The garden project is coming to a close. An irrigation system was added onto the existing underground pipes to water just the areas with plants. And the entire garden is all on one dedicated zone so the watering will be minimal which how the cactus likes it. 

The final touches were finished and added such as the bright, cherry red gate and bridge. The gate was a wooden ceiling panel salvaged by Eric Walton from a condominium under renovation. They are hopeful that another one may be coming their way to be placed at the other end of the garden.

The bridge was ordered online by Barbara but was not exactly what was wanted. So Eric cut it down to size and he painted both items in the bright red. It adds a beautiful pop of color to this green and brown desert garden. The bridge allows passage over the stream and into the raking garden.  Where there is a bench between the last two royal palms standing. There you can rest lest you were raking your designs for too long and tired yourself out. Or sit and contemplate your designs. That is what a raking garden is all about. There is a picture of the special wooden rakes used for this purpose. They are pieces of art themselves.

A  fountain was added, a statue of Buddha, a Ganesha and several smaller whimsical figures which you discover tucked away as you wander slowly along the stream and past the cactus gardens.  Solar lights were placed to give nighttime ambiance.  The garden takes on a whole new look when the lights come on at night.

And at the end of the garden and around the corner the gravel continues through the side yard where Barbara created a wonderful pot garden.  Not that kind of pot.  The pots that the cactus collection had been living their lives in, on the lanai, waiting for their forever home in the back yard.  They were beautiful and it was a shame not to use them somewhere.  Since this is a shady area she planted some flowers and bromeliads and other colorful shade loving plants.  And an herb garden as well. This area is as special as the rest of the yard. 

Now we wait for the cactus to establish and begin to grow to maturity. It will be a sight to be seen as they fill the mounds, created just for them, and surround the ledge boulders.  I have attached some pictures but we don’t have one of the entire garden.  It is so large that trying to capture it in one picture proved impossible. 

Even for Joe Parisi who many of you may be familiar with as an accomplished photography artist.  But that is OK since it is best discovered one section at a time as if you were wandering slowly through this peaceful and beautiful Zen garden.

Eileen and Peter Ward have owned a landscape and lawn maintenance company for 35 years. Eileen can be reached at or 239-394-1413.