cutting garden

Take a step back in time at Hillwood Gardens…

It felt as if we stepped back in time when we toured the lovely grounds of Hillwood Gardens at the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling in the Northern Virginia/D.C. area.  The grounds of the estate offered something for everyone.  From the formal areas to the cutting garden, Japanese garden and the pet cemetery, the patchwork of styles was delightful.

Filled with traditional and eclectic statuary, the grounds were dotted with whimsical touches.  This pair of sphinxes, half woman, half lion, drew many stares from visitors.

Across the lush lawn from the mansion, a flagstone patio marks the edge of a balcony overlooking the hilly lawn below.

I did not venture down the hill; my dog took me down on the street in our neighborhool 9 weeks before the Fling and I spent the entire trip hobbling around with a broken foot in a boot!

It was very manageable almost everywhere.  There were only 3 hilly gardens that I either couldn’t or chose not to navigate.  And I brought baggies to make ice packs for my foot every night.  The kindness of my fellow bloggers was astounding.  I believe that every single person asked me at least once or twice about how I was doing and asked if there was anything they could do for me.  It really touched me how kind and generous every one was.  Thank you all for your help and support.

In the midst of many formal garden elements, I found this border dotted with tropical plants and bold color contrasts a delightful surprise.

The Japanese garden lies down the path to the right of the patio.  The hillside garden winds through rocks and holds an extensive collection of Japanese style statuary. The stunning color combinations almost take your breath away and the varying textures and forms create fabulous contrasts.

What Japanese garden would be complete without a water feature, a pagoda and an arched wooden bridge.

The water feature brought an element of calm and cool to the garden, in spite of the heat of the day.

Down the path to the left of the patio a pet cemetery honors the furry family members of Marjorie Merriweather Post.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch and then I found my way to the cutting garden.  Filled with beautiful blooms of every size and color, the flowers were also given a helping hand with stakes and a a full length grid.  About a foot high, the grid allowed the flowers to grow straight up through it from early on, ensuring nice, straight stalks.

One of my favorite plants for its exotic look and structural shape, there was a big patch of Eryngium.

And, a few more whimsical statues to close out this blog tour.

Back to the work at hand, we shoot each other at the same time!

Another wonderful garden experience on our Capital Region Fling.

In a (tiny) Vase on Monday

After an out-of-town trip (only 24 hours), I was missing my garden.  Funny how quickly that happens.

Painful signs of our lack of rain awaited me, but some blooms just won’t be stopped.

I gathered a small handful of stems and put them in a new little vase that jumped into my shopping cart a few weeks ago.

In this vase you’ll find: verbena bonariensis, zinnias, a piece of plum yew, a foxtail fern, a bit of river fern, a piece of primrose Jasmine, and a small stem (not visible in the photo, sadly) of flowering senna.

Just a smattering of sweet blooms can brighten up any room in the house.  Check out more beautiful flowers at the hostess of In a Vase on Monday, Rambling in the Garden,  at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com .

Happy Monday!

Garden Bloggers Fling cottage-style garden of Casa Mariposa

Long, hot days and late nights aside, the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling, held two weekends ago in the Northern Virginia/DC area, had it all.  Surrounded by friends old and new, we toured botanical gardens, private gardens and the many gardens along the National Mall in D.C.

The Fling team did a fabulous job of hosting and things ran like clockwork.  Our chief organizer and hostess writes a garden blog at Casa Mariposa.  We were all excited to see her garden in person.

This quaint arbor and gate mark the entrance to the back garden.

The back garden was overflowing with a rainbow of blooms .

The back was a pollinator’s paradise,

Sweet birdhouses dotted the garden.

A collection of pots and garden art lined the back steps into the house.

A dry creek helps with drainage and provides a hardscape contrast to the delicate flowers.

The shady parts of the garden are brightened by variegated plants.

Bloggers, bloggers everywhere!

