Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inspiration and Imagination in Ragna's Garden

Some gardens pull you in and set the imagination going.  Such is the case with my friend Ragna's garden here in San Antonio.  I hope these photos can begin to provide some sense of how wonderful it feels in person, although they seem all too inadequate. 


Native Texans enjoy comparing how their families came to Texas and how long ago.  Ragna wins hands down every time, since her ancestors were sent to San Antonio by the King of Spain in 1713.  Perhaps that explains the classic touches mixed with Texas style charm of her garden.


Her garden is such an inspiring place to spend an afternoon.  Every plant and object in this garden has a story.  When I'm there I love to walk along the grassy pathways and talk with her about the garden.


She loves roses and the garden is designed around her many rose plants.




Her David Austin roses are stunning

Jude the Obscure


  Abraham Darby


Similar in style to The Antique Rose Emporium display gardens, the roses are combined with perennials and annuals to beautiful effect.


I enjoyed reading stories set in gardens as a child and the gardens I pictured in my mind were very much like this one.

A hint of mystery


Pathways enveloped in flowers


Vine covered arbors and gates to hidden spaces


This spot behind the gate is where her grandchildren loved to play when they were little.  She's a great-grandmother now and her great-grandson will play here too.


Mock Orange -- gorgeous!

 

Ragna doesn't hesitate to add agave, cacti, and other succulents to the mix.   It's not easy pick a highlight or a favorite spot because I love it all.  Like this pot with metal frogs and a googly-eyed crane.  There's a metal toad back there on that wonderful blue pot too and this is just one small vignette.


This building was a home for doves, now it's an outdoor art gallery.


A mirror and an old rake holds vintage tools.  I'm copying this idea!


One of the most fascinating pieces here is a table created by local faux bois artist Julian Sandoval as a wedding gift for his granddaughter who is Ragna's friend.


 
So beautiful!



 

I have so many lovely photos!  You would think the garden covered several acres, but it is only a typical suburban back yard.  This is just the first of several posts featuring Ragna's inspiring garden.  Her front yard is a collection of cacti and xeric plants.  She has been a big influence in my adding cacti and succulents to my own garden, and we share an appreciation for native plants as well.

I hope you enjoyed this initial tour of my friend's garden and much as I enjoyed putting it together.  When I visit it is hard to leave because this unique garden is so intriguing.  Stay tuned for more....

31 comments:

  1. How beautiful Shirley! And what a cooooool great grandmother to have such a funky garden like that with all that art. I really love that table too - it set off some emotions in me...how special that wedding gift is!

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  2. Shirley! I LOVE IT! Just So Charming. You did a great job organizing the photos. It was a wonderful tour. Can’t wait to see more!

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  3. Gorgeous! There are so many things I love about this garden from the variety of roses, fantastic arbor/gate and that Bauhinia Orchid Tree - Just beautiful. What a wonderful friend to have who shares your love of gardening.

    PS I found my "Big Red Sage". Yay! They had one at Rainbow Gardens. Thank you for offering to help me hunt down this plant.

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    1. I saw you had found one, so that's great. I'll have to give that plant a try too.

      Glad you enjoyed the tour.

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  4. Shirley, this is indeed gorgeous and thank you for the lovely tour. Would you be willing to get her in touch with me at llehmusvirta@klru.org? Best to you!!

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    1. Linda, I'm not surprised you would want to share this wonderful garden with your viewers. I have sent her your contact info and will stay tuned.

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  5. I am in Virginia and love seeing your garden in San Antonio. Beautiful. I especially love the pottery. Wonderful placement in the garden.
    Shirley

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy seeing gardens and getting ideas from all over the world.

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  6. Yowza! Are those vertical flowers larkspurs? They are a great contrast to the roses and agaves, etc, etc. The rose "Jude the Obscure" is my favorite in your post!

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    1. Yes, those are larkspur flowers. In this post I focused on the beauty of the garden and only identified a few plants. I plan some more detailed posts as she is also a native plant collector and has plants that are not often seen in gardens.

      That was my favorite rose on this visit too.

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  7. It certainly looks like a fabulous garden to while away a few hours just wandering around in. Lots of interest and some fantastic planting combinations. It truly is a beautiful garden.

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  8. This is such a wonderful yard! It's so nice to find a gardener who shuns the typical & boring & water-guzzling lawns that are so prevalent in residential neighborhoods. Ragna's Garden is an imaginative & beautiful example of the kind of yards that homeowners should aspire to.

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    1. I agree with you that water guzzling lawns should go. This type of garden is a lot of work though and there are many good options out there for those who need low maintenance too.

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  9. Thanks so much for posting all the pics of Ragna's garden! I was so sad to miss the tour after the swap. She promises I can come visit the roses whenever I want :) Thanks for all the plants and fun at the swap!

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    1. You're welcome Meredith, I enjoy enabling new gardeners! Ragna didn't have the tour since there weren't many who could make it.

      You would love her roses, so be sure to take her up on that offer.

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  10. Wow! Such a lush garden. How inspiring!
    Thanks for showing this to us.
    I agree about the 'Jude the Obscure' rose.....just beautiful.

    Looking forward to more about this garden.

    Have a great weekend.

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  11. What a magical place! It's just perfect. The larkspurs are a wonderful touch. I can imagine playing in that garden as a child must seem like being in The Secret Garden.

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    1. It's even special without the larkspur and I'll show that to you later in the year.

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  12. Now that's what I call a garden!!! I love the artistic flare that gardeners add to their spaces. Really well done and not tacky. And you're right....those roses are stunning. And excellent pictures!! Just got done today out in the garden....100 degree weather! I am a bit fried, but our crew got the spring cleaning done....it always feels good having those leaves picked up. Hope you have a productive and fun Sunday:)

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    1. Isn't it amazing how beautifully she has pulled everything together.

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  13. Really enjoyed the tour. Looking forward to the next one.

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  14. Thank you so much for the tour! Her garden is gorgeous and filled with romance, art and whimsy. Delightful!

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  15. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments! Ragna appreciates them so very much.

    For those of you who might be wondering, she has agreed to a segment on Central Texas Gardener to be taped in the fall.

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  16. What a wonderful garden -- so much personality! Thanks for the tour, Shirley.

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  17. mariassecretgardenOctober 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    What a beautiful garden...I love a garden that has unexpected treasures around every turn!

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    1. It is beautiful, glad you enjoyed the tour.

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