Clowns helter skelter after each other in what, we sense, ought to be an ordered line, but just isn’t. Embodied verbs, they pose, plunge, stumble, balance, strut, slip, bow and clamber, one or other body part defying gravity in that frozen moment to anchor the whole. Straight backs lend them dignity even as they take risks and cavort. We’re in the whimsical world of flamework glass artist, Hans Godo Fräbel, as seen at the Naples Botanical Garden, Florida, earlier this year. Continue reading
When Suzie Cranston’s world was rocked by the death of her son, Peck, a sign saying ‘Peace begins in the garden’ inspired her to create a garden that would celebrate his life.
Beautiful at any time of the year, my sweetheart and I often pause to admire it on walks through our quirky little neighbourhood, Fondren, in Jackson, Mississippi. More than twenty years after starting the garden, Suzie is eager for others to enjoy it as much as she does. She welcomes visitors with a broad smile, pointing out things they may have missed: flowers, garden art, a new birdhouse and, in particular, things that Peck would have loved, such as the tortoises which appear everywhere. Continue reading
I rarely take people pictures. It makes me feel sneaky (when I try to take pictures unobserved) or shy (when I’m spotted). I’d be hard pressed to estimate how long I’ve spent in gardens waiting for people to clear away from my shot and how often I’ve captured a random back or stray bottom by mistake when looking too excitedly at a flower to thoroughly check the periphery. Continue reading
We travelled to Seattle last May to see this unusual garden at its peak, when the perennials were in bloom. The underplanting feels as if an artist has laid out the plants by magic, with the sweep of a brush.
Underplanting is the idea of planting a garden in layers, with shrubs growing beneath trees, and shorter perennials and bulbs underneath them. The designer thinks about the height and spread of each plant, their colours and textures, then combines them in the most pleasing way. I’ve seen many attempts but rarely seen the effect better realised. Continue reading
Some years ago, I was waiting outside a historical building for my sweetheart to finish a landscaping consultation when a gentleman approached. He urged us to take a look at his woodland garden, just a few streets away, even if we only had a few minutes. Continue reading
It may seem unseasonal to post pictures of daffodils in the autumn, but far from it: if you live in the northern hemisphere, this is a great time to plant bulbs for flowers next spring. Meanwhile, the gardens of my Australian blogging buddies seem to be full of life all of a sudden, so I imagine it’s daffodil season there.
Either way, I’d only need the flimsiest of excuses to belatedly share pictures from our visit to Brent and Becky Heath, including some taken in their private garden, trial grounds and growing fields. I’m not a daffodil expert so please don’t ask me for their names!
Sky is reflected in the lake around dawn at one of America’s largest romantic gardens. I’m at Magnolia Plantation with a group of garden writers: one of the best surviving examples of the romantic style of gardening. The idea is that gardeners should co-operate with nature, rather than try to control it. It’s a delicate balance.
The Spanish moss tumbling from the trees catches my eye – a Gothic plant if there ever was one. Ann Radcliffe would have approved.
For more interpretations of this week’s theme, visit the Daily Post’s photo challenge.
I took these pictures of fenced gardens earlier this year on a brief visit to the historic district of Colonial Williamsburg. I don’t see many white picket fences at home in Lancashire: dry stone walls are more our thing.
These fences seemed as much symbolic as functional: a way of staking a claim to an area; an imposing of some kind of order. The gates were unlocked so visitors could wander freely from one garden to another. In some places, they were low enough to step over. Continue reading
As promised, here’s a glimpse into Rick and Shirley Griffin’s private garden in Jackson, Mississippi. Professionally, Rick works with whatever style his client prefers, but confesses to a “natural inclination to the funky”, which he allows full rein in his private garden. At work or at play, he bubbles with natural enthusiasm and creativity. Continue reading
If you follow my blog, you’ll be aware of my weakness for shade plants. I don’t mind at all that their flowers are rarely flashy: demure beauty is fine by me.
I’m from a part of the world (Lancashire, England) where wandering in the woods – I was going to say ‘is a commonplace experience’, but nature rarely offers that, so far as I’m concerned, so I’ll make myself clearer. At home, we walk in the woods for pleasure, exercise, fresh air, to enjoy the season: it doesn’t normally involve risking many dangers.