Friday, September 1, 2017

More from the 2017 Garden Bloggers' Fling

We're a week into a heatwave expected to extend through at least the middle of next week.  Dealing with it is nowhere near the challenge faced by people in and around the Houston area but the temperatures have been uncomfortable enough to confine me indoors so I'm using the opportunity to pick up my coverage of the Capital Region Garden Bloggers' Fling in late June.  Day 2 of the Fling focused on small, private gardens, most of which I haven't yet covered.  I'm going to address 3 more of those with this post, all of them the personal gardens of landscape designers.

Debbie Friedman is co-owner of Bethesda Garden Design.  Her front garden in Maryland brought to mind a meadow, albeit a manicured one, with lots of grasses and a limited color palette.

Yellow and purple flowers added punches of cheerful color to a front garden dominated by ornamental grasses

This vase on the front step contained Rudbeckia maxima, Verbena bonariensis, and white Hydrangea


The back garden was a mix of sunshine and deep shade under a canopy of trees 

The upper deck attached to the house contained various seating areas and a grill, while the area below contained a bench and a large fountain.  The touches of red shown here were picked up elsewhere in the garden in other chairs and a picnic table.

Wood circles were another common theme, showing up in paths, like that on the left, and as decorative elements in the shady back area under the trees


After lunch at Brookside Gardens, we headed to Virginia, where our first stop was the garden of Jeff Minnich, owner of Jeff Minnich Garden Design.  Described as a "woodland garden with a southern flair," the density of the plant material and the manner in which he worked with, rather than against, his steep lot stand out in my memory of this garden.

The front garden of the house was largely hidden behind dense plantings arrayed along the public sidewalk

A stairway along one side of the house ran parallel to a stream ending in a pool adjacent to a patio area

From the patio level, one could look across and down as the back garden sloped further still.  You can make out some bloggers snapping photos through the trees in the lower left area of this photo.

Looking upward from the bottom to the garden to the patio area at the top of this stairway will give you an idea of how steep that back garden was

I don't usually care much for human statuary in gardens but I found myself drawn to this figure, which I assume represents Saint Francis of Assisi 


The next stop was Scott Brinitzer's garden.  Scott is the owner and and principal designer of Scott Brinitzer Design Associates.  He designed his own garden to capture rainwater, preventing runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.  The front garden was dominated by a beautiful multi-trunked tree, which as I recall someone identified to me as a white-flowered crape myrtle.

Floral color was relatively muted here, with Hydrangeas as the dominant floral element

The walls and urns in the front garden were embedded with stone pebbles, making them seem like an organic part of the space

This gravel path, densely planted on both sides, led to the garage and an entrance to the back garden


A short time prior to our tour the giant tree that shaded much of Scott's back garden underwent extensive emergency surgery, instantly transforming much of the area into a full sun setting.

The tree has reportedly been in decline for some time.  The surgical cuts were undertaken in an effort to extend its life a while longer.


Having experienced a similar event when a neighbor cut down a large tree that loomed over much of my former garden, I could appreciate how that event impacted this garden but it still looked good at the time of our visit.

A large pot served as a focal point, as did the orange door of the shed beyond it

Much of the fencing consisted of lattice with carefully designed gaps, revealing just peek-a-boo views of objects beyond its confines

This lion's head fountain surrounded by tall pots provided another focal point


Scott and his partner were gracious hosts, offering snacks, lemonade and even wine.  They also had a very friendly ambassador.

Kobe spent a good deal of time hanging around the snack table, accepting the adoration of his visitors with perhaps some  hope of catching tidbits of crackers or cheese


There were 2 more stops that afternoon before we headed back to our hotel but I'll pick those up in a future post.   Meanwhile, best wishes for a peaceful weekend.


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

16 comments:

  1. What a hot weekend it's going to be! Plus up here we're bracing for more smoke as the wind direction shifts. The heat I don't mind, the smoke however is an entirely different thing. Still...we're not in the floods or the fires so I shouldn't be complaining. These were three excellent gardens!

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    1. I hope the fires up your way are brought under control soon, Loree! It's miserably hot here but no fires (at least not yet). It was still 92F at 9pm last night and reached 80F by 8am this morning - I couldn't bear more than an hour of work outside. Today is supposed to be our hottest day but the forecast shows temperatures in the 90s through next week. Ugh!

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  2. Those are fine gardens, lush, lush. How those ornamental bananas grow in a humid climate always amazes me.

    I dashed out to get the mail and saw a whole lot of scorched and wilting plants even though I temporarily switched the irrigation to every other day. This long extended stretch of heat is brutal.

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    1. The heat is taking it's toll on my garden too, HB. If only it would cool down in the evenings and allow the plants a chance to recover! Even the dahlia flowers are bleaching out.

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  3. Beautiful gardens! Very lush, very green! I am totally won over by the lion fountain and the cute dog!

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    1. I loved that lion's head fountain too. Although the fountain itself was fairly formal, the plants surrounding it softened its appearance.

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  4. It amazes me how designers can create a feeling of great space on a small parcel like the first garden. I loved the use of focal points in the second. I was thinking how a more neutral color on that door would have changed everything. Brilliant.

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    1. I think that first garden may actually have been larger than the 2 that followed it - we had just 30 minutes in that location and my photos didn't do a good job of capturing the broad area under the trees in the back garden. The size of the second garden was hard for me to judge because its steep slope and meandering foliage-covered paths made it feel enclosed. It's funny that you mention the color of the shed door in the 3rd garden - Pam Penick (Digging blog) found an older photo of the shed with a different color door, which did indeed give the area a different look.

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  5. I always love visiting well designed small gardens-they give me hope and inspiration, and these were no exception. Of course I lack the discipline required to edit to the degree any one of them did.
    The damnable heat has hit us too Kris, and smoke from fires to the north have settled over us as well. C-note temps for the next couple of days.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, like Loree, you're facing smoke exposure, Kathy - that adds a whole extra dimension of misery to the current heatwave. Today was the first day that I wasn't even able to accomplish much in the early morning hours - I dropped extra water on my cutting garden and that was it. It still isn't clear to me when that crappy ridge of high pressure sitting over us is supposed to move on.

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  6. Kris, you've captured the heart of each of these gardens. They were each lovely in their own way. The Minnich garden was especially amazing.

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    1. I was surprised at how few photos I had of each of these gardens, Susie, especially given the number of shots I took of Barbara Katz's garden earlier that day. I think I was still feeling bedazzled by that first tour.

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  7. Thank you for sharing these beautiful gardens Kris. Each one is unique in its own way and I always love seeing what other gardeners come up with. They are all wonderful. I hope you get a break from the heat soon.

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    1. We got a welcome break from the heat early this evening in the form of a thunderstorm, Lee. Of course, the humidity level now stands at an uncomfortable 90% but at least the rain may help firefighters.

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  8. Those gardens look like more gardens here at home! green and lush.
    Understand that it's hard when it's so hot, hope you get better weather soon.
    Mariana

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    1. The east coast is very green by comparison to Southern California, especially during the summer months!

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