One of the joys of the Garden Tour Season I always look forward to, is the tour put on by Georgia Perennial Plant Association. Several chosen gardens are opened to the membership for one week- end a year. Most gardeners would have bottled water and iced tea available for the visitors. Margaret Moseley would serve her famous Almond Tea whenever her garden was opened. Last week Pimento Cheese party sandwiches were passed around on silver trays for the guests! (Did I forget to mention that in the last post?)
For several years I served as the Tour Chairperson of this organization as well as The American Hydrangea Society. I know firsthand about what it takes to create a successful event. So I was not surprised that in recent years the format has changed and only one garden is opened for a day. I like this change. One no longer has to budget their time and rush to see as many gardens as possible in the allotted timeframe. These are SPECTACULAR gardens where one could happily spend the entire day and still not take it all in.
This year, the garden of Lyndy Broder was the featured garden. Lyndy is a dear friend and an expert on the genus Clematis. Her knowledge and talents however, go far beyond Clematis. She has collected an amazing variety of unusual and seldom seen trees and shrubs to create a personal arboretum ‘par excellence’ on her property….and almost all are festooned with the most delicious varieties of Clematis one could imagine.
A wall of seed grown species welcome visitors
Golden Larch (Pseudolarix amabilis) with Clematis
The Canadian Geese Meadow leading to the lake above.
The Sanctuary of St. Fiacre, patron saint of gardeners ( loved working with Lyndy on this project)
When a garden of this caliber is open….. everyone comes. This turned into a reunion of great plantsmen and gardeners, a huge amount of talent here, the energy was palpable.
The cutting garden has several focal points as it is divided into four parterres…
The bench .. (On axis with the Potager)
and serving as focal point from two views is one of the classic Four Seasons.. ‘Summer’…
and opposite ( below) an urn… (An overturned pot acts as plinth; my Poverty Cycle)
My friend, the brilliant and talented Landscape Designer Tara Dillard posts about focal points on her blog constantly!
This winter when I decorated my dinning room for holiday festivities, I was keenly aware that the view from the window was less than I hoped.So I moved ‘Summer’ from the cutting garden directly on axis with the centerpiece on the table.
She is here temporarily, I do think ‘Winter’ would be more appropriate since that is basically the only time we eat in the dining room, and ‘Summer’ belongs in the Cutting Garden with all the blooming beauties of her season. She has been moved so often that to paraphrase Margery Fish “In time she will learn to walk”
Ah, decisions, decisions… I always opt for more plants and labor when spending my garden $$$$. Perhaps this will be the year I concentrate on accessories.
“You should have seen it last week!” The familiar phrase heard from gardeners, when showing visitors around. Well to avoid that I’m posting a time-lapse kind of garden tour. Photos from the garden over the last two weeks.
The Dogwoods in the meadow, like most other spring-flowering plants, cooked in the 80 degree temperatures. the blossoms did not last long. Above, in their moment of glory with the native Phlox (Phlox divericata).
Above, the view from a second floor window, Dogwoods, Lady Banks Rose (white selection) & Viburnums. Those ‘Snowballs’ (Viburnummacrocephalum) are trained into trees.
Love the tree right by the house.
Early clematis, blooming now for several weeks.
Along the North Border….Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink’ & Baptisia…. (below)
followed by Viburnum opulus, Purple smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ ) & Styrax obassia ..heavenly fragrant bells.
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.
The area of the garden I’m sharing now on this Fall Tour is little seen because it’s incomplete. Not that any garden is ever ‘done’ or completed, however this part is has only ‘bones’ and is waiting for me to flesh out the details. Till now it did not seem too pressing because all the important plants were tiny (1 gal.) but over the years they have matured. So its time has come.
This green space above, divides the grapes and berries on the right from the vegetables on the left. (My husband’s Vegetable Garden is MY POTAGER)
This feature, four upright exclamation points, is one I repeat in different garden rooms (with different plants) throughout the garden. Here, Eastern Arborvitae (Thujaoccidentalis) ‘Degroot’s Spire’ marks the intersection of several foot paths; to the right ( West) is the Rose Walk terminated by the Schiaparelli Bench….. (below)
to the left (east) lies the North Border which runs parallel to the Potager ….
and straight ahead, (south) the Viburnum / Clematis Court.
Looking back, (north) the uprights frame the putti that resides at the end of the Cutting garden…
Going forward (south) through the Viburnum Court, around the bend, Oakleaf Hydrangeas frame the path to the Main Walk and the back of the house. (note the Camellia sasanqua blooming on the right.)
This winter some garden construction is on the agenda.
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.)
This garden space, which separates the “Pleasure Garden” or Viburnum Court from the Potager, has long given me grief. Originally it was conceived as a Rosemary Walk; a brick lined, grass path, planted on both sides with rosemary. Meant to make contact as one passes and release its glorious fragrance.
Alas, that failed miserably.. The soil here is heavy with clay, and although it has been well amended, it is still not light enough for a mediterranean herb. BUT it is perfect for Roses with Clematis as companions. I also allow some Cleome to seed itself….. Still under construction. …. A garden in Homage to Elsa Schiaparelli “that Italian artist who makes clothes!”- Coco Chanel
No cameras in the gardens! The only photography allowed was from the public sidewalk. Still there are many lessons to be learned.
All the gardens are small, tiny in fact, some no larger than a postage stamp.
In small gardens, design is more important than it is in larger landscapes; for here, there is a concentrated use of space. Also, because the space is limited and seen all at once, the details & planting must be faultless.
Consider the ground plane, it is significant in all seasons. Below, variety in materials & texture. This is a driveway.
With a little imagination —- garden by day, parking at night.
There should always be a focal point to lead the eye.