Monday, December 28, 2009

Virtual Garden Tour of Stourhead

Welcome to Tiny Tours- a little virtual something to help you through the doldrums of winter.
I'm starting our tours with Stourhead, in England, since it's one of my very favorite gardens. Not overly flashy, but extremely serene and peaceful.

The Gate into the Estate is quite beautiful in itself.

The stables were outrageous. Such lucky horses!

One of the first gardens you come to at Stourhead is the Walled Garden. There were many bright flowers and huge flocks of butterflies. Most of the garden is quite natural and green. This is one of the few places with riotous color.

The drive up to the house is lined with 600 year old chestnut trees.

I didn't have time to tour the house (next time). Thought the cattle out front were quite interesting. The statues on the roof were originally in the temple of Apollo, but they were vandalized so much, they were put up out of reach.

The route around the lake is 2 miles, but there is so much to see that it wasn't even a question of whether we would walk it all, but rather of how long it would take us.
This is the Palladian Bridge. It crosses a tiny bay in the lake. From the Pantheon, across the lake, it looks like the bridge crosses a river that empties into the lake. Nice little bit of visual trickery.

From the Palladian Bridge, you can get a view of the Temple of Apollo up on the hilltop.

The Pantheon is a photographer's dream. There are a number of places to photograph it on the route around the lake.

Here is the Grotto, seen from the lake side.

The River Maid sits behind a small bathing pool in the Grotto.

There are a number of ancient trees that prove the age of these gardens.

The Gothic Cottage was off limits when I was there because the slate roof was causing weight problems. They had scheduled to remove the slate and re roof in the original thatch. I imagine that project is complete now.

Wildlife was abundant. I was enchanted by this mama coot trying to coax her baby into the water.

The Temple of Apollo sits high above the lake. There is a fork in the path before you get to the temple which reflects life. You can go to the right and the way is steep and rocky, but you are rewarded by a visit to the temple and outstanding views of the lake. Or you can go left and the path is level and smooth, but there are no rewards. (PS the rocky, steep path was worth it.)

A view of the tiny island from the Temple of Apollo.

A churchyard at the end of the walk revealed some exquisite headstones, many so old you could no longer read the writing on them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What's Blooming?

I can't find a single thing blooming outdoors after our deep freeze last week, so I'm posting pictures of my kitchen windowsill, which keeps my spirits up during the drearier days of winter.
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This is the sight that greats me each day when I step into the kitchen.

I got this orchid from my beloved brother who raises them and has greenhouses full of these exotic beauties. He lets me take home blooming plants as long as I bring them back before I kill them. The Gardenia next to it gives me a little tropical jolt when I give it a good sniff.

I love this green amaryllis. I'm one of those people who likes the oddball plants.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Warriors and Spring Promises

Our deep freeze has thawed and temps are back to normal. Today is a balmy 55 degrees with no rain. I took this opportunity to wander through the garden and make note on what survived with gusto (warriors) and what is a piddly mound of mush (non-warriors).

Almost all of the conifers emerged unscathed. This little beauty is my favorite Cryptomeria called 'Little Diamond'.

Although most of the plant mushed out to a brown mess, the pulmonarias showed some serious constitution by popping out new growth instantly. You can't keep a good pulmonaria down.

This whole vignette is made up of warriors. The Hebe armstrongii in the forground didn't even shrug. The Euonymus and Eleagnus in the back are tough cookies. What suprized me was the golden cypress that was given to me with the promise that it would break my heart because it wasn't hardy here. is.

With the deepening winter also comes the promise of spring and I go out regularly hunting for little treasures. This is the bud of Ribes 'Elk River Red'. I can't wait for the ribes (flowering currant) to bloom, because the hummingbirds always show up with the currant flowers.

Last year our temperature didn't get as cold, but we had some serious wind which resulted in this Garrya Elliptica 'James Roof' getting dessicated so badly I had to cut it back by half. This year, even with the cold, it held up great because we didn't have the wind.

As I walked through the garden, I also noted that the tips of the Reticulata Iris and the Snowdrops are popping through the soil. This is the beginning of a daily pasttime called "Snout Hunting". Each time I see the snout of a spring treasure erupting from the earth, it brings a special thrill.

