What’s in a Name?

On August 19th, Linda from Each Little World had a post on Naming Gardens.  In it, she asked “Does your garden have a name and how did you chose it?” She got some very interesting answers.  Please go have a look at this post. While you are there have a look around. She and her husband have a very beautiful garden.

This made me think. As I have mentioned before, we have a name for our garden.  It is Kilbourne Grove.  The Kilbourne Family built our house back in 1880 and they passed it on through the family until the 1940’s, when a doctor and his family bought it.   They lived there until 2005. The doctor died and his wife moved to a nursing home.  It sat vacant for a year, while the architect/property developer who bought it made some changes.  We bought it from her and moved in in May 2006.

When we lived in England, we lived in Notting Hill.  But even that is further divided into smaller sections, and we were in Westbourne Grove.  It was a very trendy and expensive street with a lot of high end antique and clothing shops, trendy bars and restaurants.

When we were thinking of a name, we wanted to pay tribute to the original family and give a nod to our years in London.

Having read too many books, both English historical and gardening, it seemed like everyone named their house/garden and not only that, parts in the garden as well.  Think of Rosemary Vereys “Laburnum Walk”, Sir Roy Strongs “Silver Jubilee Garden” and Sissinghursts “Lime Walk” and “The Rondel”. 

It was a way for us to pay tribute to the historic tradition of English gardens.

As Linda said, it is a great way of your better half finding you.  At the moment, our hedges are too small, and Ian usually can see me when I am out in the garden, but give it a few years.

So far, I have divided my garden into 6 sections at the back.  I have a Lime Walk.  I had to have one of those.  Everywhere we went in England, there was pleached trees and I love the look.  That whole formal straight line thing.

The Kitchen Garden  or Potager was the first thing that we put in, it gave us a place to heel in any plants that we were given or had purchased, while we were preparing a space for them.

Next, came the Flora Glade.  I stole this name from “The Laskett”,  my favourite garden in England (at least I think so now, not having seen them all, who ever could, talk about a life’s work).  This was an area behind our garage that had a few maple trees, and it is (so far) the only garden without straight lines.

We have just planted two yew hedges, running from the Flora Glade to the Lime Walk, giving us another 30 foot square garden (I am now calling it the Yew Garden, until I can decide what to do with it).

Our huge lawn on the south/east side goes by the name  “Croquet Lawn” as it is the only open spot when we want to play croquet or bocce.

I also have a Lilac Dell,  just a huge clump of very old lilacs by the street, with 2 paths running through them.  One day, I plan to limb up the lilacs and underplant them. 

But all plans change, and change frequently.  That is the beauty of life, and of gardening.


10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Joy said,

    Hello Deborah !
    I really like the tradition of naming a garden .. mine is so small that one name will suffice I think ? LOL
    If I had stayed where my father’s family emigrated to from Scotland .. to Nova Scotia way back in the mid 1700’s .. I’m sure they must have had a name for there homes and gardens there .. I’m sorry I don’t know more about that .. it would be so interesting .. I actually only found out about how early they had emigrated to Canada a few years ago while doing family crest .. My husband’s family came from Ireland .. our son is a “double Celt” as we call him : )
    My subtitle to my blog is “The Pampered Sumac” .. so I guess that is my garden’s name : )
    PS .. I wish we had made it over to the UK when we lived in Holland .. I would have loved to see those beautiful gardens .. and Scotland (husband would have LOVED a golf game THERE ! LOL )

    • 2

      Joy, You were very lucky to have lived in Holland, the gardens there are so beautiful, like tiny jewels. They really know how to pack a lot of “punch” into a small space.
      My mum came from Scotland, but from a city, so the only name she brought with her was Devon Place, that was the street she lived on in Glasgow. So my sister named her son Devon.

  2. 3

    teza said,

    What an interesting post…What’s In A Name.’
    I garden in Fergus and as my blog attests to, it is a rather shady garden. I have named it ‘Teza’s Garden.’ I am also a voracious reader of fiction and after reading a novel. ‘The Lizard Cage,’ by Canadian Karen Connelly, I earned the nickname ‘Teza’ after the lead character. The story takes place in Burma during the student uprising of 1988.
    I grow and trial many Asian genera and cultivars, and thought that perhaps a garden named in honour of the uprising would keep this important historical event close to my heart. Teza’s Garden also includes ‘the Original border,’ which was the first attempt at creating a shade garden close to thirteen years ago; ‘the Shaded Walk,’ which is the narrow but long piece of property between two houses, and two ‘Sunny borders,’ – recent additions to house a growing collection of plants that require more sun.
    I am enjoying visiting your blog!

    • 4

      Teza, You are very lucky to live in Fergus, it is a beautiful town. You are lucky to have a bit of sun, it seems that my driveway is the only sunny spot.
      Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope to see you back soon.

  3. 5

    Very interesting and I named my garden–The Putz at Copper Top Cottage. The Putz is a German word meaning–to decorate.

    • 6

      Anna, Clever name, gardening is a portion of “decorating” the outside (although for some people it is just about the plants), but I think architectural salvage, benches, pots etc. are all part of the garden.

  4. 7

    fairegarden said,

    Hi Deborah, your garden sounds so inviting! I love that you have a Lime Walk, always wanted a straight row of trees and have never had one, difficult on hilly terrain. It does sound like you have lived in some beautiful places, places of inspiration! It was fun to meet Linda and Mark of Our Little World in Chicago. Maybe you could think about coming to Buffalo for next year’s meet up. It is great to get to know the garden bloggers, all so nice and friendly. 🙂

    • 8

      Frances, I too, have always wanted a straight line of trees, this is the first garden that I have enough land to plant them. Ideally, I would have gone for the longest “vista”, but I made this the “view” from my kitchen sink (isn’t that where we seem to spend the most time).

  5. 9

    miss m said,

    Kilbourne Grove fits perfectly, Deborah. 🙂
    My backpost rampage has given me a clearer view of your space. What a fabulous piece of land to work with and partition into all these wonderful sections. It is (and will be) a thrill to follow the progress.

    ps. The kitchen sink view is a very important one, indeed !

    • 10

      I spend a lot of time at that sink. You should check out my post Garden Design, Part II. I actually did a (terrible) drawing of the garden layout. You can really get a good idea of how everything is laid out in relationship to the house.

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