Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prayer flags decorate the garden.......

While visiting the island of Maui in Hawaii in February, I noticed Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags hanging bunting style above the entrance to a tiny shop filled with unusual items. The flags were weathered, the colors muted, the cotton fabric wrinkled and frayed. I asked if they sold them and was shown a much brighter package - the Tibetan five elemental colors - which I purchased. I know eventually they'll fade into those softer shades after a few months of weathering in the Summer sun and showers here in my back garden.

Note - beneath the flags I have a small dogwood tree growing straight and looking very healthy. This is exciting as we've lost all but one other dogwood. This little tree just appeared last year out of the blue and I'm giving it lots of TLC.......and maybe the prayer flags fluttering above will help too!

The back garden. A haven for wildlife, from tiny birds to foxes. Goodness it's truly looking like a 'secret garden' this Spring. 

I started this garden a1most 16 years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran. It looked like a war zone then! With $2.4 billion in damage and 13 deaths, North Carolina was hit hard, not just the coastal region but inland also. Our damage was substantial during that horrible night, my car crushed in the driveway, and many large oak trees fell on our house necessitating a new roof, but thankfully we were not injured. What was formerly just a natural heavily treed area in back became my new project. After assistance with clearing and preparing the lot, Bob and I have done all the work ourselves. It's amazing how quickly trees, shrubs, and plants grow, even with limited sunlight. We still have a thick overhead canopy of trees despite the ones that fell and the removal later of several tall but dangerous pines. Now, slightly overgrown, the huge privets, blooming currently, are more the size of small trees than shrubs and are blending into the azaleas. Pruning is on that lengthy garden 'to do' list. I missed many of the azaleas in flower this Spring, they bloomed whilst I was away and Nature wouldn't wait for me - but they were lovely according to my neighbors.

A huge leftover pile of firewood due to our 
extremely mild Winter - at least we'll be 
ready for the next cold one.

One of the benches snuggled into the landscape.

The annual clambering up the back fence of the 
New Dawn roses - a bit sparse 
this Spring as I pruned them last year - their 
palest, shabby chic pink, always a delight.

Looking toward the potting shed - it had a little clean 
out and tidy up recently!

What does your green space look like? 

Do you have a perfectly manicured garden 
or, like me, allow Nature to run a little wild?


  1. Nature runs wild in my garden, and threatens to encroach completely at the edges where the forest looms. I loved this peek at your garden, Mary. The prayer flags are a pretty addition. When our daughter's fiance returned from a trip to Thailand with his parents he brought us flags which we strung between trees. They have faded to near-white now, but I still like to come upon them.

  2. I love your prayer flags. Your garden looks like a wonderful sanctuary Mary. We just got back from a week away and the woods surrounding our rental look like a jungle with all of the rain we have been having!

  3. Your yard and garden look beautiful and peaceful. No, we definitely don't have a manicured lawn. It is former pasture land so mostly weeds and lots of rock and ledge below. The flower beds are looking rather unkempt and overgrown (even though the plants haven't shot up much yet). I keep dividing and transplanting and need to toss and bring in some new ones instead. I'm hoping when Murray retires (some day) he'll help me! It may be a while.

  4. My green space is nowhere near as lush as yours! Much simpler, overshadowed by a huge avocado tree loaded down with fruit. One thing I love about the South is all that green everywhere, so thick and luxurious. Walking today I saw some magnolias in bloom and it reminded me of visits to Georgia once upon a time.

  5. My garden is more along the line of manicured, well, it would be if the weeds didn't grow so fast. We have had several days of showers, much needed I must say, when it dries up abit i will be "manicuring".
    The toad spawn which was laid back in March when we had a warm spell, died as a result of the following cold weather. Now I have three resident frogs,(this is the first time) looks like they are staying for awhile. Goldfish are doing fine.

  6. I love the prayer flags Mary. I commented before that I love the look of your garden, obviously it's paid you back a thousand fold for all the hard work over the years. I would say it's verdant and peaceful :o)
    As you know my garden is full of wildlife too, my borders are far from organised and are mostly full of different plants that grow into one another - a cottage garden maybe? (My grocery delivery man says he loves the back garden and calls it 'eclectic') The lawns have gone though, for years I struggled to keep them neat and hated every moment of cutting them even though they were small, the most intensive part of gardening and now, happily I am released from it :o)
    Rose H

  7. Lovely lush garden. And happy garden, with its own prayer flags.
    When they've faded to no-color and are tattered and ready for disposal, they should be burned separately from other things as a mark of respect. The vendors don't always think to mention that.

  8. I like a care free garden. ;-) Fun to see into your green space, Mary.
    Stopping by to wish you a Happy Mother's Day! ~ Sarah

  9. Morning Mary, I love your garden. I hate neat tidy gardens, I wish we had a few little corners in ours. Sadly we don't even have any trees. At the moment we have lots of bluebells, forget me nots, azaleas and just see the start of lily of the valley. The grass needs cutting but with all the rain and our high water table it will have to wait. But we have lots of daisies, which I love and dandelions which they say encourage bees which produce the honey......
    I love the prayer flags, I have just ordered some from Amazon for something a little different in the garden. I do have some bunting to put up for the Jubilee, Phil's 60th birthday and the Olympics.

    Love Jackie in Surrey.x

  10. Nothing very manicured about my garden I'm afraid. It's a country garden and has a small wildish area at the bottom end. Your 'secret garden' looks beautiful and very tranquil. A lovely idea to have the Tibetan prayer flags fluttering away above the young dogwood.

  11. It is a lovely, lovely "secret garden" cool and inviting! So pretty! I love the little touches like the prayer flags and the iron design piece. Beautiful!

  12. What a pretty, tranquil garden. I love the scalloped fence and the potting shed. Prayer flags are a lovely addition.


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