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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thoughts on A Stunning Garden

I woke this morning with an idea for a blog post, grabbed a notebook to jot it down. I happened to have a notebook sitting on top of my half emptied suitcase, next to the bed. You never know when ideas are going to visit or just as quickly leave, so jotting them down on whatever is handy is a good idea. Old envelopes work nicely or if you're in the car look for a grocery receipt, or a bank deposit slip.

So there I was sitting in bed writing a note when Michael, who had an earlier than usual day, walked back in to say goodbye. I have to tell you, I was feeling a slight embarrassment...he loves to tease me about being addicted to blogging and there I was caught in the act at 6 am writing notes for a post. Sometimes I feel like a little kid who has been caught sneaking cookies from the cookie jar. It's a pretty tasty cookie and there really isn't any punishment. Maybe it's the puritan DNA...I am feeling too good!

In case your curious and asking yourselves what ever in the world was she jotting down at 6 AM? Well, I was thinking about James David's garden...he is a master of using textural, sculptural and architectural elements.




This is a distant view of his very clever trellis. The bases are large concrete columns with rusted poles for plant support. Rusted metal and concrete are used throughout the garden to great effect. This closeup shows the trellis in greater detail. This is one element I would love to be able to incorporate at chez cedar place. I love concrete and rusted metal. Classic style with a modern twist or modern style with a classic twist?



This planting is fabulous. Forgive me if I am too enthusiastic but what I love is the simplicity AND the sophistication all in one. I think this is an element that many of us can use...on a less grand scale in my garden certainly. He elevates this simple pot to sculpture with the addition of the agave and the stone pedestal.





Line is another element that caught my eye.



I don't know if the bamboo is groomed to show its form or naturally sheds its lower 'leaves', but it is stunning.

One architectural plant with strong vertical line with the less attractive quality of smelling of rotten meat is the Voodoo lily. Correct me if that's the wrong name but don't you think voodoo is perfect? It uses its 'fragrance' to attract flies.



I know there was color in his garden but what I am keenly aware of is texture: rusted metals, stone, concrete, out buildings, pools and plantings.



It was a stunning garden...

Gail

25 comments:

  1. Voodoo Lily is certainly appropriate! It looks like a magical place as every garden is with its' own sense of the gardeners' personality!

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  2. layanee,

    I wish you had been there to smell it! Boy was it something. I wondered if it was far enough away from his lap pool but he surely took that into account!

    How's the weather in RI, my son says it's still chilly.

    Gail

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  3. That voodoo lily smelled to high heaven, but I couldn't stop looking at it. Such a unique plant for the garden, and he said it comes back for him after winter. My garden isn't large enough for it, however, unless I suddenly develop an affinity for the smell of rotting meat.

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  4. Pam,

    Do you suppose the smell drifts over to the pool!? You have many architectural and sculptural elements in your garden...I was having too much fun to take photos!


    gail

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  5. Pam and layanee,

    The smell of that Voodoo lily must be front and center in my memory because I keep thinking of it drifting around that stunning garden...my husband tells me he is glad he doesn't live through his nose like I live through mine...

    gail

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  6. Very nice description and voodoo plant too! Just goes to show gardening crosses all lines and overlaps everywhere. That is one thing I like about gardening, no matter where you live-Iraq/Germany or Tennessee, a sunflower is STILL a sunflower. You can grow the voodoo plant here as I have seen it here, but I am not interested. It is cool though.

    I think his trellis is classic with a modern twist. Though it is hard to choose. Classic because the materials are classic and old and common. Modern because it is an ingenious use. Love it! I wonder how he poured those concrete columns? I want to pour some and have been wanting to for awhile, though it is a lot of work! Hats off to him!

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  7. Tina,

    The tube forms can be gotten just not sure where! Believe it or not I saw some slimmer cardboard sonotubes (?) I think that's what they are called at Lowes but these big guys are a special order.

    It was a very cool garden.

    yes I agree, Pam (Digging) toured a garden that is English in design but Texas in plantings! Way cool.

    Gail

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  8. Gail, you have managed to capture your view of James David's garden in a marvelous way. In a large area like his all the concrete, metal and water would be divine. I appreciate what you have shown us and also appreciate your excitement... keep your weekend and follow-up thoughts coming to us.
    meems @Hoe&Shovel

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  9. meems,

    First an award and now some very kind words;) Blogging is the first place I have found were people feel as passionately about gardening as I feel....isn't it terrific!

    Gail

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  10. You just go right on showing all that excitement and emotion cause that's what a true gardener is all about. It's why we are so good at what we do. We feel it, see it, taste it, smell it, live it, share it, grieve it, love it, groove it, and expect others to do the same. If they don't, something is wrong with them--lol. Right now, I'm in a frenzy over it all and I'm just about to implode with the idea of creating my new gardens so I'm like a kid in a candy factory at your descriptions. I can't see enough. Thanks for the fun tour.

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  11. I think I was more sleep deprived than I realized - I don't remember seeing that trellis! You're right about the well-named "Voodoo Lily," but I think its Latin name is even more fitting: Amorphophallus. TeeHee!

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  12. anna,

    You are so right on...wait to you see me let lose! Hope the unpacking goes well and that you find the camera!

    Gail

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  13. mmd,

    There are several big areas that I totally missed...the garden is about 2 acres, so visiting all the SFB tours has shown me more of that garden...and that is some kind of name! Someone had fun naming that one.

    Gail

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  14. Gail, I enjoyed your blog. It was a delight to tour the gardens through your eyes. The Voodoo Lily that you have a picture of--what kind of container was it in? I was told by the person that gave me the bulb many yrs ago said it would not bloom unless it was dug out of the soil for the winter. Mine bloomed last Spring out of soil. I did not dig it last Fall because I didn't want to disturb the volunteer ornamental pepper that had come up. Therefore it was left in pot for the winter. Well, it is blooming now, so I've had it bloom both ways. I'm beginning to think it's the size of the bulb. What do you think?

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  15. Good morning Gail, I am up TOO early this morning. I have a state garden convention to attend here in Clarksville this morning. I hope it is fun. ttyl

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  16. lola,

    I don't know...I really can't remember what it was growing in....several bloggers took photos of it and might have included the pot...if I run into it I will post it in comments for you..

    Does yours smell awful, too? Congrats on success with it, btw,

    Gail

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  17. Gail, somehow in traipsing around that garden I missed many of the things you show, thanks for posting about them. I am still dreaming about the David garden and house, it felt so secluded and lush. I would have like to explore the inside of the house more, but felt uncomfortable doing that, but can remember some of the art on the walls. The whole trip is still swirling around happily in my consciousness.

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  18. Frances,

    I don't know about you but words seem to fail me when describing the whole weekend, I have gestalted it and cannot easily describe it separate from the whole experience....but I keep flashing on the gardens.

    I notice concrete and rusted metal but I think we could wander around that garden for days and still miss things.

    Gail

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  19. I have a lousy sense of smell, and I didn't smell that voodoo lily until after I almost ran right into it when I wasn't paying attention! I loved how it functioned in the garden as a piece of sculpture rather than greenery.

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  20. lori,

    Do you remember if it was in a big pot or in the ground, someone asked me and I couldn't recall. I do remember the odor!

    Gail

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  21. Gail - I'm pretty sure it was in the ground, right off the path, and surrounded by clumps of lirope.

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  22. Lori,

    Thanks, I will pass it on,
    Gail

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  23. Lori is right. The voodoo lily was in the ground.

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  24. pam, It was a strangely compelling plant wasn't it? thanks,
    Gail

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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