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?
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.
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.
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…
Vita Sackville West wrote of her garden… “I am drunk with roses!”
blooming on the right …
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
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
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!
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.
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
Recently, Tara Dillard of A Garden View, posted about frames in the landscape. It brought to mind a lovely vignette I saw in a garden while in England. Initially I thought an artist had set up to paint.
As I approached
What had been ‘Framed’.
The lesson here is that framing a view brings it into relief. Scroll back to the last photo, see the difference? See Tara’s post here.
©All photos & text 2010
Probably one of the most influential garden designers of the early 20th century, Gertrude Jekyll, was a proponent of separating the garden into separate enclosed areas, each devoted to a season, or a single plant. She believed no garden could possibly be kept at it’s best for the entire season.
Below, her Autumn garden of Michaelmas Daisies. Painted by George Samuel Elgood.
Another view, painted by Helen Allingham.
Allingham also painted a break in the main flower border. Notice how Jekyll used masses of yuccas as punctuation points on both sides of the path.
These watercolors illustrate her lush planting style and skillful use of color.