Weekly Photo Challenge: New

Patience is a virtue, we gardeners remind ourselves. Nothing tests that quality like the installation of a new garden:

black and white

Taking on a one-hundred year old house means learning to love renovations. Or at least accept them. The challenge is not to have too glaring a contrast between the old and new. We’ve tried to have the new construction blend seamlessly into the old. Sometimes we’re successful, sometimes not.

The first summer after we moved in, we ripped out the hideous “landscaping” which was swallowing up the side porch and was nothing more than a tangled, overgrown mess of ivy, both poisonous and English. It was the perfect opportunity to install a new garden.

How to make it look like it had always been there? We decided on a parterre garden. Parterres are traditionally designed to be viewed from above – you know, from the upper stories of the chateau – where their elaborate hardscapes can best be admired.

I decided on a much less elaborate design which appealed to my love of symmetry and wasn’t too full of itself.

Enough talking. Here is the installation of the new garden:

No proper Virginia garden is without brick:

the circle 001 - Copy 003 - Copy

The thing is, like pasta, you can’t rush a garden.


Sadly, I am not capable of dangling out of a second story porch window AND holding the camera straight.


You’ve got to give it a couple years before the “new” wears off, and it starts to look as though it has always been there:


As you can see, my style of gardening is “controlled chaos.”



A view of the parterre side of the house as Berkley and I returned from our walk. We haven’t seen the dear old boy in a while, have we?

And so the question remains, when are you coming to visit? We can sit on the porch and solve the problems of the world together sipping tea or mint juleps, whichever you prefer.

Thanks for reading,


About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
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127 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: New

  1. ChristineR says:

    Beautiful brickwork, Barbara and must be a glorious place to soak up the sun. I’m not much of a gardener these days, despite my intentions and things must learn to grow on their own without any mollycoddling from me. I’d forgotten about Berkely, thinking he was a large white cat in the first pics [blush]. I decided his legs aren’t that short, it’s just your lush grass. Lovely landscaping. 😀


    • Good morning, Christine. Berkley was my beloved little Westie who passed away in October at almost fifteen years old. He had a long and happy life. the little guy was my constant companion, so many of my photos include him and will continue to do so. He really did have the shortest little legs. Re: mollycoddling, which is such a great word. I have much the same garden philosophy – mine is not a garden for the temperamental. To a degree it’s sink or swim!


  2. I’ll be there as soon as the weather warms. What a beautiful garden, Barbara!


  3. Oh wow! That is my dream garden (and house)! A little spot of paradise…


  4. cat9984 says:

    Beautiful garden. It really compliments the house.


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