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!

CAN IT BE ….SPRING?

I can’t believe I went from this..Image

to this in one day!!Image

How wonderful to be back in Georgia, where it appears we are in full-blown spring….

The gardening to do list grows daily as the overwhelming season is upon us.  Trying to separate the list into A) what will make an impact in the garden visually, and B) plant requirements. e.g. weeding  and feeding.

                                                                                       

All the camellias, both in the Circle of Friends, and the Camellia Walk are in bloom along with the Hellebores.

                                                                                          

Permeating the air is the fragrance of Daphne odora…. The garden is truly magnificent. A celebration of all the senses.

                                                                                             

The daffodils… well, they deserve their own  post.

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.

WONDERFUL BRICK PATTERN

I have been saving these photos of a brick walkway for years.

                                                                                

Although it is a walk, there are benches on both sides so one can really appreciate the pattern.

                                                                                                                              

Details like this keep a garden interesting in all seasons. 

I want it here!

                                                            

Ahh …. the difference between the imagination and the reality.

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

Earlier this summer, as I  sat in the Circle of Friends, I realized that after the first major flush of bloom my ‘interesting hydrangeas’ really had no impact at all. What was needed was more of the strong blue mopheads.

                                                                                    

                                                                                     

So cuttings it was, since that particular hydrangea is an unknown variety and I have no idea how to locate more.

                                                                                             

Good plan? Yes, untill I saw them today; this is what they look like now.  

                                                                                

                                                                                    

Yet, on the other side …

                                                                                

the less spectacular blue mopheads dry beautifully.

                                                                              

                                                                                

What a terrific problem to have!

A GRACIOUS GARDEN

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.

THE BOTHY

                                                 

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.)

I’m almost there!