For all of you who have enquired about Molina, my office cat... She is doing very well, living on a shelf in my bathroom, where she feels safe from our wussy dog. She finally came out of the bathroom on her own a few days ago and yesterday she took a walk through the garden outside, accompanied by Foos, who she thought of as a great bother.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brrrrr.....It's Cold!

For the past few days, we have been getting very cold weather. Down to 10 degrees at night and never above freezing during the day. I took my office cat, Molina, home with me because it's too cold for her to be outside at night. So she's enjoying the warm nights in my house with 12 other cats that I can't bear to pitch out into the cold.

The cold has brought some serendipitous treats though, like the ice sculpture that our fountain created. Quite lovely.

So what do you do when it gets this cold? If you are lucky enough to have some snow with it, don't worry too much, the snow will insulate the plants. If it's dry, and no snow, you can do several things. Throwing sheets over tender shrubs will help keep desiccating winds from drying them out and causing further damage. A product on the market called "Wilt-Pruf" helps by coating the plant with a waxy substance that preserves moisture, but it needs to be applied before the freeze. Here at the Village Green, we have a "Survival of the Fittest" philosophy. If we lose a plant to the cold, we replace it with something equally interesting, but a bit hardier.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poinsettia Care

'Tis the season for poinsettias and a little understanding can keep yours looking great well into the New Year.'s cold outside. And nothing feels the cold quite like a poinsettia. A good shock of cold air can defoliate your poinsettia in record time. Therefore when purchasing poinsettias, do not buy any that are sitting next to an outside door or in a draft. Purchase your poinsettia and get it right home. If you're running errands, get the poinsettia last. It will not appreciate sitting in a cold car. When you get it home. make sure it is placed out of the path of drafts.
Lighting is important. Your poinsettia will do best in bright, but not direct light.
Just like you and me, poinsettias like dry feet. Water only when the top inch of soil is dry and then make sure there is no water left standing in the saucer or pot wrapper. If you want to leave it in the pot wrapper, punch some holes in the bottom of it and place on a saucer. Leaving your plant sitting in water will spell certain death.
The red "flowers" are not flowers at all, but bracts (or modified leaves). The actual flowers are the little yellow things in the center. When choosing a poinsettia, choose one whose flowers (yellow thingys, remember) are not open fully. This is a less mature plant and it will last longer.
And not all poinsettias are red anymore. They now come in many shades of red, pink, white, yellow and orange and you can even find plants that have been dyed purple or blue or whatever. The bracts also come in several styles. There are rosette forms and marbled varieties.
The garden centers are bursting this time of year with all types and you should have no trouble finding your favorite and keeping happy for the Holidays.

Thabks to Gray's Garden Center, Eugene, Oregon, for allowing me to photgraph their poinsettias.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Garden Labeling

Over the years I have experimented with many different types of labeling. I started out, as many of us have, by sticking the labels that came with the plant into the ground next to it as I planted. Not only was this ugly, but these labels are cheap and disposable and degrade in the sunlight to the point that within a year they shatter. There is nothing fun about kneeling by a plant and picking up a hundreds tiny bits of shattered white plastic.
So I graduated on to sturdy plastic stakes that I wrote on with a sharpie. Not long after I learned that sharpies wear off within a year and I'm left with a blank label. Great for temporary labeling, but disastrous when trying to remember the name of some rare little something wonderful. Another thing I found really annoying with the white stakes was they looked like little headstones placed throughout the garden.
I finally began to hit on something great while I was visiting the Van Dusen Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had black labels with white lettering. They were very unobtrusive, yet easy to find. I called the garden when I got home and talked to the volunteer who headed up their labeling program and she was very helpful. They bought their stakes from a Canadian company, but I was able to find black stakes through a wholesaler here in the States. The labeling was done with a Brother labeling machine, available at any office supply store. The hardest part was finding the label tape that is black with white lettering. Some office supply stores carry it, but you may have to special order it. It's also more expensive than the white tape.
I was told by the lady at Van Dusen that these labels would last for at least 3 years, but I have most of my original labels that I made 9 years ago, still intact and looking good. If the label is getting direct sun, the stake will fade to a charcoal grey color after 5 years or so, but it still is very unobtrusive.

