dahlias

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.

Garden decor and displays at Dragonfly Farms close the 2011 Seattle Fling

The last stop on the Seattle Fling was as fabulous as each of the previous outings. The entire trip just kept getting better and better. We got to tour the beautiful display gardens of Dragonfly Farms and nursery and look through their amazing plants. Heidi Kaster of Dragonfly Farms & Nursery was our garden hostess with the mostest.

Some bloggers were able to take plants home with them because they’d driven. And some bloggers who’d flown to Seattle packed their suitcases full of dirt and botanical booty and crossed their fingers that the plants would survive. I was lucky; Jenny of Rock Rose and her husband were camping and my plants were treated to a scenic drive across the countryside in their airstream camper before making their way here with Jenny yesterday!

The display gardens meandered all around the large nursery and house, delighting us with secret pathways and unique garden art at every turn.

Panning the nursery tables, so many colorful plants invited us in to browse.

There were many beauties I would have loved to take home with me like these Dahlias.



The intricate pattern on this pottery caught my eye. Isn’t it cool?

Plants and pots and trees… oh my!

There were many fabulous specimens through out the display gardens, like this poppy.



Intent on finding the next brilliant photo, bloggers Jenny of Rock Rose and Pam of Digging troll the eye candy.



So many majestic plants provided vertical interest in the garden.

I wish I knew the name of this luscious little blossom and its berry neighbor.

The Clematis in the PNW were all blooming their little heads of while we were there, thanks to a cool, wet spring. I was glad to see them before I had to return home to my brown, crispy ones.

What a selection of succulents! Now THIS table was really hard to pass up.

This quaint shed with its assortment of garden decor was inspiring. Now, garden “stuff” I could put in my suitcase!

The earlier rains of the day left the gardens dewy with droplets of rain.

This huge vase, tucked into a nook in the garden, makes for a fabulous focal point for visitors coming down the path.

Even exotic animals graced the display gardens.

The house hidden behind the display gardens is as whimsical and entertaining as the rest of the nursery.

After shopping and touring, we were all treated to the wonderful Punch Drunk in Love with the PNW happy hour. Our hosts, Proven Winners, put out a spread of food, blackberry punch cocktails and gave away their new Blackberry Punch Calibrachoa, which has been voted one of Sunset Magazine’s “25 Hot Plants to Grow Now.”

It was great to see the sun come out after our rainy morning at the Bloedel Reserve, and to relax with our hosts and blogging friends one last time before venturing back on the ferry and back to reality on Tuesday.

Ooops…..


Well, this is right up the “I’m not in charge” alley again.  But, it’s my own fault.  Last week I was gardening out front and along the driveway and my daughter had 3 friends over playing in a sand and water table.  When I ran out of things to plant that would allow me to continue to watch them, I thought, to myself:

“Myself, what the heck – why don’t you just plant those dahlias in this little hole along the front walk, instead of in the back yard in the corner?  They’ve been sitting in the garage for weeks and really need to go in the ground.”
This is what I said to myself.
So I planted them.  
And THEN, I looked at the label.
Ooops.
Unllike Dahlias I have had many times before, Dahlias that were about 18″ – 24″, THESE Dahlias, are 48 freaking inches tall.  
Yes. 4 feet tall.  NOT what needs to go along this tiny stip of walkway where I have been trying deperately to eradicate the 4 foot-tall salvia that came before me.
Sigh.  So, it’s operator error yet again and now at the top of my to-do list is “Move Dahlias to the back.”
(I suppose I could be in charge if I would just read the label!)
By | 2017-11-29T23:27:54+00:00 May 1st, 2008|Blog, bulbs, dahlias, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments