Public gardens are nice and I'm glad that they are available for those of us who can't get enough of what nature has to offer, and what talented people put together in such amazing ways. But I'll always enjoy those visits to individual's gardens that are created not for others, but for themselves. They are labors of love and it shows.
While attending the Garden Writers Association Region III meeting last month in Cincinnati, we had the pleasure of visiting two beautiful private gardens, those of Beth Karp, and Bill Lee and Hurst Sloniker. Since we had a very busy day planned, our visit to each was not nearly long enough, but we were able to see enough to know that these gardeners love gardening as much as we do.
On Honey Hill, live Bill Lee and Hurst Sloniker, where their cozy home sits in a clearing in the woods, with rolling terrain behind the house. I would love to have this non-flat land to work with on our own property!
The first thing I noticed as we drove up was the beautiful pink dogwood in front of the house. I've tried to grow one a couple of times and just can't keep them alive. We've had a white one for at least 20 years, but the pink ones elude me.
We quickly made our way through the property, which held all kinds of wonderful surprises.
I talked with Hurst about Japanese Maples, of which they've got a small collection. The one that really caught my eye was Acer palmatum 'Shojo nomura', which means "little red-faced monkeys" in Kanji (Japanese). WANT!
Just as we were leaving, I noticed a few people crouched down at the edge of the woods, looking at something. Never one to want to be left out, I ran over to see what it was they were so interested in.
And as we finally tore ourselves away so we could visit another private garden, I spied this Marsh Marigold blooming proudly by the barn...