WILKERSON MILL GARDENS

Yesterday I had occasion to visit WILKERSON MILL GARDENS  in Palmetto Georgia.

 Long one of my favorite nurseries for underused and hard to find plants; they now specialize in hydrangeas, every one imaginable, and the good news is they are available mail order!

            Above, pink “Annabelles”! (Hydrangea arborescens “Invincibelle“)

                                                                         

                                                                           

Love the “Hydrangea Blue” wagons!

                                                                 

I also noted some other very desirable plants to lust over. (below)

                                                                        

Above , Red Lotus Tree (Manglietia insignis)  in the Magnolia family…I never heard of it before.

Above, the incredible foliage of “Moonlight” climbing hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides “Moonlight’)

So if you are in Georgia, pack a picnic and go visit, if not, check the website for all the information you need to grow gorgeous hydrangeas and find a few you are not familiar with. Connect here.

No, this is not a paid review, but if  information on plants and planting are considered…I get an abundance of that!

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 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?

MORE LILIES!

Starring in the Cutting Garden now are lilies!!

                                                                                         

                                                                                Above, Lilium ‘Montreal’ and Lily                                              

 I love them with hydrangeas.

                                                                                          

 a few feathery branches of Kerria japonica  and we are done. (not done yet!)

Several years ago, on a first consultation, I watched my perspective client pull together an  arrangement on a grand scale in no time at all while we talked about her needs in regard to her ‘outdoor space’. I always try to emulate her. The arrangement was loose, natural & ‘happy’, the  antithesis of   Beverly Nichols’ ‘Our Rose’, famous for torturing stems into fantastical & outlandish shapes.  I recently visited with the  gracious Ms C. I will post her garden in the next few days.

Meanwhile…..harvest from the Potager…..

                                                                                          

How fortuitous to have a coordinating bowl for Delicata squash!

© all photos 2011

HYDRANGEAS, HYDRANGEAS, EVERYWHERE!

                                                                                     

 In the summer,  Hydrangeas form the backbone of the shade garden, they will carry the garden through the summer and keep my vases filled as well.. 

                                                                                                                                                        

In The Circle of Friends, the camellias are  now backdrop, and these beauties are showing  their stuff.

                                                                                     

Most Hydrangeas are rounded in form. From a distance they are indistinguishable…                                                                                 

On closer inspection however……

                                                                                         

many are quite distinctive, above Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

The lacecap Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’ above.

                                                                                         

Hydrangea quercifolia & Hydrangea macrophylla above. Although I do enjoy the delicate lacecap flowers, the big blue or white balls are certainly  eye-catching in the landscape.

                                                                                   

Above, Oakleaf Hydrangeas mark the entrance to the Viburnum Court.

What carries your garden through summer?

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

BROWN & CRUNCHY

Wish it were candy I was referring to, but it is not. Parts of my garden are brown & crunchy.

                                                                  

Variegated Weigelia (Weigelia florida ‘variegata’) in April…

Weigelia today.

Truth be told, I have neglected this part of the garden. There is just so much water one can pump out of a well during a period of drought. I do not remember the last time we had any rain, nor can I remember the last time the temps were lower than 90 F. Choices had to be made. 

This part of the garden has been in a bit of decline and it was never ‘designed’ to my satisfaction. Another winter project on the To Do list.

The native plants are so much more tolerant of drought. Below, a photo of both the Native Oakleaf  Hydrangea ( Hydrangea quercifolia) and the French mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla).

                                                                    

Both were watered last week. 

 I would like to introduce you to my new, constant companion! (below)

                                                                    

This is the best type of sprinkler for many parts of my garden, lots of water over a large area.

Moving on…

                                                                  

the basil is doing well

                                                                     and I am making Pesto, which will be frozen for the winter. I love to open a jar of sunshine in the middle of January and eat in front of the fireplace.

The recipe I follow (very loosely) is from Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook .

2 cups basil leaves (no stems)

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Pine Nuts

5-6  Garlic cloves (or to taste)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated

Combine in the Food Processor till creamy (the consistency of baby food)

Add salt  to taste and serve over pasta. (or freeze)

If it seems too thick, add a tablespoon or so of the water that the pasta boiled in to thin.

Should you want to be really authentic you can combine all the ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Hence the name Pesto

Enjoy!