Friday, July 28, 2017

Flinging at the US Botanic Garden

  Our day 1 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling itinerary included the opportunity to spend a few hours along the National Mall in Washington DC.  Almost on the doorstep of the Capitol building is the   United States Botanic Garden, a place about which I knew absolutely nothing other that what I gleaned from very brief pre-fling research. I really couldn't recall seeing photo spreads in garden magazines, blog posts or hearing accounts from garden touring friends who may have visited prior to me, including those who live quite nearby.

 The US Botanic Garden has been at its current location since 1933, but there has been a public garden presence of some sort on the Mall since 1820. Not surprisingly Thomas Jefferson had a hand in it's establishment, along with a couple of other historical figures you may have heard of, Mr. G.Washington and Mr. J. Madison.
  Unfortunately, it was a particularly hot and sticky day for our visit and my documentation was not as thorough as I would have liked. The garden consists of a large architecturally imposing conservatory with 28,944 square feet under glass, the National Garden-a 3 acre outdoor space that was opened in 2006, and Bertholdi Park. Admission is completely free.

  Though I didn't take enough photos, the sidewalk bed outside the fence was lined with a  very nice dense shrub border.  Nothing cutting edge but pleasant and peppered nicely with color.
 The Daylilies  were a common thread in many of the gardens -unmolested by the damnable snails they were a colorful beacon.

Another view from the sidewalk outside the garden. Who knew there was a garden so nearby the seat of our federal government ? Perhaps their civility and functionality would improve if they spent time  strolling there daily. We gardeners get things done. 

 The National Garden regional area  features native plants of the mid-Atlantic. I would have liked to spend more time here but the conservatory was beckoning.

 This was often the borrowed view. It was not easy to forget where you were !

  The conservatory entry courtyard.

 Pretty sure this guy is saying 'damn it's hot-when can we go back to the hotel?'

 The conservatory was well-done and nicely maintained with varied rooms  that displayed plants from several global climate zones . There was definitely an educational component to the exhibits.

Bartholdi Park was just across Independence Avenue and featured it's 30 ft tall namesake fountain that has been in or around the US Botanic Garden since 1877. Read about it's history here.

 The view from Bartholdi Park.

 It's my hope to return to this garden one day for a more in-depth visit. Though not what I would classify a world-class public garden , it's worth seeing if you are in the area.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fling Prequel,the Bonus Round-Intas' Garden

  I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to visit some of our great public horticultural institutions  across the US, but it's a particular pleasure to be welcomed into a memorable  home garden created by a gifted gardener. During our brief 2 day sojourn into Pennsylvania prior to Garden Bloggers Fling, my friends and I were fortunate to visit the garden of artist Inta Kromboltz, who fashioned it and  nurtured it for over 30 years. The gardens of an artist always seem to have a little extra something, perhaps because their creative eye sees things the rest of us do not.
 Intas' garden is a textbook study in the use of foliage, texture and layering . Flowers were completely incidental, and justifiably so. The garden is rich in color, flowers or not.

 Brick homes are exotic to this left coast dweller. Earthquakes and brick homes don't mix well. I was immediately smitten.

Along the driveway a tapestry of shrubs , beautifully composed.

This indicates the scale.

Intas art.

I took many photos along this driveway area. I was so drawn to it , while recognizing that it is a  look that is utterly impossible for me to replicate in my climate. My enjoyment of visiting gardens in the east is enhanced by the unattainable nature of the gardens I see. 2 climate zones out of reach !

 A couple of Intas' very very cool birdhouses.

 This view was one I kept going back to -it takes vision to create this. I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong , but I believe these are Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes'. Unless the house was in the way , these magnificent trees were visible from many areas of the property.

 Abigail joined the tour.

Intas' studio. I have to say she had a pretty intriguing selection of rusty stuff in there !

 My island bed does not look like this.

  This was clearly  a northeast  version of our very own left coast Danger Gardens' Agave dish planters. . No collusion, two creative minds in radically different climates.

Enjoy a group of random images taken from various locations in the garden.

 When my friends and I were contemplating the possibility of seeing Intas' garden on this trip, we discovered that her house and garden were up for sale. Since we visited , the property has in fact been sold, and Inta will be off to a new adventure and a new garden in the Carolinas. I think we can all sympathize with the desire to be closer to family. And my friends and I were so pleased to see this wonderful garden before it passes into new hands.

 A couple days after my visit to Intas it was pretty cool to see her birdhouse in the gardens at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bloomday July 2017

 July is the month that hails the beginning of the slippery slope to the summer doldrums in my garden. Nevertheless, there isn't much that's not in bloom. As always a tip of the garden hat to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens who hosts Bloomday for garden bloggers worldwide on the 15th of every month.

 The grasses are blooming this month, and this is Panicum 'Heavy Metal' which I planted last year and am delighted with it's vertical non-floppy profile and the cloud of backlit blooms in the evening.

 Another favorite of my grasses , Chasmanthium latifolium.

Just about time to cut this Eryngium back, but I have gotten alot of mileage from this plant as the blooms started early and kept appearing over many months.

Sanguisorba 'Chocolate Tips'

 Phlox paniculata is peaking now. First up is my completely reverted 'Nora Leigh' and 'David' below. I don't seem to experience the mildew issue that plagues other gardens; I speculate our dry summer climate here is both the blessing and the curse that contributes to this.

Lily season continues, this is 'Carte Blanche' an Orienpet that has quickly become a favorite .

First flower of the season on 'Black Beauty'.

'Silver Scherherazade' was a freebie last year with one of my orders. Of course they only sent one, and you can't just have one, right ? It will get a couple of buddys this spring.

 Roses are in bloom too.

'Bolero' . This rose has benefited from a tad more water than I usually provide. In the olden days I would water my roses twice a week in June, July and August, but found that weekly watering suits them just fine , though this one would sulk and blow its' flowers in a day . Now it gets midweek bucket of  collected kitchen water and it seems much happier.

'Happy Child' , a Davis Austin rose that I don't see around much. It is a very heavy bloomer and impervious to disease. No need for supplemental water on this one.

'Lady Emma Hamilton'

'Our Lady of Guadalupe' with my noid pink Sanguisorba..

 The excellent Clematis 'Rooguchi' .

Bloomday regular Clematis 'Arabella' .

Artichokes allowed to flower with Tuechrium 'Purple Tails' in the background.

 The Anigozanthos and Verbena bonariensis have been one of my favorite combinations this summer.

Must include a photo of Lobelia tupa , who is topping out at about 7ft this year with several bloom spikes.

Pretty sure I planted this Angelica this spring, and surely did not expect to see blooms this year.

 And the first bloom from my 2017 aquisition Tecoma 'Orange Jubilee' who lives in a large pot on my full sun patio for it's test run. It may or may not get a place in the ground.

Noid Eucomis. Gradually I am moving all my Eucomis from containers into the ground.

 And I'll close with a nod to Geum 'Totally Tangerine' which has finally slowed down the flower production which started in February. I purchased a second plant this week.