Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Creating a Frontyard Cottage Garden

 I will be the first to tell you that I am an amateur gardener. I am sure that Master gardeners around the globe would chuckle and guffaw at my meager accomplishments. But to my mind, ANY and every garden is a thing of beauty, whether it be in a window box, a postage stamp yard or a span of  acres and acres. I don't believe there is such a thing as an ugly garden.
 (Yes, that is a real, live chicken sitting on my table)

At this time, we have 9 separate and distinct gardens, mostly flowers, but we do throw in fruits and vegetables as well. Recently, I took video of all my gardens, because, well, I want to share my little successes and failures with those of you who garden, or maybe inspire those who wish to start a patch of joy.

This first garden grew from a desire to get rid of an ugly front lawn, a pathetic front lawn, a front lawn rife with grubs and  bad soil and lots of tree roots. I started by claiming bits at a time, a corner here, a section there. It took about 3 years to get to where we are now, in this frontyard cottage garden. Each year, I add another layer of two to the stone wall, as well. This year we added about 2 1/2 feet to the top of the wall.

This is my most unruly and wild garden... it's a mass of harmonious confusion, where promiscuous larkspur  soar 5ft up and daisies and primrose socialize freely... everywhere!
  Now, please take a REAL walk with Fionna and Myself, as we waddle the garden paths of Garden #1, the Front Yard Garden.
  Remember, you can't hurry a stroll through the garden.

       This is best viewed on You tube, runs about 7 minutes and please turn on your volume so that you can hear the birds.  If you prefer the video without commentary, I have also loaded one with only the background sound on You Tube. Forgive the bouncy camera work, after all, it was Fionna holding the camera.


  1. Oh Jeri,

    I am here, enjoying these quiet moments with the birds in YOUR GARDEN. Dearest, I cannot tell you how special it is to me as I sit here, seeing your world. If technology has done ANYTHING for me, it is the connection that I can now make with other worlds that feed my imagination. I am so loving your beautiful space here, the sound of the birds, and the HILARIOUS vision of FIONA and friends waddling their way as tour guides!!!!!!! THANK YOU for this treat, and I too am loving my three gardens here. I have less than three weeks of school and then I look forward to staying here at home to produce and plot and plan my next phase of life.



  2. Dear, dear Jeri ~ Thank you so much for this wonderful tour of your peaceful, lovely world. It was a real delight. I could sense and feel the quietness, almost smell the scents, the one scent that comes to mind is the deep earthiness of living where you do. That is something we don't have down here, instead we have a swampiness. We didn't realize that until we went to upstate NY for a week, when getting off the plane at the airport when we came back, we were struck with the swampy odor. We don't notice it normally.

    This was great encouragement for anyone to start a front yard garden, or a container garden on their balcony, wherever, just plant some lovelies and your life will be more peaceful.

    Fiona did a great job and I really enjoyed the musical accompaniment of the birds.

    Enjoy your week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Lovely, Jeri!
    That was so much fun...it almost felt as though we were there with you! What a lovely garden you have. And much inspiration you have given to me this morning!

  4. Oh my goodnessyou have captured my heart and soul. Such beauty and peace. You are ever so blessed to live in this delightful place.
    And Fiona you are devine with a camera. I enjoyed every detail and friendly soul along our walk.
    Thank you for sharing your world.

  5. An enjoyable garden escape, thanks for inviting us along.

  6. Oh Jeri! Makes me want to come and see your place in person. What a lovely front yard. Fionna did a great job. Please give her my compliments. Have a great week!



  7. I so enjoyed the tour through your garden and delighted in the bird chorus. Your yard and gardens brought back sweet memories of the way yards and gardens used to be. It is so beautiful there, makes me long to go back to my mom and dad's place out in the country where one can be rested and peaceful with nature. Your blog is a new favorite, having found it from clicking here and there on comments left on blogs. Hope your day is as beautiful as your piece of God's beautiful earth.

  8. Dear Jeri,

    Your beautiful spirit shines out in your home, as well as in your work! Thank you for sharing it with us. Have you ever thought of putting out a photo book of your lovely gardens? That would be quite a treat!



  9. That was so restful and relaxing. I loved it:)

  10. Oh my Jeri, well I know where I will be coming when I have any stress in my life. Purely enchanting, beyond words lovely. I am GREEN with envy at all you have done. You live in a fantasy world of wonder and delight. Thank you for transporting me to your wonderful world!



    I am so thrilled to see your comment this morning! Oh dearest, do join us at least to view this little trip we are taking (in cyberspace of course!) to Paris via some detours! That is me, DETOURS !!!! They are sometimes more fun than the destination!!!

    Oh how I just love this tour in your garden. Give that Hamish a squeeze for me and make him honk!!! LOVE! Anita

  12. such a lovely realm you have created. nine gardens that grow a bit each year, how wonderful! Lovely day to you~

  13. Hello again Jeri. I read the posts on your bathroom. Oh be still my heart....love what you did with the butlers pantry. Now really, these modern times have nothing on the old craftmanship. Love that bathroom.
    Thank you for your sweet comment. I am doing ok. Just getting up everyday and going on until life makes sense again and it will. I have a firm foundation in my faith, Christ the solid rock. Your blog is such a sweet place to visit. I love your gardens, your farm friends and the wonderful whimsy. God bless!

