Does your garden have a name?


Do you remember the online discussion of a few years ago? Carol at May Dreams Gardens, among others, started a conversation about naming one’s garden.

It got me thinking, and after a tongue-in-cheek shed remodel, I dubbed my former place Green Hall Garden as a play on words. (If you know Gruene Hall—and how to pronounce it—it makes sense.)

I’ve been pondering a name for the not-so-new-baby garden for about a year, but nothing ever seemed quite right. My new hillside garden has needed some time to grow into a name, but an extended visit from a young family sealed the deal. A family of screech owls, that is. We hear great horned owls on a regular basis too, especially in winter. In tribute to them, I’m calling my new garden Tecolote Hill. Tecolote (pronounced tek-co-lo-tay) means “owl” in Spanish, and it just sounds right.

So do you have a name for your garden?

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

32 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    Mine is the Dragonfly Garden and it’s in the very beginning stages.. been meaning to send you an email asking how you made that water feature with the silver (galvanized?) tub thingy…

    yep its my desktop wallpaper on my laptop at home because I want to recreate that in my backyard… ohh i mean in the Dragonfly Garden!

    Rebecca, I used a galvanized stock tank to make my container pond. Click for my how-to post. —Pam

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve never even thought about it, but now I probably will name my garden. My permanent plants (and my corn) all have names – perhaps the whole garden deserves the same. Definitely have to do some thinking!

  3. David says:

    We have two enormous fig trees so I’ve been considering “the Fig Tree Garden,” mainly because if you say it quickly it sounds like “the Victory Garden.” Ha!

  4. At Elephant’s Eye we sometimes hear owls, and once on a dark evening glimpsed one. There is a farm here called Olifantskop, Elephant Head, for our mountain. I decided our small town garden is just worthy of an Eye.

  5. I like the new name, it shows a connection to the local wildlife and to the history of the area.

  6. Jessica says:

    Good choice in name!

    I like the photo of the “bottle tree”? Is that what it’s called? I’ve heard that’s a tradition to scare away the spirits?

    Jessica, click here for a post about how I constructed my bottle tree and what I’ve read about their cultural history. —Pam

  7. Randy says:

    Congrats on the the new name, Pam. I feel like we should be drinking champange or something. People always christen boats and houses… It was always my opinion, that should be done with the empty bottle after a celebration. :-)Our garden is “Our Eden”.

  8. We called our garden Kilbourne Grove. When we purchased the property we had just moved back
    to Canada from England. We had lived in an area of London, called Westbourne Grove. The
    Kilbourne family built our house and we thought it would be a nice way to pay tribute to them
    and remind us of London as well.

  9. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I love the name for your not-so-new garden. It is just perfect. The name of our garden is Greenbow. My husband wanted to call it Weedy Wallow but I couldn’t do that even if the name fit. ;)

  10. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Your fellow Rice alum approves wholeheartedly! Great name, Pam. I call my garden Wit’s End.

  11. Carol says:

    An excellent name! Well-thought out, unique, I like it. I’m now trying to come up with names for different sections of my garden…

  12. Eric says:

    It’s funny that you bring this up. Just today, as I was training my winter Jasmine, I was reminded of my grandmother, and how she was the one who planted the gardening bug in me. And I thought that I was woking in the Maisler memorial garden. For every time, I go out to work, I’m reminded of her.

  13. Congrats! Naming your garden calls for a celebration right? I never meant to name mine but by default it has kind of became ‘danger garden’ after all it is my garden that inspired the blog. I suppose it’s only right.

  14. RBell says:

    Know many gardens have names, but had never really thought about a name for my garden. Guess I always considered it the same as naming cats: why bother – they never come when you call them (unless the name you give them approximates the sound of a can opener). Maybe I’ll call mine the GDY Garden (Grow Damn You Garden).

  15. meemsnyc says:

    I’ll have to come up with a name for our garden!

  16. Town Mouse says:

    I had to name my garden; every garden on the Going Native Garden Tour has a name. I ended up naming it The Foxborough Garden, after the street I live on. A bit boring, but it works.

    I do like your name(s) better ;->

  17. Kelly in Oregon says:

    My daughter and I just became roommates and are starting a new garden from scratch. Since I’m Mom, and she’s Megan, and we live on “M” Street (really!), it’s been dubbed the “Garden of M”. Which could also stand for “mayhem”, depending on how it progresses.

