Tomorrow night my dear friend and mentor Margaret Moseley will be at The American Hydrangea Society Meeting signing the book about her garden written by Martha Tate.
The richness of Margaret’s garden is captured in her portrait above.
If you have been reading my blog you already know her great influence on me as I learned about Southern Gardening.
Mine is not the only garden she has influenced. Lyndy Broder told me that when she first saw Margaret’s garden , she suddenly knew what she would do when she retired.
This meeting is open to the public. More information HERE
Years ago, when we lived in the Boston area, I visited The Lyman Estates. Here I first saw camellias. They were growing in a greenhouse devoted exclusively to them.
It was on that cold February day my love of Camellias was born. This love has been nurtured and encouraged by my dear friend Margaret Moseley whom I met years later when I moved to Georgia.
Most of the Camellias I planted were recommended by Margaret. She never gave me a list, rather it was a running commentary on what was blooming in her garden …
“If you ever come across ‘ White Empress’ buy every one they have”
“Cotton Candy’ is blooming, prettiest thing you ever saw”
“Oh my, ‘Professor Sargent’ must have a hundred blooms on it today!”
I followed her advice. Below is a sample of the camellias blooming in my garden today.
How lucky I am to know Margaret.
As a garden designer I incorporate camellias as an evergreen where conditions allow. They make a beautiful, glossy, dark green, hedge with the added bonus of fall/winter flowers.
The temperature here in Georgia is an unseasonable 76° F. I should not complain about this (coming from Canada), however all the buds on the spring bloomers are swelling and the cold, that is sure to come, will inevitably kill them.
In a ‘normal’ year the Japanese Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume) above, starts to bloom sporadically mid to end of January. This year on the 15th, it is almost done, its petals adorning the ground.
The Helleborus, commonly called Lenten Roses, should peak, you guessed it, at Lent. Not this year,(below)
I’ll not whine any longer. The camellias are putting on a spectacular show…
and Margaret Moseley’s favorite, ‘Fragrant Pink’ is perfuming the air with its rose-like fragrance.
This is also the earliest I have ever seen Edgeworthia crysantha open.
All in all this is going to be a very interesting gardening year.
It is never too late to wish you all a wonderful healthy & joyous New Year.
Due to an injury I have been unable to garden. I finally got to take a walk and snap some photos so here goes.. a bit of this ‘n’ that.
This scene makes me smile every time..the faded flowers on the hydrangea and the Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ perfect partners.
Stewartia showing some of its famous exfoliating bark. This was the year to remove all the lower branches, it will look somewhat awkward for a few years…
Camellia sasanqua ‘Daydream’ I rescued this plant from the trash at a nursery. Margaret Moseley told me it was the only fragrant sasanqua in her garden…If Margaret was growing it ..I needed to have one too; but it was an old variety and no one carried it. One Autumn day, plant shopping in Alabama, I caught a sweet fragrance and went to investigate…there it was, a broken scraggly mess, lying in the trash heap… the treasure I was seeking! They gave it to me.
Beautiful colours on the lacecap hydrangea…
eggplants and peppers still going in the potager…
and the clematis that bloomed all summer & going strong still… Clematis ‘Odoriba’
Life is good.
Famous words from Margaret Moseley. For 44 years she has created an incredible garden. She designed and planted everything herself and has done all the maintenance, except grass cutting. (“that’s not gardening”) Only recently has she hired some help.
These photos show “nothing”.
Can’t wait for the next visit. I always learn something new from her garden and I have seen it several times a year for the last 19 years!
I am sorry the photos of her Kwanzan Cherry Tree that was in full bloom the day I took these photos were so blurred.
Yesterday I visited with Margaret Moseley. As usual I came home with a list of ‘must have’ plants.
Margaret has been an inspiration for many gardeners. Every season her garden is filled beauty wherever one looks.
Above, a welcoming entrance… the large tree to the right is a Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), straight ahead is a Japanese Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume).
Margaret laid those stones when she was in her 70’s!
Below, a seating area beneath a flowering cherry tree (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) surrounded by azaleas, camellias and underplanted with a variety of textured & fragrant groundcovers…
Well thought out focal points….
Camellias in bloom…. my new plant list…
Some of these Camellias are heirlooms, rare in the trade. While they may be a challenge to locate, don’t give up, they are out there.
One of my personal favorites is Camellia japonica ‘Ava Maria’ (above). When I first saw it in Margret’s garden the hunt to acquire one was on! Her very generous daughter Jane located it for me. It is a gift I treasure, as is Margaret’s friendship.
Note: plant names are visible if cursor is on photo. To read more on Margaret & her garden visit GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY. She is often featured.
It has been raining, or just plain cold and not pleasant to be working outside right now, so I’m just taking it easy.
That means cuddling with the kitties in front of a fire….
Meet Dahlia, above, she is shy and this is her first appearance on the blog.
Her pillow, a gift from Margaret Moseley, who, like me, has too much garden and too many cats! (Can one ever have enough of either?)
Catching up on reading & researching camellias.
There is always room for one more.
Just have some baking to do…. don’t hate me… this is the first time ever I’m ALMOST prepared!!
It’s blooming…. As soon as I walked out the door I caught the fragrance. Osmanthus fragrans, known in the south as ‘ ‘Tea Olive’.
Tiny but abundant cream coloured blossoms emit the most remarkable and penetrating fragrance.
This is a beautiful, pest free, evergreen shrub that matures at 10 to 15 feet, and blooms TWICE a year; fall & spring.
To quote Dirr* “to not try the plant is to cheat one’s garden.” I so agree, and cannot recall a garden design where this plant was not included. It also makes a remarkable evergreen hedge.
This spring, at the suggestion of my friend Marsha, I acquired a new selection (Osmanthus aurantiacus) that blooms only once in the autumn, and the flowers are ‘pale orange’.
It’s hard to say how fragrant it is because I have Osmanthus fragrans planted much like Margaret Moseley* advised with gardenias, every 25-30 feet or so ,where an evergreen was required and the conditions are favorable, so the entire garden is permeated with the fragrance. I have followed her advice on this with almost every fragrant shrub in the garden. Something you might want to try if there is a fragrance you are particularly fond of.
I don’t take lightly any advice given by a 95-year-old gardener. Clearly she has much more experience than I.
*Dirr, Michael, Renowned woody plant expert. Author of the textbook A MANUAL OF WOODY LANDSCAPE PLANTS.
*Margaret Moseley, famous Atlanta Gardener.