Thursday, January 10, 2013

A winter's tale - Margaret's take on the season

How quickly a mood can change.  I just looked at this same view taken in spring from Margaret Moseley's sun porch.  The Japanese maple ('Butterfly', if I remember correctly) is freshly and exuberantly leafed out, and a pink azalea is blooming next to the birdbath.  A layer of white from a tall dogwood is floating high in the background.  Closer to the porch (I used a zoom on this take), a hosta is leafing out, and the bright yellow of creeping jenny is making its way along the ground next to some end-of-season violas.

Fast forward two months, and this same birdbath is flanked on the right by blue hydrangeas.  Another deep rose-purple mophead can be seen in the distance peaking out from under a camellia.  That same hosta has much larger leaves, and next to it, Hosta 'Sagae' has already sent up two bloom stalks.  The way the sun is beaming down, you can almost feel the warm air of early summer and smell the freshly mown grass.

But, I love this winter scene.  Camellias are blooming, but, without going back and checking the date, it's hard to know if they have been knocked back by cold weather or are either at the end of their season or just beginning to bloom.  There are still thick buds on the small one next to the birdbath.  Margaret has her camellias stretched out to flower from fall until spring.

And so go the seasons of this garden.  You get a panoramic view from the sun porch, and amazingly, you can sit in one of the wicker chairs and feel as if you are right there in the garden.  I can't tell you how many times I've looked out in wonderment at what Margaret has created.  There are no expensive hardscapes here.  Most of the beauty comes from the layers of bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees that come in and out of bloom and ebb and flow with the seasons.

I would say that the combinations you see are haphazard, but they are not.  The overall scheme is Margaret's vision, and it's her sense of knowing where a plant should go in and where one should be taken out that is part of her success.  The other part, I think, can be attributed to the joy she's derived from working out there almost every day for decades in order to share with friends, neighbors and other garden lovers who have come to this magical place.

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