Bzzzz January 19th, 2011

Ah, January. I have created a new folder in Photoshop Bridge entitled Garden 2011. I have one single photo in it, but it’s an important one—a shot of where we’ll be creating a woodland garden.

Out of necessity came opportunity. We had the local tree guys out to take down a large tulip tree that was in imminent danger of falling onto the chicken coop and across the driveway. It was a tricky undertaking because of its location. The older of the father/son pair is in his 60s, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he scampered up that tree. Starting at the top he sawed off limbs and then he topped it. I was in the house when the top 10 feet of the tree came down. There was a huge crash, which I would have been worried about except I heard the two men erupt into whoops of glee. Isn’t it great to take joy in your work?

Anyway, the rest of the tree came down, as did another in the way. I will also have to move a lot of the hostas I planted there in the past two years since they will now likely scorch in the sun. I’m not showing you photos of it all because the whole process made a humongous mess that I will have to deal with when the thermometer climbs above freezing.

While the tree guys were here they made me a good deal offer to clear some of the woods. I hopped on the chance to get this section of the woods cleared of underbrush and trash trees. It is the area near the house that we look on when we eat dinner outside in the summer. Without all the tangle of underbrush and trash trees, we’ll get a better view into the woods. We’ll also put in a path and a bench to overlook a ravine that you can’t see very well in the photo.

Whatever else goes in the woodland garden, I am determined that it will be low maintenance. We already have a healthy crop of moss. I like moss. Some of the hostas will also find a new home there. Then there will be bulbs. And a hammock. And my bottle tree.

So here you have it, the first view of the new woodland garden.

Posted In: Gardening

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Bzzzz March 10th, 2010

Does anyone do hospitality better than Southerners? Perhaps. But I can’t think of who right now because last week I was in Davidson, NC, speaking at the Davidson Horticultural Symposium where the members of the Davidson Garden Club rolled out the red carpet. It’s very fresh in my mind. And, oh my!

I was there as one of the guest speakers talking about the “Artful Vegetable Garden”—once again riding my hobby horse about how edible gardens don’t have to be utilitarian looking. I rubbed elbows with fellow speakers Allan Armitage, W. Gary Smith ,  William Welch and Pamela Baggett. The Davidson Garden Club members arranged for our transportation and accommodations, flowers in our rooms and for our lapels, escorts to make sure we didn’t get lost, fabulous dinners and lunches and one very special garden tour.

The garden surrounds the Italian Renaissance-style home of a private couple who have created a very approachable and walkable garden on acres of protected land in Davidson. A pathway circles the perimeter of the house and is planted with fabulous specimens that are evident even in the still-chilly weather of early March.

Careful attention to plant selection, artful creation of pathways to give long views of garden sculptures, creative use of elements for a rustic touch and even mossy paths, contributed unasked, courtesy of Mother Nature, made this a fabulous and memorable garden walk.

You can see more of the garden here.

I appreciate my new friends in Davidson and their fabulous Southern hospitality. Thank you!

Posted In: Garden Design, Gardening, Travel

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