This is an interesting way to label shrubs or trees. The label is just for the purpose of identification by the gardener. It isn't easy to read from the path. But if that's all you need. it works great. The wire slides as the shrub or tree grows, limiting the possibility of girdling.

One last tip - If I have a perennial that I think I may remember, but I'm not sure, I usually bury the label that came with it alongside it as I plant. The label will usually stay intact without the sunlight on it and if I forget what it is, I can find out again when I dig it up to divide it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Appreciating Winter

Winter is the least favorite season for most gardeners, but it doesn't have to be all drudgery and misery. Keeping a positive attitude and looking for the beauty in winter goes a long way. The garden isn't dead, it's only sleeping, and walking through the garden on a frosty morning, you can see many of her dreams.
A few tricks I came up with to appreciate gloomy days are:
*Foggy days are now misty days. Mist sounds more magical than fog.
*The structure of the garden is much easier to see in the winter.
*Mosses are verdant, velvety accents.
*Seedheads left up in the garden feed the birds and add rustly sounds.
There are many plants that add interest to a winter garden. I would never be without Sarcococca (Fragrant blooms in January) and Daphne odora (fragrant blooms in February). I planted them by my front door so I can enjoy their fragrance as I go in and out. They both need shade in the summer, so plant them on the east or north side of the house by a door or window.
Hellebores bloom from late January into late March and then hold their bracts in muted tones much longer. New breeding has come up with fabulous colors and forms.
Witch hazels are another excellent choice for a winter garden. Most bloom in January -March and some are fragrant. My favorites are 'Ruby Glow', Jelena, and 'Sunburst'.

This picture of Hamamelis 'Ruby Glow' was taken on January 24th. It has wonderful fragrance and beautiful flowers. An added bonus is spectacular foliage color in the fall.

Flame Willow gives brilliant color in the winter. These plants benefit from a hard cutting back in the spring. The best color is one new wood. They grow back with amazing speed. Picture taken January 17th

Coral Bark Maple is another bright barked tree that glows in the winter. Picture taken October 21st

Snow is beautiful in the trees and on the ground. Ignore the negative aspects of it and savor the small gifts like these quail tracks. Picture taken March 9th.

Rime on roses is a sublime treat. Anytime there is heavy frost in the garden is a good time to get out with the camera. Picture taken November 27th by Greg Smith

A single Hellebore blossom frozen in a basin is a thing of beauty. Picture taken January 19th

Thursday, November 5, 2009

From Ugh to Awesome for $0

I have learned that there are good things that come from a recession. One of them is creativity. When faced with projects that have no budget, what do we do?
One of my autumn projects is to replant the planters in front of the lodge. I usually fill them up with sword ferns, cyclamens, maybe some pansies and flowering kale. But this year there was no money for fall planters. Many of the plants I had in them over the summer were done, leaving more plants dead than living. Before I could wring my hands in dismay, however, Melinda (our so-savvy manager) reminded me of a planter I had done last year using twigs and berries and evergreen boughs. So off I went, clippers in hand to gather whatever I thought would look good stuck into the dirt of the planters. I concentrated on things that I knew would hold over for a long while. I didn’t want to have to do the planter over anytime soon. I collected artichokes, Corsican hellebore, cotoneaster berries, pyracantha berries, callicarpa berries (purple), red twig dogwood branches, rosemary, rosehips, gourds, small white pumpkins, and laurel clippings. I started by wetting the soil well and then just stuck the branches in until I had built up a pleasing arrangement. Most of these elements should last a month or more. Some will last all winter. I can remove anything that looks ratty later and add season favorites like holly and juniper. Where I would normally have spent approximately $150 - $200 for fall plants, I now have all of my planters done for free.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rake or Hammock. Hmm...

