Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I just returned from England where I spent a week touring great English gardens with two gardening friends, Deb (whose garden I work in) and Bertie from the blog What Ho Hidcote. It was a terrific week with absolutely perfect weather and we managed to see seven fabulous gardens and I took over two thousand pictures.  After spending this past March in England at Hidcote Manor, it was wonderful to book end the season with a return visit six months later. Both times of year, the bones of the garden really stand out, but the feeling of the spring garden is so entirely different from the feeling of the autumn garden. The spring garden is sparse, but new growth and life potential emanates. In the fall, the garden is bursting and toppling over but in celebration of the season's end. As gardeners, we manage the life of the garden in spring and the death of the garden in fall and both times are equally inspiring.

The plant above is amazing! When I first spotted it I thought, Cosmo or Coreopsis? We were told it was Coreopsis herterphylla, though it turns out with a little research it is Bidens aurea syn. Bidens heterophylla. (As a side note, Bidens is described as being closely related to both Cosmo and Coreopsis.)  Hererophylla means "differently leaved" and there seems to be a lot of variability in this plant. This species is native only in Arizona and its zone hardiness is unknown. It was a glorious find!

I know this picture does not do this vignette justice, but the light and the colors here were just perfect. Rhus typhina 'Dissecta' is glowing golden in the back. I was particularly curious about this plant as Rhus typhina grows all over the states, though it is fairly weedy and much larger. Dissecta had such a nice compact form with a tamer (?) spreading habit.

A view looking through a window cut into a yew hedge.

Amicia zygomeris

A plant we saw repeatedly throughout the gardens. It was a beautiful thing this time of year.

 Anemone x hybrida 'Geantes des Blanches'

A stunning example of the well lit grasses popping off against the deep black green of the yew hedges.  This is a theme I return to in almost every garden!

Merriments was the first garden we stumbled upon and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The plants were terrific and the combinations varied and inspiring!


  1. Beautiful photos! I don't know Merriments but it looks like one to visit. I'm intrigued about which other gardens you visited.
    Glad you had a great time. Perhaps you can return one day and see a few more gardens :)

  2. Hi Helen! Welcome back. Some great photos and I'm looking forward to seeing more! Cheers, Joe

  3. Hi Prue and Joe,
    Thanks for the comments! It was a great trip and I think I will have some blogging material for the next few weeks!

  4. Great post, what a trip! The image with the grass against the yew is stunning!