For those of you who asked for wider angle photos of our yard instead of individual close-up flower shots that I enjoy doing, this is for you.
This is the arbor near the smaller back patio. The Black-Eyed Susans all came up from seed. Last year I had white Moonflowers on the arbor but they are in the front yard this year. We had a light winter so most of the hanging baskets didn't die. I have 23 hanging baskets in the yard. This is nine of them. We are heading into high 90-100 degree tempertures so the plants will suffer heat stress until September/October.
Here is a little wider view of the flowerbed off the small patio section. Since all the plants don't bloom at the same time, the Daylilies, Irises and Peonies have already bloomed and are gone. There are two sections of the patio which I call small and large. All flatwork is Crab Orchard stone from a quarry. It has lots of colors in it especially when it is wet -- peaches, pinks, lavenders, blues, golds, etc. I am not going to show all of the yard sections today. There are the beds up close to the patios and fountain, the left and right side yards, the front yard and inner and outer rear back sections. You will not see any of the front, right side nor inner/outer rear back sections today. Save that for another post.
Here are more hanging baskets on a vintage hotel coat rack from Pennsylvania made of steel and iron. There is a brass Eagle on the top as a finial but I keep it in the house. It needs to be power sanded and repainted but I keep putting that project off as well as power washing the patios.
This trough is off the family room window. It is one of five windowboxes. Now that I know the pink plant will grow in the shade, I will add more of those next year in other colors. The coco mat trough is 48" wide and 12" deep and 12" across. I like the ones that can hold alot of dirt.
On the left side of the house, this is a 47 foot long raised brick bed with mostly Coneflowers, Dragonwing Begonias and Asiatic Lilies. There are two raised beds on the left side of the house. This is the taller one.
In this photo you get a better view of how long it is. We added all the hardscape to the yard. Since it was new construction, there was nothing but swamp on the left side of the house, no sidewalks, patios, bricked beds, etc. If you tried to walk there you would get ankle deep in mud. Adding the sidewalk and beds made the land usable. Underneath all of this is a drainage system Mr. Swede installed to get all storm water runoff from the front of the house to the rear ditch.
On the left side of the house, this is the shorter raised bed. It is 43 feet long with Iris, Roses, Creeping Jenny, Dwarf Crepe Myrtles and a pot of red Petunias.
This is the raised brick bed that touches the North side of the house which raises Hydrangeas, Hostas, Annabelles and Columbine.
In addition to the flowerbeds, I have containers all around the patios, walkways and underneath shrubs.
These Impatiens are in a pot underneath the Snowball shrubs. I like placing these as surprises underneath shrubs and trees where the flowers don't like growing in the ground.
Many flowerpots around.
Pot of Petunias.
Cupids planter pot. Pink tall Glads are in full bloom.
There is a pot underneath these Petunias that you can't see.
Pots near the back porch with Ferns.
White Dragonwing Begonias with a metal spiral even though they don't really climb. I just like the metal forms.
Black-eyed Susans really put on a color show. And I don't like the color yellow. But I let these live in my yard since the bloom lasts a long time.
A different view of the beds close to the large patio.
It always amazes me the difference in the beds from year to year how they change on their own with different plants spreading or seeding. I haven't had to buy Impatiens for years as they always come back from seed.
This bed behind the fountain has lots of Impatiens from seeds. I've added red Dragonwing Begonias every few feet. By October they will be huge.
Daylilies, although they don't last long, are easy to grow and give great pleasure. Especially the ones that are six inches across.
I have to admit that I never planned any of the beds. If I was at a nursery and saw something I liked, I brought it home and found some empty dirt to place it in the ground.
Some pink Hydrangeas under the Yoshino Cherry tree getting shade.
Hope you liked the haphazard garden tour. I still feel lucky to have ground to get my hands dirty in. Will be a sad day when I can no longer do that. So I can't complain about all the work it takes to maintain this. Mr. Swede [known fondly as my Yard Boy and sometimes my Water Boy] helps out a great deal when he is home. He is mainly in charge of digging big holes, watering and fertilizing. He was not a gardener when we got married 20 years ago but he has come a long way. His idea of a flowerbed was to fill it with gravel! He refuses to pull weeds. Why is that always the woman's job?
I had heard about the padlock bridge in Paris but never saw good photos of it so I couldn't totally imagine it. So when we left our apartment on Isle Saint Louis to walk around the second day on Isle de la Cite, we immediately came upon it. Ah, ha! So that is what it really looks like.
It would be hard to guess how many padlocks are on this bridge. I wonder how many years of collecting locks this represents. They are hooked around the chain links on both sides of the road. The Seine splits to go around the two islands in the middle, so the channel isn't very wide here.
There was another bridge across the Seine where we saw these also, and a few in public parks where there was chain link fencing, but this one had the most by far. Mr. Swede said he also saw a bridge of "love locks" in Cologne, Germany across the Rhine River similar to this. Don't know which came first or how many other bridges have the "love locks".
I'm not sure of the procedure, but I saw many locks with dates and initials on them and others with messages. Does putting a lock on this bridge bring eternal love? Do you throw the key into the Seine or keep it? Do any of them ever get removed? Do couples come back over time to visit their lock?
If you are trying to find the bridge when in Paris, just look for this.
Notre Dame on an early morning. The only time I could take photos of the bridge without a million people in my shots was early in the morning. Mr. Swede seriously wanted to climb the 422 steps to the top of Notre Dame, but unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis in my right knee said I wasn't going to do that. I didn't know what was wrong with my knee until we got home, but I told him that I would climb the stairs when my knee is better. I can imagine the view is wonderful on a clear day and great for photos.
So did Mr. Romantic and I place a lock here? No. Maybe on another trip to Paris. We didn't take the time to find a hardware store to buy a lock. I do think it is kinda fun to think about having something of yours always in Paris to seal a pledge of love when you are far away.
Continuing along with more photos of our trip to Paris, I am showing below some of the furniture at the Grand Trianon on the Versailles estate property. This is where the king and queens went [across the property several hundred yards, maybe] to get away from the goings on at the palace. I am only showing furnishings in this post as the gardens were not planted yet so no flowers in bloom to speak of for vast colorful sweeping views.
I thought the chairs in the first photo above were totally unusual with the pierced seats and backs. I've never seen anything like them. Very intricate carving. They also had small benches in the same design. I like the ormolu trim on the table's rim but not the urn and pheonixes on the stretcher. There was a time in my past that I would have liked the savonnerie rug, but not now -- just too much color and too much pattern. This estate is a good place for it to be together with those rose damask chairs.
This is one very large sitting room. You could probably entertain 100 guests here for cocktails. Notice the lavender paint trim on the chairs. Very unusual don't you think paired with the turquoise damask?
Of course, you have to see the queen's bedroom. I don't think I could do the gold room either. Just tooooooo much.
Nice console table but I probably would get tired of the swags. Some more unusual chairs. They said that during the revolution most of the furnishings were looted and they have slowly gotten some of them back by donation or acquisition. Some pieces were brought here from other palaces that they owned in the kingdom.
I enjoy looking at the interiors even though much of it is not my taste. What I did love, though, were the doors, interior shutters and door hardware -- oh! much to love there. Look for a later post of those objects.
I did also want to mention that it was difficult to get great photos inside the palaces because of the light. It was either too dark with the drapes pulled, or too bright with so much light flooding in.