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Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Garden Swing

Every garden needs at least one swing.

Here at Old Country Gardens we have two kinds of swings. My favorite is the garden swing. Before I go any further, I have to thank two people for this subject. First thanks goes to my mom who bought me this swing. The second thanks goes to Sisah in Muehlenbeck Germany, just outside of Berlin. Her blog Fliesstalleben is one that I highly recommend.

A few days ago Sisah asked me about my garden bench with the red flowers. Well Sisah, it's even better than a bench because it's also a type of swing we call a "glider". It swings from the bottom instead of from the top.

The opening photo is my absolute favorite one of this spot. It's my daughter Lauren (on the left) and her friend Ana all dressed up for the high school prom. It was one of those moments in life where everything was perfect. We had 16 student couples here for a photo shoot and they spread out all over the garden. The fact that the Lonicera was in bloom at this time made this only more amazing.

A number of years ago my mom took me to a store out east on Long Island that specializes in Amish garden structures. She brought me over to this swing and told me that she wanted to buy it for me as a gift. I was thrilled!

When it was first delivered I had no idea where to put it so we put it in the lawn near some trees. It was a terrible location, there was no reason to sit there and so it was almost ignored. The next year I changed my seedling bed from farm rows to a semi-formal herb garden. It was the perfect place to move the swing.

I had always wanted to grow a Lonicera (Honeysuckle) but didn't know if they were invasive or not. It turns out that the variety I bought, Lonicera sempervirens 'Mandarin' is not invasive here. But just in case, I planted it in a large whiskey barrel planter. And there it remains, still growing strong.

If you want to read about this plant and see some close up shots you can scroll down the sideline of my blog and click on the label "Plant Profiles". There you will have to scroll down a bit until you reach the post titled "Honeysuckle Dreams".

In this photo you can see the large barrel planter at the base. There are also Lysimachia clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife) in the planter.

I just spent some time drawing out the actual plan of this garden on paper so I could show it here but then remembered that my daughter Emily has my camera in Washington DC right now. So here's the garden from another angle.

As a closing shot, I thought I'd show you that the swing is lovely in winter too. I'm so happy Sisah asked about it as it's one of my most favorite places in the garden. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, I will have lunch while sitting in that swing almost every day.


N. & J. said...

I love the idea of having a garden swing and I think under the awning with the honeysuckle is a gorgeous location for it.

David Perry said...

What a beautifully crafted glimpse and story!

Bek said...

I can understand how this spot is your favorite in your garden! It looks great with the red honeysuckle above it. I can imagine spending hours on that swing!

garden girl said...

Melanie, That's a great swing. It looks like it was built to last a lifetime and then some. I love the honeysuckle climbing up the swing. What a relaxing spot for lunch!

Lauren and Ana look lovely in their prom finery!

sara said...

What a lovely post. You have made me homesick, especially your St. Patrick's Day post & photo's.
Thank you

Marie said...

What a beautiful garden swing :)

Lola said...

Love your site. Great Pictures. Great info. Do you have to trim the Honeysuckle or train it? I could spend hours sitting in that swing.

Cinj said...

Gorgeous. I would love a swing like that! I've also been drooling over some gazeboes. Maybe someday.... I did manage to bring back one of my benches on this trip so at least I'll have one place to sit and enjoy my garden.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Your swing, and indeed your whole garden, is beautiful. My grandfather made me a face-to-face garden swing many years ago (much like this one, without the roof: I spent many relaxing hours there.

Meems said...

Melanie, I've always wanted a glider but not managed to make room for one yet. Yours is fabulous with the vine growing perfectly over the top.

There's an award waiting for you over at my blog.
Meems @ Hoe&Shovel

sisah said...

Thank you so much for giving me a closer look to that extraordinary garden swing. The two girls in that beautiful sorrounding look wonderful!
And I wish my mother had such wonderful ideas:-)
This garden-swing seems to be a unique
design, I have never seen anything like that here in Europe, but you made me curious now, to have to find out more about it! I know there are books about amish craftsmanship, maybe I find a construction plan somewhere.
It was a lovely idea to let a honeysuckle grow over, as I think the right type of climber , which will never cover the complete swing, so that you always can see the artful design of that swing!
Thanks for recommending my blog, Melanie :-))
Viele Grüße

Wicked Gardener said...

That is one of the more beautiful swings I've seen. Your garden is goregous too. I'm just picturing a Saturday morning and a big cup of coffee on that swing . . .

Connie said...

Lovely swing.... even better with the scent of honeysuckle wafting in the air while you swing!

Shady Gardener said...

Nice post. You have some lovely gardens and plants. I'm sure you realize that the gooseneck loosestrife is best suited for your pot... or in a bed with boundaries! :-)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I love the swing, it is one of the prettiest I've seen. To me, that is one of the most relaxing things to do, sit and swing outside.