A NEW FOCAL POINT

As I walk through the garden I see all the areas that would be much improved with a focal point.

Circle of friends

The Circle of Friends (above) has a wonderful pot, an Italian reproduction of a Gertrude Jekyll design. (I want something taller, this is too round & short)

At the end of the Rose & Clematis Walk is the  Schiaparelli Bench.

The Sciaperelli Bench

The cutting garden has several focal points as it is divided into four parterres…

Bench in cutting garden

The bench .. (On axis with the Potager)

entrance to cutting garden

St Fiacre…

and serving as focal point from  two views is one of the classic Four Seasons.. ‘Summer’…

Cutting Garden Entrance

and opposite  ( below)  an urn…  (An overturned pot acts as plinth; my Poverty Cycle)                                                                      cutting garden

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.

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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.

CREATING A PATH

There are two choices when creating a path.

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Curved paths create mystery, one cannot see the end.

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

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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.

HYDRANGEA TOUR PART 2

                                                                     

The second garden on tour was that of Cheryl & Max Lenker.

It is a perfect English Style Cottage Garden; complete with rose arbor entrance, boxwood lined walk and welcoming plaque…

 The mixed borders are masterfully planted …

featuring an elegant shade structure that serves as focal point.

Adjacent to the house is an outdoor living room with all the accoutrements for gracious living & entertaining.

                                                                                                   

From this area one can enjoy the sound and sight of a split stream waterfall.

                                                                           

If one ascends to the upper level one crosses the waterfall.

Here the character of the garden changes and one discovers a quiet shaded walkway …

and a place for contemplation.

This garden has it all and of course the hydrangeas were fabulous!

We all see different elements in a garden, I have not touched on the amazing front of this house, so for more  on this garden see PRETTY OLD HOUSES  and LINDARAXA.

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.

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.

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I LOVE the  Schiaparelli Bench!!

                                                                              

In context, with plants of like colour.

                                                                                                  

                                                                                   

                                                                                             

                                                                                   

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

SHOCKING!

Think pink! 

Shocking Pink! 

Schiaparelli* Pink!    

  

Same colour as the pink ‘Knockout Roses’ below…

                                                                             

 BUT the main purpose was to detract from the mess weeds in that garden space. Distraction as a design tool?  It works!

(Paint Behr 680B-5  Strawberry Freeze)

*Elsa Schiaperelli, provocative fashion designer, rival of Coco Chanel.