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.



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.



 A beautiful fall fragrance from the tiniest of blossoms on a shrub described by Dirr as a “genuine horror ….. long shoots wander in disarray from all areas of the plant….. fast, does not adequately describe the speed with which it grows.”


Elaeagnus pungens, often refered to as ‘UGLYAGNUS ‘ emits a fragrance that  is incredible, somewhat reminiscent of Gardenia.

 The very first time I encountered this plant was with my (then) new friend Tara Dillard,  at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The fragrance was so marvelous,  notes were immediately made to acquire this shrub; then Tara gave me the lowdown on this ‘weed’.

Years later I discovered the variegated Elaeagnus  (Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’  or ‘Aureovariegata’) … smaller, slower growing, I was told, a perfect garden shrub.

                                                                                          I succumbed… they lied!



If you are in the Atlanta area this weekend , do visit the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville. Lots of vendors, good food and a Garden Tour. ($25.00) My friends Susanne Hudson &  Tara Dillard have built a show garden.

Knowing these two ladies, there will be lots of inspiring ideas. Hope to see you there.