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.


  1. What a great garden - love the staircase leading into the woods. I read David Culp's book, The Layered Garden, is a good read with photographs you can get lost in.

  2. How beautiful - and it's still early in the season. I would love to visit this garden - you are lucky to be close by.