The Leather Oaks Garden

Thirty Years of Gardening -- and Frogs!
Page Two

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This Page Updated on January 24th, 2008
Leather Oaks Downtown Location

The Lameuse Street Era

I've always been attracted to gardens. It seens to have run in the family, although mostly on the female side of the bloodline. My own approach to the subject has been both more relaxed and less conventional.
     It was when I bought my second place, with a yard that actually had room for stuff, and a chainlink fence surrounding it to keep interlopers at bay, that I began looking to change my own landscape!
     My good friend Mark designed this showplace frontispiece for my “Home in the City ”. It was a wonderful seventeen years on Lameuse Street. Click on the photo to journey with me through those years!

Shorecrest Road Before Photos

     City living has a few perils one would rather not contemplate. Wanting to move away from some of those, I began searching for a better location. I gave my realtor, Arlene Wall, just a few requirements: There must be oak trees, and there should be water nearby.
     Alas, there weren't a whole lot of choices. After years of stagnation, the Biloxi Housing market had begun to flourish, and the first places we viewed were disappointing.
      Then, we started on this strange journey out of town, along roads I'd not been aware existed, through Spanish-moss draped Live Oaks. I thought to myself, “well, the approach is sure worthwhile!”
Live Oaks on Shorecrest!
Moving, Construction and Landscaping Blues!

Leather Oaks Rural Location Beginnings

     The trees were gorgeous, the house just big enough, and with few exceptions the yard was a blank book. It wasn't a blank check that I gave my friend Mark to make me a magic garden, but close to it! This page looks back on the beginnings of Leather Oaks, the Rural Location.

The 1995 Shorecrest Road Photos

     The first year's growth was nothing short of astonishing. Mark's talents and the rich river bottom soil seemed to be a dynamite combination!
      Already one can see this is going to be a very neat place to live and play!
Leather Oaks at Age One
Two Growing Seasons did THAT??!!

The Shorecrest Leather Oaks at Two -- 1996

     A favorite view down the Rubber Creek, made in Summer 1996. It's hard even at this point to realize that there's only been two or three growing seasons. Mark's crew had so cunningly installed the imported stones {I'm told, all the way from Arkansas ! ! }, that the native flora and fauna took to them as their own.

The First Leather Oaks Pond Tour Photos -- 1998

      In 1997, my friend Mark suggested that I try going on the tour of Gulf Coast Ponds that his nursery was helping start. Of course, my place was already looking pretty neat to me. It was revealing seeing what others had done in showcasing nature in an aquatic setting. I signed up right away, and the coming September, my place was added to the list.
      These photos were taken the day after that first tour. Leather Oaks, the Garden Spot -- what a ring that has!
Come and Enjoy the View for a Spell!
What's that Pine Tree doing in my Craft Room?!

Hurricane Georges

     September 1998 had been an uncommonly active period on the Gulf Coast. It got a mite TOO active for me come 4:00 AM, September 28th. When it got light enough to see, this is what I found -- the big pine in my back yard had fallen four feet into the attic, with me in bed just ten feet away. See what was hurt, and what wasn't if you care for that sort of thing.

Leather Oaks Rebuilding -- 1999

     The next few months were taken with rebuilding and restoring. Since the Leather Oaks Garden "core" was not damaged, it was the details that kept me busy. The photo at right is of my largest architectural triumph. In fact, we call it Memorial in stature. Find out why on the next page!
That thing will never fly!
Where's the Frogs ? ! ? ! ? What's that? These photos don't look right? And "Where are the frogs?" you ask? I'm so glad you noticed ! ! All those photos from the infamous 2001 Pond Tour, and the underappreciated 2004 Night Tour are waiting in the wings! Fact of the matter, they've all had a digital facelift. Page Two of this Leather Oaks Garden Overview will take you right to them. Just click the Pewter Frog's HUGE photo at left. Careful, he can really SPIT!