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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Picnic in a delightful garden

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of joining the women from my local garden club at a picnic lunch. Over the past few years we've been changing the location of this luncheon, this year we met at the home of Betty & John in Cold Spring Harbor.

Betty is an extremely active member of our club. Her husband John could easily be nominated as the most helpful husband. He is always there with a pick-up truck to help us move things or more invaluable, he uses his incredible talent as a master carpenter to build all kinds of wonderful things.

John's talents are immediately visible as you pull up to their beautiful home, my eye was instantly caught by the clever plant stands placed around the garden.

Betty & John have deep shade and dappled light throughout their garden. Their choice of plant material is key, everything is so lush and restful. I admit I had to stop and drool over John's arbor, it's a garden accent that has been on my wish-list for many years.

If I had to chose one favorite accent piece though, it would be this bridge used to dress up a very shady corner (almost impossible to photograph). I was so happy to be able to see this garden, they had a plant combination here that I've never seen before and can't wait to copy!

The weather was absolutely perfect for a picnic, sunny and high 70's but not the best conditions for photography as the dappled sunlight created quite a few shadows. This photo does not do justice to the wonderful interplay between the Fallopia japonica and Lysamachia clethroides (Gooseneck loosestrife).

It was the second time in two days that I had fallen in love with a plant combination including Fallopia. This spurred an instant question...Why don't I grow that plant?

If you have problems with squirrels getting into your birdfeeder, just ask John how to stop them. He built a baffle, a shield with plexiglass all around the base of the feeder and the squirrels now have to wait on the ground for the spilled seed.

Another accent that has been on my wish list for years is a tool shed that looks like an outhouse. John's outhouse looks so realistic that Betty told me a worker one day asked if he could use it :-)

Not everything was built by John, as I wrote earlier, there were wonderful specimans of plant material. I liked the way this variegated hosta spilled down over this small boulder.

The dreaded Houttunia!!! But wait, it was growing delightfully through a skirt of pacysandra. how clever, I don't ever think I saw such a nice way to grow Houttunia.

To finish things off, here's a close-up of one of the beautiful Rudbeckia blooms in the front yard.

Many thanks to Betty & John for hosting us in such a regal manner this Tuesday.



Holly said...

if the shade is dappled, try using a flash to banish the shadows. Even in bright sunlight, I use my flash outside.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

So beautiful! I would love to picnic there! Must have been delightful. -Jackie

Anonymous said...

You are lucky to have access to Betty's and John's garden and thanks for sharing the inspiration.

Melissa said...

I just love your beautiful garden pictures on your Old Country Gardens page. I am writing a web article on decorating gardens with unique accents. I would love to have permission to use in my article the photograph from John's garden of the shed that looks like an outhouse. I would, of course, credit the source of the picture to your Old Country Gardens blog spot which could help to generate traffic to your site.
Please advise as to whether or not you are willing to give me permission to use the photo by emailing me at
Thanks so much,
M. Ridenour