While spring’s newsworthy amount of rain has definitely impacted moods in Newport, the silver lining in the clouds has been the bountiful appearance of every blooming thing — from trees to hedges to flowers. So much so, that I’ve been tempted to share a point in time that is usually not a big highlight in my designed-for-mid-summer garden. Even I am a bit flabbergasted by what I’m seeing.There are moments in a garden when one plant comes into bloom and for a brief period alters the perception of the whole design. These moments are to be cherished…
Starting at the front entrance, the full flowering crab trees silhouetted against our “young” copper beech just take my breath away!
Continuing along the drive, a rare weeping Chinese lilac was a Eureka moment years ago at the Newport Flower Show’s exhibit in Boston.
One of my dreams was to create a mini arboretum at Parterre; this cornus controversa variegata (also known romantically as the “wedding cake tree” because it grows in layers) is impossible to find today. How I adore it, its bright white and green leaves set off by the woodland against which it was purposely sited.
A panoramic vista with the house as a backdrop to the hosta bed under the tall European Little-leafed Linden where the path to the woodland begins.
We love our misty mornings in Newport, providing moisture even if it isn’t raining.
Signs of the season, especially this year…European orchard ladders, indispensable for pruning trees (the Hally Jolivette cherries) and the crescent sweep of the copper beech hedge. What would we do without Bartlett Tree?
In the Black and White garden, variegated leaf astrantia are a foil to the heuchera ‘Obsidian’ while white tulips drop their petals from all the rain.
White wisteria provides its own kind of magic against the weathered boards and lattice of the pergola.
“Le petit foret,” as I refer to it now, was once a sea of brambles, stinging nettle, wild roses and unmentionables that we lovingly resurrected; it is the only such habitation on Bellevue Avenue.
Clipped and pruned, just awaiting the first garden tour of the season.
When creating my garden twenty years ago, one of the driving precepts was the importance of the garden horticulturally; every plant choice must pass the litmus test — “would this enhance a floral arrangement?” I can’t help but include the first arrangements from my garden, to which I so look forward!
Precious lilies of the valley, grown up against a tree trunk in the woodland, are the most elegant of the late spring garden.
The branches of the driveway’s crabapples provide just what was needed for my favorite mantle vases.
Periwinkle clematis and ‘coral charm’ peonies both blooming at exactly the same time. How could I not pair them (in a simple square glass holder)?
Now off to pick some peony buds to put in the fridge and “hold over” for the Newport Flower Show entries. Hope to see you there…