  18. Gail says:

    Pam, It’s the perfect name~How many gardeners actually get an owl to move into their owl house and then get to watch sweet owlets grow up~It was a treat to see your photos. Oh yes, thank you for the pronunciation, I needed the aid~I studied French in school~Btw, Clay and Limestone is my garden’s name, as well as blog name. gail

  19. Weeder says:

    This is a huge yard (2.5 acres) with many different garden areas. The one out front, by the street is the Not So Secret Garden. I haven’t been able to settle on names for the other areas. My kids gave me an appropriate sign for the whole place; “Delightfully Tacky Yet Unrefined.”

  20. Becky Lane says:

    Well, officially it’s Mexican Hacienda Courtyard Kitchen Cantina Garden, but mostly I just call it the Cantina Garden.

  21. Congratulations! Tecolote Hill seems perfect, Pam – your garden has already been given the official Tecolote stamp of approval by the real owls and it emphasizes the sloping nature of the property dotted with the twisting oak branches that give owls a place to perch.

    The word ‘tecolote’ sounded familiar but I couldn’t quite place it…then figured out we’ve seen the sign for Tecolote Farms when on recent visits to Farmers Markets. I didn’t realize it meant Owl…thought it was a place name.

    This garden was named Circus Cercis back in 2007 when Carol wrote her post. Two of the acts are doing well (Texas Redbud & Forest Pansy) but my fingers are still crossed for the Texas Whitebud in the center ring.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose blog

  22. A couple of years ago, I decided to name sections of my yard to make it easier to keep up with where I planted things. About an acre of our 3-acre lot is planted so I have several “gardens”. Some are based on themes – the Tropical and Japanese Gardens; some are based on where they are located – the Dragon Garden next to the Dragon Pond (it has a dragon fountain), the Patio garden around the patio (duh) and the Porch Garden by the porch (duh again). If I had a name for the whole yard, I would call it Ferns and Flowers. Maybe I will have my hubby make a sign and put it over the driveway:)

  23. forest says:

    Tecolote always reminds me of ranunculus, since there is a strain by that name. I never realized it means “owl”. Thanks.

    When I started working on my garden, I was frustrated with the rabbits devouring everything in the garden, so at first it was called Rabbit Hill. But I was also studying Italian at the time, so it quickly became Casa Coniglio, or Rabbit House. The rabbit population has diminished after a wave of tularemia, but the name has stuck.

  24. Ted says:

    We moved to five acres in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico 23 years ago and have been planting it for wildlife habitat ever since. We have wonderful views of the full moon as it rises over the nearby Manzano Mountains. It seemed a natural thing to name our place and garden, Desert Moon. Our road needed a name when it became a county road and so we and our neighbors agreed on Luna del Desierto, which is Spanish for Desert Moon. The garden is full of hundreds of cacti and succulents as well as native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees most of which I have started from seeds and cuttings.

  25. teresa says:

    We call ours The Garcia Home for Unwanted Plants

  26. Melissa says:

    I like your new name! This year my garden’s been affectionately dubbed “The better late than never garden” b/c pretty much everything has been a little behind going in the ground!

  27. Pam/Digging says:

    I love hearing about the names of your gardens. Thanks to everyone for sharing their descriptive, nostalgic, optimistic, beautiful, and/or funny garden names. —Pam

  28. Mine is, er, Zanthan Gardens.

  29. Phyllis says:

    I call my garden “Salad Bar” as twenty or so deer munch their way through my front yard practically every night. So far, the non-native Japanese Boxwoods are the winners for the least appealing leafy greens. Ironically it is the one plant I wish they would prune for me and it could probably handle it gracefully if they did. If you have any questions about whether a plant is deer-proof, just ask. It’s a test garden in progress and one I have replanted every year since we moved here.

  30. Mamaholt says:

    Love Tecolate!! That’s a wonderful name. I do love owls so. We have the Wabi-Sabi Garden, of course. And boy is it ever wabi-sabi these days. I’m working hard to appreciate it for what is is right now.

  31. I do not have a name for my garden! Yours is soooo beautiful. I want you to know how jealous I am of all the hard work you have been putting in. I have spent the last almost 2 months on my back because of 2 ruptured disc’s. That’s what happens when you try to lift a large ceramic pot full of dirt and succulents. What was I thinking! So I have not been able to garden and it is driving me insane. Yesterday though I was able to pull a few weeds (which today I am very sore and using an ice pack). Too soon yet. Still in physical therapy. But being able to see your garden is giving me some great ideas when I am ready to dig again. Love the name and I will have to think of one. Do you name each section?

    Just practical, descriptive names for each section, Candy. —Pam

  32. Michelle boutwell says:

    I have a section in my yard with a little shed,wisteria and ivy.tucked in a little corner is a cute little rabbit hutch that is the home of ivy my bunny. I named the area ivy hollow.

Follow