Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Achieving Harmony with Simplicity

Our local Garden Center was running a special offering $50 Landscape Design Consultations, and so I took this as an opportunity to get some personalized professional advice to help me achieve more harmony in my garden. It was a worthwhile endeavor, and I received a gem of wisdom. There is always a tendency for many gardeners to plant one of this, one of that, but the Designer reinforced the principle of choosing fewer plants, and then mass planting them. She suggested that I use Liriope 'Big Blue' as edging for my woodland garden, rather than the rocks that I had lined up to define the bed. Brilliant! I am now incorporating this idea and will get all these plants in the ground over the next days.

I've planted several Peony Trees beneath the Cherry Tree, and will continue to build the collection in this space. The cultural conditions are a near perfect part-shade/part-sun, and so in a matter of time I think this segment of the garden will look great.

The Rock Garden will receive a mild makeover next Spring. My plan is to divide and transplant the Carex 'Evergold' to beneath the Serviceberry 'Autumn Brilliance' tree, and then to populate the deck-side bed with a row of Hosta 'Patriot', or some other sun-tolerant Hosta cultivar.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tricks and Treats

My October garden is as much of a pleasure as my May garden, namely thanks to the amazing Sedum 'Autumn Joy' which adds so much pizzazz to the Sun Perennial Border at the front of our property. The cranberry red color mirrors the crimson foliage of the Japanese Maple 'Bloodgood', and it's a true statement plant. The chartreuse Sedum 'Angelina' also makes quite an impact, serving as edging for the border while contributing vibrancy and breaking up all the green-ness. What would an October Garden be without Sedums? They are such a treat.
Today I took corrective action and re-designed the Front Entry Border. The Astilbes (mixed) and Geranium 'Biokovo' have now all been transplanted from the sunny right side to the shadier left, and in their place I have planted Japanese Anemone 'September Charm' (5), 'Pamina' (3) and Verbena which can take a lot of sun. I added 5 Creeping Jenny to ring the root of the tree, and then directly front-center I've planted a patch of pansies and will add some Tulips in-between. On the trellis next to the garage, I've now planted Clematis 'Henryi' and Clematis 'Miss Bateman'. I think the trick to dealing with this tricky garden spot, is to forget about symmetry. It will be a real treat if this installation is my final and permanent solution to the sunny/shady conundrum I have faced in the past.
As I close-out the gardening season, it's always a nice treat to put out some seasonal displays, and these containers work like a charm to put a smile on my face

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Cutting Garden

The concept of having a "Cutting Garden" always struck me as extravagant, a luxury for the rich among us, or those who reside on vast estates with lots of land. Land is expensive here in the Metropolitan East Coast, and with long commutes and long hours spent at work, I get the impression that for many of the people who I rub elbows with on a daily basis,"land" symbolizes yards to be mowed and weeds to be pulled. I, however, have always coveted land. It would be heavenly to me to have 5 or 10 acres of land to fill and fill with beds and borders and trees and shrubs. I would have a Rose Garden, and a Vegetable Garden, and of course a Cutting Garden.

This Spring, I went to Winterthur in Brandywine Valley Delaware for my Birthday Weekend. During the tour of the Historic Home, which belonged to a certain branch of the DuPont Family, we were told of how the Head Gardener was consulted before any Dining Arrangements were planned out, so that the table settings could be matched to the flowers in bloom. It was breathtaking to imagine how sumptuous and luxurious the experience of being a guest at Winterthur must have been, considering the extreme detail taken to ensure the maximum exposure to all the delight and beauty on offer.

Although I do not have the luxury of filling dozens of vases with gobs of flowers, I do have just enough established beds now to give me an Impromptu Bouquet each week. This is why June is so blissful to me, the days are long, and there are so many exquisite flowers there for the taking. I may not have a vast estate or acres of land, but in June, my entire small plot of land becomes a "Cutting Garden".

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brilliant Blooms of May

Definition of SUPERB : marked to the highest degree by grandeur, excellence, brilliance, or competence

My garden hit peak bloom about a week ago, the perennials and shrubs metamorphosing into a blooming machine, and I am savoring every moment that I am present to behold the magnificent glory of Spring. This year marks the fourth season in which I have gardened on this property, and I am truly reaping the rewards of all the metaphorical seeds that I have sown. The borders are lush and full and diverse, and my plantings are now well-established and thriving.

I had the great fortune of inheriting a very lovely collection of Trees & Shrubs when we bought our home, and the Kousa Dogwood looks especially spectacular this time of year. It is covered with blooms of the purest white.

While the Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' have now faded, this side of the border will ratchet up soon with the blooms of Lavender and the trio of David Austin 'Harlow Carr' roses that I planted behind the Pinks.

My son enjoys romping about in the garden, and he's growing into a wonderful little helper. He has quite the imagination too, and I love to watch him get lost in play.

The Butterfly Garden is especially favored by my son, and by me too. I started this bed from a barren patch of grass just one year ago, and as I watch it flourishing with every passing month, I feel a flush of joy that I now have this happy stretch of Sun Perennials to greet me each day, upon my arrival to my home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sunny Side Up

-- Peony "Louise Marx" and Achillea "Coronation Gold"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012


The garden is now in full-throttle bloom mode, and the incredibly mild winter that was not, is long gone. It seems as if everything has bloomed at once, the Daffodils, Tulips, Azaleas, and countless others that could not wait, and it takes my breath away to watch all this live happening action.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Winter's Blooms

The Mid-Atlantic winter has been mild & moderate, and in addition to the great many plants in my garden that are beginning to break dormancy, several early varieties are blooming earlier than ever before.


Pieris Japonica

Sunday, January 8, 2012


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