We left for over three weeks in Barcelona and southern France in early May last year and returned in early June. I entirely missed spring in the garden.
Then yesterday I got a text message from garden designer friend, Keith Gibialante, who lives across the Delaware in Pennsylvania.
It seems Keith came by to visit while I was away last spring, and finding I wasn’t at home, let himself into the garden and took some photos. (He has a standing invitation to visit, so long as he latches the gate on exit to keep the deer out.)
In yesterday’s text message Keith said he thought he forgot to let me know he’d visited, and he included a link to his photos.
It seems I just discovered last spring in the garden!
I liked the images so much (you should see the garden now, after cutting and burning, and a March with four nor’easters, and now rain; it’s beyond dreary), I asked Keith if I could use them in a brief blog post, to remind myself that … indeed … spring will eventually arrive.
Looking at Keith’s photos makes me feel a lot better.
The sitting area outside the house gets a lot of morning sun, as does the house, with its large floor-to-ceiling windows. The wide eaves cut off the direct sun inside by about 10 am and three large Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis), planted when the house was built in 1965, shade the outside area all afternoon. I’m sure “sustainable design” wasn’t a term anyone had thought of back then, but the architect, William Hunt, was a fine one and he clearly took some useful lessons from Frank Lloyd Wright and from Japanese design.
Down in the garden, across from the house, are a paved pathway across the garden and a circle of stone, reminiscent of Jens Jensen, overlooked by three large Salix udensis ‘Sekka’ (Japanese fantail willows).
The chairs (from Dan Benarcik of Chanticleer) make a lovely structural contrast with the emergent wild look of the garden. By mid-summer, they will be invisible.
Below is the main path across the center of the meadowish garden.
A bronze sculpture at the back of the garden, made by Marc Rosenquist, emerges from a colony of Petasites japonicus.
The central path across the garden again. The white flowering shrub is a Viburnum mariesii, a small tree among the more than eighty Juniperus virginiana we cut down to make space for the garden. I cut the Viburnum to the ground but it clearly wants to come back. I think it was probably planted when the house was built, so keep it for historical and sentimental reasons.
You can just see the “head” of my long box “caterpillar” in the middle right surrounded by a sea of Inula, most of which were removed when I returned from vacation.
A small reflecting pool nestled up against the bank up to the house (above).
And the view from above. Thanks, Keith.