The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rosa villosa: Apple of my Eye

The star of the woodland garden right now is the fruit of Rosa villosa, also known as the Apple Rose. Rosa villosa is a shrub rose that grows about 6-7 feet tall with arching branches. The bue-green foliage reminds me of Rosa glauca but isn't quite as blue or bothered by Japanese beetles.

The glossy hips are as long as my thumb and a brilliant red with minute pin-sized spines.

 Rosa villosa is reliably loaded with hips every August through October until the birds devour the fruit. Fortunately, the seeds tend to spatter about while the birds are feasting and I have plenty of seedlings to share with gardening friends.

Rosa villosa can handle some shade and has done well in the sandy loam in the woodland garden. The flowers, which bloom in June, are large, simple and pink. There are subtle but lovely.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Glamour in the Garden

I've read that the late Katherine S. White, author of the book of gardening essays called Onward and Upward in the Garden, gardened in "a spotless cotton dress or a handsome tweed skirt and jacket" while wearing her best Ferragamo shoes. Lately, Mollie, a very active septuagenarian volunteer, has been showing up for duty on our Wednesday morning work days looking like she borrowed a few items from Mrs. White's closet. She claims the chilly mornings require a scarf. I suspect she has an elegant luncheon planned for later in the day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Turtle Pond Again

Three years ago, I did a post about Turtle Pond at my wife's family's cabin in Wells, Maine. I never tire of observing the plants and wildlife here and it seemed time for another post. Every year, I do some subtle editing of the plants along the edge of the pond to reveal and frame the views from the house and deck. Theses three photographs are in order looking left to right from the deck. There is much to learn about textures of foliage and the tapestry of how plants mingle in nature. This is a pond that expands when beavers periodically dam the brook that drains the pond. Many of the trees, mostly red maples, that where around the pond were drowned and died leaving skeletons that are bird magnets. Many mornings we wake up to find a Great Blue Heron sailing off the pond.

I have been studying the work of Peit Oudolf in his most recent book, Planting: A New Perspective, and his work in the ground at The High Line in Manhattan and I am struck at how his most recent gardens replicate how plants intertwine in nature. I am seeing it here at Turtle Pond and in many of the fields and wetlands I am noticing on bike rides in the southern coast of Maine.

The challenge for me is how to make this naturalistic style work in my own garden, especially the woodland garden. Several of the public gardens in Peterborough that would benefit from this style: the new garden at Putnam Park and the three gardens at Teixeira Park. This method of planting doesn't use blocks of plants, like a Gertrude Jekyll style or even Oudolf's earlier work, which is fairly easy to imagine creating. Plants in nature have drifts, singles, intermingling and every combination in between. It is constantly fluctuating and evolving depending on light, water, soil conditions, weather  and perhaps most importantly, survival of the fittest.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Views of Peterborough Parks From Your Automobile

 The Toadstool Beds

 Nubanusit Terrace

 Putnam Park Entrance

 Putnam Park II

 The Pavilion Entrance to Depot Park

 Peter's Gate Planter

The Boccelli Garden


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