Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Yesterday, I drove to nearby Phillipston, MA for the Garden Vision Epimediums Open House. The more I work on the woodland garden, the more I value epimediums as a ground cover for dry shade. I have collected about 15 cultivars so far. It is very helpful to see the plants in a garden setting to get a look at the size and texture of the foliage as well as the color of the flowers in bloom.
The Display Gardens
Epimediums Labeled, in the Ground
All the epimediums are labeled in in alphabetical order
One of my picks: Epimedium grandiflorum 'Bicolor Giant'-- 16 " tall with "pink spurs and deep raspberry sepals"
Another pick as seen in the display garden: Epimedium x 'Domino' This plant forms a 12"mound has elongated foliage with maroon speckles. The flowers, arecreamy white and maroon flowers have reddish-purple outer sepals and dark purple pedicels.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
"Saruma henryi: From Western China, this close relative of the Asarums is not often found in cultivation. Gorgeous felty, heart-shaped leaves are purplish when they first unfurl in spring. These are followed by subtle, soft yellow flowers which continue to appear, often until late fall. Extremely choice. 18". " Blue Meadow Farm catalogue 2003.
It is hard to believe I got this plant from one of my all-time favorite nurseries a decade ago. Alice and Brian McGowan ran an amazing nursery in Montague, MA for the first ten years of my gardening career. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was. They had unusual annuals, perennials and woody plants that I had never heard about but it seemed any time I read about some spectacular plant, they carried it. This plant is a favorite. It looks great all season long. Excellent foliage and form. It even has politely self-seeded in unexpected shady spots in the garden. I have divided it over the years and have some handsome stands of it in the woodland garden. It has been quite happy in the dryish shade there. Blue Meadow Farm closed in 2005. I wish I had bought more of their plants. I still use the catalogue as a resource. Brian now works as the Assistant Director of Horticulture at Wave Hill in the Bronx and I often run into him there when I visit. Our loss here in New England was Wave Hill's gain.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
This weekend I worked on refining the curves in the Woodland Garden. This is a view from above. You can see the neighbor's green shed to the far left.
In the portion of the path by the new wooden steps, I made the curve go the opposite direction beyond the steps.
This is a similar view showing how the curve is accentuated on the left to help the path wind down the hill.
This shot shows the final curve at the top of the woodland garden. The area to the right will be seeded up to the green garden markers.
This is the same area from the opposite direction before...
...and in process...
This is the 'before' picture farther down the hill. The shed is on the right side. The path went straight down. I thought a curve would make for a nicer (and hopefully easier) journey through the garden.
The hoses delineate the future path.
The plants have been moved and the curve is much nicer (to me eye, at least)
This is a far veiw from below--note the shed
The far view in process...
Before: a closer view from below--note the shed again
After: all the plants have been move to widen the curve. Now that the paths have been adjusted, the next job will be to add stone steps. To be continued....
Volunteers clean out the Toadstool Beds
Sand from last winter was removed from the curbing at the Pavilion Garden parking lot in preparation for the sweeping truck
Before at Teixeira Park....
Happily ever after??
The debris waiting for Lenny from the Public Works to pick up and remove. An example of the public/private partnership that keeps the parks in good condition.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
In less than a month, I will be returning to Britain to assist my friend, Mick Induni, on a tour of English gardens May 14-23. We will be visiting Great Dixter, Hidcote, Sissinghurst, Stourhead and Wilsey. We end the tour with the Chelsea Flower Show in London. I think of myself as the "color commentator" to compliment the exceptional British tour guides who will be leading the tours. My mission will be to give an American perspective on how to incorporate ideas from the English gardening tradition into the participants' own gardens back in the states.
On one of our open nights in London, I have gotten tickets for the Gardens Illustarted lecture at the Royal Geographical Society. Peit Oudolf and Jinny Blom will be the speakers. I did this lecture a couple of years ago when Dan Pearson and Cleve West spoke and it was great. I am very excited to see Oudolf speak for the first time!
You can see the complete itinerary at Mick's website at The Best of English Gardens. He has a wide range of tours. For more information, see his website, Discover Europe.
The azaleas and rhododendrons should be at peak while we are visiting
The White Garden, one of the many garden rooms, at Hidcote Manor
The modern pool at Kiftsgate Court Gardens
The Grotto at Mill Dene, the private garden of The English Garden’s contributor Wendy Dare
The Palladian Bridge and Pantheon, at Stourhead
Rosemary Verey’s iconic Laburnum Walk at Barnsley House
Sissinghurst, the garden of poet/novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband, historian Harold Nicolson
Great Dixter, the home and garden of the late plantsman, Christopher Lloyd
The Brewin Dolphin Garden, designed by Cleve West, won best in show last year at the Chelsea Flower Show