  14. Wow ! Thank you Jeri (and Fiona) for this wonderful walk in Hopalong Hollow, your garden is a real delight! What a peace and what a beauty, wonderful animals! It was not too long, on the contrary !

    Nice thursday Jeri and thank you again, it was marvellous.

    Nathanaëlle x

  15. Thank you. This has been a delight. You are an awesome gardener. What a great way to share these gardens.

  16. A true delight!! I feel like I really visited you in your awesome GARDEN!! ;-D

    Thanks for the inspiration!! Now out to my garden I go!!
    Blessings, Linnie

  17. Ok, that's it... Bebe and I are packing our bags and moving in.. teehee. What a great garden walk that was.. So good to HEAR your voice.. So soft and calming Jeri.
    Love the video, great job Fiona!
    In my book you are no amature gardener, it looks just as it should, a true country garden.
    Thank you Jeri, that was such fun.
    Love and blessings,

  18. Your garden looks fabulous - and it's so refreshing to hear you say that you're not a professional, and yet it looks so good. I am a complete novice, and sometimes knowing what i want to do in my garden and not knowing how to do it frustrates me. I am - as you say - taking small steps, and it will take time, but sometime i hope to look back and be proud of what I've achieved just like you are.
    Paula x
    p.s. I'm off to view your film on Youtube now!

  19. came by via Amy(Art from the Heart)...love your blog!! I knew I would,since Amy wrote so highly of it!! I have been away from blogging for a bit,just now back..what a wonderful way to spend some time...thank you!!

  20. JERI!!!!!!!!

    I DID WIN THAT FAB BOOK! I was so please about that!

    Oh dear heart, yes, that ITALIAN ROCKY ROAD treat is unbelievable, huh? And I would accompany you gladly to the Lake District to visit Beatrix's and PETER'S stomping grounds! Oh to travel, to enjoy! We had some vicious thunder storms this week that has left everything so lush and gorgeous. The birds are singing their lungs out today and I am enjoying this wonderful day off, creating.

    Have a beautiful day dear friend! Anita

  21. Hi Jeri
    I had to come sit awhile in your beautiful garden...
    It was such a joy to see that you had come by.. Thank you so much for your kind words about my humble sketch of Audrey Hepburn. I realized there is room for improvement but I am so happy you enjoyed it. She was such a beautiful woman.. Inside and out.
    I usually sketch portraits from my imagination but have wanted to try my hand at a few women that I admire so.
    I hope to see you at Anita's Paris party..
    Enjoy your day Jeri, and thank you so much.

  22. Dear Jeri, what an absolute TREAT and honor to get a live glimpse into your peaceful, beautiful world! Thank you so much!
    You voice is indeed wonderfully soothing and kind, and Fiona was the perfect guide ;)
    You have my "dream gardens", Jeri...wild and gorgeous, fragrant and lush. You certainly have a idyllic place, but it all starts with your vision...you are so talented. I love your whimsical fence...
    So swans are next for you, perhaps?..hee.
    Thank you, this was truly therapeutic....

    And thank you so much for visiting me, and your very lovely message..I appreciate it so much.
    Blessings and birdsong,
    - Irina

  23. Oh, sweetheart! The stroll through the garden was as beautiful as any garden tour I have ever taken, anywhere! Such inspiration! I can't wait for Tim to watch...he's been itching to do a stone wall:)
    I'm checking your show dates ..coming up with a plan for July.
    Much love and hugs, dear one,
    P.s. The Carolina wrens all survived and flew away...found another nest in the weeping cherry and one in the fern on the front porch. Mommas and their babies taking turns at the feeders are quite a show from our rockers out back:)

  24. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    We love the hen in the gathering basket on the table! What a delightful tour round your garden! Your flowers are lovely, how we enjoyed the sights and sounds! Your stone walls are beautiful and your custom Hopalong pickets are just perfect for your cottage garden!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  25. You did a great job ! really !!!



    teeeeheeee...that crazy woman with the balloons.....well, all I can say is that MY HUSBAND is a very patient man, putting up with my plots and plans and foibles!!! THAT WAS TAKEN LAST WEDNESDAY, the kids' last day of school. I ran out of that classroom so fast and then the idea came to me on my way home....I stopped off to buy my balloons, got home and put on my dress, gloves and hat and told Ruben to drive me to the Catholic church down the street. It is Romanesque in style, but it is the CLOSEST thing to Euro architecture in my neighborhood!!!!!!

    My dear heart, YOU WOULD LOVE FRANCE. The countryside is up your alley and the fields of lavender, the market places and the love for nature would sweep you off your feet.

    HEY! Just yesterday as we were walking out of our back door to go for a walk, a sparrow flew RIGHT INTO OUR HOUSE and then made its way onto RUBEN's chest. He held it for a bit and then the little thing flew off....it was magic.



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