various forms of gardens on these plots, along with angels and eternal candles.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the pretty little cemetery gardens. Next post I'll be posting on my 'Jungle!"

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Franz and Herma's Garden

We still have family living in Germany with whom we enjoyed spending time with when we were there.  My Uncle Franz and Aunt Herma have a beautiful home and garden which I am excited to share. Their home is located on a hillside and their garden consists of, I believe, 5 terraced levels.

If you stand on the 3rd level this is a view looking down to level 4 and 5 (which is not visible in this photo).

Now, turning and looking up you get a view of level 2 and 1. There are lots of steps to climb on cold, snowy winters. You can already get a glimpse of how beautiful their garden is.


We'll start at the top on level 1 which is the entrance onto their property from the road.  As you enter through the gate this is the garden bed to your right. There's lots of beautiful foliage in this garden.

Next we come upon a garden shed with a stash of  neatly stacked wood for winter. I, especially, liked the hanging display of wood pieces - neat piece of natural garden art.

Also, hanging on the shed is a collection of tools. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing these might be for working with stone. 


Here's a glimpse of the shed from a distance. 

They receive these terracotta plaques from the company that they buy the materials to build the steps with. It has the year they purchased the materials inscribed on it. What a neat idea!

This is the bottom of level 1.  He built all the walls and steps himself. There is some variety of greens growing on the edge of the walls. At the top of the photo is the gate that leads to the road.

Here's a close up of the edible greens. I may be wrong on some of these plants, so my aunt and uncle will need to correct me if so.


 Level 2 is a grassy area. He still mows this area himself in summer. There's a patch of grass on each side of the steps, and if I remember correctly, it's the only grass in his yard. There's a Blackeyed Susan vine growing on the right.

On the left side he has columnar fruit trees growing along with some pretty flowers.

Here's a close up of the fruit trees. I wish we had varieties of fruit trees like this that would grow in our climate.

I'm not sure what types of fruit these are. They might be apples like this tree or there might be a variety of other fruit.

This beautiful piece of stone and the marker (made by my uncle) marks the grave of my cousin Sabine's cat Chandra.

You can see this beautiful view of plants a little further to the right of the Blackeyed Susan vine. This photo was taken from level 3, looking up. The grassy area is behind it and to the left of it. 

And this photo is taken from the opposite side of the previous photo. I took while standing on level 2, looking down to level 3 where my cousin Sabine's partner of 38 years, Dieter, is standing. They have a two story home with two separate entrances. My aunt and uncle live on the lower level with their own entrance, while my cousin Sabine and Dieter live on the top level with their separate entrance. This is a photo of the entrance to my cousin's portion of the house. It's a very unique and wonderful situation that accommodates 2 separate families.

Level 3 is split with one side being the vegetable garden, while the other side is a mix of colorful foliage plants.This view (along with the next photo) covers most of the view of level 3. The house you see at the end of this row was my grandparent's home that we visited when I was a kid.


The entrance and private patio area for Sabine and Dieter is located to the right of the red-leafed plant.

This photo is looking down from level 2 to level 3.

To the right of the stairs is the vegetable garden. It's small but he manages to get a lot into it. Plus, he can garden standing up. Isn't that great?

The cucumbers are climbing up the vine. I believe these are the English cucumbers. They eat a lot of cucumber salad in Germany.

Pole beans area climbing to the top.

I think he has about 6 tomato plants growing. He has a really nice set up were he can cover these if necessary.

Behind these veggies (at the top of the wall behind them in the photo above) grow some fruit bushes. I don't recall the name of this fruit but it was very good.

Look at these perfect rows of lush salad greens with kohlrabi in the forefront.

A row of green peppers along with dahlias (I believe) make up this bed right in front of the columnar fruit trees.

These tomatoes were almost ripe.


 Here is a photo of my Uncle Franz (he'll be surprised when he sees this, but we have to give credit to the main gardener). Also, on level 3 is my cousin Sabine's garden.


She loves to travel to tropical places and soak up the sun on the beaches, so her part of the garden consists of potted tropical plants. These tropical beauties winter over in the basement.

She even has a small citrus tree that's in bloom and has a small fruit on it.

She loves cats and this cat planter is adorable. My sister wanted to take this one home with her.

And, here's a collection of cats in her garden.

There is a small pond next to their outdoor table area.

And, on the fence are a couple of pollinator houses

and another marker of when he added this area on.

Here is Sabine photographing me photographing the garden and her.

Level 4 is the entrance to my aunt and uncles home. They have a very nice selection of plants on their level which includes a couple of blooming yuccas.

This rain gauge is cute!

They have a fountain that he made on this level, too.

Here's a view of level 4 looking down from level 3.

This is their private outdoor seating area. It's a perfect set up - Sabine and Dieter have their private entrance and patio area, while my aunt and uncle have theirs.

I snitched this photo from his blog of how this area looks in winter following a snowfall. It's from a different angle, but I think you can get a feel for what it looks like. The homes that you see in the background belonged to my grandparents and are where my mother grew up.


If you go through the gate that you see in the 2nd photo above, you will be on level 5.

There is a nice mix of foliage and blooming plants on this level, as well as this bamboo next to a gate 

that will take you down to the road beneath the house. He has a green vine covering the wall that provides privacy from the road.

Hope you enjoyed a tour of my German family's garden. It's very meticulous and orderly, like most gardens and homes in Germany, and also very functional, colorful and beautiful!


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