Today was one of those perfect Fall days. Sunny, cool, colorful and that wonderful smell that comes with falling leaves. I did some light pruning, planted some elephant garlic in the Children’s Garden and moved compost. It feels great to be out in the sun.
Long ago, I used to teach a class called “Putting the Border to Bed”. In it I would outline all of the tasks for autumn, including clipping all perennials back and cleaning the ground spotless. I don’t do that anymore. One reason is that a super tidy garden is not conducive to wildlife habitat. The birds and the beneficial insects like a little leaf litter here and there to rummage around in and hide under. Perennial seed heads left up offer an abundance of seeds for little birds. A certain amount of leaf litter adds insulation to the soil and feeds it as it breaks down.
After a good storm I love to walk through the woodland, picking up small branches that have fallen from the trees and breaking them into smaller pieces. Then I toss them back into the woodland to decay and nourish the plants there. Large, matting leaves are removed from the woodland so that they don’t smother the plants beneath them, but smaller leaves, such as Raywood Ash and Japanese Maple are left where they fall. Larger branches are piled on the side as habitat for toads, frogs, newts and such which help keep the garden free of pests.
A wonderful book, which I re-read often, is Mirabel Osler’s “A Gentle Plea for Chaos”. It reminds us that the best gardens are where we gently sculpt Mother Nature, not dominate her completely. Let the roses ramble a bit, don’t be too quick with the rake and look at your garden from the viewpoint of the little creatures that live there.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Berries + Birds = Beauty

Last week I was in my office and looked out at a stand of Mountain Ash trees that is in the corner of the lawn. The trees were moving, but not in the way the wind would cause them to move. On closer examination, I realized that they were filled with cedar waxwings gorging themselves on the berries. A few hours later I noticed that migrating robins had joined the feast. Within a day, all the berries were gone.
I love the huge clusters of red berries on the Mountain Ash (botanical name, Sorbus) but I really love seeing the birds on them. I certainly don’t begrudge them their meal. In fact, front and center in the garden outside my office is a large pine tree that has been loosing it’s battle with pine borers. I know that I will eventually have to take it down. So when two Mountain Ash trees sprouted under it, I left them, hoping they would get a little size on them before I took the pine out. They are now 10-12 feet tall and had their own berries this year to feed the wildlife. They also have lovely white flowers in the spring – an added bonus.
I heartily recommend this tree to anyone who wants a medium sized tree in their garden. I would caution not to locate it over a patio or sidewalk since the berries and the birds can make a bit of a mess. You will also have to weed out a few stray tree seedlings from areas where you don’t want them. Mountain Ash may not be the most exotic or unusual tree on the market, but it is worth having for it’s beauty and it’s place in the bird food chain. There are many different varieties of Sorbus available, but I don’t think the birds find much different about them. So ask your nurseryman about their favorite and see what you think.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Good Book, A Warm Fire, A Great Garden

Top: Viburnum 'Pink Sensation', Center: Magnolia 'Vulcan', Bottom: Magnolia 'Caerhays Belle'

Today it is raining and cold outside. I don’t mind being wet. And I don’t mind being cold. But I hate being both. So it’s a good day to stay indoors. I have my favorite cat and a new book that I’ve been waiting impatiently for. It is “The Gossler Guide to the Best Hardy Shrubs” by Roger, Eric and Marjory Gossler.
Roger is a good gardening buddy of mine that I have known for quite a number of years. He likes to talk, but unlike most people who talk a lot, he actually has something to say. Whenever I am around him, I feel like the eager student in front of the brilliant professor.
The Gossler family raise the best and the unusual. They are a haven for the plant collector, but should be seriously considered by the average homeowner as well. As the blurb on their dust jacket points out, most housing developments are planted with the same generic landscape plants. These boring shrubs are chosen for the same reason that the cardboard–flavored tomatoes are chosen for the supermarket. They grow fast and they ship well. But these insipid shrubs are just as tateless as the tomatoes. To get a ripe, juicy, knock-your-socks-off shrub, you need to go somewhere like Gosslers. Here are just a few of the trees and shrubs that the Gossler family has turned me on to:
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Bell’ – I had no idea what the bloom would look like. Roger said I needed it, so I bought it. It bloomed it’s second year and the blooms were HUGE, iridescent and bubblegum pink.
Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’ – Guests here at the resort ooh and ahh over it and write the name down on their assorted scraps of paper which they reverently tuck into their pockets like the treasure that it is.
Edgeworthia - I love winter blooming shrubs. This one is stunning for it’s silver felted buds and bright yellow flowers.
Species Rhododendrons – Living in the Pacific Northwest, I was seriously jaded about Rhodies until Roger showed me some that have the most spectacular foliage.
Illicium anisatum – Another WOW plant we have growing in the woodland. Fragrant foliage and confetti flowers.
Chionanthus (Fringe Tree) – White, silky fringy flowers. A stunning small tree.
Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ – An absolute knock-out in the fall. The color is so intense it will burn a hole in your retina.
Viburnum ‘Pink Sensation’ – A lovely russet pink snowball viburnum.
Hamamelis- Witch hazels have become one of my favorite plants since being introduced to them many years ago by the Gosslers. They flower in winter, are a graceful shrub during the summer and then have vibrant color for the fall. What more can you ask.
Magnolia ‘Vulcan’ – A deep ruby red. This tree grew and flowered quickly and gets rave reviews from guests each spring.
There are many more shrubs and trees that have made their way from the Gossler Nursery to our gardens. If you want to spice up your garden with a plant that will awe your neighbors, check out their book, available through Timber Press and then get on line ( or call for a catalog at 541-746-3922. For a real treat, call for an appointment and visit the nursey where you will also find an awesome display garden.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cats in the Garden

