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Building a Front Yard Garden at Serendipity Gardens – One Year at a Time

July 21, 2014 by Jo Ellen Roe

Front yard beauty

Most of Serendipity Gardens lies within the back fence, behind a gate that sports a frog sign saying “Welcome to My Garden.” The front yard, however, is what a visitor to the garden first sees. Over time, I am pleased to say, it has melded together into a pretty sight. Time is the key word here, though, because I have been working on this vista for at least six years. Here is the story of the front yard.

When we moved into this house, 12 years ago now, the front yard consisted of two forsythia shrubs, a Korean … Read More

What’s Blooming in Serendipity Gardens?

July 11, 2014 by Jo Ellen Roe

It’s mid-July, and the peak blooming time is almost here for Serendipity Gardens.

Nevertheless, sitting in the back yard swing and looking across the garden, the predominant color you see is green. My husband had this vantage point a few days ago, and he said to me, “What’s blooming in the garden? All I see is green!”

I said, “Let me show you.” We began a walk around the garden, looking for beauty. We wound up finding well over 20 plants blooming away, and a few others, such as white Phlox David, getting ready to … Read More

Counting Fireflies at Serendipity Gardens

June 27, 2014 by Jo Ellen Roe

One of my best memories from childhood happened one summer evening when I spent the night with my cousin who lived on a farm. I rode to her house with her and my aunt and uncle. When we drew close to the house, my uncle stopped the car and turned out the lights.
“Look!” he said.
We looked up, and saw … a city! I could not believe my eyes … the twinkling lights of a city right out in the country. Actually, it was a field full of fireflies, glowing and flashing in the dark. It was incredibly beautiful, all the more so for … Read More

The Urban Bestiary: a Book Review from Serendipity Gardens

June 20, 2014 by Jo Ellen Roe

Urban Bestiary Cover2

Serendipity Gardens is home to several squirrels. Because it is “out in the country,” the squirrels are not a bother, just fun to watch.

I ran across this book recently on a rare visit to a bookstore. Written by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, an award-winning author, speaker, and naturalist based in Seattle, it caught my eye immediately, not only because of its interesting-looking cover, but also its title.

What is a bestiary? I wondered. And an urban bestiary to boot?

I was intrigued enough to toy with purchasing … Read More

Have a Seat — or Lots of Seats — in Your Garden!

June 11, 2014 by Jo Ellen Roe

You have lots of beautiful flowers in your garden.

You have birds, butterflies, bees, frogs and toads to watch.

Now, you need seats, since one of the great benefits of having a garden is the opportunity to enjoy it.

Seats can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. They can range from a high-end bench to simple bales of straw. Look at second-hand stores or visit garage and estate sales, where you will likely find an old or rusty bench that you can paint or restore. You can also let loved ones know … Read More

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