Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Garden Within and the Garden Without

As mentioned last post, I did go to a local garden centre last weekend to see their annual installation of an "inspiration garden". I took my crappo camera - my nickname for it, not the brand name!:-) so I wouldn't look like a spy from another garden centre (I worry about these things). Well, going there was as good as a dip in a jacuzzi - muscles relaxed, a smile hovered on my lips and I just felt "Springier"! This year's garden loosely follows a Japanese Garden theme and I loved it. Beautiful use of texture, structures, foliage and stunning water features.

I loved the understated statuary tucked in amongst the greenery - it was very well placed as you could see it from several vantage points but it didn't compete with the star, the water feature.

The pond had Koi fish in it - probably not something I would try at this point, but they do look like jewels in the water. What I really liked was the reflective quality of the water, always shimmering the sky back at you. Fabulous.

I was so excited to see more than one hosta with almost pure white blooms. Rebecca, I knew you would like this so I got the photo for you. :-) There was no tag so I even approached the owner of the garden centre and asked him its name. He happily brought me a slip of paper with the name of this pretty hosta, ‘Olive Bailey Langdon’. I have never heard of it but it is hardy here and I love the colours of the yes, I will be getting some!

The arrival of Spring here this weekend beckoned me out to my own garden. I cleaned up, did some pruning and took a peek around the edges of the snow to see how things looked after a winter that had an exceptionally cold spell, followed by warmer than usual temperatures. There wasn't a lot visible yet, but I was pleased to see my Woolly Thyme I planted among some stepping stones looked as fresh as it did last Septemeber. Yay!

My Vinca minor 'Alba' also looks as fresh as it did before the snow fell. I understand these can be invasive in warmer zones and are ubiquitous and often scorned. However, here, under my spruce they are a welcome patch of green and the little white flowers are charming.

I have to say, it felt great to be out putzing in the garden. Although much of it is still under snow I am enjoying these fresh days - and dreaming Spring dreams. ;-)

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout


Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Great post Ms S!! I'm so flattered that you thought of me, what beautiful white hosta blooms. :) I also take my 'crappo' camera when out and about (not that my regular one is anything special). Lovely pictures of the installation, I agree, it has a very Japanese feel. Lovely Vinca minor pictures, I also appreciate it in the garden, although mine is the blue variety. I'm glad you have some happy looking plants, it's such a relief after a long winter. :)

miss m said...

Lovely vignette ! I've never taken pictures at a garden centre. Have you ever had any trouble ?

These slight glimpses of the great awakening are such a welcome sight ! Happy Spring ! :)

Laurrie said...

Out putzing in the garden... that's what I tell my husband I'm doing out there: putzing. I'm not sure which is more rewarding, the beautiful garden center combinations of plants, or the little sights you find in the early spring ground in your own yard.

sweet bay said...

Beautiful water feature. It does feel good to get out in the garden again doesn't it? We don't get the same kind of cold that you do, but it was so wet this winter, that warmer, drier weather is especially appreciated.

Two hostas with pure white flowers immediately come to mind: Hosta plantingea, and Hosta 'Royal White'. I have one or the other that came from my dad's mother's garden. The flowers are large for a hosta, snow white, and very fragrant.

Kyna said...

Which garden center was that?

Glad to see spring is arriving for you up there :D

Anna said...

I would be quite happy to take that little cameo home with me from the garden centre and oh what a delightful hosta . A most happy spring to you - enjoy the season :)

The Garden Ms. S said...

Rebecca, I knew you would enjoy this hosta as much as I did. :-)The whole installation was a real treat. It was also so great to just get out and poke around my own garden – before last night’s snow that is!

miss m: They haven’t thrown me out yet, maybe they recognize an avid shopper when they see one. Besides, I’m a member, they can’t through me out! ;-)

Laurrie: Isn’t putzing the best description for those little walkabouts that turn into grabbing the clippers, pulling a few weeds, watering the dry spots, deadheading – you know – putzing! (Ten minutes always turns into 40 or more!)

Sweet bay: It feels great! I think I should pitch a tent out there this year and sleep there when the heat waves come. Okay, now I’m getting gardening fever! :-)

Kyna: I hate to name names as I don’t want to promote one above another, but it is on Hwy 16 heading east of the city. Hint: Cloverbar turn-off! I am so glad spring is finally finding us this year as well. I’m not necessarily in a rush for summer, but a good, long spring with something greening up at all times will suit me just fine for a while.

