Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter Scapes

I thought I would include pictures of some of the recent places I have been.  The wintery world of New England almost makes you forget there ever were such things as gardens. I keep thinking that this very beautiful and important time of year must somehow influence the way I garden? I love the slowness, the coldness, the sparseness of snow and winter- white landscapes of cold ocean shores, unobstructed mountain views, and heavy plant material thick with snow. 

Above: A view from Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park

Granite shore at Thunder Hole looking to the Atlantic

Blue Hill seen in the distance from the northwest slope of Beech Mountain, Acadia National Park.

Looking south from the Beech Mountain trail to the ocean.

Looking east from the top of Beech Mountain fire tower.

Indian Point, Mount Desert Island.

 View of Mount Washington from Zeacliffs in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.

Same view near sunset.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dahlias in the Tropics

In the tropical garden at Great Dixter there were some lovely, unexpected Dahlias.  Pictured here is Dahlia 'Magenta Star,' with its flipped up petal tips. 

Dahlia 'Emory Paul'

Dahlia 'Twynings After Eight'

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Tropical Garden at Great Dixter

I am admiring the damp mild earth of this balmy and never-ending fall weather, but I do feel suspended between seasons and I am having trouble settling into the idea of winter. So I am back to Great Dixter to recount the glories of the tropical garden! The old rose garden was replaced with a unusual garden full of tropical plants with an emphasis on texture and foliage. The plants loom overhead, boasting large leathery leaves, outrageous and unusual blooms, and a spectrum of different textures, colors, and structures. Every square inch of garden at Great Dixter is filled to the brim and no one plant steals the show. All the plants share the stage, showcasing their talents together, entwined, growing up through, around, and over one another. It is unique, complex, cutting edge, and magical!

Tetrapanax papyriferus, with those giant leaves and tall airy blooms.

Banana and Canna leaves back-lit and glorious.

Vibrant colors of canna, salvia, rose, verbena, and dahlia.

Great Dixter shows us that anything is possible. As gardeners we can be more courageous, creative, and risky and it will likely be more stunning than we could have imagined.