I may have to steal this clever idea.  Since dogs always want to run the fence line, we need to work with them, not against them! A cleverly concealed little fence gives the dogs room to run to their hearts’ content without tearing through the beds.

I loved all of the complimentary and contrasting colors in her garden.  I think this combination was my favorite. Opposites really do attract!

Stayed tuned for many more posts about the beautiful Fling gardens.

Blooms bursting in my garden on a chilly December day…

It’s been chilly here in Central Texas.  If you call 50s and 60s chilly, and we do.  All the potted tropicals and succulents are in the greenhouse with night time heaters running.

But the garden is still full of flowers – invigorated by lots of rain and cooler days.

I’m not spending time in the garden right now, so when I went to water the greenhouse plants this morning, I decided to bring some of these amazing flowers inside so I can enjoy them more.

I gathered Lion’s tail, celosia, indigo spires salvia and coneflowers and made a beautiful bouquet for my kitchen island.  There are many other blooms in the garden.

I might just bring in something else tomorrow.

Bringing in cut flowers for indoor sunshine, but leaving the heat outdoors

You wouldn’t believe it’s fall here in Central Texas.  The temperature today is supposed to be a whopping 95 degrees.  They keep promising us a cool front this weekend.  I’m not holding my breath!

Since I’m so busy with work and procrastinating on two designs, I decided to venture into the garden and see how I could waste some more time.  Ah ha!  I’ll pick some of these lovely flowers to bring inside to enjoy while I am chained to my desk.

Many things that I cut back in early August are blooming again, but most of these have bloomed all summer long.  This bouquet has echinacea, duranta, esperanza, some flowering basil and some Klondike cosmos.  The cosmos were all ripped out mid-summer and the remaining seeds have germinated and given me a brand new, monstrous crop.  They are very unruly, but I like them anyway.  I think of them like popsicle sunshine on a stick!

I was inspired to do this after reading Late to the Garden Party’s post for In a Vase on Monday, a meme started by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  I’m late to the meme, but I still wanted some flowers for my desk.  Better late than never, right?

Have you been bringing in any flowers from your garden?  Don’t you want to pop out there with the scissors and bring something beautiful from your garden indoors?

El Nino is quenching the garden’s thirst…

Our devastating drought has altered the state of our gardens here in Central Texas and it’s changed our mindset, too.

We’re not used to rain.  Not a little rain, not a lot of rain. We’ve had so much rain here this month that we don’t know what to do with it. 

There’s so much green in my garden that I have to wear shades to walk through it.  My plants would now like a little sun to shine as well, but they’ve never been quite so lush.

 A ribbon of catmint, Mexican feather grass and lamb’s ears lines the front of this Southwest cottage-style bed.

 The lamb’s ears make a dramatic statement when they are all standing at attention in full bloom.

 The black and blue salvia and lingering bluebonnets echo the blue in the large ceramic pot in the front bed.

Soft and spiky plants share this bed, providing sculptural interest and contrasting textures.  Soon the color of Mexican limelight salvia and orange tecoma stans will add to this palette.

Beautiful blooms are vying for my attention in the cutting garden – ready to come join me in the house!

Ditch lilies, Klondike cosmos, larkspur, shasta daisies, purple coneflowers and clematis are all showing off in the cutting bed.

This morning, I picked this bouquet for my mom and dad, who are celebrating their wedding anniversary today.  But tornado warnings and unrelenting thunderstorms kept me home this afternoon and they had to enjoy them via a photo.  So, now we can all enjoy them.

New spring plantings are growing and the caladiums are shooting up out of the ground as fast as I can count them.

I’m smitten with the Mexican bird of paradise, Caesalpinia Mexicana, and its exotic and wispy blooms.

The brilliant purple flags of these Amistad salvia provide a backdrop for senorita Rosalita cleome, dianthus and yarrow.
It’s delightful to walk through the garden with the grass squishing under your clogs, appreciating the much-needed rain.