White flowers and a white arbor brighten the grey wall that encloses my first “garden room”. Our neighbor’s grey garage wall sits near the property line of our garden. I wanted some white to brighten the area. So, as is now the tradition with Ted and me, after enjoying a nice meal together, I ask him if he has any arbor ideas and he pulls out his paper napkin and proceeds to sketch the design. The biggest claim to fame that this arbor has is as a photo op. Ten years ago, I hosted a wedding shower for my friend Dell and later she was married in our home. I have an enlarged, framed picture of 26 friends sitting on and standing around this arbor.
Behind the arbor, to the left is smoke bush, cotinus coggygria. After a few years of caring for the garden, the very large elm tree that shades the house, also came to shade the smoke bush. I dug out the smoke bush. The hydrangea and dogwoods flourished. Change is the one constant in a garden.
This arbor is very sturdy. I first planted it with a kiwi vine, with dreams of harvesting nice plump kiwis. The kiwis, if you can count 2 kiwis as a harvest, were like big marbles. After a few years I removed the vine. I used to have Hops on this arbor. Hop die back every winter, but in the spring grow so fast. They quickly cover an arbor. This rose is Reine de Victoria.
Lawrence Johnston's Serre de la Madone Garden
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