The Story Behind the Name

I love a good story. And when Monica from Garden Faerie Musings asked how we came up with our names, I was eager to comply. Some of you will already know my story, I hope you will bear with me when I tell it again.

 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.

I was so unknowledgable about blogging that when I came up with the name ‘Green Theatre’ for the blog, I did not realize my user name would be the one most people would recognize me by. You can read about that here. But if you want to know how I came up with the name Green Theatre, you can read about that here.


16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Super name and great story. Funny how we all have now gone by our pseudonyms and our fellow bloggers know us only by that!

  2. 2

    Its nice when people are remembered in house or street names, then they live on with you. We have names for the different parts of our garden, but not as formal as yours – field border,oak tree bed, school border etc -just so we know where to find each other for coffee, tea or telephone !

  3. 3

    Marguerite said,

    It’s been awfully interesting reading where people have come up with their names. I will admit that I have looked at your blog title on my blog roll and couldn’t quite place which blog it was. But as soon as I hear Kilbourne Grove I know exactly who it is.

  4. 5

    I too recognize you through the name of your house and property more than your blog name too. The Grove story adds to the name and really makes it sound as an estate. I like how you name your gardens too. It makes it so interesting and recognizable in each section of the garden. My garden is too tiny to name, but you have loads of space and seem to be creating more as time passes.

    • 6

      Even when I had a very small garden, I still named the areas/beds. I think it was more to give them a theme so I had an idea of what was going on there, ie: the black and white bed, the blue and chartreuse bed, etc.

  5. 7

    Love how you’ve taken important things and made them yours. We live in a house that has only had two owners – the most recent still live in town. So we are naming our place Hilliker House after the family that lived here for 40 years. All I have to say to people is that we live int he Hilliker house and they know exactly where we live. That’s small town living.

    • 8

      Ours was Doc Harveys. Since he used the house for his practice, it seems everyone in town over a certain age knew exactly what house it was, and they had been there 40 years. But the Kilbournes built it, and were there for 60, so they got the glory, lol. Love that you named your house as well, maybe a blog name change is in the air?

  6. 9

    The thought of naming a home and garden seems to really give it all something inspired to live up too. Sadly I don’t think mine is quite ready for that! But I did love reading about the different gardens within your garden and the stories behind their names.

  7. 11

    OOOOOOOOh Nancy Lime Walks, from long avenues of them dripping with aphid sap to the pleached and well behaved. Lovely.

  8. 13

    liked your blog so eco friendly to the eyes . go green!

  9. 15

    Great story! You came up with a great name too. It’s fun to read everyone’s stories.


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