We talked a while back about gardening with Dogs, but what about all of my kindred spirits out there who are cat people? And what about you poor folks who’s neighbors are cat people?
It seems the worst thing about gardening with cats is finding little “presents” in the flower bed while you are digging. Kitties seem to like the same loose soil that plants do. There are a number of ways to deal with this, some more appealing than others.
I have a brick planter in front of my house, covered by an overhanging roof. In the winter, the soil in this planter is much dryer than soil in the outlying areas, so the cats would use the planter as their bathroom, leaving a rather offensive smell. I cured this by throwing several tangerines in a blender with some water and pouring it along the back of the planter. The cats don’t like the smell of citrus, especially tangerine and left it alone for a good month or more. Another idea that works is to keep the soil moist. Cats search hi and low for a dry spot to poop in. I eventually solved the problem for good by planting a low, evergreen hedge (sarcococca) in the planter and keeping it trimmed tightly so there is no room for cats to get in underneath and dig. Now I’m rewarded with the sweet-smelling winter flowers of the sarcococca instead of the not-so-sweet smell of cat scat.
Similar problems can arise in the winter with cats digging beneath your deck where the soil is dry. Skirting around the deck is just about the only way to cure this.
I think the worst problem with cats is finding cat poo in your vegetable garden. You don’t poop in their food dish, why would they think this is OK? There are several ways to handle this. One friend remarked that since they had built a deer fence around their garden, they didn’t have deer, but they also didn’t have the annoyance of cats. If you don’t live in deer country though, fencing your garden to this degree can be a little drastic. You could try fencing around the garden with 5’ wire fencing with 2” openings, but you will have to use metal posts since a cat can (and will) climb a wooden post. Since the cats are looking for loose dirt, one friend of mine sticks plastic forks – tines up- in any patch that he has just cultivated. He keeps a bucket of them by the garden path. Another friend keeps the cats out of the garden by giving them their own sandbox at the back of the property. Believe it or not, I think this has been the best solution out of all of them. The cats would much rather poop in sand than have to dig in irrigated soil, so they use that and leave the rest of the garden alone.
My last solution is any one of the sprays available to keep animals away from your garden, but you won’t want to spray this on your vegetables and you need to repeat spray often.
Since we have talked at length about cats and their bad habits, in all fairness, I think I should also include some fun elements to put in the garden for those of us who do love our cats. The first is height. A cat loves to climb and have high spots to survey their domain. The carpeted cat towers are great for a covered back porch or deck. A wooden ladder leaning against a tree can be great fun. They also love warmth. Our cat, Dashiel had a favorite flat rock by the studio that he loved to sleep on in the sun. When he died we buried him under it so now it’s his headstone. Patio chairs are often claimed by the cats to sun themselves on. If this bothers you, give them their own sunny blanket or towel somewhere else.
Last but not least – Spay or neuter your cat so that we don’t increase the population. Free kittens are always available at your local shelter, you don’t need to grow your own.
If you have other tips and tricks about living with cats, I’d love to post them on the blog. Simply reply in the comment box.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Autumn Seed Toss

