Thursday, January 30, 2014

A very different January 28th in the garden


I look out my window on this January 30th, two days after the now infamous snowstorm that caused the worst traffic gridlock in Atlanta's history, and the gravel driveway (1/5 mile long) and woodland floor are covered in white.  It's beautiful, but very different from the glorious day of January 28, 2012.

Margaret, pictured that morning with Erica Glasener, who was the host of A Gardener's Diary on Home & Garden Television (HGTV), took three of us on a tour of the garden, located a few miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Other photographs from that sunny, cool winter day show the following in full bloom:  the sweetly fragrant Daphne odora, Camellia japonica 'Governor Mouton', 'Magnoliaeflora', 'White Empress', 'Lady Clare' and 'Professor Sargent'.  I also snapped pictures of two camellia hybrids, the very floriferous 'Fragrant Pink' (seen flanking the bench) and 'Tiny Princess'.  Hellebores at their peak bloom in colors ranging from deep maroon to pure white were clustered in beds throughout the garden.

The star, though, was a 20-foot-tall, rare Michelia maudiae, with clusters of creamy, magnolia-type blooms covering the branches.  Margaret, who was 95 at the time (she'll be 98 in May), had moved the plant by herself when she was 89 years old.

I talked with Margaret this morning, and she said the garden looks beautiful covered in snow.  She says she's anxious for the weather to moderate so her winter flowers can come into bloom.

"There's always something to look forward to when you have a garden," she said.  "I just can't wait until things are back to normal."


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