Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monticello Plantation

Before the Memorial Day Weekend got fully underway, I day-tripped down to Charlottesville on Thursday with my family to tour another piece of Historic Virginia. Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate is well-preserved, the gardens are historically accurate, and the guided-tours very effectively provided added-value to the experience. It was a massive enterprise keeping a plantation going, and I find it interesting to learn about the day-to-day routines and rhythms of life in past times. Of course, like most wealthy plantation owners of the era, Thomas Jefferson held hundreds of men, women and children in bondage, stealing their entire lives and the entire product of their life's work. I cannot think of his life without considering theirs, and imaging their experiences of actually working the land. Beneath the romanticized surface presentation, beyond the beautifully restored mansion and quaint vegetable and display gardens, there was the unspeakable brutality of SLAVERY, and this cannot be forgotten nor forgiven.

Main House

Flower Walk

Vegetable Garden

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Pleasure Garden

I recently attended a fundraiser for Brookside Gardens in Maryland. For a modest $5 donation, the public got a chance to tour one of the most spectacular and jaw-dropping private gardens in the area, a magical garden with a vast plant collection set amongst three acres. The Peony Collection was promoted as the tour highlight, but I found the trees and shrubs and shady nooks to be equally impressive. There was just so much to take in, so much beauty to soak up, and I took away loads of inspiration that I can now apply to my own Pleasure Garden.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Starter Roses

My order from Heirloom Roses just arrived today, and though the roses are far smaller than I'd imagined, the foliage looks quite healthy and full. I find fragrant roses irresistible, which is why I ordered Rose 'Fragrant Cloud' and Climbing Rose 'Zephirine Drouhin'. I also wanted a group of shade-tolerant roses for the Woodland Side Border, and have selected Rose 'The Fairy' to perform in that role. Can't wait to see these babies grow and start blooming.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Just as I stepped out of my front door late this morning, camera in hand to photograph the Mailbox Butterfly Garden, I encountered something that made me quickly step back in.

There right in front of my path lay a shiny black snake, seemingly ready to pounce, and it was at least four feet long!

I am still spooked by the incident. I spend hours in the garden, often wearing shorts and flip-flops even in the wooded bush-filled areas at the back of the property, and previously I never concerned myself with being on the lookout for snakes. Now, I can no longer delude myself and will have to be more cautious.

Through web-research I have identified the offending snake as being a harmless Northern Black Racer, but the sight of a snake never makes me happy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's In Bloom?

There are flowers everywhere all throughout my garden, some finishing up and others just getting started, and each day seems to bring a new surprise. Many of the Peonies, planted in Fall 2009 mostly, are blooming for the first time, and the Mountain Laurel shrub has never looked better. It is all quite a sight to behold, the garden in its full gorgeous glory.

Peony 'Louise Marx'

Peony 'Pink Hawaiian Coral'

Peony 'Karl Rosenfield'

Peony 'Charlie's White'

Peony 'Monsieur Jules Elie'

Peony 'Scarlet O'hara'

Peony 'Do Tell'

Dutch Iris

Digitalis 'Camelot Cream'

Geranium Biokovo

Dianthus 'Bath's Pink'

David Austin Rose 'Harlow Carr'

Viburnum 'Dentatum

Mountain Laurel

Kousa Dogwood

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Flowers of May

My garden is full of so much bounty at the moment, as the first Peonies begin to bloom, and the Azalea 'Rosebud' hits peak performance, but the truly eye-catching starlets are the royal purple Alliums. The best way for me to admire my best flowers up close and personal, is to bring them inside. It puts a quick smile on my face every time I catch of glimpse of these lovelies.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

The Washington D.C. metro area has many beautiful public display gardens, and I am making it my goal this year to visit as many of them as I can. Over the Mother's Day weekend, I had the pleasure of touring Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in the Northern Virginia suburbs. Oddly enough, I found myself caught in the lull between Spring show stoppers such as Flowering Dogwoods, Tulips and Daffodils, and the start of late-Spring/Summer blooming Peonies, Daylilies and Roses. And so I lucked out this time and missed the flowers, but the landscaped grounds were entirely beautiful nonetheless and the shade gardens infinitely inspiring. To see the true greatness of a garden, it is essential to visit multiple times during different months and seasons, and I am really looking forward to my next visit at Meadowlark.

Perennial Sun Borders

Shade Gardens

Children's Garden


Related Posts with Thumbnails