Monday, June 30, 2008

Haywood County Garden Tour

Part I

I probably don't get out often enough. When I saw the flyer for the Haywood County Garden Tour for the next day, I was determined to go. The event was being sponsored mainly by the NC Cooperative Extension and the Haywood County Extension Master Gardeners. It would be a chance to mingle with other humans and see some beautiful gardens in the mountains of western North Carolina. I wanted to be inspired. I wanted to see what those in the know in these parts could do and have done with a garden. I always have such high hopes.

Now you must understand I have been for over twenty years and continue to be part time, a landscape designer and high end maintenance gardener. I have seen a lot of gardens in my time.

The day started at 9am at Junaluska Elementary School in Waynesville where the maps for the tour were being handed out. The parking lot was full. There was a very good crowd.

The first part of the tour was the children's organic vegetable garden at the school. It was a small space for such a large crowd of eager gardeners raring to go bright and early, so I only took this one picture. Mostly it was vegetables, some looking quite robust, and it was all mulched with wood chips. Imagine that. How can you not like a tidy, well kept organic garden at an elementary school for the first and second graders?

The Cogdill garden was the first private garden on the tour. Nice chairs.

Located in an atypical suburban neighborhood, to me anyway. In these parts there is no such thing as laying things out in a straight line grid. The road and the lots must conform to the lay of the land to a large extent. The road side of the garden was very sunny and the back stream side was shaded.

A well tended garden with many healthy plants and a nice raised bed vegetable area in a sunny spot on the lowest portion of a sloped lot. This was a garden that any gardening homeowner could be proud of.

Next was the Bernard garden. This was my favorite one, reminiscent of many of the gardens I tended on Maui in its style and location. A nice stone and gravel path with steppables interspersed led from the driveway to the front entry and beyond.

A stone wall along the path terraced a steep hillside above the house.

A more formal stone staircase led from the road to the front entry. This was roped off for the tour.

At the end of the pathway a bench.

And the entrance to an open air patio

Looking out over a gorgeous pond and hillside planting to frame it.

The killer view from the back deck.

In the front, opposite the pond side of the property, a typical shade garden with Astilbe and the now trendy Brunnera 'Jack Frost'.

Next was the Swarthout garden. This shrub Zenobia pulverulenta caught my eye.

And a blue potting chair.

There were his and her private getaways tucked into the forested corner of the small lot.

This was the half way mark of the garden tour. Now let us say a little prayer.


chuck b. said...

Is it all downhill from here? A sense of foreboding permeates this post.

Siria said...

So far it's great. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest although you make it sound like (as Chuck B. says...) it's downhill from here. :)

Christopher C. NC said...

My written words have an effect. That is interesting to note. Let's just say after the Swarthout garden I was a bit concerned. The pictures are loaded, but I doubt the second part will be done before my usual late night posts tomorrow.

Frances, said...

Hi Christopher, I sense no foreboding, but am the eternal optimist, from your words. I know the area too, and am always amazed at the liberal use of stone and rock, so abundant there that it is not only for the rich. The elevation and views, plus the super wonderful soil lend themselves to gardening, don't you think? And there's nothing wrong with having a conversation with the creator, whoever she may be. But it is true that there are some different styles out there from what we are used to seeing on the blogs. Do you accent the positive or the negative in the posts, it's up to you.

Christopher C. NC said...

Frances since I want these to be my people one day, I have been accentuating the positive. Yes the terrain, the climate, soil and natural abundance can make the foundation of some impressive gardens. That is what I was looking for on this garden tour.

lisa said...

So far, so good...I'm with Chuck, anxiously awaiting "The rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say. :)

Anonymous said...

LOL, Chuck. Yes, the opening bars of Beethoven's 5th symphony came to my mind. (Or maybe John Williams in "Jaws"?) I wanted to comment on the stone walls though - I like yours so much better, Christopher; taken from the site rather than the uniform, flat cut stones of the "professionals". Your wall has so much more interest; theirs a certain predictability.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

The view at the first garden almost rivals your views. Love the stone walkway with steppables.
Be brave, go ahead and show us. We can take it. tee hee...