Friday, July 21, 2017

Linda Hostetler's Garden - Just beautiful!


After touring Tammy Schmitt's garden as part of the 2017 Garden bloggers' Fling, we headed to Linda Hostetler's garden, arriving along with the 3 other buses of camera-ready bloggers.  The crowded venue and mix of sun and shade had me struggling to capture the beauty of the place.

I never managed a good photo of the front of the property.  Most of my shots focused on plant vignettes.

There were a lot of Japanese maples in this garden, all beautiful

The maples in this area of the front garden were placed in full sun at mid-day, something I could never do in my own garden.  The face plaque shown on the right was sited at the middle front of the bed shown on the left.

This large bed occupied the middle of a lawn area

Another good-looking Japanese maple, surrounded by other colorful foliage and flowers, with the house just visible in the background

There were nice patches of shade along the margins of the front garden, like this one

and this more formal section


Heading back along the side of the house brought us to a patio.  My immediate focus was the stream and the pond it flowed into.

I loved the fullness of the planting around this stream

The stream fed into this pond, which was an integral part of the patio on the side of the house

And here's one of the pond's resident amphibians

The area next to the pond was also densely planted

A wider view of the area surrounding the pond, caught as I was on my way back to the bus at the end of our visit

Although I didn't get a good photo of the patio itself, I snapped a few close-ups of the features surrounding it, including a Japanese maple under-planted with Japanese forest grass, a cute table topper featuring frogs, and bunnies guarding a conifer


Beyond the pond and the patio was a good-sized shed, complete with adornments of its own.

3 sides of the shed are shown here


My only clear shot of the house was this one from the back.



Beyond the wide gravel area behind the house was a huge backyard, already chock full of bloggers when I made it to this point.

A wood arbor marked the entrance to the back garden

This stacked stone wall with its own seating area was just to the left as I walked through the arbor, if I remember correctly

This is the far end of the wall and seating area shown in the prior photo

Another colorful planting scheme, accompanied by equally colorful ornaments

This spiral flagstone circle was much larger than the segment captured in this photo.  Edged by lawn, it created an area for the eye to rest in what was otherwise a densely planted garden.

Shady areas lined the area along the fence on one side of the property and we once again encountered a stream


Cobalt blue features appeared throughout the back garden.  They stood out against all the lush green but also contributed to the tranquility of the space.

Blue arbors marked transition points in the garden and blue umbrellas and furniture provided places to sit and enjoy the view.  There was also a blue birdcage, occupied by a spiky agave. 


But the centerpiece of the back garden, at least in my opinion, was another pond.  There was a gazebo within easy viewing distance but I didn't get a photo of that either.

View looking across the pond, which had a small wood bridge crossing the stream that fed it

I didn't have a chance to look for more frogs here


At about this point in my rounds of the garden, the call rang out to head back to the buses for a trip to the Stone Tower Winery and lunch.  I managed a few more shots as I hurried to catch up.

This plant combination stood just beyond the bridge over the stream leading to the pond

And this seating area was tucked into a corner


I enjoyed this garden tremendously.  To wrap up, here are just a few close-ups of some of the stunning plants I saw:

Clockwise from the upper left: Cercis canadensis 'Rising Sun', Curcuma alismatifolia (I think), Filipendula?, yellow and burgundy Hemerocallis, Hydrangea, Asiatic lily, and Iris ensata?  (Other than the daylilies, these plants don't generally grow in my area so some of my IDs are guesses.)


I've covered only about a third of the gardens I saw during the Fling.  I plan to cover the rest but my remaining posts are likely to be strung out over a longer period.  In the meantime, if you're interested, check out the posts of other Flingers, the links to which can be found here.

Best wishes for a great weekend!


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Casa Mariposa - So Very Tammy


On the morning of the last day of the 2017 Garden Bloggers' Fling, we were lucky to have the opportunity to visit Casa Mariposa, the personal garden of Tammy Schmitt, the Capital Region Fling Director.  As I've followed Tammy's blog for as long as I've been blogging myself, the garden was instantly recognizable and, although I'd never met Tammy in person prior to the 2017 Fling, I felt very much like I was entering the garden of an old friend.  Tammy's been a regular commentator on my blog - in fact, she was the very first commentator who wasn't a relative or a local friend.  She even sent me her collection of Amaryllis belladonna bulbs in 2015, certain that they'd find my zone 10b garden more hospitable than her zone 7a garden.  (This remains to be seen as I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the late summer blooms now that our prolonged drought is officially at an end.)

Despite the time absorbed in organizing the Fling while maintaining a full-time job and her disclaimers about the condition of the garden, described as "a study in improvisation and imperfection...dogscaped to meet the needs of her canine crew," it looked just perfect to my eyes.  The front was neat as a pin.




But decorative elements surrounding the front steps made it clear that this was Tammy's garden.

