Occasionally, a reader suggests that I should include a few scenes from the garden rather than photos only of individual plants. A time or two through the year I will do this if I can figure angles that edit out the piles of brush, and my old sailboat that is hopelessly landlocked by the garden. I suspect I’m a week early for hostas and ferns to fill in properly, but the weekend weather is so wonderful that I’ve found any excuse to be out in the garden.
Today, I’ve taken too many photos to fit on this page, so further into the week there will be updates with Japanese maples and a few of the flowers in the garden that have not been covered in recent weeks.
This is the first of five ponds to be constructed in the garden. It has been rebuilt several times, but now it will stay as is. The green leafed Japanese maple that overhangs the pond must be trimmed every year or two or the pond will be completely obscured. My son helped earlier in the spring to level a granite bench that sits with this view. It was badly tilted so that it was nearly impossible to sit on, but it was far too heavy for me to manage alone. Pond construction manuals instruct not to locate ponds near trees since leaves will foul the water, but the ponds in this garden have been dug under trees, or trees have been planted to surround them.
The creek was the third pond constructed, on a weekend when my wife was away visiting family. There is no waterfall. The creek begins bubbling up through small boulders, then it winds along a stone path beside the edge of the forest. Carolina silverbell and serviceberry overhang the creek and small pond as well as hostas and ferns. Several volunteer hostas grow in the shallows, and of course the scene is lush due to moss that has spread to cover the stones that line the pond’s edge.
The stream orients just below the large stone slab that begins the path. Sweetbox has spread to fill this area, and as slow as it is to get started, now I must prune it to keep it from between stones and so it does not overwhelm Japanese Forest grass and Carol Mackie daphne.
My wife insists she would sit on these lichen covered chairs if the Japanese maple and ferns did not overhang them. While the wood of the chairs has not rotted, I suspect the soft wood dowels that hold it together are not so sturdy. Occasionally, I will set my camera or pruners on the chair, but nothing heavier. The green leafed Japanese maple is the one that overhangs the pond on its other side. It has grown at least ten or twelve feet wide, which remarkably has created few conflicts.
The Ostrich ferns were borrowed from damp shade at the forest’s edge.They have spread vigorously, and my wife is continually cutting them out to keep the path open. The red leafed Japanese maple was planted a year ago, and this winter the top few feet were killed, so it is barely taller than the ferns. The hostas are only getting started. The one with white variegation is the old Medio-variegata hosta that is too old fashioned and not grown any longer to my knowledge.
The gold fernspray cypress, hostas, and winter jasmine tumble over stones at the koi pond’s edge. Soon, yellowflag, then Japanese iris growing in the shallows will flower.
Cypress sprurge creeps between boulders and beneath yucca beside the koi pond. Butterfly Japanese maple grows through the colony of yucca. This somewhat accidental combination summarizes my garden style, just plant and everything will work out in the end.
Something was planted in this spot of gravel beside a stone patio, but it was not the cypress spurge or the geranium. Cypress spurge is reputed to be invasive, but seedlings of ‘Espresso’ geranium have nearly overwhelmed it. I don’t know if this color combination works for others, but this accidental composition suites my eye perfectly.