Monthly Archives: October 2009

Beech Hedging


Hedging is such an important part of garden architecture; on that here in the US is often under used and under appreciated.  There is no better way in my mind to break a space up or create volume and depth in a space.  This picture is a powerful example of the strength that can be created using hedging.  There are many wonderful plants to use, Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is without question one of the best and most classic examples.

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Filed under Garden Architecture, Hedging

Marqueyssac Gardens

The Marqueyssac Gardens are in the Dordogne Valley in France.  I have not yet had the chance to visit them, but it is top on my list to visit when I do finally make it to France.  This is probably the most interesting use of clipping and training plants that I have ever seen.  The predominate plant used here is Buxus sempervirens.  Marqueyssac is a fantastic and fantastical example of garden architecture and the development and manipulation of space that I think is so important.  This is absolutely amazing….






Photos were taken by Jake Hobson.  If you want to shape your boxwoods like this visit his website at Niwaki where you will find the finest pruning supplies available.


Filed under Garden Architecture, Marqueyssac Gardens

Sculpture and Patina

Scan 1This is an amazing sculpture in and of itself but for me the maturity shown here with the ivy covering it and the patina are what really make it.

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Movement in the Garden

Movement in the garden is considered by many to be on of the key features in a well developed garden.  Many people implement this through a water feature or the blowing of ornamental grasses in the wind.  One of the most unusual, effective and interesting implementations of the concept was in the lakes region of Italy on Lago Maggiore on the island garden of Isola Bella.  The sites transformation from a rocky island to a palatial estate and garden began in 1632 by the Borromeo family.  The gardens were not finished until 1671 by the third generation of the family on the site under the hands of Carlo Borromeo IV.

There are many amazing and interesting features of the garden but what caught my eye and was the most exciting was the use of Pheasants.  These beautiful and colorful birds along with white Peacocks roam the garden, meandering or dashing back and forth.  Here are some of the beautiful birds in use:

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Filed under Isola Bella, Movement in the Garden, Travel

Hidcote Manor Garden

ScanHidcote has to be one of the most inspirational and studied gardens in the world.  While studying Garden Design it was one of the first gardens that I look to for inspiration.  It is England’s premiere example of an Arts and Crafts Garden.  Hidcote’s own web site will give you even more photos to study for inspiration.  The information below was provided by Wikipedia.

Hidcote Manor Garden is a landscape garden located on the outskirts of the small village of Hidcote Bartrim, near Chipping CampdenGloucestershireEngland and owned by the National Trust.

Created by American-born horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston, it is often described as one of England’s great “Arts and Crafts” gardens with its collection of raretreesshrubs and herbaceous borders.

Johnston’s mother, Gertrude Winthrop, purchased the Hidcote Manor Estate in 1907. The estate was located within a part of England with strong connections to the then-burgeoning Arts and Crafts movement.

Johnston soon became interested in turning the fields around the estate into a garden. By 1910 Johnston had begun to lay out the key features of the garden and by the 1920s Johnston had twelve full-time gardeners working for him.

The garden was acquired by the National Trust in 1947.

Johnston’s influences in creating his garden include such luminaries as Alfred ParsonsGertrude Jekyll, and others. In 2007 a garden designed by Chris Beardshaw that drew its inspiration from Johnson’s Hicote was constructed at theChelsea Flower Show.

The garden takes the form of a series of outdoor “rooms” of various characters and themes created by the creative use of box hedgeshornbeam and yew and stone walls. These rooms, such as the ‘White Garden’ and ‘Fuchsia Garden’ are linked together, and some by imaginative vistas and furnished with topiaries. Some have ponds and fountains, and all are planted with flowers in bedding schemes. They surround the 17th century manor house, and there are numerous outhouses and a kitchen garden.

The property is close to Kiftsgate Court Gardens, which is built on the edge of the Cotswolds escarpment overlooking the Vale of Evesham.

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Filed under Garden Design, Hidcote Manor Gardens

October Perennial Care

IMG_0292Many people bemoan their perennial gardens in the Fall.  For me, it is one of my favorite times of the year.  There are so many wonderful colors and textures at play in the garden that can be overlooked.  Ornamental grasses really come into play right now and the wonderful merlot colors of plants like the ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum pictured above are at their peak.  This is a great time of the year to install new perennial plantings but you want to make sure that it is getting done now so that new plantings have enough time to take root and be ready to over winter the upcoming cold weather and freezes.  Here is a quick list of what you need to be thinking about in your perennial garden right now:

  • Make sure that you are getting you Fall plantings in the ground so they have the time to establish themselves before winter.
  • All of your divisions and transplanting need to take place now as well
  • Fall can be a dry time in many areas so don’t forget to water new plantings and check your existing plantings to make sure they are receiving enough moisture as well.
  • Start to remove excess leaf build up from around the base of your plants
  • Mulch in tender perennials to make sure they have the insulation they need to go into winter.
  • After the first frost look your perennials over to see what is looking bad and go ahead and cut those back for the year.

As always I have to pay credit to The Well Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust.  You will find all of the monthly care tips I post and much more information there.  To order your own copy of her book click on the title above

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Filed under Garden Maintenance, Perennials, Tracy DiSabato-Aust

Boston Ivy

I took this picture while I was traveling in Buenos Aires last year.  There are so many reasons people will list to keep you from growing Ivy up your home or a building.  Many of these are true; it can cause damage to mortar (English Ivy is the worst).  But, I look at this building and really feel it’s fantastic.  It adds so much depth to the park in the foreground.  This is really great.DSC_0276

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Filed under Boston Ivy, Climbers, Travel