Anna: I love that water feature! Understated but oh so pretty. And the sound it makes was so nice. I got a latte and sat at a little bistro table near it and grinned a goofy grin. A happy spring to you too!

tlc illustration said...

Beautiful garden - love all those lush hostas. Here, the lushest thing around in the winter is the moss trying to crowd out the grass! (was just reading about how one ought to 'embrace' that - go the Asian garden route. Taking it under consideration).

We've had such a mild time of it since December - it's been springy, and in the 60s since early February. Crazy times!

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely liking the display garden.

Vinca is invasive here in my neck of the woods but I keep them in containers which to me is the best of both worlds.

I hope spring's approach is swift and pleasant. Go away snow!

kate smudges said...

I'm totally envious that a garden centre has a display garden so early in the season. There's something about being surrounded by luscious plants beautifully arranged that gives our senses such an uplift. It's as if we are shedding our winter skins in favour of brand-new ones for spring.

Your crappy camera takes good pictures!

The Garden Ms. S said...

TLC: Tara, what a spring you are having! I do like a long spring and this is unusual for us to have it start so early. The cool freshness of spring is perfect for walking and bird listening. Having seen glimpses of your garden, I expect to see apples growing anytime now! ;-)

Grace: Yes, go away snow! We got more last night – sheesh! I love this year’s display garden as well – very much to my taste – tranquil and lush.

Kate: It is a real treat to have a garden centre do this. They are the only one around that I know of that does. Even nicer, there are bistro tables set up around the garden and a latte bar. We plunked ourselves down right beside the water feature and simply breathed. Ah, us northern gardeners need days like that! (As soon as our little guy is a bit older we hope to resume our annual spring trek to Victoria for a short getaway – now that was really heaven!)

Of Spring and Summer said...

Well, despite the "crappo camera" you still took some lovely pictures from the garden centre!
And at last spring is on the way!!
Have a good week.
Love, Ingrid

Deborah at KIlbourne Grove said...

Living proof that you do not need to have tons of flowers to have a beautiful garden!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Ingrid: Yes, it is at last! We had a bit more snow but the temperature is supposed to shoot up. I just want to be outside now, all the time. :)

Deborah: I agree. Foliage and structure really create a lush, enclosed space. I loved this year's garden!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

So it sounds like you had fun.

And they let you take photos? Giggle, well I guess that you will be returning.


Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Beautiful photos from the garden center. I take pictures all the time at a local garden center.

Of Spring and Summer said...

I would like to wish you a Happy Easter and a good holiday!!
Love, Ingrid

The Garden Ms. S said...

MBD: Jen, yes, they let us take photos! I hope that doesn’t change! I don’t know how a place can bill itself as inspirational and not let people take photos. To those that don’t I say – get over yourself!

IGW: Thank you – and good to hear. If the only green I get in the winter is a garden centre, they better let me take some pics to tide me over. :-)

OS&S: Ingrid, a wonderful Easter to you too!

GardenJoy4Me said...

OH WOW !!!
I love that garden !! .. that would be my dream garden absolutely : ) I would feel so serene and calm and relaxed .. it would be perfect !
I'm so glad you had your camera .. a few pictures like this and I feel much better already : )

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hi Joy, I love that garden! The textures are amazing and the whole thing is just extremely calming. Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

For a "crappo camera", you certainly take lovely photos! The greenery and the Koi pond is just lucious!

Diane Schuller said...

your so-called crappy camera takes lovely photos!

Now I need to find that particular garden centre on my next trip to the city!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Karen, I have to give full credit to the subject matter on this one! It really is a spectacular design this year - I love these inspiration gardens!

Diane: Clover Bar Rd and Hwy 16. Head east on the yellowhead until you are a few minutes east of the city - well worth the visit! :)

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Love the Japanese Garden theme .
Wonder if it can be done without a water feature.
We all need inspriration at times...other garden bloggers are a must !!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Patsi: Hi! I love the Japanese garden look - so much texture and form. I think you might be able to do it with just greenery and statuary, but water really adds so much to it. And the sound is great! :)

Helen said...

Ms. S, The foliage in the Inspiration Garden is an inspiration! Great mix of textures. Thanks for sharing it.