SIGNS OF SPRING

Finally there are signs of spring. The weather has been chilly in Georgia for an unusually long spell and bloom times are off.
P1210434

Looking out the window, the Snowball Viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum) is in its beautiful lime green phase and I can see the Yoshino Cherry tree (Prunus subhirtella ‘Yoshino’) blooming in the background.

                                                                                     P1210427

These tulips ,below, were planted in the cutting garden about 5 years ago and although I cut them with their foliage every year, they still reappear. I must look up my orders and identify them.

                                                                                   P1210433

Next week promises to be warmer and I expect an explosion of blooms. Meanwhile spring pruning is underway (late of course).

CREATING A PATH

There are two choices when creating a path.

P1190958

Curved paths create mystery, one cannot see the end.

Straight paths, on the other hand, require a focal point to stop the eye.

P1210392

Above, a reinforced focal point. The tree is the main focal point reinforced by the urn and plinth.

photo taken on recent speaking engagement in Ft. Worth TX.

LANDSCAPE AT ITS BEST!

Every so often one looks with new eyes at a familiar scene. I can’t say how many times I have visited with my friend Lyndy Broder of Clematis fame; but  this visit was different. 

P1210325

Perhaps because the deciduous magnolias were putting on a show of shows or perhaps the trees she planted have finally reached a size  in scale with the lake. One thing is  certain; this scene will continue to gain in stature.

P1210339

THIS is Landscape, at its best!

P1210321

When her home was built on a pasture there was not a tree in sight. The deal she struck with her husband gave her a free hand to plant. This is the result.

P1210328

This may very well be the first visit where I was not distracted by the profusion of clematis in bloom!

STATUS SYMBOL revisited

Back to the driveway….

                                                                    my driveWhat mine lacks is definition, or in design terms “line.”

                                                                            driveway from Tara's blog

                                                                             

In the above photo the tire tracks and tree trunks provide  it.

One of my favorite treatments for a drive, is the one below.   

                                                         CobblesAtEntrance 062                                                                    

Beautiful cobbles contain the gravel  and the line provides direction.

What a wonderful welcome! Another item on my ‘Honey Do’ list.

Photo courtesy of  FOR LOVE OF A HOUSE.  Visit this blog for an overdose of inspiration and to see how they installed the cobbles. http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2012/09/so-lest-you-think-weve-been-sitting.html

WHY DON’T YOU…

WHY DON’T YOU…

Have a  garden with presence in the winter.

Use evergreen groundcovers and some large evergreens for height.

                                                         P1210246

Here, Vinca and Helleborus mingle at the feet of deciduous hydrangeas. Can you imagine this space without them?

Yes, I just viewed Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has To Travel. can you tell?

I’M BOOKED!!

P1210257

I can barely contain my excitement. I was sent another gift;  a signed, coffee table book.  A garden I designed and built is included in it!

P1210263

P1210265

MADISON: A Classic Southern Town,  is a bicentennial celebration of  Madison Georgia,  “the town Sherman refused to burn.”

P1210260

P1210262

Written by William R. Mitchell Jr.and photography by Van Jones Martin and James R. Lockhart, it is an exquisite house and garden tour through what is considered one of the most beautiful antebellum towns in Georgia.

Some of the gardens I have designed over the years, received recognition. This is the first time one was ever been published in a hard covered book.

Thank you M & W You know who you are!

This garden clearly illustrates my design philosophy; the seamless unity of house and garden.

CAMELLIAS

P1210167

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.

P1210168

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.

                                                                             P1210165

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 …

                                                                               P1210181

“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!”

                                                                               P1210023

I followed her advice. Below is a sample of the camellias blooming in my garden today.

                                                                         P1210164

 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.

FROM ONE GARDENER TO ANOTHER

P1210149

“From one gardener to another,” read the note.

                                                                          P1210152

I have tried in vain to find the Saffron Crocus ( Crocus sativus).   Today I arrived home  to find a box full complete with instructions…

                                                                          P1210151

from a gracious & generous gardener.

I was told, when I first arrived in Georgia,  that one never says  ‘thank you’ for a plant; instead one says “I appreciate it.”

I truly appreciate it!!

These crocus bloom in the autumn and the stamens are the exquisite spice Saffron.

JUNE IN JANUARY

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.
P1210142

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.

P1210113

The Helleborus, commonly called Lenten Roses, should peak, you guessed it, at Lent. Not this year,(below)

P1210115

I’ll not whine any longer. The camellias are putting on a spectacular show…

                                                                                 P1210109

and Margaret Moseley’s favorite, ‘Fragrant Pink’ is perfuming the air with its rose-like fragrance.

P1210124

This is also the earliest I have ever seen  Edgeworthia crysantha open.

                                                                                 P1210127

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.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

P1210068

To everyone who reads this blog, my sincerest thanks, I appreciate your support and  your comments.

I Hope you have wonderful Holidays and are able to spend them with those you love . Best wishes for a peaceful and fabulous New Year.

                                                                           P1210067

The very best in life and in the garden!

THE BEST GIFTS

The best gifts I have ever received are those that were made for me. Whether it was a home-made cake, a stunning pair of earrings (crafted by my daughter) or the great home-made spaghetti dinner a neighbor would send over a day or two before Christmas; these are remembered well after the sweaters & gift certificates are long forgotten.

One of my favorites is a wonderful little book made for me by my brilliantly talented friend Gloria Ward.

P1210041

She is a craftsperson. When she started scrapbooking she created delightful books for our circle of  friends. In it are photos of  our small group of gardeners and some of the memorable moments we shared.

< P1210042
P1210052
Margaret, Gloria, Phyllis

I received mine over 6 years ago. I treasure it still and it holds a special place in my home & heart.

With this in mind, my oven is working overtime!

P1210062

Top photo from the one and only Carolyne Roehm

A GRACIOUS PLENTY

P1210030

Blooming this month, a gracious plenty of camellias. The first time I heard this I totally understood what it meant. Basically it means  ‘a lot of ‘, but you must admit, it is a more gracious expression .

P1210025

Have I mentioned before how I love the south? It bears repeating!

P1210037

                                                                                  P1210040

I love living and gardening in the south. Happy Holidays Y’all!

DECEMBER DELIGHTS

December delights, in the garden that is…..

P1210001

 The crunch of leaves under my feet, I find myself shuffling through the leaves to amplify the sound, much as my children did years ago. Living in the city we would have to go to a park to find this carpet..

I refuse to have them raked just yet. The ‘Mighty Oak’ has not yet dropped its leaves….

P1210010

so that’s my excuse, but really….too much fun!

P1200999

French Breakfast radishes from the Potager and Spicy Baby Lettuce  ready for a small salad.

P1210003

Perfuming the air is  the shrub “Wintersweet” Chimonanthus praecox.

P1210006

It always blooms for my birthday. What a gift!!

More on Wintersweet here