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Garden Photo of the Day

The Battle of the Patios

Steve Hayward from Sandy, Utah is proof that your loved ones can only hold off from loving gardening for so long, and his wife Cindy's idea of a 'battle of the patios" was brilliant!

"I have been interested in gardening since building this home over 40 years ago. As a novice, I tried planting marigolds in the shade as I felt color was needed to "brighten the space." I quickly learned and have been learning and evolving every year since. I guess I've done well-  in 2013 I received the grand prize for landscaping in my community of Sandy, Utah.  The photos that I submitted came about when the pine tree on the north side of the house  became so large that the grass would no longer grow well so I decided to convert to mostly shade plants (i.e. hostas, impatience, etc.)  I had large pieces of stone installed for a patio and I made a small island for a fountain, lace leaf maple, ceramic pots, and various plants shown in one of the photos.  The garden lights make it a very enjoyable place to be in the evenings. It was a challenge to garden under a spruce tree and that is the reason for the pots. The spruce's feeder roots can't invade them.

My wife, on the other hand, showed an active interest in gardening only two years ago.  She decided to "stick claim" to the patio on the north side of the house where we have a cement patio and 10 by 14 foot pergola.  It has been interesting to watch her grow from liking our garden to actively doing the gardening.  She, as well as I, have our successes and disappointments. She takes it harder than I do when a plant dies but never-the-less she is learning and doing a fine job.

Sorry if I'm rambling but…So, Cindy (my cute wife) decided to host a small dinner party with the theme, "The Battle of the Patios." People came, sat, ate and drank on both our patios and then had to vote on the best one. Our friends are so diplomatic! I couldn't believe it was a tie but so goes life."

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Comments

  1. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 07/01/2015

    Well, Steve, I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed your generous "rambling"...it's always nice to learn a little more about a fellow gardener. What a fun and fascinating party that had to have been...your friends picked the right winner...both patios are wonderful and deserved to share the honor of being the best. I love the two different styles. Yours is so lushly opulent and your wife's has a sophisticated ambiance. I would love to see additional pictures...you're obviously both very talented gardeners.

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      meander1,
      Thank you so much for the positive feed back about the garden and I will be sending in a few more photos of the yard. Comments like yours make me want to try even harder- thanks.
      Steve

  2. NCYarden 07/01/2015

    "In this corner we have Steve, seasoned self-taught gardener, and in the north corner we have Cindy, a budding novice. OK, guys let's have a good green fight." Well it seems to be a draw and yet both are knockouts! How cool and fun. Always love to hear the gardening addiction spread, as well as a little friendly competition. The plants (and gardeners) win all around. Those garden spaces look fantastic. Love those patina floral lights. You can definitely tell, Steve, you have the experience, as you have learned to shrug off the disappointing losses, probably recognizing the opportunity to get back to the nurseries and thus back into the dirt. But again, let's keep this battle clean. Thanks for sharing, and C'mon - send some more pics!

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      Will do and thanks for the comments.
      Steve

  3. user-4691082 07/01/2015

    Wow Steve and Cindy, you are quick learners! Your spaces are beautiful. Did you build the pergola? Love the photos but we need MORE!

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      Rhonda,
      I will submit a few more photos of the yard. It's small but I really enjoy it. My favorite time of the year is fall and the colors in the yard are wonderful. What you saw was not the pergola on Cindy's patio but rather an arbor on mine. The photo doesn't show the top of the structure. There are only the two posts in the ground, that's all. I will submit photos of the pergola on Cindy's patio.
      Thank you for the comments.
      Steve

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/01/2015

    Steve, the patio, plantings look great and lush. It's hard for me to believe these are Utah. Do you have to irrigate or just water the containers. I'm a little confused: it looks to me like the photos are only of your patio. You mentioned that Cindy's patio is concrete with a pergola above. I don't see those.
    Kudos to you and your teamwork. My wife loves to share that I have taken all of the joy of gardening out of her soul by being so controlling about the garden. I've tried to loosen up, but I'm an artiste! I'm sure my wife could think of some other choice words...........

