The Gardenias are blooming! The fragrance is amazing. I follow *Margaret Moseley’s advice and have a Gardenia planted every 25 feet or so where conditions allow. According to Margaret the fragrance will permeate the entire garden. And it does.

Every Gardenia in my garden came from a bouquet she gifted me when I lost a bidding war over a  house. Turned out to be a good thing….that house was not right, and I got these fabulous plants!

* Margaret Moseley, Dear friend & famous Atlanta gardener, celebrating her 95th Birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday Margaret!



What are the elements that make this entrance so welcoming?


The stone walls & arch certainly give it gravitas, the lush planting softens the hard surfaces…


There is no gate, clearly we can enter…                                                                                

The pot, as focal point, arrests the eye, then the curved path pulls you in…don’t you want to see what lies beyond?


 The entrance above begs the question…”Do you have an invitation?”

Both have their place.



 Hydrangea Season is perhaps my favorite time of year. It signals the beginning of summer and triggers memories of summers past to be savored in the peace of the garden.


Long before it was “The Mourning Bench” this area was ‘The Morning Garden’. Here, in the shade of a dogwood, with variegated Boxwoods on either side, I would bring my mug of coffee and notebook to plan the gardening day.


 Originally, the bench was surrounded by hydrangeas, struck from cuttings, of the bouquets brought to me by Penny McHenry* on the occasion of my daughter’s wedding. I imagined sitting there embraced by all those hydrangeas and reveling in the happy memories of that time shared with family members and good friends.


Unfortunately,  this site was windswept in the winter. Year after year the hydrangeas would die back to the ground. Although they produced luscious foliage every year, there were no flowers. A change needed to be made. I swapped them out for other hydrangeas… ‘Annabelles’ (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’), these bloom on new wood (i.e. this years growth) so they were perfect for this area. The wedding hydrangeas were moved to a more protected space.


(For names of the hydrangeas in this post, hover over photo with mouse.)







To be continued…..

* Penny McHenry- Dear friend, client and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.


My husband came in from the garden and told me I had ‘One sick plant in need of some nitrogen’.


Ha!  introducing  Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) ‘Little Honey’ .


It seems to bloom a little later than the species  (seen in the background), and I do love the golden foliage.

More Hydrangeas in the next post.


The garden is overwhelming!


Above, the rose New Dawn positively dripping…….


 Below,Brother Stefan’s   Clematis‘PolishSpirit’                                                                            

Below,Clematis‘Madame  Julia Correvon’                                                                                   

Tomatoes, eggplants & pepper plants waiting to be planted…they are constantly fed Fish emulsion & kept watered..those are small pots &  growing roots take lots of moisture.


Seed for Zinnias and Foxgloves are sown ( late on the Zinnias) below


Then there are the onions to harvest….


So, on the way to do attend to all of the above, I pass …

Glorious Deutzia above, Clematis Ruutel and C. Piilu below


Below, another pairing, Clematis ‘Carnaby’ and Clematis ‘Odoriba’


I really like the two different forms of Clematis mingling, as they climb through Smoke bush ‘Royal Velvet’…. Below, Clematis ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’.


 All in all, its very pleasant “GETTING THERE’ I designed it that way.