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March 25, 2011

Tweaking Tommy's Gardens!

I was recently asked to give some input
for Tommy's gardens in his small 
backyard city lot. I've never been on this 
property except through pictures and this 
new friend isn't even close enough for me 
to pop on over to and visit!   
You see Tommy's garden is in
San Francisco...
and I live in Michigan!
*see story
This first picture was a presentation of 
new flowers, and a water fountain 
he had recently purchased.
 This area is along a sidewalk path and is 
where we began discussing what to do 
with the things he had and
the new things he had purchased.
I stared and stared at this area and 
finally I had to have everything removed 
so I could understand the space better. 
All these plants  were not intended to 
be in one spot but they 
certainly were pretty together!

My first idea was to bring these two tall 
pots (he had in another location) over here and 
set them by the fountain.
One of the difficulties in this space is 
that he has an electrical outlet on a post 
that can't be removed so it has to be 
worked into this vignette.
After seeing this- I jotted down a 
very technical drawing scanned it 
and sent it to him via e-mail..
Now be nice and don't laugh too hard! 
I am not an artist by any means!  
After the initial placement, it seemed as
though less symmetry was the better way 
to go.  There already was an established 
hydrangea that he didn't want to move, 
so I decided to create a cluster.  I made 
use of the hydrangea, the fountain and 
one tall pot in a triangular formation, 
and it started to take on a better look. 
The big stone on the corner got moved 
to the center and the tall pots ended up 
sticking around.  
He also has a shrub he planted in a 
square pottery planter that has been
included on the far right corner.

Now the fountain has been moved 
and the stone has been centered.
Being from Michigan I know what I can
grow- but wasn't quite as sure about 
his area.  Fortunately a lot of plants that
I am familiar with do well there too! 
He picked up some Astilbe and 
the Irish Moss I suggested.
He's done all the planting and 
positioning-and I think he's done 
a fantastic job!

Again, please refrain from laughing too hard!  
Another very technical drawing of mine!
I visualized a lattice piece covering the 
electrical outlet post that was a sore spot 
to work with- and painting it all black- 
hoping it would blend in more.  
He put it together, and found a Jasmine 
plant to grow on it.  I believe this is going
to look great and smell terrific!
 Tommy found some Liriope to add in 
and small river rocks. He placed them 
around the base of the rock 
and mixed in the green Irish Moss, which 
will help naturalize it!

As you can see the lattice did help to 
lessenthe look of the outlet post
and we both agreed the square pot 
wasn't working on this corner, so 
It's been moved.

On the left here are some of the plants he 
had in the cluster (where we started), 
and acouple more new ones he planted.  
Everything here is a perennial so he 
won't  have to re-plant next year.
 The square pot is in limbo, but the shrub 
is going to be removed from the pot and 
planted in the location it's at right now.
(The fencing is temporary while the grass fills in better, and to keep
his dog off of it for a little while longer) 
I'd love to see Hostas here, but he says the 
climate there produces slugs so bad they 
ruin them.  I'd also love to see Roses, but 
that's another one he's had trouble with. 
We all have to learn what works for us.
Just to the right of the fountain is this
covered gazebo with furniture and a 
cast stone fire pit...
I talked him into cleaning all the concrete.
Their climate grows algae real good and 
I felt it needed freshening up! 

After the concrete was cleaned he put
 back the furniture in a new order.
A diluted bleach solution got right after
the algae and a power washer finished
the job!
(Doesn't it look better!)
This should be great for conversations 
and enjoying the fire!

I felt the blue pottery should be kept 
together and it was his choice where to
put them..so he located them near the 
back cement step that leads towards 
the house. That's a water fountain next 
to the grouping too, plus the other
two items on the left have been 
moved elsewhere.

The clusters of ferns were here from
before. Tommy wanted some color, so 
it was decided to place the Cineraria in 
between the ferns. I suggested he use 
Impatiens in the front of this fern area 
all along the walkway. This is going to 
look great as it matures!

 The star of this home-Taylor! 
Isn't he too cute!
Tommy's added two footed planters..
looks marvelous!

The brown urn water feature has a new home as well as the square  pottery piece has been re-planted and the obelisk added...I think he's got the gardening bug now for sure!
Looking to the rear of the lot is where he
has his dining furniture.  All the flowering
shrubs were there- they must be beautiful
when they are blooming!

I was studying the pottery and asked 
him what he has out front by his entry
door...I figured that pot on the pedestal
with the asparagus fern would by nice
by the door..so he took it out there and
It looks just great!
He has worked hard to make all this
happen and I've just been the idea 
assistant behind the scenes. 
This project was about working with 
what he already had.
Mainly he was looking for help with 
plant choices and laying things out.  
Together through the internet we've 
tweaked this area and I know he will 
enjoy watching the plants mature 
and fill in. 
After all that is the joy of gardening!

*After posting my garden/backyard area on HGTV's Rate My Space's on-line blogging forum  I have met a group of people that share some common interests in decorating, crafting and gardening.  A group of us started a friendship that has joined us on Facebook. We regularly share ideas and projects in a private group on Facebook. 


  1. Hi lovely lady.
    Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL liz ~~~
    You are so lucky !!! I will be right over sweet lady with the wine Ok.

  2. Wow Liz you did great I love your drawings think the plans are right on!

  3. WOWZA...very nice Liz. My Mom would love to be there helping too.

  4. Nice gardening design...He had alot to work with. Sometimes it always helps to have another vision or opinion. Everything looks lush and pretty. He also had help closer to home too. LOL

  5. Very perfect designing Liz... and the drawing make it clear to understand...

  6. The garden turned our so beautiful! Wonderful job!

  7. Oh Liz, thanks for inviting us to your gorgeous garden!... it makes you want to be there in such a serene atmosphere. The darwing is perfect to understand it all. Great and creative job.
    Thank you so much for dropping by leaving such nice and sweet comments, you're a wonderful lady.

  8. You are such a giving person. I don't know how you do all you do but you are always there to lend a hand or an ear! You made Tommy's garden absolutely wonderful!

  9. Hi lovely lady. You did a Beautiful job on Tommy Garden sweet lady. I hope he is Happy with it I would be Liz!!! sorry for the mix up !! Im old so I can get mix up some times.

  10. It looks FABULOUS, Tommy must be THRILLED!!! YOu did a great job and I think the drawings are great!!!!:):) I have always wished I lived in a climate where I could garden ALL YEAR! What a dream!!!! XO, Pinky


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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