That was the statement and request of our dear friend and client and surely a compliment that is difficult to live up to. This was clearly stated in kindness (or blindness to the weeds, chicken scratchings and the almost accidental, haphazard quality that our gardens possess) but we did understand her meaning. When we’re on top of our game, our gardens do express abundance, jubilance, colorfulness and romance. We create cottage gardens. This garden is newly planted, and it always irks me to see the gardens that we create at this particular stage because of their awkwardness. The fresh mulch and the instant color is nice, and yet, they are immature. Many of the plants have been reared in greenhouses and so their flowering periods are somewhat out of synch with nature. Plants chosen to cascade, drape and mound are too young to do so and those meant to stand tall, proud and boldly display color like a peacock may not perform instantaneously. As always, it takes a year or two for a garden to come into its own. Many of the previously existing perennials, including peonies and hibiscus, will languish after the move and may not flower this year or next, but, still, the promise of a new garden, carefully created; removing invasive weeds, stem by stem, filtering the soil, hand-digging 12″ of horse manure into the ground, incorporating organic fertilizers and watering and mulching, is a promise of beauty and sensual enjoyment for years to come.
Last weekend was our Open Garden Day. The weather was, weathery.
Two days before the event, the peonies, what some call ‘the queens of the garden’, were the picture of perfection and we hoped against hope that their splendor would hold out through the weekend. Alas, their natural senesence and strong winds deprived visitors of the indescribable beauty that Andrew and I witnessed on May 28th. Nevertheless, peonies alone do not a garden make, and the catwalk challengers; roses, poppies, nepeta, salvia, foxgloves, honeysuckle, clematis pulled together as a team along with the hostas, lady’s mantle and colorful shrubs, to dethrone the peonies and assert their own collective beauty.
Michael Fogg’s incredibly beautiful sculpture as garden furniture, must be seen and touched to be believed.
We hosted a cocktail party after the event to give people a chance to learn more about Mike’s creative process as well as to introduce long-time firends and clients to one another. It was a fun time, and birds of a feather flocked together. Speaking of that, of our 28 free-range chickens, only Benazir, the matriarch, who understands that scratching in the perennial borders doesn’t go over well here, was permitted to mingle with the crowd. She’s a clever bird and quickly sussed out who was most likely to drop their cheese and cracker, and hung around them, tactfully but alert. She too enjoyed the party; immensely.