Thursday, May 28, 2009

Visited the Gardens at Whilton this was a remarkable place displaying x100's of collector plants in a garden laid out by an artist!

Design is a tricky thing; hey I'm a designer, so that may sound a bit self-serving but it's hard to get it just right. If you take a group of good, that is to say beautiful, interesting, and well grown, plants and arrange them in good faith without committing any egregious errors, you'll almost always come up with a presentable design. It's a lot more difficult to arrange the masses so that there is a balance from multiple points of view. Then to integrate the nuances of texture and color.....most of us are lucky to do that here and there throughout a garden. This is a masterfully designed garden, and it's even more astonishing to me that, because it is in some sense a collector's garden, there are not a lot of masses, sweeps, or groups of plants; there are a lot of single plants in this garden. I can't begin to explain how much more difficult that makes design. If I had a rating system which I don't, I would give large sections of this garden whatever my highest rating would be.

Mrs. Daniels and two of her gardeners, Polly and Lois, showed us (mostly Four Season's Garden Club & I thought I noticed a few NARGs) around the garden she has been building outside of Charlottesville Virginia. Beyond the design, I was impressed by the quantity and quality of beautiful rarities. The Yellow Garden is extensive and just fantastic. There are hundreds of interesting selections of Japanese Maples. The house that dates to early in the last Century, has a number of old oaks surrounding it and there's a giant Ash visible in a distant field. The areas nearest the house are, of course, the most fully developed, but she is moving out to the perimeters of the fields. The last picture shows this stage in development; I assume paths, pots, perennials, etc. will follow in due time.

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