Entries in woodland garden (91)

Sunday
May142017

My Beautiful May Garden

What makes a beautiful garden?Color, certainly. Healthy plants. Proportion and balance. Variety. Movement and flow, repetition. Fragrance. All those things, but much more. A beautiful garden can be humble or grand. It is highly personal. For me: a peaceful atmosphere, comfort, birdsong, memories, a little whimsy.

May is a beautiful month! I want to be outside every day, tending my garden. I love Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), which is in full bloom on the arch by the patio. The intoxicating fragrance is a delight whenever I walk under it. I can also catch a whiff of rosemary. Nearby, pink 'Anthony Waterer' Spirea is blooming.

Coral drift roses line one edge of the patio, along with bacopa and a silvery artemesia:

On the patio table is a ceramic green rabbit, a souvenir I brought home from Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia, a very grand and gorgeous garden!

Here are more images of some of the flowers in my May garden:1st row: 'Penelope' rose; 'Anthony Waterer' spirea; Lichnis coronaria, commonly called rose campion. 2nd row: Yarrow; Calibrachoa; 'Snowflake' Hydrangea. 3rd row: Rosa palustris, also called swamp rose; Coral honeysuckle; Gardenia Jasminoides 'Kleims Hardy', a dwarf gardenia bush.

As much as I love flowers, I am also drawn toward colorful foliage. I purchased a variegated geranium without even knowing what color the blooms were; the leaves are spectacular! It has started blooming now, and the orange blooms complement its foliage perfectly. Near the steps leading from the patio to the arbor garden are two 'Francis Williams' Hostas, Japanese painted fern, and an interesting plant with variegated arrow-shaped leaves, 'Red Dragon' Persicaria. I have placed an unlikely companion next to one of the the hostas: a red poinsettia, left over from Christmas and still looking good! 

Clockwise from top left: 'Francis Williams' Hosta with poinsettia in background and a neighboring branch belonging to Edgeworthia chrysantha; A variegated geranium; 'Red Dragon' Persicaria and 'Francis Williams' hosta; 'Red Dragon' Persicaria and Japanese painted fern.

I have featured 'Tropicana' Canna lily a number of times over the years. Its bold colors hold up well to the hot sun that bathes the front of our house in summer:

The stone steps leading down to the much shadier woodland garden are located across from the front parking area. One of my favorite views of the woodland garden (shown many times on this blog!) is seen from the bottom of the steps. Moss paths tie different parts of the woodland garden together and give it a peaceful, quiet atmosphere:

The white birdhouse in this photo was home to a family of bluebirds, recently fledged:

I put this little woodland sitting area in last year. It is near an area featuring ferns and native azaleas. Moss and ground covers will soon carpet the ground around the chairs. That is an old iron magazine rack holding small potted begonias. The blue flowers are Tourenia fournier, also called wishbone flower. It is my newly discovered favorite annual for shade. Tourenia comes in various colors. The cobalt blue blooms of this one are fabulous. I also planted lime green Scotch Moss (Sagina subulata), Creeping Jenny, and wild violets in this area. :

More plants in the woodland garden:1st row: Japanese felt fern; 'Whitewater' weeping redbud; Hardy begonia. 2nd row: Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red'; bench next to fern glade; Polystichum acrostichoides, a native fern also known as Christmas fern. 3rd row: Hellebore whose red blooms have faded to green; wild violets; Woodland rabbit with Colocasia.

This beautiful Bird's Nest fern (Asplenium nidus) stays in the woodland garden until cold weather arrives. It spends the winter inside, but it flourishes outside when the weather warms:

What about you? What makes you pause in a garden? How do you define beauty? The wonder is that I have seen many beautiful gardens, and they are all different!

You may also enjoy my previous post, Seven Elements of a Beautiful Garden.

Sunday
Dec042016

Sweet Rain!

The storms arrived with thunder and wind and brief power outages, but I was not complaining. This past week we had over 2.5 inches of rain, and more is predicted. The drought is not officially over, and we have a lot of making-up to do; but our weather is moving toward its normal wet winter pattern. After a couple of days of soaking rain, I ventured outside.

The weather was still very breezy, and Lou was standing with his rake as leaves swirled around him. He had been clearing paths and was attempting to rake the lawn. I laughed.

"Isn't that like trying to hold back the ocean waves?"

"No, it's easy. See, all I have to do is put out the sack, and the leaves fall into it!"

I left Lou raking, and I wandered through the gardens with my camera.These are views of the woods next to the lower front lawn, near the entry to our property.The vibrant colors of the foliage remaining on the trees stunned me.I thought the drought would rob autumn of its glory this year, but the arrival of rain and cooler air intensified the red and golden hues.

Looking into arbor garden through the iron arch

Looking toward the woods from inside the arbor garden

'Feelin' Blue' Deodar Cedar grows at the edge of the woodland garden. Its gorgeous blue foliage complements the fall colors of deciduous plants.

This Japanese maple in the woodland garden is 'Orangeola.'

I will bring the folding iron chairs in the woodland sitting area inside for the winter. I used the matching magazine holder for potted plants. It is coming inside, too.

Since I shot these images, the colors have faded and multitudes of leaves have come to earth. More work for Lou! Freezing temperatures are on the way, and I am listening to rain as I write this. (It would be hilarious if our drought officially ended with snow!) Yesterday I was outside putting up Christmas lights. I am content.