Thursday, July 21, 2011
Limbing it up
The other day I ran by Louise Poer's Atlanta garden to see some stone pillars she had just had installed. The same artisan is going to do some pillars for me, not at my house, but at a farm in south Fulton County. It was one of those bright clear days we rarely get in summer, so the light was dappled - not a good time for a photograph. I did manage to get a great shot of the stone and grout up close. The man did a fabulous job. The pillars look as if they've been there forever, just as Louise had specified.
I haven't had a chance to get back over to Louise's garden when it was cloudy, but I couldn't resist going ahead and publishing this picture. Despite the harsh light, you get the idea of a genius garden designer's handiwork. My heart pounds every time I go over there. There are so many clever combinations of plants and garden ornaments. I always come away with tons of ideas.
In this photograph, you can see that Louise has limbed up a Hydrangea paniculata and let it arch over the pathway. That's a bloom reaching over to the left side with the new stone pillar just beyond. Because this is such a small space (what you see here is a part of the side entrance to the main garden that extends across the back of the house), Louise has limbed up all the trees and shrubs that grow tall. For instance, she has cut Camellia sasanquas into tree form and limbed up Leyland cypress and Foster holly. This practice gives her more space to plant and lets in light and air.
As you can gather, Louise crams a lot into a limited space. Just in this little area, she has boxwoods, hosta, an oakleaf hydrangea, Confederate jasmine (on the wall of the house), Clematis armandii, several kinds of English ivy, acorus, cast iron plant and autumn fern. That's about the limit of what I can make out from this picture, but there's lots more lost in shadow. On the far side of the pillars, she's limbed up more plants, but the tops are not in any of the photos I took. I definitely need to go back and investigate and see what else is there.