GARDEN TOUR SEASON

This is the first garden tour I attended this season, there are several more on the agenda.  I promise to post about them all.

Nothing says Welcome quite like a gate. I saw several that intrigued me on the  Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour to benefit The Atlanta Botanical Garden.

P1240474My friend Becky rushing in to get detail photos of this delightful gate. We were tripping over each other in excitement. look at these ….

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Clever designs and beautiful workmanship. We  loved all the details. Gates like these were in several of the gardens, a wonderful piece, both practical and whimsical.

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Several of Atlanta’s finest private gardens open for this annual event. These are all designer gardens with regular and knowledgeable  crews to tend them. They are perfectly groomed. One will never find a yellowing leaf, no space left where a plant was lost, some annual potted plant is placed in its stead, very tastefully.

Touches of whimsy…….

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The summer containers were packed with  perennial foliage plants and annuals.

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I was particularly taken with a table centerpiece …..

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and of course the peaceful sound of water.

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Beautiful gardens…..

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P1240715All in all a no miss event. With our weather this year, the gardens will be more beautiful that ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS ‘N’ THAT

THIS ‘N’ THAT

This is a fabulous year for the garden. The French Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are full of buds and it promises to be quite a show. I hope I am not putting a Hex on it. Considering the unpredictable weather we are experiencing, tomorrow  could bring an artic blast!

P1240419There are so many varieties I have not seen in years. The flower buds were  killed by late frosts or some years,  the stems are killed right to the ground. This has happened  for several years; bad news for a gardener who loves them and has used them extensively in her plantings.( That would be me.)

Encouraged, I took many more cuttings.

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I am also propagating two all white varieties ( Madame E. Mouillere  & the lacecap White Wave) for my friend Mary who is creating an all white garden. She is well on her way and these white Hydrangeas will be the crowning touch. Isn’t it amazing how much patience a true gardener can exhibit?

My garden and I have matured. I no longer stress the small details and rely on good groundcovers through which I will plant some minor bulbs for more early spring interest.

Since groundcovers are all so similar in height  is essential to play up contrast of either colour, or texture.  Some of the better effects I had achieved in the woodland became so labor intensive, I had to abandon them completely. So my advice is “go simple’

Blk. Mondo & Selaginella

Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’  ) and Golden Clubmoss (Selaginella ‘Aurea’) were a stunning combination. Then the weeds came. I have to admit that for a few years I painted weed killer on them with an eyeliner brush!

I am very fortunate to have on my property many native wildflowers, while they are ephemeral and will disappear when the summer heat comes on, the low growing Vinca does a great job picking up the slack.

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Above, Leaves of three, Trillium & Poison Ivy; underneath, a carpet of Vinca.

P1230614 This mottled ginger (Asarum splendens)  is  one of several types I planted, it is the only one that has survived & thrived. It is located across from  the Mourning Bench. This was the only area where I originally planted perennials. What comes up now are the tough survivors or the plants that re-seed.

Below the subtle colours of Japanese Painted fern ( Athyrium nipponicum) & Mottled Ginger blend beautifully. Contrasting texture is the key here.

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Elsewhere in the garden, the Viburnums have been sensational and there are still a few blooming. This year Kern’s Pink has outdone itself.

Viburnum 'Kern's Pink'

Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink’

So heavy with blossoms it has covered an unknown rose. 20160502_182613

The only misstep this year was the loss of two mature Clematis. Victims of the mow and blow guy….. I guess one cannot have everything…..all at once.

 

 

THE SECOND ACT

Every spring I have posted about the Wordsworth meadow, however, what follows the daffodils is just as exciting. It took a lot less work too.

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Two native plants allowed to seed themselves over a period of time Trillium cuneatum and Phlox divaricata.

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This is the reward for allowing the seeds to form & ripen before the meadow is cut. Need I mention this has taken 17 years?

I have been away from the blog a long time. Life happens, things change, gardens and blogs sometimes must be put aside while other issues of life are addressed.

The garden, while it has suffered some neglect, is very grateful for the attention it is getting now. Major changes about to happen! Stay tuned.

THE PRO OF PROCRASTINATION!

For various and sundry reasons I never  looked  into  pea gravel for the Circle of Friends…and now my reward for procrastinating, is exactly what I wanted in the first place! Moss underfoot!

So there IS a pro in procrastination!

                                                                                                    

 A soft quiet carpet……. so comforting.

GARDENS FOR CONNOISSEURS TOUR

There is nothing like a garden tour for some inspiration and the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s  “Gardens for connoisseurs  Tour” is one of the best.

The gardens, all private, ranged from highly manicured to woodland all in the heart of the city.

Here are some photos I took…..

I  liked the way formal elements were incorporated in to this woodland paradise….

as well as a formidable Bonsai collection.

Also,  the groundplane changed to mark the transition from one garden room to another…..

Then there is the patio area around the house….

And opposite the French Doors……

I could go on and on about this garden, it is 2.75 acres with two creeks and boasts 300 different cultivars of Japanese Maples. I did not want to leave.

In stark contrast, the next garden was about as formal as Versailles! Well actually, Vaux le Vicomte , the predecessor to the gardens at Versailles.

The above garden in search of Edward Sissorshands and an assistant!

The tour will continue. I took over 250 photos!

HELLEBORES

                                                                            

 Hellebores are by far the most important perennial in all the garden. These are the widely grown  Helleborus orientalis .

                                                                                     

They form a carpet among the camellias and under the hydrangeas.  Stunning when they bloom, they exhibit handsome foliage  all year-long and are tolerant of the shade the hydrangeas provide during the summer when many are hidden under their  foliage.

