WHERE DO I START?

Where do I start? Here we are at the end of April and I’m still accessing the damage from the past winter.

Today they cut down the second Fig Tree…dead . I waited to be sure but there was no hope. The branches snapped off in my hand. Same with all the Gardenia, they look like toast, brown & crunchy!  There is one in the cutting garden I hope recovers; the small leafed one Margaret Moseley calls ‘First Love’. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The Hydrangea macrophylla are pushing new growth from the roots. All the top growth is dead. There will be no flowers this season.

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I am hoping the Penny Mac’s, will produce. They bloomed on new wood (i.e. current seasons growth) in my friend Penny’s garden for  whom it was named.

Penny McHenry                             Penny McHenry

(I wonder if it was because she grew them  in full sun. They always looked wilted during the day but at 6 pm her garden was transformed into the Hydrangea Heaven it was.)

To add  insult to injury a huge old Oak in the Wordsworth Meadow was uprooted last week in the wind storm.

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That is my 6′ 4″ husband in front of the rootball.(below)

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Now that the second shoe has fallen I’m left wondering what else could possibly go wrong. I’m holding my breath!

Forgot to mention the entire countryside was without power for the day since it brought down the power line.

Still there were many nice surprises. Who knew Stachyurus praecox was so hardy?  I was sure she would succumb to the low temperatures. ( This is yet another shrub commonly known as “Yellow Bells’)

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Stachyurus praecox

The meadow is marvelous with the native Phlox (Phlox divaricata) & Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum)  that follow the spent daffodils …

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and  the Viburnums are doing beautifully. This however, is another post.

How are your gardens doing after this very harsh winter?

 

DAFFODIL ENVY

I am suffering  from Daffodil envy.

This morning I opened the computer and found the following photos on one of my favorite blogs THE GALLOPING GARDENER.

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And here I was feeling so proud of the Wordsworth Meadow! 

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Nevertheless, scenes like this were my inspiration.  

The photos were taken  at The Valley Garden in Surrey England by Charlotte Weychan. Charlotte travels and visits fabulous gardens.  Check her blog for a wonderful armchair visit to some of the best gardens.

I better get busy sourcing and planting. I think I need several lifetimes to achieve something like this!

Thank you Charlotte for use of your photos.

SPRING!

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Spring is announced in the ‘Wordsworth Meadow’

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It does fill my heart with joy!

Every year the display increases. Presently scouting old abandoned homeplaces to rescue more Narcissus to add to the meadow.

If you have been reading this blog then you know these are ‘old timey’ bulbs that have survived for years unattended. The modern cultivars  I originally planted  disappeared after a season or two.

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The sweep of Narcissus on the left in the above photo is a younger planting than the one on the right, equal number of bulbs. Time is a huge element in garden design.

MORE SCENES FROM AROUND THE GARDEN:

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Prunus ‘Okame’ and Spiraea, wish you could hear the bees  a -buzz at the ‘all you can eat buffet’

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     Helleborus orientalis Narcissus and the ghost of last summer’s Hydrangeas.    

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Of all the garden areas, it is the ‘Wordsworth Meadow’ that holds my heart.    It is still unfinished….

POLAR VORTEX UPDATE

The Polar Vortex that crippled the south last week wreaked some havoc  in my garden.

I could tell from the window that the Michelia foliage was damaged and the Camellia blossoms were brown and mushy. Today I ventured out (74 degrees) to access the damage.

Michelia

Although there is some browning of foliage, it is not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

The Michelia (now reclassified as a Magnolia) looks awful, but the buds seem to be viable in their protected furry coats.

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The camellias, on the other hand did not fare as well. The good news is  the plants survived, however, many tight buds came off in my hand when I touched them.

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The  few that are okay are on the underside of the foliage so I guess that was their protection . ( Like all gardeners, I wish plants could talk!)

Now for the bad news… I doubt there will be  Hydrangeas this year, most of the buds are frozen & dead. While the stems appear fine right now, only time will tell.

Bay Laurel

Above, my Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)… bit the proverbial dust.

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Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) (above)  may be short in the stem but they are coming along.

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 Above, Winter Daphne ( Daphne odora aureomarginata)  unscathed & looking cheerful. Waiting for another few sunny days to unfurl and envelope the garden in its wonderful perfume.

And, as always, there is something cheerful waiting to brighten my day…

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Early species crocus.

What damage if any, did your garden experience?

A NEW FOCAL POINT

As I walk through the garden I see all the areas that would be much improved with a focal point.

Circle of friends

The Circle of Friends (above) has a wonderful pot, an Italian reproduction of a Gertrude Jekyll design. (I want something taller, this is too round & short)

At the end of the Rose & Clematis Walk is the  Schiaparelli Bench.

The Sciaperelli Bench

The cutting garden has several focal points as it is divided into four parterres…

Bench in cutting garden

The bench .. (On axis with the Potager)

entrance to cutting garden

St Fiacre…

and serving as focal point from  two views is one of the classic Four Seasons.. ‘Summer’…

Cutting Garden Entrance

and opposite  ( below)  an urn…  (An overturned pot acts as plinth; my Poverty Cycle)                                                                      cutting garden

My friend, the brilliant and talented  Landscape Designer Tara Dillard posts about focal points on her blog constantly!

This winter when I decorated my dinning room for holiday festivities, I was keenly aware that the view from the window was less than I hoped.So I moved ‘Summer’ from the cutting garden directly on axis with the centerpiece on the table.

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She is here temporarily, I do think ‘Winter’ would be more appropriate  since that is basically the only time we eat in the dining room, and ‘Summer’ belongs in the Cutting Garden with all the blooming beauties of her season. She has been moved  so often that to paraphrase Margery Fish “In time she will learn to walk”

Ah, decisions, decisions… I always opt for more plants and labor when spending my garden $$$$. Perhaps this will be the year I concentrate on accessories.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Year’s Eve  Indian Dinner was a success although I never finished all the decorating;  I run out of time before I run out of ideas.

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Never got to photograph the final tables but here is a taste of what it was like.

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This is the china I used (photo from last year).  Appropriately…Indian Tree.’

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I adore  these Indian fabrics, they are so beautiful and fine in contrast with the  textured almost primitive,  stitching binding all together.

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Used almost all my tureens..

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Added some bling to the lighting as well. My mother always said “If a little is good, a lot is much better ” or  my favorite from Iris Apfell; ” More is more, less is a bore”.

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Enjoyed bringing in the New Year with  wonderful friends. I know 2014 will be an exciting one.

Wishing  you all the very best of everything for 2014!

JUST IN TIME!

Got it all done just in time!

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For the last few years my decorating has taken on more meaning. I start with  a silver plated bowl that was my Mother-in-Law’s and fill it with sparkling faux fruit. This is becoming a tradition for the mantle.

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New this year is the addition of my Mom’s silver plated fruit bowl in the center of the table filled to overflowing with gold pine cones.

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These photos were taken before the table was set and the last minute  details, greenery,scattering of fruit & pine cones on the table etc. etc.. (5 cats, need I say more?)

I hope your Christmas was Merry & Bright and filled with Joy!

I am hosting an Indian Dinner for the New Year, will post more photos then. Maybe some recipes too.