Englewood, New Jersey

“Beechgate,” Englewood, New Jersey, 1918, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Some mid-week prettiness. . . . The four-acre garden was designed by Anna Gilman Hill about 1911.

Hill and her husband also owned “Grey Gardens,” the East Hampton estate later famously inhabited by Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little Edie.” She was Director of the Garden Club of America for six years in the 1920s, and, in 1938, she wrote a book about her gardening life, called Forty Years of Gardening. You can read it online here.

Vintage landscape: Redlands gate

The gate, Redlands, LoCThe Redlands estate is at Carter’s Bridge, near Charlottesville, Virginia.  All photos here taken in 1933, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Redlands is one of many Virginia houses associated with the descendants of Robert “King” Carter.  It is still owned by members of the Carter family and is open to the public during Historic Garden Week in the spring.

More Bloom Day in March

The borders along the upper lawn in our Kigali garden are blooming particularly well this month. I took these pictures yesterday.

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(You can control the slideshow by hovering the cursor over it. Or you can scroll through larger versions of the photos by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.)

Our front garden is a rather formal arrangement of two long lawns that run parallel to each other and to the length of the house and its terrace. The narrow upper one is separated from the much wider lower one by two sets of 3′ retaining walls, which are joined in the center by a flight of steps. Irregularly curving planting beds border both sides of the lower lawn and one side of the upper.

I’ve tried to balance the formal layout with an informal, sort of “country garden” planting plan. The beds contain a closely planted mix of tropical and temperate plants and shrubs. Most are cultivated, but the “wild” plants and vines that work their self-seeding way up through the jumble can stay if they they add nice textures or colors.

The beds between the retaining walls and the one along the far side of the lower lawn are anchored by several large, often flowering, shrubs and lianas, and even some small trees.

Because of the vigorous plants and the constant warm weather, I’m always pruning or chopping something back.

Almost every plant repeats in the garden, often in several places.  But each 7′ to 15′ section of border has its own primary and secondary colors and then a bit of a third color trailing through the middle or around the edges.

The border along the upper lawn starts out orange and white (with a little pink) at its south end, then becomes yellow and blue/purple with some orange to the center steps. On the north side of the steps, it is yellow and blue/purple again with a stronger trail of orange (red hot poker, lantana, tropical hibiscus). At the north end, it is red and pink with blue around the edges.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the 15th of every month. To see what’s blooming today in other bloggers’ gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

My earlier March Bloom Day post today is here.
Continue reading “More Bloom Day in March”

Our garden: flower color

I have flower colors on the brain right now.

I’m going to try some (mostly) single-color planting combinations in some sections of the long borders — and dramatic contrasts in others.

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We have blooms all year round here and lots of space. The main borders are along the lower lawn, so I don’t think  that the colorful arrangements will compete too much with our terrace views of the city and hills.

I’ll probably make a good, old mess at first, but I have a year to experiment and a year to make corrections.

The photos above are some reference pictures I took of all the flowers we have right now (a few things aren’t blooming). I’ve been going around and tagging the colors of the roses and daylilies as they bloom.

I have a number of flowering shrubs in the borders that are too big to move, so I will start my color selections with them.