Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Reach Garden

These are photos of a project that we installed two years ago.  The main thing I want to illustrate to you with these pictures is how a lot of the color is pulled away from the house and the “foundation” plantings have been kept very simple and clean.  I think it is very important for the house to be able to show off it’s architecture.  I try to keep a light hand near the house typically focusing on evergreens near the house.  This makes sure that your structural plantings are doing their job of grounding the house year round while still allowing the architecture to stand on it’s own while working with it’s lines.  I have designed everything on the outside from the drive and walks to lighting and plantings.  There is a before shot included below so you can see what we were working with when the project started.

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A Man Named Pearl

This is a preview for a documentary that came out this past year.  It is a wonderful story and an amazing garden.  Watch the trailer and if you want to purchase the movie click HERE.

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Lago Maggiore and Isola Bella

This is a great video of a beautiful garden I was able to visit a few years ago.  Isola Bella was and is a private home in Lago Maggiore of the lakes region of Italy.  This garden was begun over 700 years ago and is still in the same family today.  This is an extremely interesting place to garden due to the temperate micro climate that is produced from the incredibly high and steep Alps that surround them.  When I was there we could still see snow capped peaks in the middle of July while standing next to Palms.  It was amazing.  The main part in this video on the garden is towards the end but the whole thing is beautiful even if it is a little bit cheesy at times.  Enjoy

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The Gardens of Russell Page

These are a few images of gardens designed by the legend Russell Page.  He is one of the most influential designers I have studied.  Below is a quick description out of wikipedia.  I would highly recommend  the book by Gabrielle van Zuylen and Marina Schinz,, The Gardens of Russell Page. It is an absolutely marvelous study of his work.

Montague Russell Page (1906 – 1985) was a British landscape architect and garden designer.

Former partner of Geoffrey Jellicoe and author of The Education of a Gardener (1962). In this book he looks at the history of Islamic and Classical gardens. Page and Jellicoe designed the landscape and building for the splendidly named ‘Caveman Restaurant’ at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset.

Page went on to design gardens in Europe and the US. His clients included: the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, King Léopold III of the Belgians, Babe and William S. Paley, Marcel Boussac, the Hon. Lady Baillie, PepsiCo, and the Frick Museum.

He was married twice. Page’s first wife was Lida Gurdjieff, a daughter of the spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff, whom he married in 1947; they divorced in 1954 and had one son, David. His second wife, whom he married in 1954, was Vera Milanova Daumal, the former wife of the poet Hendrick Kramer and widow of the poet René Daumal; she died in 1962.

What has always impressed me the most about his gardens are they way he manipulates space, form and volume.  He always seemed to know when to be bold and when space called for subtlety.




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Perennial Care for July


Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’

It’s hard to believe that it’s already mid July.  It seems like each year goes faster than the last.  Your chores in your perennial beds change this time of year.  A lot of areas start to dry out more than they do in the Spring and you have more insects to consider.  Planting should only be done this time of year if you have the time to water your new plants consistently.  The same applies to any transplanting or dividing that you are thinking about.  Make sure that these waterings are less frequent but deeper.  By watering more deeply you are encouraging the plants roots to go deeper.  Here are a few more things you need to make sure to look after:

  1. Perennials that have been cut back will also need to be looked after for water.
  2. Heavy-feeding perennials or those that have been cut back to encourage a second bloom could stand to be fertilized with a water soluble fertilizer.
  3. Aerating may be needed in compacted areas.
  4. Staking may be needed in compacted areas.
  5. Watch for mites, beetles and other insects and slugs this time of year.  If you have a specific question you can always email me an image and I’ll post it here to help others out as well.
  6. Older plants that have gotten leggy can be cut back.  Tradescantia is a good example of what might need to be trimmed back.
  7. Deadleaf plants that have already bloomed and are starting to look bad; at the same time make sure you are keeping up with your deadheading.

As always I have to give credit where it is due.  If you would like the same reading material I am looking at for these hints look for The Well Tended Perennial Garden by Tracey DiSabato-Aust.

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