The garden of Dr. Evil

Aunt Jacquie’s house is wonderful, unique, thoughtfully decorated. We’ve already talked about her elegant but unloungeworthy living room, and we will be doing a tour of the secret staircase and castle wonderland that is the attic, but today I wanted to revel with y’all in her garden.

Here’s the front of the house with its lush green grass and hosts of plants.

The front of the yard has this marvellous old tree . . .

. . . where aunt Jacquie has thoughtfully installed a little door for the gnomes to go in and out. This will go a long way in improving the crumbling state of human/gnome relations, I’m sure.

But that’s just the beginning of the garden dynasty she is building–let’s go around to the back of the house:

The patio area is brand new, and was the perfect setting for a grilling post, manned by Martin for approximately 12 hours straight.

I dub thee Martin of the Grilled Bacon.

The patio area is also perfect for toenail painting (and the refurbishing of waning pedicures):

And adult conversation under the shade of the umbrella.

Do you remember that time (in your early days on this planet) when adult conversation was a mystery? Why would anyone just want to sit around and talk all day? I would ask myself. Surely there were more interesting things to do–like making paperdolls. Or going swimming. Or jumping over towels. Or pretending that the grass is a pit of quicksand, and you have walk along its edge in perfect balance and not set a single toe on it–or else you’ll fall in and be swallowed whole.

As you can see, the patio is not the end of the back yard.

There is an expanse of open space in which any children at hand can completely exhaust themselves running around.

Go Snugs go!

The adults can also migrate to the shade under the tree and continue their boring conversational endeavors.

While the kids were blowing bubbles, my cousin Eleanor and her friend Summer chatted away on some blankets.

I don’t have any landscaping skills or any reason to do landscaping, being ferreted away in an apartment building far away from things called ‘yards’ or ‘lawns,’ but if I did have some such yard or lawn, I would certainly find inspiration in what aunt Jacquie has done with the place.

Hmmm–that was a convoluted way of saying ‘way to go aunt Jacquie!’

She has some mad skillz.

Yes, I just said ‘skillz’–and I’m not taking it back. Nope.

Let’s venture around to the side of the house, where there is another patio area nestled in.

June and aunt Jacquie did me the courtesy of posing. I think I’ll call this area the ‘breakfast nook.’ Or maybe the ‘afternoon tea nook.’ Or maybe the ‘movie star nook.’

Yes, June is looking like a movie star.

Something about those sun glasses screams ‘glamour!’ to me.

And the flowers . . . oh the flowers. Is there anything more photogenic in the world?

I mean, besides movie star June?

So I’m curious–who out there has yards? And how much design have you put into them? And do you mow your lawn with great joy or with great gloom? Or do you just hire the neighbor boy to do it?

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8 Responses to The garden of Dr. Evil

  1. Wendi says:

    Here in B’more, we have just enough of a yard to be a pain to have to mow, but not enough to really “do” anything with. Maybe the next house will have better yard karma.

  2. My yard is not nearly as lush or glamorous. I tend to kill anything green and living.

    Love the towel game–kids are so creative!

  3. Veronica says:

    If it wouldn’t embarass me to death, I’d post pictures on my blog for you of my own yard. You would die laughing. or perhaps cry tears of pity. The backyard is pitted with holes from the doggie diggers, and the grass is only 1/8 actual grass–the rest green weeds filling in the lawn covering. I only have flowers in the front, iris, and right now the leaves are dehydrated and draped with dying vines that have shot up and been ignored. Your aunt’s flowers & landscaping are gorgeous! Is she for hire? ;)

  4. Sarah says:

    wow, what a great yard! i don’t have my own yet but i can’t wait til i do!

  5. okielicious says:

    Our yard usually looks pretty good (thanks to the hubby’s TLC), but with no clouds in sight and the sun scoffing at manmade attempts to irrigate, it’s a dried up mess right now. Pray for rain. Your aunt definitely has the magic touch. Or maybe the gnomes assist? :) I love the way you write, Jenna! You brought back some childhood memories (especially the “imagination games”) I’d forgotten about — beware the quicksand!
    P.S. How is comfortable couch fund coming along?

    • Jenna says:

      I’ll have to check in with aunt Jacquie when I see her again in a couple weeks. I’m curious to see what kind of couch will suit both her aesthetic taste and the family’s desire for comfort–is it possible for both sides to be satisfied??

  6. Jacquie Erwin says:

    The yard has been 7 years in the making! It helps to have an enormously talented contractor–a guy with no college education but an aesthetic sense that jives with mine and who when I give another “little project which I need done soon” accomplishes a few miracles. The flowers are thanks to my generous father, my generous friends who share from their gardens, and some great sales. Check out Lowes clearance racks of plants! The backyard is decent thanks to sod–a good decision last fall that paid off this summer. The backyard used to be a wasteland before the garage and patio were built last year. Time, money, some flexible imagination, generous fellow flower lovers, a great contractor, and patience: these are the magic keys. It took me till age 60 to have this come about! Worth the wait!
    Great writing skillz, Jenna! Thanks for the tour and the memories of thinking how dull adults are when all they do is sit and talk!

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