Simplify to Beautify

The Spring Lowcountry weather has prompted my husband to throw open the door of our little greenhouse and give the plants that sheltered there during the winter a breath of fresh and warm air.  I shared photos of this greenhouse in a previous post Yearning for Summer.

For my husband Spring also brings with it a call to dig in the soil and trim anything mildly out of place.  Yesterday morning he heard the call and was motivated to transplant a few of his “grown from seed lovelies” – Japanese Roof Iris, Spider Lilies and Agapanthus – into our garden beds.    As helpful and simple as this gesture would seem, it was by no means an easily executed task.  You see, his desire to transplant his adolescent plants required my time and attention.  It involved my knowing, at that very moment, exactly where I wanted them placed among their more mature relatives.  It required a firm decision.  While I generally have a good idea about where I want plants to be located; I am not above moving plants around the garden much like I rearrange the furniture around in our home.  This is something my gardener husband would like to prevent.

Since I wasn’t prepared with a decision, in my infinite wisdom, I suggested we take a walk around the yard and look around for the just right place.  And so it began.  We commenced a walk through the gardens to consider the various planting options.  I thought I would share some photos of some of our blooming plants –


Throughout our 30 year marriage, taking a spring time (or anytime) walk through our gardens is a ritual of shared interest .  Walking on the grassy paths around our home at the end of the day with a glass of wine to see what nature offers is a source of joy and discovery.

Yesterday’s walk was a little bit different.  Although we were on a mission to find new and permanent homes for the new plant offspring, our walk turned into an observation and assessment of all the gardening and home tending that needed to be done.  Everywhere we looked we saw something that could be different or better.  Everywhere we looked we saw lots and lots of opportunities to create more inviting and visually appealing outdoor space.

Everywhere we looked I thought ‘we need to simplify to beautify’!  I believe it is possible to create pleasing and minimal maintenance gardens.  This is my intention.  So, I made a list of projects I want to complete.  Some I will do myself and others will require my husband’s help.  I’ve organized the tasks by their benefit –

More plants at no cost

  1. Dig up, divide and replant the African Iris and Agapanthus.  Doing this is good for the plant and can quadruple the number of plants available to place elsewhere in the garden.
  2. Transplant variegated lilies into “bulb garden”.
  3. Transplant 3 camellia bushes and 1 tea olive shrub from front door garden to side yard.  This is definitely on my husbands to do list!

Immediate visual impact

  1. Edge all of the beds.  Even the most simple beds look good when edged.  Good thing I did the hard work last year.  I now only have to touch up the edges of most beds.
  2. Purchase and plant dwarf variegated ginger in shade garden.
  3. Powerwash greenhouse, home and decking.  I do this and use a fantastic product – Armour Mold – it is plant friendly (it does not contain bleach).
  4. Get a quote to paint marsh facing pergola, railings, soffit and columns.

Fresh flowers at almost no cost

  1. Create my first bouquet garden.  This involves building a 1ft tall rock wall in the fenced greenhouse garden and planting perennial and annual flowers.  I am thinking roses, zinnias, bee balm, sages, daisies, etc. as a start.
This list is a start and I plan to provide updates and pictures of my progress.  By the way, we did decide on new homes for the “grown from seed lovelies”.  And my husband set upon doing what he is so good at – planting, tending and trimming!

Tonight’s Sunset

 Also, as I was coming home late this afternoon the sunset was shining through to our front door.  The sun turned the leaded glass a beautiful gold and I snapped some photos to share with you.  I hope you enjoy seeing a tiny bit of my home.
I have decided that in future posts I am going to give you all a home tour- a glimpse into my home style.  It will be much like the garden walk I described in this post.  I plan to show you the interior rooms and I will be  making project lists and sharing my progress.  Until next time!







6 thoughts on “Simplify to Beautify

  1. Beautiful photographs Sandra. And a superb front door. You are a brave soul to share your home’s interior. Do you live in a show house?!!


  2. Beautifully written, Sandra. Felt like I was with you both on your walk around your grounds. Thank you for bringing us along! Also, loved the front door pictures. Seemed welcoming and am excited to see what is behind it. Deb


  3. Sandra,
    You’re nun’s orchid photo is stunning! Ours is almost ready to bloom here on Daniel Island. Hopefully, it will do that by the time you visit us.
    I’m so glad you are blogging again…I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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