Gardening buddy and author of Anemone Times, Heleln O'Donnell, called with a couple of hours notice to say she and two gardening friends from her days at Great Dixter would like to visit my garden. They were having coffee downtown and had admired the Pavilion Garden (my last post) at Depot Park and Helen thought they might like to see my private garden. Helen has done two stints as a garden student at Great Dixter. Her friend Yannick Boulet is currently a gardener at Great Dixter and Emma Seniuka is a recent Dixter alumni now working at Chanticleer as the Head Gardener in the Cut-flower and Vegetable Garden. I hadn't lifted a finger in the garden for weeks, so I warned them that the garden wasn't quite ready for prime time and invited them over.
Fellow blogger and Dixter Student, Helen O'Donnell, Section Gardener at Chanticleer, Emma Seniuk, and Dixter Gardener for 3 years running, Yannick Boulet in my Upper Garden.
Everyone wanted me to identify the grass in the upper garden: Calamagrostis brachytricha, seen here deep in the garden with Aster 'Little Carlow', Hibiscus acetosella 'Maple Sugar' and Ligustrum sinensis 'Variegata', Salvia 'Indigo Spires' and Mina lobata and Cuphea 'Bat Face'
Rubus thibetanus was another plant they all knew and liked. I am planning to save a division for Helen's VT garden.
Acer triflorum foliage burned bright orange and formed a backdrop to the Upper Garden and The Hall With Balls.
Cobaea scandens was still in bloom covering the arch dividing The Hall With Balls and the Lower Garden.
I got to show them my brand new planting on the slope in the Woodland Garden. It was quite sparse but the colors gave a suggestion of the show that hopefully be a pretty picture in a few years: Rhus coppalina, Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion', Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowqueen', Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low', Vaccinium angustifolium, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and Lindera glauca var. angustifolia
Disanthus cercidifolius and Helleborus foetidus was a combination I thought looked sensational in the Woodland Garden. Everyone seemed to agree. I had mentioned to Yannick that Christopher Lloyd's book Succession Planting for Year-round Pleasure had given me many ideas for the mixed border in the Upper and Lower Gardens but I forgot to tell Emma how the Asian Woods at Chanticleer have been an indispensable inspiration for the Woodland Garden. I have been very fortunate to have several gardening mentors over the years; some, sadly, are now no longer with us. It was a great pleasure for me to have members of the next generation of great gardeners come to for a visit.