WINTER GARDEN WALK 2

This time we had to see if there was any damage in the garden. We had already heard the loud thump as a huge limb fell in the drive. Our guests thought it might have hit their car, which it did not…. but not by much!

                                                                                                                                                     

This is the other side of the coin… gardening under trees can result in some damage in a windstorm. and these storms are not uncommon in Georgia.

                                                                                  

Below,the evergreen planting of Viburnum awabuki ‘Shindo’ meant to hide the garden shed is ravaged! A large limb (not shown)  came down right in the middle of it.

                                                                                   

                                                                                             

 Some major pruning and clean-up, is now on my “To Do” list.

Still there is so much beauty out there I can hardly complain…

                                                                                     

While Mother Nature is editing the garden……..

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WINTER GARDEN WALK

Although it has been a bit dreary and raining I couldn’t resist taking a walk in the garden today. I could see the Japanese Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume) from the kitchen window but to experience the fragrance I needed to venture outdoors.

                                                                                   

Plenty of eye candy wherever one looks.                                                                        

                                                                                        

 Here at Hamilton House,  the scale is so vast that a  plant had virtually no impact unless it was large and from a landscape point of view, there needed to be several of the same plant to form a balanced composition.

                                                                                   

There was, initially the temptation to plant several plants close together so it would in a very little time have more impact; but I opted not to do that. I had seen that done in several gardens in Atlanta and always wondered which plants would have to be sacrificed when they outgrew their space. Instead I went with the tried and true technique, where, no matter the size plant I started with, it was planted with plenty of space to allow it to mature to its ultimate size.

                                                                                        

Needless to say the first several years everything looked silly as the plants were small and one could see clear across the entire garden.

                                                                               

Today, 15 years later, I know it was the right choice.With a little pruning here and there, everything (well, almost) can be kept within bounds.

                                                                                   

Still to come (above) Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

The bees are happy too!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Dear Readers,

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for your gift of support throughout the year.

Warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season and may you enjoy a happy healthy new year filled with love, light, joy and great gardening!

                                                                               

A GARDEN VISIT

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….

                                                                                   

Her philosophy…

                                                                                 

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.

BERRIES!!

Some great plants for both the landscape and holiday decorations.

                                                                           

Hollies… you cannot beat them for their beauty this time of year. Above, Ilex x ‘Emily Bruner’  with berries that encircle the stem…

                                                                                   

The Buford Holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’)  exhibits a heavy fruit set in clusters, except when a late frost kills the blossoms.

                                                                               

 Heavenly Bamboo  (Nandina domestica);  I refer here to the species and not some of the newly engineered dwarfs. Gorgeous grape like clusters of berries that last a very, very long time. (Note, this is NOT a bamboo)

                                                                                                                                                                                

The Viburnum berries that were wonderful & fresh for Thanksgiving are looking a bit tired but still ornamental…

                                                                                              

The yellow berries of Viburnum ‘ Michael Dodge’ almost ready for the birds. When they are ‘ready’ they will be devoured in a day.

Happy decorating!  And thank you WORDPRESS for the snow.

WAIT A MINUTE

If you don’t like the weather “Wait a minute”  I was told when I first moved to Georgia; so it’s no big surprise that while last week was cold & rainy and even frosty some mornings, this week we are in the high 60’s.

                                                                                       

I have no idea when the  Fragrant Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) started to bloom but here it is Dec 3rd.

                                                                                     

Wonderfully fragrant, not overly sweet but a clean rather fresh scent, usually starting in mid to late November in my garden.(I usually look for it around Thanksgiving)

                                                                                     

 Not the best looking shrub in the border, rather a bit course and ragged  so I camouflage it  with a clematis during the summer.

Winter blooming shrubs or perennials are worth their weight in gold…even at today’s  prices.

TAKING IT EASY

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!!