The garden I visited a few weeks ago was one of the most impressive private gardens I’ve visited. It was started in the mid-1970s when only three trees stood on the city property (it’s about a third of an acre). The gardener, a lovely dedicated woman who told me she has spend most of her day in the garden from April to October for the last 40 years, discovered early on that the garden is on heavy clay soil. She became a great proponent of compost and makes copious amounts of the stuff, throwing it on anywhere she can.
In addition to a fascination with conifers as well as a few other additions to my must-have plant list, here are some of my take aways from this tour:
- Make every plant accessible. Every bit of the garden was accessible by paths or by being cut into sections with grass paths between. I think you probably could have reached every plant without stepping in a bed.
- Hide the ugly stuff. Rather than be greedy and take as much space as possible for the garden, she did a double fence on the side of the property. One abuts her neighbor’s yard. Another identical fence is located about 10 feet inside of the first and she hides all of the ugly bits in between. A huge composting area, collections of nursery pots, wheelbarrows, etc.
- Have a beautiful enough garden and your house doesn’t matter. Beyond recalling that it was a one-story house, I have no idea what the house looked like.
|Great use of lamina as a groundcover.
|Her brunnera were all huge. Unfortuantely I don’t know the shrub. Anyone recognize it?
|Another great plant combination: heliopsis and daylilies.
|Pinus strobus ‘Tiny Kurls’
|The path to the front door is marked by her Rhapsody in Blue garden, full of blue plants.
|Amsonia pops up again. It WILL be in my garden next year.
There are so many lessons to take away from every garden, but this one was particularly inspirational. What a delight to be able to spend some time in it.