Sunday, April 28, 2013

Visit to David Culp's garden - Hillside Garden

I had the good fortune to secure a spot on a tour of David Culp's garden this weekend. I devoured his book, "The Layered Garden", this winter when it was cold and gray outside, and the photos of such an amazingly beautiful garden perked me up and inspired me. Dave has quite the horticultural pedigree and as the book is simply gorgeous, I couldn't wait to see it in person.

Today's pictures are of his hillside garden, an acre of land on a shady hillside on which he and his partner tore out almost everything 22 years ago and remade it bit by bit. He doesn't amend the soil and scarcely waters. 

As an aside, he said that at the time of writing the book, he'd counted 3,000 plant specimens on his property (of which the hillside is but one garden) - and then he stopped counting - so I'm not going to even pretend to know the specifics of each plant you see in the photos. (Dave, however, can point to any plant anywhere on his property and rattle off its botanical name just like that.)

They built all of the steps themselves
They also built the wall themselves

I love that he has random plants, like this hellebore, tucked into the wall
The hillside garden abuts the gravel driveway
Another lovely set of steps
There must have been thousands of hellebores on the hillside

More hellebores 
There are paths up on the hill, but we were not able to walk on them this weekend. Still, the tranquility of the space emanated down the hill and it was breathtaking to observe from my place on the ground.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Radishes in my community garden plot

Monday, April 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - My first!

I've been waiting for months to have something in bloom so that I could finally post today. Spring was a long time coming and things are coming up later than usual, but I'm just grateful to have signs of life in my garden once again.

Kerria japonica

Tulips and daffodils


Hyacinth ending their show 

This lilac is about to bloom, so I think it counts

Forsythia. I'm having second thoughts about removing it.

Creeping phlox usually bloom together but the light purple is a little slow out of the gate

A double daffodil. I don't remember planting it but it's really pretty.

Well that's it for my first Bloom Day. I'm looking forward to next month's, when flowers will be bursting all over the place and will hopefully be hiding all of the onion grass!. Don't forget to check out the other bloggers at May Dreams.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Oops, I did it again

I really ought to stop with these impulse buys, but they really are so much fun. Plus, I wanted to support a new local business in my neighborhood. That's not so wrong, is it?

Helleborus x hybridus "Snow Bunting"

My first hellebore!

Can you see the construction equipment to the left of the fence? Ugh...

Monday, April 8, 2013

How much do you plan?

I've often read that the first thing to do when planting a garden is to plan everything out. Hardscaping, shrubs, trees, plants, and so forth. But despite my tendency to plan out everything within an inch of an Excel spreadsheet in the rest of my life, I just can't seem to make one plan for the garden and stick to it.

It's never really bothered me, and I enjoy coming up with different ideas in my head. My garden evolves as the conditions around me change (the new houses sprouting up around me, for example).

But today, I was expanding the bed in the backyard (two days post-marathon - my quads LOVE me right now!) all in order to create more space for plants that were too crowded last year. And despite drawing a map last year of where I'd put plants, things weren't matching up.

For example, I labeled on my map that this plant is an echinacea, but it doesn't seem like one to me:

And I found a yarrow growing where I hadn't indicated that I'd planted one.

In addition, I've been impulse-buying bulbs like oriental lilies. I can just smell them from this side of spring, but before they can even grow I need to figure out where to put them and right now I have no idea.

How much or how little do you plan your garden? If you make changes, are they major re-workings or minor changes?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In a spring time state of mind

I haven't posted much lately because I was sick of myself and whining about the weather. Yes, this seemed like the most drawn out winter in quite some time but complaining about it didn't help. This weekend, though, the weather FINALLY turned and was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny, high 50s/low 60s. Flowers are finally blooming and foliage is becoming noticeable for the flowers they will become. (Please ignore the onion grass in the photos - it's impossible to get rid of!)

These hyacinth never disappoint
Kerria japonica intertwined with Rosa cl. Pinkie

The lopsided forsythia, bien sur.

Climbing phlox getting in on the blooming action

A rogue hyacinth hitched a ride when I moved this hibiscus last year


I had forgotten about this Brunnera that I got from last year's plant party. Its flower was a nice surprise. 

Sedum "Autumn Joy"

Nepeta "Walker's Low"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Despite a record cold temperature last night, spring is still trying!