Tag Archives: Acer palmatum

What if a visitor arrives before the garden’s up to snuff?

One of the few disadvantages of a prairie-style garden is the mostly vacant stare it gives you until June.

I have a garden visitor coming in early May, when the garden has barely begun to turn green and most of the high summer’s 12-foot behemoths are only 6 to 10 inches high. It certainly won’t be in character, won’t have the sheer mass, the atmosphere, none of the magic of the big garden of summer. I looked through photos I took of the garden on May 8 of last year, just to remind myself what to expect. (And, yes, to set expectations.)

One can hope for a mysterious atmosphere, but the setting sun and cloudy sky are hard to deliver on cue.


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Imaginary axis … garden structure at Federal Twist

0504 Federal Twist Differentiation of Plants 125 - Copy
This is one end of the “spine” of the garden, really one of a series of episodes that draw you through space.

That curvy green line across the garden, roughly an S-curve with a bent tail, is the metaphorical spine of the garden, its axis.

The axial shape and location isn’t arbitrary. It follows the natural storm water pattern of flow.