                                                                               

 Below, is the Heronswood “Party Dress Strain’.  It is tiny with absolutely no landscape value whatever. 

                                                                                      

In a vase as a dinner companion, however, Joy!

                                                                                      

THE MEADOW…YET AGAIN

                                                                                      The meadow is once more looksing like an impressionist painting. Swaths of blue native phlox (Phlox divericata) make their way between the daffodil foliage and the ‘Wake Robin’  ( Trillium cuneatum) .

                                                                                       

                                                          

                                                                   

The trees are now playing an important role, so the focus changes.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                              

This is The Meadow viewed from the driveway on west side of the house looking east. (Above) 

                                                                                   

Soon the weeds & wild grasses will cover this all and it will look wild & wonderful. Then the hum of beneficial insects, bees and butterflies will fill the air. After the plants set their seed it will get the annual cut. This meadow gives me 12 months of joy!!

© all photos 2011

Note: WordPress noted that I published a draft & not the updated version of this post AFTER it was posted…why not BEFORE???

THE MEADOW CONTINUES….

The meadow continues to delight. The last of the daffodils…

                                                                                   

 are joined by  Woodland Phlox (Phlox divericata) and  Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum).

                                                                                        

Unfortunately the colours do not photograph well, the Trillium are a beautiful shade of claret, which is very effective with the blue Phlox.

                                                                                          

                                               

Every one has different markings ………amazing!!

© all photos 2011

WILD THINGS

Time for the WILD THINGS! 

                                                                                                 

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) popping up in the meadow. The name is derived from the red sap which bleeds as the stem is cut or the root disturbed. The Indians used this sap for paint and as a dye.

                                                                                  

 Trillium cuneatum naturalized in the meadow. I cannot take credit for this…they were here before me and keep multiplying.

                                                                                            

Woodland phlox (Phlox divericata) naturalized with the Trillium….delicate & fragrant.

I encourage all these to increase by allowing their seed to ripen and disperse before the meadow is cut. Slowly & surely this is happening. Every year at this time I wonder if I will live long enough to see my vision come to fruition. But then again its about the journey, and I am enjoying this one immensely.

© All photos & text 2011

A QUICK TOUR

Spring is unfolding ………..

                                                                                        

Suddenly, everything is so far along !

                                                                                 

The trilliums are coming up.

                                                                                             

 Flowering Quince  In the Viburnum Court…

                                                                                                

                                                                                           

Helleborus foetidus top & Helleborus orientalis above.

All Nature’s Masterpieces.

© All photos & text 2011

CAMELLIA MADNESS

The Camellia Walk  is in full flower.

                                                                                                                                                                                  

 The Helleborus are also at their peak, I love them together, makes for a lush planting…the only kind.

                                                                                   

Just about here, I turn around to see………

                                                                                                                                                                                            The daffodils in The Meadow.                                           

Up close & personal………                                                                                       

                                                                                              

                                                                                                      

                                                                                            

© All photos & text 2011

FRECKLE FACE!

                                                                            

All of the Helleborus in my garden are seedlings.  Each one has different colouration …. all stunning, all with freckles.

                                                                                         

Only one named variety from the Heronswood ‘Party Dress’ Strain. It is a double, and  not open yet.

                                                                                          

Perhaps because there are so few blooms at this time of year they are all the more appreciated.

MEANWHILE, IN THE GARDEN..

On a tour of the garden today, signs of spring …

                                                                                           

The Meadow is coming alive..

                                                                                              

Soon I’ll  post the results of 13 years of rescuing daffs and trying to achieve the ‘English Thing’.

                                                                                   

Meanwhile the Winter garden is doing what it is supposed to and is at  its peak….The “peak” lasts a few months…  Above, Prunus mume & Helleborus, below, a camellia…

                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Below,  evergreen shrubs make this is a very satisfactory garden area. 

                                                                                                                                                    

 

Notice, below, the variegated Boxwood, the berries on the Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica ‘Alba’) and the groundcover  Sweet Flag  (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ )…

                                                                                                    

 This is usually the time of year projects get started &/ or continued to be worked on, some, for many seasons. There are so many projects…..

When we started this  garden, we did not consider, EVER, declining  physical stamina.

© All photos & text 2011

ANOTHER ESSENTIAL PERENNIAL

Arum italicum ‘Pictum’ is, in my mind, essential in any garden where it is hardy.  This perennial sends out its foliage in the late fall and remains green all winter.

                                                                                       

The handsome leaves resemble arrowheads with strong creamy veining. They make a sensational groundcover. Since one NEVER cuts the leaves off daffodils (Narcissus),  the Arum makes a  good companion for them in a vase.

                                                                                              

In spring  a creamy spathe appears. The flower & foliage disappear in the summer, followed by a column of orange/red berries.

If one gardens in zones 6-9 they are indispensable in the winter shade garden.

© All photos  & text 2011

INDISPENSABLE PERENNIALS 2

Another indispensable perennial for the  winter garden would be  Epimedium or Barrenwort. Pleasant foliage all summer turning bronze / rose in the winter. They make a very useful groundcover in dry shade and  are magnificent paired with Helleborus. Below in my garden…

                                                                                             

 In very early spring the delicate flowers, commonly called Fairy Wings, emerge and proclaim winter officially over.

 Although they find their way into my miniature vases, they are by no means ‘show stoppers’. I use them primarily as ‘filler’ although some of the newer varieties just introduced from Asia can definitely stand on their own. Below Epimedium ‘Making Waves’

                                                                                            

 I encourage you to add some to your garden. The best & newest  can be found at http://www.plantdelights.com Another bonus… they are deer resistant.

Photo of  Epimedium “Making Waves’   used with permission from Plant Delights Nursery.