June Garden photos

Fields behind th ehouse full of buttercups and bed straw- a backdrop to the garden

Fields behind the house full of buttercups and bed straw- a backdrop to the garden

View from top of staircase in driveway

View from top of staircase in driveway

Astilbiodies tabularis, Darmera peltata  at base of new dry stone retaining wall in driveway

Astilbiodies tabularis, Darmera peltata at base of new dry stone retaining wall in driveway

Entry garden with new willow structure and golden hops

Entry garden with new willow structure and golden hops

Looking down from entry room into Big leaf room. Petasites, sumac tiger eyes, and Mandarin honeysuckle

Looking down from entry room into Big leaf room. Petasites, sumac tiger eyes, and Mandarin honeysuckle

Living willow structure clipped into Castle Chicken shape

Living willow structure clipped into Castle shape for chickens

Small plum orchard, bank is bedstraw and bishop weed, tall grass is red clover and daisy

Small plum orchard, bedstraw and bishop weed on bank,unmown area is red clover and daisy. I like encouraging lots of wildflowers in the areas further from the house.

Creeping thyme in Ice house path, green velvet boxwood

Creeping thyme in Ice house path, green velvet boxwood

Persicaria polymorpha white fleece flower

Persicaria polymorpha white fleece flower

Scotch thistle

Scotch thistle

Goats beard rising above rhamnus fineline hedge

Goats beard rising above Rhamnus fineline hedge

Ice house border

Ice house border

Kanutia macedonica- trying to use more color in the garden

Amsonia hubrichtii left and Kanutia macedonica- trying to use more color in the garden

Sanguisorba officinalis- I think? with salvia May night and amethyst

Sanguisorba officinalis- I think? with Salvia May night and S. amethyst

Blue stone Terrace planting

Blue stone Terrace planting with new Teak Smith Granada chairs. Love the X back design.

Moss on old barn wall

Moss on old barn wall

I forgot the name of this plant.. any ideas. I ripped it out of a border and its flourishing here under the heritage birch trees

Lysimachia punctata- yellow loosestrife.  I ripped it out of a border and its flourishing here under the heritage birch trees

Digitalis grandiflora- given to me by a dear friend. Love this plant.

Digitalis grandiflora- given to me by a dear friend. Love this plant.

 

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Creating Vertical Elements in the Garden

Four years ago, I started a small willow nursery for personal use. I got willow cuttings from my friend Michael Dodge who owns Vermont Willows. I also bought 12’ foot willow rods to make a living willow tunnels for my chickens; an escape for my girls in case a bird of prey gets the wrong idea. The chickens love these dense structures that have the added benefit of providing some cool shade. Now my willow nursery stock has matured I have harvested 16’ foot rods, and started to build the willow structures I have always wanted to make.

Willow structure completed and hops tied to it.

Willow structure completed and hops tied to it.

This summer, I made the first of the large willow structures or garden obelisks. My garden is still young and lacks verticality and these structures provide an instant vertical element.

For the first structure I detained a golden hop that had been traipsing along the top of a retaining dry stone wall and devouring a bench every summer for a few years. No surprise, the hops loves the upright structure, and within two weeks has pretty much covered it. My second structure replaced a sickly Taxus cuspidate- pyramidal yew, part of an alley of yews that leads down to the pond. This 10’ foot willow structure keeps the architecture of the alley, but adds an element of surprise. A Lonicera sempervirens ‘John Clayton’- trumpet honeysuckle will cover the structure in a few years.

Two weeks later the hops has covered structure

Two weeks later the hops has covered structure

I decided to make one more large structure 12ft this time, in a lower border and repeated the golden hops. At the end of an open valley, we have strong westerly winds so I buried re-bar rods and tied the top for added stability.

My next project is to make willow fences or ‘wattles’ around a few evergreen trees to protect the lower part of the trees from munching deer.
I will post my future projects as I achieve them.
Once my willow stock has been replenished I will make these structures available to local gardeners.

Completed 2nd structure 10' foot tall

Completed 2nd structure 10′ foot tall

Detail with honeysuckle

Detail with honeysuckle

12' foot structure

12′ foot structure

View of structures in the garden

View of structures in the garden

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Plowed Snow Damages Plants

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Winter is hard enough on plants with all the freezing and thawing, and subzero weather, but we also have to make sure, when we design a garden, that our plants will be out of the way of the snow plow. … Continue reading

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Winter – A Time to See Garden’s Architecture

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Those of you who live in the northern hemisphere, experience a winter season pared to its bare essentials. And it is by no means all bad news. In this reduced landscape you have the advantage of seeing your garden with … Continue reading

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Late November

This gallery contains 9 photos.

A fellow blogger suggested that if you become burned out from writing, the best thing is to take a break. Hence my long absence from this blog. I have not been idle though. I have put a garden to bed … Continue reading

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Conversation among the Plants

When plant combinations work it is because they enhance one another. I like to think of these sometimes planned, sometimes serendipitous events as conversations between the plants involved. Repeating the same plant like Malus ‘Donald Wyman’ in my Moon garden with a second tree 70 feet away on the bank of the pond, means that after a long winter the two trees speak across the cold air one beautiful white and pink blossomed canopy to another. Then in fall when the crabapples turn bright red they bond again and your eye is naturally pulled back and forth by the dramatic fruit display.

Other combinations of plants that are dialoguing right now are the shrub Potentilla ‘Primrose beauty’ its soft yellow blooms whisper tenderly to the perennial Kirgengeshoma ‘palmate’ who’s beautiful pale yellow flowers nods in appreciation. A fluke planting, I love seeing these plants making the most of each other. The third shrub Sumac ‘Tiger eyes’ joins in on the conversation with its bright glowing chartreuse leaves.
When combinations of plants work well I make a note of it for future design projects so my clients and I can enjoy similarly harmonious discussions.

Potentilla 'Primrose beauty' with Kirgengeshoma palmate

Potentilla ‘Primrose beauty’ with Kirgengeshoma palmate

Kirgengeshoma palmate in the big leaf garden with Potentilla 'Primrose Beauty'

Kirgengeshoma palmate in the big leaf garden with
Potentilla ‘Primrose Beauty’

Sumac 'Tiger Eyes" joins in on the conversation.

Sumac ‘Tiger Eyes” joins in on the conversation.

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New Parking area- ‘before and after’

This gallery contains 6 photos.

For years the too small parking area next to the house has been problematic. Regardless of age our friends, you know who you are, crushed my flowering plants along the edge and had to make ten point turns in order … Continue reading

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