The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Sky is the Limit



These are three views of the upper garden this morning. We have dug out from our snowstorm the day after Christmas. I was hoping to capture the value of structural plants in the winter covered with snow but realized the magnificence of the winter sky was the moment to savor.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Focal Point Leading to the Wild Garden


New Granite Post at the Entrance of the Wild Garden as seen from the Lower Garden

View from the Street Through Both Arbors

Close-up View from the Lower Garden

I have been contemplating focal point leading to the lowest level in my garden, a garden in progress, that I call the Wild Garden. The two upper gardens are rather formally designed and have several perpendicular axes. The most prominent axis leads from the street down the granite steps in the Hall with Balls through an archway into the Lower Garden and through another archway leading into the Wild Garden.

My thought has always been that if I was going to create this axis there should be a focal point for the eye to follow and lead the visitor to the Wild Garden. I finally decided on a vertical granite post. John Kaufhold, the owner of Peterborough Marble and Granite Works, had the perfect piece of granite that had the height, width and texture I was looking for. This particular piece had a natural flare at one end that created some subtle visual interest. John and his crew did an excellent job installing the post last week before the ground froze. The next step will be to think of just the right plantings to soften the post and make the entrance to the Wild Garden more inviting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Downtown Peterborough in Early December

Oudolf Yew Waves at the Pavilion Entrance of Depot Park

Another View of the Pavilion Entrance

The Long Hedge in Depot Park

Nubanusit Terrace Bundled with Burlap for Salt Protection

Boccelli Garden

Bridge Flower Boxes in Christmas Garb Courtesy of the Community Garden Project

The Parks in Downtown Peterborough reveal their structure a few weeks before Christmas. Yew, bowwood and ornamental grasses are the main elements. Each year, the Community Garden Project adds greens to the flower boxes on the two bridges in town and the holiday season can begin.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Joanna's Bergenia

Bergenia cordifolia with Indian Pot and Stone Pedestal

According to my gardening journal, on May 5, 1997, I got a division of Bergenia cordifolia from the late Joanna Reed's garden in my hometown of Malvern, PA. I didn't know the plant but was willing to try anything Joanna suggested. I brought a single plant home and every year I divided it. One year, I happened to plant a division on the shapely drained slope flanking the granite steps down to what I now call the Blue Bench Terrace. It was the right plant in the right spot and it prospered beautifully there.

The bergenia's russet-colored leathery paddles of foliage contrasts well with the gray granite steps and the bluestone patio this time of year. It is also the perfect compliment to the rusted Indian pots from Michael Trapp's Connecticut shop I got about a dozen years ago. In April, it will have rose-colored blooms that seem to hang on for several weeks. Here in New Hampshire, any plant that peaks in December and April is highly prized.

Bergenia cordifolia is an extremely useful plant but what I treasure most about this unnamed cultivar is that it came from Joanna's garden. It is a lasting memento of her garden and the time I spent there when I was just beginning to learn about gardening.

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