Garden Spotlight: Glenys Kaye, Arboretum Volunteer

Glenys Kaye, a new volunteer serving on the Friends Board, generously shared photos of and information about her gorgeous home garden. Click through the photo gallery above to see photos of Glenys' garden.

We designed and built our home on 1/2 acre which sits across from the second green on Morgan Creek golf course in Roseville. My husband purchased a computer program on which we designed the house, before handing our ideas to an architect.

This software also had a garden design program. This program allowed me to play with different designs, which I then handed to a landscape designer to organize. I wanted to have mostly garden with a small grassy area beside the pool for the grandchildren. We also planned an area for four 8’ x 4’ raised vegetable beds. (That has now expanded to six). The soil was heavy clay, so it required a lot of amendment and my compost bins worked overtime.

We moved into our home in November 2005 and the basic structure of the garden was planted by the landscapers. We planted espaliered fruit trees along each side of the garden but kept other trees in our backyard which faced the golf course, to a minimum so we would not impede our view.

My favorite time of the year is spring, when there are lots of blossoms and the bulbs, daffodils, grape hyacinths, tulips, hyacinths, then German iris, fritillaries, anemones, freesias, and ranunculus. My first year, I planted about 4,000 bulbs around the garden. In early January, with the help of a gardener, I planted 60 rose bushes. I was rewarded the next spring with a lovely display.

My display continues with bearded Iris and then the summer perennials come into bloom, followed by the annuals I plant every year. I grow many of the annuals from seed in my cold frame, which I set up in one of the raised beds. This year I was rewarded with a display of giant zinnias and marigolds. Since orange is a color that I usually gravitate to, it is not surprising that the blooms are mostly yellow and orange.

Over the years, I have learned to plant my tulips in the many pots I have around my garden, and these are especially rewarding in the spring. Since tulips do not really regenerate well in this climate, I always pull them out after flowering and dig them into empty spots in my garden where I do get some smaller tulips the following spring. When I visited Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam one year, I learned about layering tulips in pots to enjoy tulips for about two months. I have a very large pot on the front steps of my home. Now, I plant three layers of tulips placing the bulbs very close together. The first layer is the late blooming tulips, which is then followed by the mid-term and then the top layer is the early blooming ones. Since I don’t want my pot to remain bare. I put annuals on top, which I pull out to replant elsewhere when the tulips begin to appear in the spring. Over the years this big pot has had some lovely displays.

My vegetable boxes are always fully planted. Once a crop is finished, it comes out and after replenishing the soil from my compost bin, I add new plants and seeds. I grow most of our vegetables, except for onions, corn, and potatoes. I also have a long, narrow bed that is devoted to sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes. To utilize all the produce, I  give away a lot to friends and neighbors.  I have also discovered lots of interesting recipes I make to try ensuring we eat everything we grow. I hate to waste something that I have nurtured from a seed or small plant, especially as food plucked from the garden just before preparing and serving it, truly tastes the best!

When I look through the pictures I have selected for this article, I am amazed how the shrubs and perennials have grown.  Some of them have been replaced when they died, but I enjoy all the seasonal changes and the new developments as my mood shifts.

My Current Project:

When we first moved into our home, I left the north-east side of the garden, (which we could not see), for later development and at that time we did not have a house next to us.  I eventually planted a quince tree and a makrut lime.  The lime was planted in a pot so I could grab leaves for Thai cooking.  I eventually put in a winding pathway and added a few plants.  Now I am working to create a Japanese style garden.  A small camelia is being trained to grow in the Japanese style and I am adding small plants to create ground cover.  My next job is to place a large lantern or pagoda and steppingstones along the pathway and then let nature take its course.  

Primary Category