    1. Sheila_Schultz 07/01/2015

      Tim, I learned the hard way NEVER to ask Jim his opinion on specific plants I was in love with and ready to purchase. They are TECHNICALLY our gardens, but us gardeners know better ;)

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/01/2015

        Acquitted on a technicality. The story of my life! Fortunately I have learned that Lorraine has some great ideas that I can implement. I have also acquiesced on some plant choices. She loves lilies, which I never really did. But did she imply that I could buy more plants by expressing a preference?Darn right she did. Now I love them......

        1. Sheila_Schultz 07/01/2015

          No wonder you married Lorraine... she's a very smart woman!

    2. NCYarden 07/01/2015

      Ha, I understand completely. My wife and I are a team in the garden, but admittedly because I am a night owl, I sometimes implement my visionary demands late into the evening. Oops I've said too much already...gotta go...

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/01/2015

        Dude! You just outed yourself. Now your wife is going to know that it is not the deer and raccoons that are moving plants and trees around over night!

    3. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 07/01/2015

      I can understand why you, Tim, have a more territorial inclination since the amount of your space dictates more thought filled choices. My husband, Darwin, is kind of the hardscape/structure visionary and do-er and I make most of the plant decisions... although tree choice and planting is always collaborative. We have several acres that comprise the yard/garden so he can't find me to see what I'm doing half the time anyway.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/01/2015

        I don't know whether to be jealous of your grand estate or thankful for my small yard! :)
        I guess it just depends on the day or if I am wishing I could collect more trees. Davidia involucrata has been on my list, with no room to plant and perhaps being in an iffy zone, but I've seen some new columnar cultivars lately.......Hmmmm. Do you have one?

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 07/01/2015

          You sent me off on google search since, no, I don't have one. It looks like a lovely tree and reading some Davesgarden.com comments, makes me wonder if it would sulk in TN sustained heat and humidity. I don't have too great a diversity in trees 'cause I get hung up on my love for dogwoods, red Japanese maples. and crepe myrtles. I should be more receptive to buying things I don't already have several of. My just one of each deciduous trees are: a trident maple, a yellowwood, a black gum, a fabulous dwarf birch ('Little King'), a paperbark maple. Not a very impressive list for the amount of property I could fill with trees. There was a time hole digging for large root balls seemed much less daunting but nowadays, Darwin and I don't have that more youthful energy and physicality. Oh...to be young like David (NC Yarden) and his wife.

          1. NCYarden 07/01/2015

            Haha, I definitely don't mind getting dirty, but I assure you the big holes are losing their appeal, though it would seem there are more to go if my vision is to approach any sort of fruition. Thanks for that vote of confidence.

        2. NCYarden 07/01/2015

          Hi Tim, I do have one, and if you're interested be sure to purchase a big bag of patience as well. I realize zones, placement, and conditions can vary and thus dictate what occurs, but my tree is very healthy but still no blooms. I recently found out it can take 15 years before it decides to finally do so. In the meantime, I stare at it with hope. The fairly large and spade-shaped serrated leaves are still pretty cool, but also be warned - Spring flush smells like cat pee - which I think might be helping to repel pests at that time though (namely deer), and luckily it's not too close to the house to be obnoxious.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/01/2015

            David, that is all so interesting. The 15 years now makes sense to me. Now that Davidia has been in the trade long enough that cultivars are being sold, it explains why several of them are described as blooming when very small. The cat pee smell is a definite turn off, especially since in my small yard, 'not too close to the house' does not exist!

      2. User avater
        gringopeligroso 07/01/2015

        I"m literally laughing at your covert tactics......perhaps only because I employ the same strategy here with my wife :-0 (But your secret's safe with me as long as mine is safe with you!!) Being a slightly furtive spirit, (and hoping to one day graduate to crafty spirit!) I'm not sure which is more fun: Executing clandestine operations or observing the fun of discovery on Melinda's face!! Perhaps like today's post, it's a bit of both!!

