FALL TOUR

 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  (Thuja occidentalis)  ‘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.

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A GARDENER’S DILEMMA

Some areas of my garden are incomplete. The bones are all there, but the planting is far from ‘done’. For example, the lilies I have recently featured …

                                                                            

are a perfect companion to Hydrangea paniculata

                                                                                    

however, they are planted on either side of the bench in my cutting garden and not together.

                                                                                         

 So here is this gardener’s dilemma…do I dig up the lilies and plant them with the hydrangea or transplant the hydrangea? That’s a young gardener’s thought process.

 At my age I am thinking the easiest way to achieve what I would like, would be to strike cuttings of the hydrangea and plant them with the lilies. MUCH EASIER, the caveat being  TIME. It will take a few years to get the effect I am looking for.

Why isn’t life simpler? The young have both the time and energy…. need I say more?

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.

LESSONS FROM CHARLESTON S.C.

 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.

                                                                                     

                                                                                            

Reinforce the design of beds with edging.

  

Keep the planting simple,

                                                                                    

       And finally.. co-ordinate…

                                                                               

DRUNK with CAMELLIAS!!

Vita Sackville West wrote of her garden… “I am drunk with roses!”

I, am drunk with Camellias!

blooming on the right …

                                                                       

              Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’                                                       

The Camellia Walk snakes through the shade garden in the form of an inverted ‘S’

Below, it is the Camellia Walk which forms the background for the Mourning Bench.

                                                                    

                                                                   

In the Potager, below, a salad Garden, some collards & cabbages.

                                                                   

In the Cutting Garden, the seeds of the Lilies (Lilium formosanum)are ripe. Please e-mail me if you would like seeds. There were some request  after I posted the flowers, HERE.

                                                                 

AND… The Continuing Saga of yet another project….

                                                                    

An improvement since the last time I posted this spot.

I will be away from the computer for a week. Will fill you in when I return.

 © All photos & text 2010

THE GARDEN UNFOLDS

An overcast and rainy day. Great for the garden, good for photography. In the last post the photo of the entrance to both the Camellia Walk & Circle of Friends was not clear so here are some taken today.

                                                                  

This is where the Camellia Walk begins. a few yards over to the right  lies… (keep your eye on the pink flowering camellia)

                                                                     

the walkway that leads to the Circle of Friends. Note that the pink flowering camellia plays a role in both garden rooms.

                                                                  

 

The east side of  The Circle of Friends, punctuated by variegated boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens ‘variegata’). This space is actually oval in shape.  All the plants in this little garden were gifted to me or were cuttings from the gardens of friends, hence the name. It is encircled by camellias (as background structure) and hydrangeas.

                                                                     

On the west side, the structure of camellias is the back side of the Camellia Walk. Like most areas in the garden it is unfinished however, what I plan can be found here.

 Leaving this area and following the path we intersect with the Camellia Walk . (it curves round)

                                                                      This is marked by the interesting texture of four upright Japanese Plum Yews (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’) and underplanted with variegated Japanese Sedge (Carex morrowii);  the idea being to tie in the variegation and create an ‘Elizabethan Collar” around the yews.

A few yards past this intersection lies the Mourning Bench. As I have said before; one can pass it without noticing. It sits between the two variegated boxwoods on the right. Below…

                                                                 

 

If this path is followed further,one gets to the Potager. We have been walking north. Below, the view from the north looking south back through to the meadow.

                                                                 

The repetition of  the Variegated Box & the Carex create  rhythm and serve to tie the sequential spaces together into a coherent whole.

To be continued…

© All photos & text

IN THE GARDEN…AT LAST

The heat has finally broken (low 90’s) and the  humidity has dropped. Early this morning I chose a project from my ever-growing list of things to do in the garden and out I went!

The project is the ‘Circle of Friends’  What is needed here are a few finishing touches.                                                                                                                                            

Today I pulled  string  and arranged the brick to line the path that leads to and from the Circle of friends. Next will be the landscape fabric, crushed stone & pea gravel, and finally painting the furniture.                                                                  

This area is so peaceful, it is one of my favorite spaces in the garden. Arranged  in the shape of an oval…                                                                   punctuated by four variegated Boxwoods, it suggests finality and invites repose.

                                                                   It sits under a wonderful canopy that allows dappled light and provides perfect conditions for both camellias & hydrangeas to flourish. In this case the plants both create the space  and embellish it.

While I had hoped for a carpet of moss, That idea has been abandoned as impractical. The seating is not all I wished for but it is comfortable and affordable and when painted BLACK it will recede nicely. Then all that is needed is a groundcover.

 I just might put a check mark next to one project this summer.

© All photos & text 2010