Thursday, August 18, 2011
At least once a year Bill Hudgins and I get together to discuss doing a book on his garden. We talk about how I'll write the book and how he'll get a professional photographer to follow the garden through the year. So far, I haven't written a word (except for a newspaper column about him and a magazine article on his previous garden - that was forever ago), and I'm not sure if that photographer has ever made one picture.
But, we really ought to do it. Bill is extremely humble about his talent and the amazing feat he has achieved on a three acre wooded site. My adrenalin gets going just thinking about all the beauty he's created using hundreds of kinds of Japanese maples, which he has collected since he was in his 20's, and literally thousands of boxwoods that provide structure for wonderful collections of shrubs, trees, ferns, bulbs and ground covers. He also has a nice collection of strategically placed sculptures (usually I glaze over when someone says "sculpture garden", but not at Bill's). And, I have to add that no one does containers as well as Bill. You walk down one of the many stunning paths that wind through the woods, and you'll come upon a giant Italian urn with a weeping fastigiate maple standing ten feet tall. Every time you turn a corner, you're asking yourself, "How does he think all this up?"
There's this very confident and successful businessman in my Sunday School class who is justifiably proud of his own garden and collection of Japanese maples. Last fall, he asked me to take him to Bill's garden. It was a cool, overcast day - the perfect conditions to get the full effect of the blinding colors of the maples with the green of the boxwoods. I think the guy was so taken aback and bedazzled that for the first time I can ever remember he was at a loss for words.
The photograph above was taken years ago with my old camera, but it gives you an idea of the eye Bill has for form and texture. I can't wait for fall when I'll post some more pictures of the garden. You won't believe it.