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 07/01/2015

          You know how women are notorious for buying an article of clothing and then referring to it as "Oh, that old thing. I've had it forever" if a husband asks if its new? Hmm, that might be how I am with some of my plant purchases...I'm not admitting that it is...just saying that it might be!

    4. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      Tim,
      Correct. The three photos are only of my patio on the south side of the house. I think, perhaps, I was not too clear in my explanation of our two areas and the one photo shows the wood arbor which could be mistaken for a pergola considering the top is not completely shown. Watering is a chore here in Utah in the summer. I water a lot of the planters two times a day when it's this hot. Much of my small yard is covered by a sprinkling system but still that is not enough when it reaches 100. The system is set for every other day. I was asked if I could share a few more photos including Cindy's patio and I will submit some but they will have to include some of last year and the year before. I lost many of the ones I had taken due to my lack of tech knowledge about my smart phone. Apparently it IS and I'm NOT. I much appreciate your positive comments. It makes me want to continue weeding even when it's close to 100 outsideā€¦ well, maybe in the evening with the yard lights on and it's in the low 80's. Thank you again.
      Steve

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/03/2015

        Thanks for the explanation, Steve. Do send in more photos. It's always inspiring to see other gardeners' efforts. Even here in Ohio, where we generally get plenty of rain, I have containers that often need to be watered twice a day. I think I have about 35 containers, but fortunately most of them are agaves and succulents, so my worry is too much rain/water. Are you at a high altitude, or is it warm enough that you can grow a lot of desert succulents in the ground or year-round containers? I'm becoming all about less work and more play these days! Cheers.

        1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

          Sandy, Utah is about 4200 feet. We have a full four seasons and it's beautiful here. I am at the base of the Wasatch mountains. The only succulent I can grow is hens and chicks. Well, and a Utah agave that I had to order from Monrova ( one of the Southern states.) I recently built a second home in Southern Utah (St. George) and I am learning all about cactus and succulents. It's a zone 8 there but two years ago there was a hard freeze that lasted two to three weeks and killed many palms and desert plants. Worst in recorded history, apparently. Do you have any pictures of your yard (including succulents) you could share with me? I don't know enough about shrinking photos to put any here or I would send a couple of the courtyard I recently completed In St. George but my email is: sthayward1@msn.com.
          Again, thank you
          Steve

  5. Sheila_Schultz 07/01/2015

    How wonderful to have 2 patios... there's nothing like a little friendly competition to bring out the best in us? Truthfully, I think it's perfect. You both are able to tap into your inner artist and create beauty that makes you smile... without any interference ;)

  6. VikkiVA 07/01/2015

    Your patio's are beautiful. This is such a tease...more pictures please! Vikki in VA

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      VikkiB,
      I am going to submit a few more photos including Cindy's patio. You saw my patio photos on a good day. I must have recently weeded.
      Thanks,
      Steve

  7. GrannyMay 07/01/2015

    I'm with Tim, confused as to which photo(s) might show the second patio. As far as I can see, these photos are various angles of Steve's patio. Lovely!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 07/01/2015

      I know what you mean, May and Tim, I guess I figured the wooden structure represented part of the pergola although I was puzzled by the lack of concrete. I hope Steve will pop back on gpod and give us the scoop.

    2. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      GrannyMay,
      You are correct. The photos are only of my patio. Thanks to you.
      Steve

      1. GrannyMay 07/03/2015

        Thanks for replying Steve. I look forward to seeing your wife's garden too. I'm sure there are no losers in this battle. Gardening is all about enjoying everyone else's vision as well as your own.

  8. Cenepk10 07/01/2015

    So pretty !!!!!!! Good work, you two !!!!!

