The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Boccelli Garden: the End of the First Season of a Public/Private Partnership Project V

This weekend is 'Peek into Peterborough'. Busloads of tourists come to New England and Peterborough to see the fall foliage. I was hoping things would still be looking vibrant at this point in the season. Now that the grass has grown in, the new project at the Boccelli Garden is looking well-established.

The fall foliage of clethra (yellow) and enkianthus (red) in the far left of the new gardens can be seen from across the Nubanusit River.

We got several new Adirondack chairs for the downtown parks this year.

 About a month ago, we enlarged the new bed below the retaining wall. The original idea was to leave grass below the last 5-6 feet of the retaining wall to create a bench, but I think the enlarged bed envelops the new terrace and existing Boccelli Garden and is an improvemnet even if the "bench" has been lost.

The Boccelli Garden as it has always looked in October.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Aussies Arrive

The ASA (Australians Studying Abroad) Tour called "Gardens, Art & Fall Foliage: Coastal Maine to Philadelphia including Boston & New York" stopped in earlier this week to visit my garden. A tour led by John Patrick (far left above) was spending 23 days visiting North East America to see gardens including Wave Hill, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Longwood Gardens, Chanticleer and several private gardens, including mine. When I was asked to be a stop on this tour and saw the list of gardens they would be visiting, I was honored to be included.

The night before their arrival, the temperatures dipped to 34 degrees F and many of the tender plants were hit by a light frost. I watered the lightly frosted foliage of the coleus and begonias in this flower box before the sun hit the leaves. This old trick of florists seemed to work because the leaves survived unscathed. Apparently, the cell damage to the leaves occurs as the sun melts the frozen water on the leaves but if warm water melts the ice, there is less chance of damage. The afternoon turned out to be a lovely sunny autumn day: perfect for garden visiting.

I learned that the Eucalyptus gunnii ‘Silver Drop’ that I use as an annual in the Lower Garden grows to become a large tree in Australia. John Patrick also pointed out that Plectranthus argentatus, another silver-foliaged-plant that I use as textural plant in the Lower Garden is also native to Australia.

The most admired plant on the Blue Bench Terrace was Pelargonium sidoides, a tender geranium with gray foliage and tiny magenta flowers which spilled out of the central planter.


Being such a small garden on this tour had its advantages because the participants got the chance to use the seating throughout the garden to take a contemplative moment to rest and actually "be" in the garden.

I thoroughly enjoyed the invasion of friendly Aussies to my garden. Australia has always intrigued me. I hope to get the opportunity to visit gardens in their country one day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Upper Garden in Late September

Melianthus major, Salvia 'Indigo Spires', Amaranthus hypochondriacsDahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' doing their job well before frost hits.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Putnam Park in Late September

Sanguisorba officinalis, or burnet, is indispensable in the garden at Putnam Park. The red button-like flowers of this northern European native create a great textural addition and they contrast well with the asters and persicarias of autumn. The way they float in the breeze is magical.

View From the Living Room the Last day of Summer

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Texture, Texture Read All About It

It is the textural elements of plants that I find most intriguing. When I am looking for plants at another garden or nursery, the foliage is very important. Grey, red/purples and chartreuse are often good colors to mix with other plants. Then I look for foliage that is thin vs thick, shiny vs flat or fuzzy, serrated vs smooth edged, round vs long. All the grass-like foliaged plants are particularly useful as are the round or paddle-like shaped leaves. When I put a composition together, I try to have a pleasing balance between contrast and harmony with both leaf color and leaf texture.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peterborough Parks in Early September

The Pavilion Garden Entrance to Depot Park

Molinia litoralis ‘Windspiel’, Baptisa australis and Aster 'October Skies' at the Pavilion Garden 

The planter at Peter's Gate is planted with Scaevola 'Whirlwind Blue', Coleus 'Compact Red',  Jasminum 'Fiona Sunrise' and Phormium 'Pink Stripe'

The Boccelli Garden

The new Terrace at the Boccelli Garden

Our newest volunteer gardener, Blair

Blair, Laura and Molly taking a break at Nubanusit Terrace 


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