The second garden we visited on our tour was the gardens of Maude and John Odgers. Maude Odgers is a professional garden designer (please see her website http://maudeodgers.com) and her gardens reflect a very personal and extremely thoughtful design. She also attended the Sakonnet Symposium in Rhode Island and I think that many of the ideas discussed during that day were already in place in her own garden. She had a wonderful use of conifers throughout the borders as well as some sculpted trees and shrubs, all inter planted with beautiful perennials. The above picture is of one side of the long, curved border and the lollipop tree in the back is a standard Catalpa! This is a wonderful example of what Marco Polo Stefano called the 'hand of man' and it was fun to see this idea played out in her garden.
I liked this combination of plantings. There is the perfect round form of the boxwood and planted in front is Persicaria affinis 'Superba.' Behind is that wonderful blue spruce, textural and sculptural, but also a terrific steel gray blue color and then rising up in the space between the two large green shrubs is the one and only teasel (Dipsacus fullonum). There are so many great ideas in this one scene!
Maude told me that she returned from Sakonnet and created this pot display inspired by Fergus Garrett's talk that included examples of the pots at Great Dixter. The basic idea being that each pot holds generally one plant and you can create a wonderful display, arranging and rearranging the plants by height, color, texture. I think it is a wonderful to way to learn what you love.
Another great planting combination. The large grass in the back of the border is Miscanthus gigantueus and I am pretty sure that I have not seen this grass before- It is HUGE! It is hard to picture in most gardens because of its sheer scale, but in this garden it was just perfect. To get a sense of just how big it is, the grass completely dwarfs the large Persicaria polymorpha, seen flowering in white.
Here was the plant id for the day! This was a beautiful shrub that just glowed! Common name is Fiveleaf Aralia, but it is not an aralia at all. It is Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus' though formally known as Acanthopanax sieboldianus 'Variegatus.'