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I enjoy antique motorcycles.  I take pleasure in studying their mechanical details in museums in pristine showroom condition.  But what I truly love are old bikes that owners have made their own.  Rather than making the vehicle look like it came off the showroom floor, they make or adapt pieces to better fit their needs. It may be functional like the disc brake on my 1948 Harley, or aesthetical like the huge brass headlight I have.  You see the creativity in the machine, and suddenly it becomes personal. The owner has made the motorcycle his or her own.

Gardens are the same way.  Calloway and Gibbs are akin to museums where we can appreciate the structure and details of a particular plant or the style of a design.  We enjoy the park-like setting, and it makes for a wonderful day.  But, like the perfectly restored motorcycles, they can lack personality.

Creating a Step by Step Landscape DeisignOur personal gardens are an opportunity to be creative. We get to build what we want.  It doesn’t have to be perfect or grand, nor do our gardens have to follow all the rules.  Like talking with the guy at the gas station with the greasy, well worn bike, we get to share our stories. We get to learn about the owner through his machine in just a short period of time.  And as you watch him ride away you see the two are on a journey together.

When we visit a friend’s back yard it’s the same.  We find out that your irises are fourth generation heirlooms and you simply had to have the Fairy rose because it reminds you of a neighbor’s garden when you were a child.  The hydrangea is in memory of your mother, as it was her favorite plant. And you found that old bird bath at a flea market while on vacation ten years ago and lugged it around the entire trip.  When we leave we have not only gleaned more about you, we also realize that this is your garden; you created it because it was what you wanted.

Do you want to spend an afternoon at Calloway Gardens or visiting a friend’s back yard?  If you are like me, you are just waiting for the invite.

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