Above: Shoo Fly Plant - Nicandra
Below: Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate
Polyganum orienatale (Persicaria orientale).
As I walk around the gardens this late summer day, I am noticing all of the holes where nothing was planted this year. I’m not particularly apologetic about it. The recent event where the economy met the crapper has cut our staff down to a skeleton crew, and still they managed to keep the gardens looking lovely. But in an attempt to trouble shoot for next year, I am realizing that many of these holes can be filled up next year with annuals that we grow in-situ with seeds.
You may ask what gave me this brilliant brainstorm. It is, simply, the Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate that grows around the entrace to our gardens. This annual, botanically known as Polyganum orientale (aka Persicaria orientale) self-seeds itself every year and comes up each spring all on it’s own. Each year at our festival in September, we have multitudes of visitors asking what it is and where they can get it. One frustrated lady tracked down my e-mail address and lamented that she hadn’t been able to find it in any nursery. Well, no, you probably won’t. The only time I have seen it offered in the nursery was when they came out with a new variety a few years ago. It had variegated leaves and paler flowers, but didn’t have the same “Oomph” as the original. I haven’t seen it since.
So how do you get it? Find someone who has some, steal or beg some seeds and toss them into your garden immediately (as in now, autumn). Don’t till the soil first, don’t bother covering them up. Just toss them. Next spring they will come up with two oval, pointed leaves and bright red stems. Thin them out a bit and then keep them watered. By fall you will have 6’ plants dripping with dark pink-red flowers.
There are other annuals that will come back year after year by reseeding. Nigella (Love in a mist), Nicandra (Shoo Fly Plant), and Datura meteloides (poisonous) all reseed each fall and come back each spring with no effort on our part. One caveat is that if you want to get rid of these plants, you may have to weed them out several years before they are completely gone. But I would never want to get rid of them myself.
Other annuals that grow well with little preperation are Marigolds, Zinnias, Morning Glories (Ipomea varieties are not invasive like bindweed), Amaranth, and Cosmos. These just need to have the soil worked up a bit, a little fertilizer added and then plant and water.
Seeds are so much cheaper than plants and you don’t need a greenhouse to start many of the annuals available. The hardest part is waiting for the soil to warm up enough before you plant them. Put them in too early and they’ll rot. I wait until May for most of the annuals. If you have to get a quicker show, start them on a windowsill in April.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Steal a Little Creative Inspiration

I am a collector and a thief…..I steal clever ideas from other gardens and collect them in photographs, lists, and tattered folders. I rarely, if ever use these ideas exactly as I stole them, but I collect them and then go through them, touch them, experience them and then create my own version of these bold strokes of creativity. They are my muses, my mentors and my teachers.
For instance, after years of photographing other gardens, I have finally realized that what attracts me first are the elements that would attract a child. Anything whimsical, creative, cute or clever. I may take a picture of the black taro to have in my files, but it’s the beautiful ironwork grate that covers the mundane drain that really catches my eye and begs to be photographed.
On a recent trip to Chanticleer, in Pennsylvania, I took picture after picture of their Apple House. Originally a small cellar-like structure for storing apples, they had painted murals of chipmunk holes on the inside and made it a completely charming little piece of the garden.
Another idea that I stole with my camera is their habit of putting brightly colored chairs, usually in pairs, all over the garden. A little bit garden art, a little bit invitation to sit and rest, enjoy the view, stay awhile.
My daughter, Bryn was with me for this trip and I could see the same excitement sparked in her inner child as I felt in my own. She loved the restrooms that were created to look like a Japanese dwelling, the creative ironwork or woodwork that graced every bridge, and the clever little boxes that held the plant lists for each garden.
The feature that blew us both away was The Ruin. Not sure if it was an actual ruin of a stone house or whether it was created, but it was sublime in it’s detail. Stone books graced the library, a giant stone “pool table” mesmerized us both (and the pun was not lost on either of us).
I had planned to “skim” through this garden on our way to another, but even though we were exhausted from catching the red-eye flight from Eugene just 14 hours earlier, no sleep, a nightmare experience with the rental car agency and hot, humid weather, we ended up spending many hours basking in the creativity of this garden.
Notice how I have written about this garden without mentioning any of the plants? The plants were equally clever and beautiful and bountiful – not a hole in any single garden, but what made it beyond special was all of the little artistic touches outside of the plants.
So here’s a challenge for you. Go through the pictures you took at your last garden tour, or garden show. Check out how many were of plants and how many were of clever little accents. I think it’s a very powerful lesson on designing any garden.