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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Elizabeth's Garden

Yesterday I visited my friend Elizabeth. She has been the shoulder I turn to the most at this time of my life, both of us going through a divorce, both of us leaning on the other.

We had decided to go for a serious work-out-walk but first I wanted to take a few photos of her garden.

Elizabeth is an incredible visionary when it comes to design. I am so jealous of her!

The pool area she has created is so amazingly beautiful, it's hard to believe that just a few short years ago this area was just lawn and overgrown trees.

The concept of growing something between the stepping stones is one that Elizabeth uses often. In fact, the way she's done this (and other things) has almost instantly given the garden the feeling of timelessness, as if it's been there forever.

The plant material here is Mazus reptans and it must be stunning when in bloom.

Cimicifuga was cascading out over the stone wall in one corner.

Begonia grandis 'Alba' (white hardy begonias) have charmingly seeded themselves into the crevices of the stone walls. You can bet I'll be moving a few of my hardy begonias to my walled gardens this week in hopes that they too seed like this.

My absolute favorite spot in Elizabeth's garden was a massive intermingling of a dusty pink shrub rose and huge, lush Hydrangeas. I'm going to guess the Hydrangeas are tardivas but I'm not a Hydrangea expert.

Although I shot a number of photos in this area, not one of them did justice to this wonderfully romantic combination.

Elizabeth has done an awesome job of incorporating shrubs and perennials. If I'm in the mood, I'll post again soon with more shots of her shrubs.

Off to see what's going on outside today,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dividing Hellebores

Holy cannoli, check out the size of this Hellebore! It's been in the garden about 5 years now. Although the books say that Hellebores will grow fine in bare or average soil, I planted this one in a spot that had just been amended with composted manure. It quickly grew into a monster sized plant.

Here's a side shot, you can see that it is in a full sized wheelbarrow. I have to tell you that I almost flipped myself upside down when I tried to lift it out of the ground. Note to self, trying to lift something the same size as myself is not a good idea.

I really had no idea how to divide this thing but when it comes to perennials I've become quite adventurous. So I simply grabbed my super-de-duper unbelievably sharp, root knife and started sawing away. You can see the center line where I simply when down between the emerging leaves.

I didn't cut them down too small because I really don't know how Hellebores react to being divided. All the pieces were replanted in well amended soil.

One division though was saved and I potted this one up in a big fat pot. I plan on leaving it in the pot all winter to see what happens.

So far it's been 24 hours since I cut this clump into pieces and the foliage hasn't wilted. I've got my fingers crossed that I didn't kill this beautiful plant. Tomorrow I need to remember to water all the divisions well since the ground here is bone dry and there's no rain in the weekly forecast.

Wish me luck!