by Michelle Gervais

This is our driveway.  If you parked your car in the back, you would walk this way to get to the front terrace and the front door.  The overhanging tree on the left is a white-blooming Plumeria sp.  During the last year, we have planted palm trees on both sides of the semi-circular driveway.  Otherwise, this area is mostly planted in yellow daylilies, small pink shrub roses, Salvia leucantha or Mexican sage, orange Lantana camera, and burgundy-leafed cannas. (August)

A couple of years ago (February 2012) we visited Cynthia Goodson's garden in Rwanda (HERE and HERE), and we all fell in love with it. At that time, she stressed that she couldn't take credit for the garden, since she'd moved there just months before. Well, she can certainly take credit now! She just sent in a slew of photos of what she's been up to for the past two years, and it's spectacular! She says, "We moved to this house in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2011.  It is a diplomatic residence, so we use the terrace and garden for receptions and other large events fairly often. Over the last almost three years, we have made a number of changes to the garden, but the biggest were opening up the area in front of the terrace with grass and widening the planting beds along the larger lawn below. If you would like to know more about the garden, which we are actually leaving quite soon, please take a look at my blog, enclos*ure, and click on ‘Our garden’ under ‘Categories’ in the right-hand sidebar (or just click HERE). These photos were taken between April and November 2014." How can you bear to leave, Cynthia? The garden is stunning, and obviously took LOTS of inspiration and work. Thanks so much for hiving us an update! ***Cynthia sent in so many great photos that I couldn't whittle them down, so we'll spend two more days in her garden, welcoming in 2015! Stay tuned....

 

This is also along the driveway, looking to our acacia tree. There is a Ravenalas madagascariensis or traveler’s palm behind it.  You may want to compare these two photos to those of this area in this blog in 2012. (June)

The planting beds in this area end in acute angles, so we finished them off with stone paving. (June)

Another view of the acacia tree, which now has orchids growing between its branches. (April)

Yellow-blooming orchids in the acacia tree. (November)

Turning to the left from the last photo, this is the entrance to the terrace and the house.  Sadly, the crape myrtle on the left side has never thrived (powdery mildew), and I think I will take it out and move the small palm tree between the pots (in the center) to that spot.

The upper lawn in front of the terrace.  When we arrived in 2011, there were 3’ – 4’ clipped hedges on either side of this space, with just a 3’ wide grass path down the center.  The columns were covered with vines.  The arrangement made the terrace feel claustrophobic and obscured the wonderful view. (July)

There are two retaining walls (3’-4’ high) between the upper lawn and the lower lawn, with a planting bed between them.  In this picture, from the right: an orange-blooming tropical hibiscus, orange Kniphofia uvaria, blue Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire,’ Graptopelum in pots, and yellow daylilies. (August)

Turning around from the last photo – in the lower left corner: variegated ornamental ginger; and, in the middle: a large Croton bush (both growing in the middle planting bed between the two retaining walls.  The grey-blue succulent is Kalanchoe, possibly “mother of millions,” K. daigremontiana. There is a very large red-flowering Mussaenda erythrophylla vine (aka “Ashanti blood”) growing up into the acacia tree.  Its leaves and bracts look very much like a poinsettia.  The acacia also had small white blooms in this photo. (April)

The pink flowers on the left are Clerodendron thomsoniae var. delectum.  It is a vine, which I have growing on 4’ high supports. (April)

An unidentified small shrub rose in the same area. (April)

This is the space at the other end of the front terrace.  Another Mussaenda is on the right. (June)

To read the complete article, join now!

With FGplus, you'll get exclusive:

  • Articles – Exclusive articles for more advanced gardeners.
  • Videos – Join our editors on their behind-the-scenes journeys.
  • Digital Library – Gain access to our digital library of special issues.
  • Need help? Our Ask-the-Expert contributors will answer your questions.