My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Lucy turns one...and a few garden updates

It has been one year now since our son Tommy and his fiancé Amanda  brought Miss Lucy Belle home!

She was a little thing!
Lucy is a golden doodle and...

She is now quite HUGE!

But still  a cutie!

Lucy and her parents came over this past Sunday to help hubby the carpenter build my Birthday/Mother's Day Pergola over the upper deck!

Early in the day on Sunday...

As you might remember, we actually have 4 children...but only one who takes after his dad and enjoys building things. He is also the only one hubby the carpenter trusts with his tools!

The guys worked away while Amanda and I worked in the garden...pulling weeds!

Lucy was the go between!

This was taken just this morning after I installed the curtain panels to the front

It's not quite finished...there is a lattice wall on the far right side to be installed this weekend and the remaining boards across the top which will support the clear ridged plastic roof I wanted and seen here...
As well as...
The hops vine which is already growing up the deck wall!

Because I spend so...much time outdoors I was wanting a place to retreat without having to put away all of my cushions each day!
The clear roof still allows all of the sunshine without the rain issues!
In a few won't even see it! The hops  vine will cover most of it and create the oasis I was hoping for.

Elsewhere in the much in bloom already!

My white peonies by the pond!

The morning dew is still present on the lovely!
The pond area...

This is my blue garden...delphiniums and hydrangeas comprise most of the plants here. I love it when the delphinium are in bloom! They really change the way this space looks.

I have yet to find a tree  to plant  in the fence corner...still looking for the right one. I just need the tree structure...not the shade.

In other areas of our garden...

My Gertrude Jekyll  roses are in bloom on the rose arbors leading to the cottage/studio

Because of the exceptionally mild winter...I am having some bug issues but hope to have this under control in the next few days.

As you see...the garden is coming along but with much still to do!

I have someone meeting me this morning to possibly pour this step area...we will see if it happens...I am most tired of these concrete blocks but was hoping to get my hands on some reclaimed concrete. I love the pieces that are found at demolition sites with the broken edges. They have such a great patina to them.
That is what I really want...but I will see what they think would look as wonderful.

I hope you enjoyed the garden tour thus far! I need to head out to the cucumber trellis arrived yesterday so I am going to begin planting! I spent most of last evening laying out this years potager and will share my thoughts in an upcoming post.
Until then...
Have a blessed and wonderful day!


  1. How about a pretty Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) for that corner? You would have many choices as far as size, leaf color and shape of your specimen. A variegated one would look so pretty with the stone on your water feature.

    Sorry if you weren't asking for suggestions...hard to take the designer out of the garden/landscape consultant!

  2. GORGEOUS Donna. I LOVE everything!!! I especially LOVE your Mother's Day Present. HOW WONDERFUL! Yes we have one of our sons that takes after his Dad too...Well we have three that do "BUT" one that ACTUALLY DOES,hehe!!!
    "Lucy looks like an English Sheepdog". She is so sweet and I'm sure she's a pampered pet...I would pamper her, look at that SWEET SWEET FACE!
    Have a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY week,

  3. I love your new pergola and the way you added the fabric. It looks so inviting. I also like your back corner with the chairs and the turquoise umbrella on the stone patio. Very very pretty!!!

  4. The yard and garden room area looks beautiful. I agree that the patina of the pavers lends a more natural look, especially to a romantic garden like yours. There is a sand product out that will keep the pavers in place and add life to the pavers. It is called Polymeric sand. This site gives a great explanation of how it works.

    1. Thank you so much for this Link! I will check it out this evening

  5. Donna,
    Everything is beautiful and Lucy adorable!
    I asking for YOUR Mother's day gift to be MY Mother's Day gift next year! (In a minute, I'll print it and place it on my dream board!)
    I love the idea of the clear roof!
    Happy Mother's Day, dear friend!

  6. Donna, you live in heaven. It's just gorgeous beyond words. Have a great Mother's day, and can't wait to see more of your garden.

  7. Your cozy covered deck looks so nice and inviting , a great nap place

    Lucy is adorable

    your gardens are beautiful

  8. What a beautiful oasis and a Happy Birthday to Lucy!

  9. Oh my gosh -- she is adorable! We sit for a golden doodle who is so big, our chocolate cocker can walk right underneath her -- they are the BEST of friends! Here's a link to one of the photos I took this past week while we had her:

  10. Hi, Donna --

    Your garden is charming, charming, charming!!! You are so lucky to have a handy, carpenter hubby and son to fabricate all those wonderful things for the home. Your new pergola will be a wonderful retreat. I am one envious gardener :)

    And, Lucy is beyond adorable. Her coat looks thicker / more wavy than when she was a puppy. So sweet. My Panda and Mocha would love to play with Lucy!!

    Have a great weekend!!

  11. Your garden is looking so pretty already!!! You are way ahead of us here.

    Enjoy all that beauty!


  12. How wonderful of your hubby and son to build you such a great covered retreat. Your drapes will really add to the spa feel. Your gardens are so beautiful and I adore all your vignettes. Blissful...
    Miss Lucy Belle is certainly a cutie.

  13. I can't believe how big Miss Lucy is....She is just darling and I can tell she is FULL of personality.

    Your gardens are just beautiful. I hope my own eventually are half that lovely....and your new structure is wonderful!!! LOVE it- xo Diana

  14. I can only think of one word that describes your outside area...AHHH!
    BTW...I love a dog that smiles at me.
    P.S. I think the men in your life are pretty terrif!

  15. Your back yard is lovely! My husband is very handy and we will be re-doing our outside as soon as it turns warm.

    Have a *fancy* weekend.

  16. Gosh Donna, things are so far along in your garden. It looks beautiful and so lush. Mine is coming along but the night time temps have been so low (29 degrees- 34 degrees) that it is taking things so long to want to grow.

    I love your pergola and how you have set it up. How awesome that your son would come home to help out with it. That is such a nice Mother's Day present. Oh how I loved walking in the garden with you tonight.
    sending love your way...

  17. Your garden looks delightful and that dog is irresistible !

  18. Its looking great! What sort of dog is a doodle?

  19. Oh My goodness Donna, you have very talented men in your family. You are so fortunate, and they did an amzing DIY, love your pergola. I am also blessed with a handy man who happens to be my husband.Your gardens are coming along beautifully and I can tell how much hard work you have put into it. Also, your Gertrude Jekyl looks amazing! I palnted two of them in a very happy spot over 6 years ago, but I haven't had any success with them. At least in my area in upstate NY, they tend to be blackspot prone. My other David Austins seem to perform much better thank God!
    Thanks so much for sharing~


  20. Really looks wonderful... I love The look of it and how great not to have to bring in the cushions.
    Your guys rock...
    Happy Moms day!

  21. I can't believe Lucy is already 1! Your gardens are just gorgeous!!


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~Donna Reyné