As I sit here, housebound, with my foot up (surgery on Friday to remove a piece of glass) I am reminded of how different last Sunday was. With an invitation to visit a garden with luncheon and tea it was not difficult to give up the Sunday morning walk around the lake with taco to follow!
On arrival, glass of bubbly in hand, we walked out to the back garden where our hosts had erected a unique gauze covered gazebo under which a small table was laid with delicious savory pastries and bunches of grapes. These little appetizers a homage to their Greek ancestry.
I can imagine the fun they had erecting their gazebo.
We strolled around the garden, sat chatting under the live oak trees and then were called indoors where the table was laid for luncheon. These day the word luncheon has been abbreviated to lunch, but the word luncheon is actually a northern English term for a smaller meal taken during the middle of the day. In the past it might have been a piece of bread and cheese. Not so today. Did I say how much our hosts love all things English? I think they might be more English than I as they are avid Chelsea fans.
The table was laid with an antique table cloth (we always had a tablecloth on the table when I was growing up) beautiful vases of roses and baby's breath. Everything matching perfectly even to the glasses and decoration on the cups and tea service.
Plates of sandwiches, cookies, scones and the customary jam with clotted cream. I knew we were going to talk about which goes on first jam or cream. Jam for me!
But before we spread our scones with jam and cream, we were served a wonderful quiche and salad.
And served cups of tea......milk in first for me, please. Could we possibly have room for one of those lemon curd tarts? Of course.
Replete it was time for a little exercise as we took a guided walk around the garden which had been designed by our hosts mother. No agaves, please was their only request.
Under towering live oak trees a small area of grass is fringed by native, drought resistant plants like rosemary, salvia, Texas sage. It is a green and serene space with a cleverly placed bench made from chimney flue tiles. They recently spend quite a lot of money protecting their live oak trees from the encroaching Live Oak Wilt, which is already in the neighborhood. Several trees on the lot next door has succumbed to wilt and have yet to be removed. Recognizing the value that trees bring to a home they felt the cost was justified.
Those flue tiles show up once again in front of their front entrance, where three have been placed to soften the concrete foundation. This time spiked grasses create height and a trailing rosemary allowed to spread and soften the gravel.
In the back garden they found an equally clever use for the tiles. This time to hide air conditioners.
A river of cotoneaster softens a large expanse of gravel. Possibly Cotoneaster horizontalis. I wonder if it berries in the winter. I love the grey contrasting with the lighter green of their other landscaping.
I think we were all thinking how nice it would be to just pop down in the hammock, but then that is something I have never quite achieved with aplomb.
And I was also casting a wary eye over that kangaroo lurking in the distance.
Maybe this would be a safer seat to try.
Clever use of the different shades of green. I heard today that the eye is capable of distinguishing more shades of green than any other color. Here was a good test. And plenty of room to pass between the plants when weeding or trimming was necessary. And a nice brick edge to assist with a clean mowing line.
A lot of work has gone in to creating a beautiful space for outdoor enjoyment and entertaining as well as a major transformation of the interior of their home. Thank you girls and to your garden designer for a memorable visit.
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