Beauty by accident – August ’09

In such a large garden as this (one acre plus) half a dozen blooming crapemyrtles are sufficient to elicit cries from passersby of “how beautiful” and admiration for the gardener’s grand design. Nonsense! The trees are splendid, the gardener fortunate this day to have placed them for all the world to see. P1012123

P1012300In this garden there are ponds, a simple pavilion, stone walls and paths, and beautiful trees and shrubs scattered about, underplanted with all manner of ground covers and perennials. The garden design has some merit, but for every crapemyrtle that shines, there is a dismal dwarf cypress overwhelmed by an oakleaf hydrangea that insists on flopping about, a golden tansy baked and leafless, and similar tragedies.

So long as we focus on the crapemyrtles we’ll be satisfied that all is right, the design a delight.P1012136

Perhaps there are a few more successes than failures on this day. The Franklinia (above) by the garden shed followed the later blooming crapemyrtles by only a few days, and will continue well into September, often until the scarlet Fall color makes a wonderful background for the large white flowers. P1012294

Across the path, next to the small pavilion by the swimming pond, the Seven Son tree (Heptacodium miconioides, above)  is blooming. The large clusters of small white flower are not significant, more restrained than crapemyrtles, but quite nice for several weeks, and followed by fuchsia calyxes that persist weeks longer. P1012196

Sandwiched between Seven Son and Franklinia is a Blue Atlas Cedar (above, with seed cones lined upright along the branches), a scruffy specimen with a gently curving trunk when planted, but beginning to fill in so the crook is barely noticed. The garden is full of “projects” rescued from discard piles, nurtured back to good health. I am only slightly confident that the neighboring trees won’t invade the cedar’s space.P1012308

Across the patio, above a seating wall curved to match the circular stone fire pit (used for burning stray sticks and branches more than for romantic fires) the Cherry Dazzle dwarf crapemyrtle has opened nearly a quarter of its blooms, with thousands remaining to bloom over the next month.

A marvelous design.

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