Japanese 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.

Zen and the art of umbrella handling

We enjoyed a few dry moments at Buffalo’s Delaware Park Japanese Gardens before the sky opened up again.

But I was intrigued by the rain’s mirror effect on the lake as we took in the beautiful sights.
Many of the private gardens we toured in Buffalo had an Asian theme, perhaps influenced by the lovely structures in this public garden.
There were many different vignettes throughout the garden, offering structure and contrast to the viewer.
And all the structures in the park were designed to flow seamlessly from nature, appearing to have been there for years.
Not to be outdone by the floral explosions in the home gardens of the city, the Japanese garden also had its share of beautiful blooms to complement the lush foliage and trees.
Garden bloggers strolled and took in all the sights – enjoying the serenity of the setting.


Then we all enjoyed a delicious lunch at the French Bistro Rue Franklin, including Marmee of Things I Love, Gail of Clay and Limestone and Frances of Fairegarden .

Such a fun-filled day, it will require two posts to get it all in…stay tuned for more!

Taniguchi Japanese Garden inspires wedded bliss~

So many of you commented about our wedding at the Zilker Taniguchi Japanese Garden that I wanted to share a picture with you of the beautiful setting it provided for one of the happiest days of my life.

It was a sunny (hot) June day (a few sprinkles for luck, but not on us!).

We were surrounded by our family, closest friends and the Koi!

So, while I was search through the 6,000+ photos in my iphoto program, I ran across another one you need to see.

The next photo was taken at the reception at the Barr Mansion across town. It has nothing to do with the garden story, I just wanted you to see the back of my dress!!!

Tee hee.