Musing over the photos of last year’s garden, I realize I lost most of the late winter and spring. Constructing the new reflecting pool and surrounding area, then replanting the construction site took most of my attention and made a mess of the garden. Apart from the winter interest provided by an ice storm in early January, the 2013 garden year didn’t really start until well into May.
Was I surprised! My late Garden Conservancy Open Day on October 19 was a rousing success. We had over 300 visitors, and judging by what I could see, most were enjoying it. I was so busy I didn’t take a single photo, so I’m using a Google Earth photo of the house and garden above, just to illustrate why the garden never felt crowded. Apparently we have ample space for large numbers of people, and the circulation patterns work.
Even with an article on my garden in the New York Times two days before, I feared no one would come. You know … Late in the season. Most traditional gardens have long gone over. People might not “get” such a late garden showing.
Which brings up a second concern, one that used to nag at me regardless of the time of year. The Garden at Federal Twist is highly naturalistic, totally lawnless, very unlike what I imagine most Garden Conservancy gardens to be, much less traditional. I’ve been surprised again to see how popular such gardens can be. So have we perhaps reached a turning point in American appreciation of gardens? Is the message getting through? Are lawns getting smaller, less popular? Are people willing to take more risks, to be less conventional? One can hope so.
I felt something was missing in The Good-for-Nothing Garden–the story about my garden that appeared in the New York Times yesterday. The story was right on spot–perceptively, sensitively, and humorously written by Michael Tortorello.
Coverage in The New York Times… I admit it; I feel exposed in an uncomfortable way. But as a friend was kind enough to point out to me at dinner Monday night, “Jim, you’re not the center of the universe.” So click on this link and you’ll go to a story about me and my garden. I’d use The New York Times photo, but they might sue me.