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.

Propagation planning for winter greenhouse plants…

My garden is making me very happy right now.  It looks great.  I don’t say that much, being my own worst critic, but I feel good about what I’ve accomplished since the spring. Even in this tough summer, I worked hard on it.

But, I realize it won’t be long before the blooms stop and plants go dormant as we usher in a short winter’s nap.

Many of the plants in my garden this year are not perennials.  Unless we have a very mild winter, I’m likely to lose some of my new favorites in the garden.

Like the variegated begonia in the right of the picture above.  It was fussy and had to be watered every day, but so did all my pots just about 10 feet away, so I babied it.  It was so pretty with its cranberry colored stems and juicy cream and lime colored leaves.  I want more of these next year.
This Persian shield is also one of my new faves this year.  I finally got a few close enough to the house and big enough that the deer aren’t eating them to the ground.  Love that vivid color.

This salvia madrensis below isn’t in my garden, but my friend and fellow garden blogger, Renee of Renee’s New Blog, gave me three cuttings of hers and I know I’m going to want more, so I will root some more over the winter. They are really hard to find in nurseries.

The variegated plant in the photo below is Cuban oregano – a strong smelling herbaceous perennial that is cold tender.  I lost my first one last winter, but promptly went out and bought several more.  And I stuck at least 6 little stems into the ground and they immediately started growing.  So, I will prune some off before the first freeze and have my own collection growing over the winter.

Don’t you think all of these plants would love getting to spend the winter in my greenhouse getting lots of TLC?  I do!