Birdhouses are a theme in Tammy's garden and the metal sculpture (lower right), one of at least 3 I found while poking around touring her garden, is a perfect expression of Tammy's joie de vivre


The signs of her effervescent personality became all the clearer as we approached the back garden through the side entrance...

Did you notice how "Be the Good" is highlighted in the sign?

I remember Tammy's story about the creation of this arbor from an old blog post, a great example of her improvisational skill


Tammy is an avid organic gardener, focused on the use of native and other ornamental plants that support pollinators and other wildlife.

This meadow-like scene is one of the first things I saw as I stepped into the back garden.  All those tiny clay pots had numbers linking back to a plant list.  Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to note the numbers as I explored so I'm not going to hazard identifications here.

View looking toward the back of the house from the lawn area, showing just a small number of the 50 or so people that were wandering through the garden from buses 3 and 4

A partially shady section of the back garden adjacent to a neighbor's property

A section of the aforementioned dog run utilized by Tammy's "canine crew"

Why can't my shade area look like this?


But perhaps the most immediately recognizable element of Tammy's back garden were the steps off the back of the house.

I somehow managed to get a shot of the back steps without legs or feet in it!

A closer shot of the large pot collection that surrounds the back steps


That's a LOT of pots, right?  But that wasn't all of them by any means.

Tammy sows a huge number of seeds for annual plants each winter, as part of her ongoing effort to avoid the systemic neonicotinoid pesticides used by so many growers


There were quintessential Tammy touches embedded throughout the space.

More birdhouses (!!!), along with other fun decorative items


And there were lovely plants everywhere.

Daylilies were a constant in the Capital Region gardens - how I wish I had that orange variety in my own garden.  The plants in the middle row, Echinacea, Rudbeckia and Stokesia generally aren't happy in my area of Southern California.  Those in the bottom row, Persicaria, Plectranthus scutellarioides (coleus) and Verbena bonariensis do better but don't look nearly this good.


I don't think Tammy's garden could be mistaken for anyone else's.

Tammy answering questions about her garden with Genie's assistance


Thanks, Tammy, for inviting a horde of bloggers into your garden and for organizing a truly wonderful event!


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Monday, July 17, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: The Dahlias have Arrived!

I haven't had much success growing Dahlias in the past.  I've previously planted them in my mixed borders but, as most of my borders are filled with drought tolerant plants and as I've restricted irrigation in response to California's ongoing concerns with water usage, they never received the water they need to grow well.  So, this year, when I decided to try growing them again, I placed them in the raised planters I'm now using as a cutting garden.  I water the plants in this area more heavily than any other area of my garden.  That's made all the difference with the Zinnias I'm growing this year and it appears that the Dahlias are responding too.

The first of my Dahlia blooms set the palettes for both vases I created for "In a Vase on Monday" this week.  Vase #1 was focused on Dahlia 'Little Robert', a small pom-pom variety.

The dark centers of the pink Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) echo 'Little Robert's' magenta tones so I threw the 2 of them them together in this vase

The color of my noID ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum), used here at the back of the vase, is almost identical to that of the Dahlia, although the former photographs as a stronger red

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Little Robert', Artemisia ludoviciana, Eustoma grandiflorum, Pelargonium peltatum, and the variegated foliage of Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star'


The second vase was constructed around Dahlia 'Terracotta', a semi-cactus variety.

I wasn't sure about using yellow, even pale yellow, in this mix but there are touches of yellow in the Dahlia and, heck, I have a lot of yellow Lisianthus in bloom too

I relegated the salmon-colored cactus Zinnias to the back of the vase as they competed too strongly with the Dahlia for dominance when positioned in the front

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Terracotta', Abelia x grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid', Eustoma grandiflorum, Tanacetum vulgare, and Zinnia elegans


These 2 Dahlias and a third, 'Loverboy', which just produced its first blooms, have whetted my appetite for more, although I do have space constraints.  I have 4 more Dahlia varieties that have yet to bloom, so perhaps I'll be pulling out some of what I have at the end of this season, which would make room to try others next year.  Or, perhaps I'll simply have to add some large pots to my cutting garden next year.

Coincidentally, on a Saturday whirlwind trip to Roger's Gardens in Orange County to pick up succulents, I discovered that the garden center was having a Dahlia show.

Blooms submitted by customers for consideration


I didn't stay long enough to find out which flowers received the most votes but here are some of my favorites among the submissions:

Very few of the blooms were submitted with cultivar names.  Among those I photographed, the exceptions were the 3 in the bottom row, which are, from left to right, 'Radiance', 'Santa Claus', and 'Thomas Edison'.


If I'd have known about the competition ahead of time, perhaps I'd have submitted 'Loverboy'.

Dahlia 'Loverboy' bloomed on Saturday, after I'd published my Bloom Day post of course...


For more Monday vases, visit Cathy, our IaVoM host, at Rambling in the Garden.

The first vase sits in the front entry and the second on our dining room table


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party