Friday, September 9, 2011

In Christa's Garden

I met Christa at Client #1's about three years ago. She came out while I was working there one day to ask me if I knew how to prune roses. I lied and said yes.

There are not many roses in gardens on Maui where I had been gardening for the last twenty years. I did work in one garden that was all about roses for about a year and a half. In that time I never did much more than spray them regularly and dead head them. The two roses in my own garden were completely ignored except to cut flowers on occasion. Every three years or so when they got about ten feet tall I'd chop them down to about two feet and start over.

How hard can it be to prune roses? I did a little reading just in case and pruning roses is just basic pruning 101. Cut out the dead. Prune for shape, form and air flow. Climbing roses need the side shoots coming off the main canes cut back to encourage bloom. Ok, now I know how to prune roses. The real question Christa could have asked was do you mind being stabbed repeatedly when you work?

So I went to Christa's garden to prune roses to discover there was so much more to be seen. This is the perennial cottage garden gardeners dream of and the kind of garden they see in the glossy magazines.

Christa didn't need a gardener. She does most of the work herself. She was just ready to let go of the rose pruning.

In early September the front garden is still packed with flowers. Towering Hydrangea paniculata create rooms and a bit of intimacy in an otherwise wide open floor plan.

Dahlias in a wide array of colors and ageratum weaved through out the perennial beds.

Five foot tall Japanese Anemone mark the entrance to the front door. Five feet tall. Ours might be three feet at best.

Is there a giant anemone cultivar? Not that I know of.

I do know her secret. It is in the soil. This is a gardener who is constantly adding organic matter to the soil in the form of leaf mold, compost and mulch. The plants respond with vigor.

The phlox are finished blooming she said. It's too late to take pictures. Not to worry I said. I can make the camera lie too. There was no need. The garden is spectacular.

An interesting geranium with small deep rosy pink flowers and chartreuse colored foliage.

A nice sized vegetable garden in the side yard was still producing greens.

Every good garden must have art.

Little vignettes could be found all over the garden.

The blasted roses were even still blooming and not just the Knockouts.

I have this hardy begonia blooming in my garden now.

The gnome department.

On a path that heads down towards the pond.

That you can lookout to from a bench in the garden. The pond with a mountain backdrop is the ultimate in borrowed scenery for a garden. It belongs to the golf course.

And when a day of gardening is done a cool shaded porch offers a comfortable place to rest and views over the entire back garden.

I prune roses in March when the daffodils are beginning to bloom, the helleborus are opening buds and the cherry tree might be in full bloom. I have stopped by later in the season when I find an excuse to see those roses in bloom and camellias so heavy with flower there is no green foliage to be seen. The perennial beds are already filled and over flowing with flowers.

And now I know Christa's garden moves into fall with an equal floral abundance to the two seasons that precede it.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

What an inspirational garden. All I would need are mountains, good soil, pond and... tee hee. More than can be mentioned here in this comment box. Did you mean you had a hardy begonia instead of geranium? That looks like a begonia bloom to me. I have tried to get those started here. No luck yet. I will try again.

Christopher C. NC said...

Yes it is hardy begonia. I corrected it after I read it following posting. All I need is level ground and full sun like Christa has.

Siria said...

Christopher, I see you garden in many "posh" gardens! It is gorgeous!

Lola said...

Wow, what a gorgeous garden. That begonia bloom looks like the one I have. Brother brought a cutting to me from Atlanta. Mine has to be protected in winter. Does Christa's?

Cindy, MCOK said...

Christopher, thank you for sharing Christa's garden. It's exquisite. I am coveting the rusty owl.

Lola said...

Me too, love the owl as Cindy does.