Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A garden to remember - in early December


It is gloomy outside this afternoon, and I'm pretty much looking out at some magnolias, a hemlock and ivy topiaries from the vantage point here at my desk.  I'm feeling very good today, though, because yesterday, Shawn (or is it Sean?) at the Apple store found the 28,000 photographs I had managed to delete from my IPhoto system.  Somehow, when I went to save a page I had put together about Margaret Moseley's book, all my photographs dating back to 2006 and beyond, disappeared.

I have been grieving ever since, thinking they were gone forever from this particular computer.  I did have them on my newer one (which is hard to use for the blog), and most of them were on the back-up system.  Still, I like to compose at this computer. So, my new promise to put more pictures and less talk on the blog sort of went by the wayside.

The above photo, though, would have still been on this computer, because I could put anything new into IPhoto.  This was taken on December 4th, just last week when I went out to visit Margaret Moseley.  Little did I know that the day before, she had spent six hours at Piedmont Hospital waiting around for an MRI to look at a blood clot in her shoulder.

Finally, she and her daughter arrived home around suppertime.  Then, Margaret fell, badly skinning her left arm and had to be taken to the emergency room where she stayed until 2 a.m.  Amazingly, that next afternoon, Margaret was in a cheerful mood and sat there on the side of her bed and signed 90 books, laughing all the time.

Before I had gone into the house, I roamed around the garden.  We'd had temperatures in the low 20's a couple of weeks ago, so I didn't expect anything to be in bloom.  The sasanquas were at their glorious peak in late October, and I assumed were a thing of the past.  Not so.

I can't imagine how there could have been that many buds on those shrubs - several of them at least 25 feet tall.  The plants were absolutely loaded with flowers.  There was color everywhere.  And, while at my house, brown leaves covered everything, Margaret still had some beautiful foliage hanging on in several places.

In the photograph above, you can get an idea of how Margaret made her garden.  The beds that you see along the grassy path originally were started by planting around existing trees.  As Margaret found more plants she wanted, she expanded the beds until they took on irregular shapes.  To my mind, this was a daring thing to do.  If I had a pretty much clean slate, I don't think I would have had the boldness to begin obliterating a lawn to the point of completely hiding the back of the property.

What resulted, though, was an interesting garden with secret places.  You never knew what you would find around the next corner.  Above is an area near the carport.  While you can't see the sasanquas here, you can see viburnums and spireas that hold their leaves even after the hard freezes.  Altogether, Margaret's method turned out to be a design scheme that made for a beautiful garden, no matter what the season.