Not a textbook of different cultivars and breeding crosses but one that addresses the basic questions about pruning, drying, cutting, planting , fertilizing etc. THE COLORFUL WORLD OF HYDRANGEAS by Joan Harrison deserves a space in every garden library.
Second, I just discovered the very best container for gathering fresh stems.
Last week I mentioned my client the gracious Ms. C and her luxurious flower arrangements. Now lets take a look at her garden.
Like so many homes here in the piedmont, the house was set into a slope which began immediately past the brick patio.
High on one side… ( note patio in left corner)
drop off on the other.
While several talented designers had created plans for the landscape, it was not till Ms. C bought an antique fountain in England that serious consideration was given to getting the landscape ‘done’. Enter me.
Entertaining & a cutting garden were high on the list of priorities .
So, here is what we did.
We cut into the slope to bring it to grade with the patio, and we built decorative retaining walls ( stucco, same as the house). This would create a larger space for entertaining.
The soil that we excavated was then reused to create another garden room where the grade dropped off.
We then terraced the slope on the opposite side …
to create an herb & cutting garden on the uppermost level.
Here there is just enough room to indulge her passion for gardening ,without it becoming overwhelming.
Below, a few more views…
I appreciate it when my clients maintain their gardens, this one was meticulous!
A gracious garden for a gracious lady. Thank you Ms. C.
For years I have wanted a greenhouse /potting shed /garden house/ conservatory… any structure in the garden to serve the above purposes would do. Not to be confused with a tool shed, we have one of those.
Over the years , what I had heard from clients who built any one of the above, is that they were expensive… One client calls hers “The Taj” another “The Potting Chateau” … you get the idea…
Then, I saw the structure Susanne Hudson built in her garden. Soon as I saw Susanne’s Folly, I knew mine was within reach.
Susanne is one of those Designers who can make something out of nothing!! She built this conservatory with found windows.
Same idea as what Bunny Williams did with windows & pilasters she rescued from a Hudson River estate. Below.
I had to work with what I had, the abandoned chicken coop (terrible story …. dogs chewing through wire… feathers everywhere…..heartbreaking!).
‘Thrown together’ by my husband and untrained labor when I was out of town (I’m apparently too ‘demanding’!) It was the focal point in the Potager! I don’t even have a photo and believe me…that’s a good thing!
Last week Susanne Hudson surprised me with a visit . As fate would have it, she had WINDOWS in her van and she left them for me!
Today I am 8 windows closer to completing my garden structure …. the BOTHY.
Edith Hope suggested the name when I posted a potting shed. She commented that it needed a tattered but comfortable armchair and tea making facilities. Then she would call it A BOTHY.
(A one room hut or cottage where unmarried male servants lodged… Also an unlocked shelter where the wayfarer could seek shelter.)
a few feathery branches of Kerria japonica and we are done. (not done yet!)
Several years ago, on a first consultation, I watched my perspective client pull together an arrangement on a grand scale in no time at all while we talked about her needs in regard to her ‘outdoor space’. I always try to emulate her. The arrangement was loose, natural & ‘happy’, the antithesis of Beverly Nichols’ ‘Our Rose’, famous for torturing stems into fantastical & outlandish shapes. I recently visited with the gracious Ms C. I will post her garden in the next few days.
Meanwhile…..harvest from the Potager…..
How fortuitous to have a coordinating bowl for Delicata squash!