  9. User avater
    gringopeligroso 07/01/2015

    Cindy and Steve!
    Y'all echo my eclectic "style" of gardening, altho y'all show quite a bit of refinement in presentation compared to what I try to do here at the edge of the Ozarks. I too have about half of my garden contained, albeit for different reasons. I would've loved to have seen the evening view of the Fountain with the lighting on, and can only imagine a Winter's scene with a dusting of frost on the Evergreens! I assume you leave the containers out year 'round? A heavy blanket of snow over their (and the Fountain's) architecture would be a magical sight!
    And, altho my gardens reflect my adolescent skills in the design realm, my carpentry/building traits can only be described as infantile....and I'm being nice!!
    I plan on borrowing (ok: stealing) y'all's simple solution of the Pergola design! I just compleated an almost identical prototype last week, but I see the better way in y'all's! (More stout, less cutting, cleaner lines, etc.) Since I'm planning on erecting many more in the coming months to house/display my massive hanging gardens, your images are instructional inspiration for this olde fool, learning new tricks!!!! That being said, I'll repeat everyone else's comment and welcome more views when you have them!
    Nice job, y'all!!! VERY nice!!

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      Jesse,
      Thank you so much for the positive comments about the patio. I did find one photo I took last year (or the year before) of the garden fountain at night with the yard lights on. I tried to include it but am told that it has to be under 2MB. If you send me an email (sthayward1@msn.com) I will send it to you.
      Thanks again,
      Steve

      1. User avater
        gringopeligroso 07/03/2015

        That would be VERY appreciated!!! I've been looking at various options for evening enhancements of my garden so that I may enjoy it in moonbeams as well as sunlight!! While I'm also a Candle Freak on steroids (perhaps I was a Pyromaniac in a former life??) and I've been experimenting with the different solar light options, sometimes I wish a bit, but not TOO much more brightness &/or accenting! (My e-ddress: gringopeligroso@yahoo.com.) Thank You!!

        1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

          Jesse,
          You wrote in the email you just sent that you liked the lights and then mentioned something about the lighting at the big box stores. FYI. I bought the lights you see in the island garden and throughout my yard at Home Depot. I used spots and tulip fixtures. The ones in the pots are the tulip and the fountain is lighted by a spot. The lighting at the lighting stores and their catalogs are way out of my price range. If I purchased through them then I wouldn't have the money for the plants and who wants to look at lighted dirt?

        2. User avater
          gringopeligroso 07/04/2015

          Thanx, Steve!
          Yes, there are some VERY nice, High End fixtures out there and they look FANTASTIC!! But, like y'all, they're out of my price range, and since our gardens aren't open to the public (as in charging admission!) other options will do nicely! Our nearest Home Depots are just over an hour away in NW Arkansas or Tulsa going the other way. We DO have their competitor in town, however and indeed we need to go and pick up some plumbing supplies in just a little while. (Need anything??!!)
          I was finally able to convert your picture!! It was simple...just had to think outside the box of this olde brain and employ the smarter than me computer!!

    2. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      Jesse,
      Well, you really know how to make someone's day. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all the positive comments above. That was very nice and much appreciated.
      Steve

  10. wittyone 07/01/2015

    Beautiful patio(s). The upside down patio lights in the first photo are lovely.

    It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it's interesting how one change in a house or neighborhood will spawn similar improvements.

  11. ILfarmersdaughter 07/01/2015

    Wow very nice patio. The large pots filled with beautiful plants are such a great idea for your shade patio area. Are those lights within the pots? I agree that we should all appreciate our hard work in the gardens by sitting on the patio and surveying its beauty. And have those dinner parties too. Job well done. Thanks for sharing.

  12. closestneighbor 07/02/2015

    i THINK BOTH LOOK LOVELY......MAYBE YOU CAN HELP ME WITH MY TINY FAIRY GARDEN.

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      I'll help you any time I can. See you soon.
      Steve

  13. user-7007496 07/02/2015

    They are both gorgeous. How could one possibly choose?

    1. user-7007688 07/03/2015

      Kay ,
      It was an easy choice. I voted for myself.
      Thanks for the nice comment.
      Steve (oh, and Cindy)

      1. user-7007496 07/03/2015

        Oh, but of course, silly me. LOL

  14. Foxglove12 07/12/2015

    Hmmm it is very difficult to choose. They both have beauty and interests. Love the theme.

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