Just back again from the deliciously juicy, turgid gardens of Marlborough, NZ, and while I’ve been ranting about the joys and the unrealized potential of dry gardening for years, I still find that I can have the wind punched from my guts by gardens so hydrated – so pumped with H2O – that I feel like some desiccated, no-longer-functional part of my physiology or psychology is being revivified by osmosis alone.
It’s too easy, as a designer, to find yourself delivering design solutions within a certain habitual or predictable range. In fact, I can’t help but think that it’s inevitable. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I’ve started a YouTube channel, checking out gardens worldwide and looking at one thing – just one thing – each garden does really well. I started at Het Loo, just outside of Amsterdam. Take a look – and if you like it, press the like button! Click this link
Many thanks to GardenDrum, which inadvertently answered a lurking plant identification problem I had.
It’s curious, in this day and age of information accessibility, how hard it can be to identify unknown plants. If you don’t have someone to ask, there’s nowhere else to turn. One day we’ll have the horticultural equivalent of Shazam (where your phone can listen to, and identify a song), but meanwhile….
There’s two particular questions that I’m always dealing with when designing a garden, or evaluating an existing one. I’ve been dealing with them for years, though they’ve only recently emerged from the subconscious, being forced into conscious articulation by a recent talk. Writing and speaking are great ways to force you to express something that would otherwise feel, and remain, intuitive.
Back in the years leading up to August 1661 Le Notre used recent mathematical revelations about the angle of incidence equaling the angle of reflection to design a pool at Vaux le Vicomte that perfectly and fully reflected the façade of this very beautiful chateau.
Three hundred and fifty-three years and nine months after the grand-opening later, I stood on the far side of this pond with one of my travel group, waiting for a brief moment when the breeze would die, and I could snap a pic.
I almost missed Dan Pearson’s garden.
I ran into an old buddy in the Grand Pavillion at Chelsea, and he asked me what my favourite garden was, then
Ed: ‘What did you think of Dan Pearson’s garden?’.
Me: ‘What? Dan’s here? I didn’t even know he had a garden here!’
Ed: ‘It blows everything else out of the water’.
Some time in the last ten years, possibly only the last five, planting of the bulbs in various parts of Keukenhof took something of a turn away from beds of solid colour, and towards a layered effect.
My nose tells me that there must be a genetic link between flower colour and flower scent, but it’s not something written about at all in the garden literature. Maybe I’d find something in the literature pertaining to breeding for the florist industry, but I don’t know where to look.
This time last year we had a great long discussion (possibly the longest in the history of The Gardenist) about companion planting for colchicums (check it out here). The point was that they can look at bit lonely on their own – all dressed up and no one to go with…
So I declare, straight up, that PGA (Plant Growers Australia) occasionally gives me plants to try out. They’ve never asked me to write about them, and I’ve never offered to, let alone promised to.
This post was published on the excellent on-line mag The Planthunter a couple of days ago (hence a few pics that regular readers of this blog will remember from earlier posts). There’s no other publication like The Planthunter. Take a look, and read this there…or here….or both.