December 4, 2007


I promised to post about how the garden path I created led me down the path to a career as a garden designer, but I thought that before doing so I would show the long and short shots of the garden.

For some it is difficult to look at a landscape rendering and imagine what the garden will actually look like. I have a designer friend who worked long and hard on a very pricey landscape plan and got the green light to install it as discussed. When the client came home at the end of the day she went beserk. She absolutely hated it ! Not only did she pay a lot to have it installed, but un-installed as well. This has to be one of the most devastating things to happen to a designer and homeowner as well. Someone didn't do their homework and I ain't sayin' who ( or is it whom ?) It takes two to tango.

Keep in mind that it's winter now so you won't be able to see the garden in bloom but here's the landscape in 3-D :

Dec. 1, 2007

I was going to show you my flagstone path but it's been dusted by our first snowfall ! On the left is 'Olga Mezzitt ' Rhododendron and the right is Viburnum Plicatum ' Mariesii '. Notice the Taxus x media ' Densiforma' right behind Marie and in the center . This is what my garden will look like most of the winter , depending on the snowfall. So you can clearly see the importance of structure. Even without flowers it is tranquil and interesting and lots of color : green and of course , white in the form of snow.

Around the left of the Olga rhodo is the fish pond. I'm just flabbergasted about how my 9 pet goldfish don't eat all winter and survive the freezing water temperatures. Here's what they looked like this Summer :

Even naked, the Marie Viburnum has a most unusual horizontal branching that is quite attractive and its creamy lacecap blooms in early Summer are quite spectacular. Notice the Japanese yew behind it screening out the view of the entire garden. The white between the right branches is the path that continues to the garage.

The bare branches in the foreground belong to my Chinese Wisteria that is full of gorgeous purple blooms in early Summer. I don't like a lot of statuary in a small garden but ' Rebecca at the Well ' was a present from my girls and since its a bird bath it serves its purpose. Just behind Rebecca is my favorite evergreen : Hinoki Cypress . Next to the Wisteria are the drooping green leaves are my oakleaf hydrangea and the dried brown heads of the Limelight are next to it. The white plumes of my ornamental grass are graceful all winter.

The narrow perennial bed is all dead and gone now but here's what it looked like in high summer. Long-blooming Phlox, Blackeyed Susan, Sedum and Bee Balm are a few shown here.

Perennials and annuals make for a pleasant walk from the house to the garage. And that completes the tour for now.


  1. Very nice! You have some great plants. I agree about the fish, I am always amazed that they make it through the winter without food.

  2. I'm 1 of those people who needs to see it in 3D. I have a hard time visualizing things from a drawing. I guess that's why I gave up on my garden plans. Your garden looks like it will still have a lot of interest & be very attractive in the middle of winter. That's an area where my garden needs improvement. Stay warm!

  3. Now this is fun; like learning from the Gardening Gone Wild gang, it's really exciting to learn how designers do what they do. I'm real good with plant material, just not with overall designs, but then I have no training in design and haven't studied it enough. So I appreciate learning from skilled people like you. Love the Mariesii viburnum; I'm coaxing mine to grow bigger, faster, but it will do it on its time, it tells me!

  4. Wow... nice job. You do have an eye for balance and design. You must trim your Olga; is it much work (i.e. do you have to trim every year)?

  5. Thanks, Don, for the compliments.

    Olga must be trimmed the first 4 to 5 years after planting or it will become very leggy and decline. It's not too much work and I usually do it right after it blooms and puts out the new leaves which I just pinch off and that's it for the year.


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