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Marie and I arrived pretty early at Gretchen and Denis’ beautiful garden…just in time to see the last baby flicker poke it’s head out…preparing to leave the nest…

A few miles out of town, this garden is a refuge for birds and gardeners alike.  Take a stroll…start at the drive…

The Carnabys have been gardening here for about 18 years and the creation is all theirs…there was a lawn where the garden now grows with its winding paths…  They have 2+ acres but have left most of it wild…creek, pond, woods.  Gretchen says the garden is now so good they can hardly stand to leave home, and Marie and I were convinced of that.  Birds are a big source of entertainment and interest, with the Carnabys’ preferred mode be to sit quietly and observe…

Everywhere we turned was a detail to enjoy, a lesson to learn, (an idea to borrow???)  Here’s the Marionberry “corral”…

the tomatoes…about to be tied up so they grow vertically…

…and then into the house we go…

where you immediately see the real genius of this garden.  Gretchen is a garden designer.  She cut her teeth on her first garden up on Jerris Street that was a Lord and Schryver garden.  Her garden is very different from anything L&S did, except for one thing…the house is oriented to the garden and the garden views…and they are smashing:

and after a coffee on the deck and a lively conversation covering Scotland and Ireland, plants, et al….I took a photo of one of Marie’s favorite pots…

we checked the smoke tree one last time…

and headed home.  Thanks Gretchen and Denis for a terrific morning peek into your lovely world.