Bill and Eileen Elliot's garden was the third stop on the tour and this was the garden that held the most interesting and abundant plant material. This was a plant lover, plant obsessed garden and so naturally I loved it! Eileen mentioned that the garden was never designed, it was just gardened. However, Eileen and Bill clearly have great design sensibilities because the garden and plant design was terrific. There were numerous amazing planting combinations, wonderful pathways and terraces, and a terrific canopy and collection of big trees and shrubs. It was the hottest part of the day and brightest and so I fear that my pictures do not do this garden the justice it deserves. I highly recommend this garden to anyone interested in plants, so please try and visit during the Monadnock Region Open Days Garden Tour on August 7th.
A hydrangea and clematis combination (the names of which I did not catch).
This large leafed small tree is actually a Paulownia (most likely tomentosa?) or Empress Tree. Normally these do not survive our cold winters (though I did see a very large one in Rhode Island just a little south of here). The Elliots treat this tree like an herbaceous perennial and cut it down to a few inches each year, using it in their garden like a large leafed perennial. This year they did not and the tree leafed out on all its branches! I had been told about this Paulownia tree for some time now, but only when I looked it up and saw its common name and a photograph of it in bloom, did I realize that I saw this tree in bloom in Washington state years back. It is most likely called Empress Tree because of its incredible royal purple flowers.
This is a picture of the vegetable garden and what I loved about it was the practical side of growing food in conjunction with the impractical side of letting all the self seeders, like poppies and allium, go to flower. It was spectacular and beautiful! There was one allium flowering and both Joe and I stopped in our tracks, we had never seen one like this and figured it was something very special. Well it was! It was second year leeks in flower! Bill and Eileen intentionally leave a few in the ground each fall for this very purpose.