Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

June 1 – Rush to summer

June 8, 2016


Once warmth arrives, the garden luxuriates in planty fleshiness, growth proliferates, detonates in slow motion.


Thick planting, no ground visible. Iris virginica, Onoclea sensibilis, Calamagrostis acutiflora x ‘Karl Foerester’, Hemerocallis, Silphium perfoliatum, Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’, Equisetum arvensis, some bits of low grass or carex.


The relationships and relative sizes of the plants will change dramatically over the next four weeks as the Silphiums and other large plants approach their mature size. The Euphorbia palustris (left) has done its spring gold thing and now will fade into the background until its autumn colors come. The Ligularia japonica (right) is budding and will soon reach its seasonal peak. The ornate foliage will remain a pleasure–and it’s a seedhead star.


View of the low, mid-century house from the stone circle. Several colonies of Filipendula rubra, and many other plants, are rising in the foreground. This is a thriving community no weeds can penetrate–except for Multiflora rose and various wild Solidagos.


The stone circle under a canopy of Salix udensis ‘Sekka’, Japanese fantail willow.


Wave Hill chairs (made by Dan Benarcik) in a mid-garden sitting place.


Strolling the main path across the garden …


Behind Iris pseudacorus, Petasites and Silphium perfoliatum mounded in battle.


Near a curve in the main garden path, the circle of red logs emerges from the dark edge of the woods … Who needs flowers?


Late sunlight on Baptisia; I wish I could remember which one …


Another path–into the woodland garden …


Reflecting pool …


… and beside it Baptisia alba. In one more year it should attain enough bulk to give a good show.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Caleb Melchior June 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Wow, James – looking great!


James Golden June 10, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Thanks, Caleb. Too bad you won’t have time to come out when you visit NYC.


Scott Nickerson June 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Garden looks fabulous James.
I bought a packet of Baptisia australis seeds last spring and have a couple of little plants in the garden, though they don’t seem to be enjoying life much here in the southern hemisphere, perhaps I just need to be a bit more patient.


James Golden June 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Scott, I know EVERYTHING grown in New Zealand.


Scott Nickerson June 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm

I have to confess James I hadn’t heard of the plant until I bought the seeds and taking the australis=southern quite literally at first I thought it was from Australia!


Diana Studer June 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Your garden is reaching perfection.

You have found new blue, quieter, seats?


James Golden June 10, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Diana, I’ve decided to replace the seats in the stone circle with short segments of wooden logs. More in keeping with the spirit of the place.


Buffalo June 14, 2016 at 11:11 am

James, I hate the blue iris and the thought of ‘log’ seats makes me look for deer. Perhaps taste has left my room. Sabai Dee Krap.
Jolly Roger.


James Golden June 18, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Why do you hate the blue iris, Mr. Buffalo? You need not answer that question.


John Schucker June 8, 2016 at 4:56 pm

The blanking deer ate my baptisia this year. I have never felt the need to worry about it in the past. This is why I need to enjoy other people’s gardening efforts and spend my time and money on other things. Maybe a garden of only euphorbias?


James Golden June 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm

I grieve for your lost garden dreams, John.


Marta Mills June 8, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Precise writing and crisp photographs create a vivid picture of your garden refuge. I especially like”detonates in slow motion.” I hope to visit before too long.


James Golden June 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Marta, I’d love for you to visit.


Lynda Harris June 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm

James, your garden is looking stunning. I love the Baptisia alba – what a beautiful plant.


James Golden June 18, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Thanks, Lynda. I do wish I’d ordered more Baptisia alba, but it has taken three years for these to make a decent showing. I suppose I’ll just wait for these to grow larger.


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