Monday, June 8, 2009

A "Birdhouse Garden"

Last week I had some errands to run in Jackson, which is about an hour's drive from where I live in Vicksburg. I was taking a shortcut through one of the oldest and prettiest neighborhoods in Jackson, when I happened to get a glimpse of a white picket fence in front of a house on one of the side streets. It looked so pretty, and I couldn't resist turning around and going back for a closer view.

When I turned into the side street, I couldn't believe my eyes ... for there sat the sweetest little cottage-style house, with a white picket fence and the most glorious flower garden I think I've ever seen. But, as picturesque as all that was ... what literally took my breath away were the charming little BIRDHOUSES tucked in and amongst the flowerbeds bordering the fence, both on the outside and inside. There must have been close to a hundred of them!

I pulled over and sat in my car for a minute, just taking it all in. I noticed a lady working in the yard, so I got out and walked over to her and asked if she would mind if I took some pictures.

I wouldn't have blamed her if she had said no, because I was babbling away about how gorgeous everything was and "gushing" over all those birdhouses. But she was very gracious and introduced herself, and said I was welcome to take pictures. After gushing and babbling some more, I went to my car and got my cameras and spent the next 15 minutes "in my glory," taking pictures and visiting with "Miss Susie."

She was as lovely and gracious as she looks in her picture, and made me feel like I had been invited to visit her beautiful gardens. Miss Susie told me they built the picket fence about 16 years ago and called it "the playpen," because that's where their grandchildren played when they were little. She has been collecting birdhouses for about 15 years, and the majority of them were custom built by a friend. And what an amazing collection it is! It should be featured in Southern Living magazine, or in Mississippi Magazine.

Here are my photos taken from the street side of the fence. I hope you will click on the pictures to enlarge them. The birdhouses are truly works of art and Susie's cottage flower gardens are a perfect "gallery" for them (you can see close ups of them in the slideshow at the bottom of this post).

This cute little "Tin Man" stands beside
the arbor and greets guests as they arrive.

These little turtle stepping stones lead you through the arbor to inside the fence ...

I love this sweet little ceramic sign that welcomes you as you enter the front yard. There's a lot of truth in its message, too ...

Here are a few of the flowerbeds and birdhouses nestled along the inside of the fence:

I love the cobalt blue planters sitting in the flower bed.

And there's a blue gazing ball in the back of the flowerbed by the fence (I'm in the process of looking for one, but haven't found exactly what I want yet) ...

The little statue hiding in the ferns is Saint Fiacre, the Patron Saint of Gardeners (if you would like to read more about him, click here) ...

Everywhere I looked there were pictures to be taken, but I didn't want to impose on my hostess. She told me that her flowers and birdhouses make her happy, and I could certainly feel her sweet and gracious spirit reflected in them.

My visit with her, brief though it was, will always be a fond memory for me.

I created a slideshow featuring close up views of some of the birdhouses, and hope you enjoy "touring" them as much as I did (don't forget to turn your sound up if you'd like to hear the music).

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:


Southern Lady said...

This is a note I received from Charlotte at Charlotte's Weblog (

Good Monday morning Janie, You and Miss Susie started my morning off just right. I sooo enjoyed seeing all of the pictures that you took. The picture that you took of Miss Susie looks like she is a very warm,welcoming and "home folksie" type person. Her birdhouses are charming to say the least. I wonder if they all ever occupied at the same time. What a wonderful experience that would be if they were. Her beautiful sign that says "Peace begins in the Garden" is sooo true.

If you ever happen to see her again, please tell her that there is a woman, in Virginia, who admires her garden and all of the effort that it takes to keep it looking so lovely.

Have a wonderful day and the new week ahead.


Stacey said...

Hi Janie. What a wonderful accident to stumble across a beautiful garden like that! It's so neat that she invited you in too. I'm sure she enjoyed having you. Gardeners are generally pretty friendly people. Thank you for showing us all of those gorgeous pictures. :)

Smilingsal said...

What a treasure you found: a lovely garden and a lovely lady. Thanks for sharing. Happy Blue Monday!

Tonja said...

I loved viewing your slideshow this morning! I, too, love birdhouses. I used to have quite a cillection, but got rid of a lot of them when we moved. How neat to stumble upon that sweet lady and her garden.
We used to go to Jackson every 6 months or so to see a dr. at is a very nice city. And, my friends and I used to go over to Canton, Miss. twice a year for the big craft show they have. Have you ever been to it? It is wonderful! I hope to be able to go again sometime. Canton is about 20 miles from Jackson.

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! Now aren't you glad you took a tiny detour!? I sure am! This is such a charming place and Miss Susie looks just as sweet! Thank you for the detour!
be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

We've found, through the years, little detours, like this one, are the best when traveling! We love taking a less traveled path!

What an absolute treat for you and for your readers. How gracious of Miss Susie, opening her lovely garden, to you and to us!!

Thanks so much, Janie!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, I adore these birthouses! Thank you (and Miss Susie) for sharing with us. You know I have a small collection of them and adore them, and these are so charming and fun. Does she get many bird visitors, or does she mostly get lizards like we do! Our lizards actually sit out and sunbathe on the perches and are SO cute. LOL!

Loved this post, Janie!


Sheila :-)

P.S. The dance recital went well, and Cecelia was onstage for all of about three minutes. LOL! Oh, and in the finale, she waved really big to everyone when she got in her spot. Precocious, thy name is Cecelia! She does not know fear, and loved being dressed as a forest animal. The theme was "Alice in Wonderland." I really enjoyed it. It's a big school, so it was a pretty sizable production.

Be sure and tell us about Avery! Would love to have seen her she's so precious! :-)

Beth at Aunties said...


What a precious garden and lady!
Her garden oozed charm and tender loving care.
I am so glad you found her garden of paradise and birdhouses! I am glad she let you snap away and share these pictures with us and for the graciousness of Miss Susie.

You have to love the people you meet through blogging and from the places we share.


Tanna said...

What an AMAZING find on a detour!!

Sue said...

What a charming garden and hostess! Her collection of birdhouses is adorable- now I wish I hadn't given all of mine away to a sister=in=law because I was changing my decor. Why oh why do we (I ) do such silly things, I ask. Your pictures are lovely, as usual. ~ thanks for sharing Susie's garden with us. :-) Sue

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Janie,
That garden is just my style! I love all the birdhouses and garden art.

I hope Miss Susie has a computer and sees all of your photos. Maybe she will start a blog!
:) Diane

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog. I feel a little close to my aunt in Vicksburg when I visit with you. Love the bird house story.

brambleberries said...

That is the most beautiful garden I have ever seen, I followed a link from pinterest and I'm so glad I did.

I have just been looking at the photos with my daughter who said "mummy they're not bird houses, that's where the fairies live, look there's even a church where they get married" just about sums it up really!

LOVE it...