No, this is the best

Certainly, there is no surprise that a garden’s peak would be in the spring, and does it matter if one day or week is better than another? Of course not, but as I stroll the garden, I can’t help it. Today is best, though the same was said a week ago, and this will probably be claimed again in another week.

Branches of yellow, red, and orange flowered, fragrant Exbury azaleas (below) wind through a wide spreading redbud, with the azaleas’ blooms coming on just as the redbud’s were fading. Many of the garden’s evergreen azalea have flowered sparsely after a relatively mild, but confounding winter that killed an inordinate number of long established trees and shrubs, a result, I surmise, of excess moisture and a short period of extreme cold. The Exbury azaleas have flowered as usual, which is splendidly, and elicits wonder to why these are not planted more frequently.

Reluctantly, I stand for a photo beside Twombly’s Red Sentinel Japanese maple and in front of a mixed color grouping of Exbury azaleas (also below). Also unusual, I am nearly smiling. Usually, I deny photo opportunities, or give some horrible expression so my wife is embarrassed to publish. I guess I was in a particularly good mood today with the fragrant azaleas so near.

This is the view from the bedroom I would wake up to if it was light at that hour (above and below). The tall trees in the background are the forest that our property backs up to, but the jungle in the foreground was planted over thirty years. Mostly hidden just below the deck is one of the garden’s ponds, with a second stream and pond along the left hand edge of the photo. Also hidden, views of the distant Bull Run mountains, though a tall hill is equally responsible for the obstructed view.

Stone slab steps rise from one patio to another, while crossing a narrow section of a pond.
Yes, there is a house behind a Bloodgood and other Japanese maples and a purple leafed European beech.
Ostrich ferns along a path to the back deck.
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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Ruth says:

    The pictures are wonderful Dave! You look very proud and rightly so! 😀. Have a lovely day in your beautiful garden! 🐝

  2. Nora says:

    Do you allow garden clubs to visit your beautiful gardens?

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve hosted several garden clubs, and would be happy to work out a time for your group to visit. The back third of the garden is a work in progress, recovering from far too much rain, so it’s only accessible on a good day, but there’s plenty to see in the front two-thirds. Over the next month and a half I’m traveling the second week and last weeks of June, but otherwise I’m open.

  3. Nora Buisson says:

    Where are you located and how do I get in touch with you? I am at Lake Anna.

  4. Dottie says:

    Just beautiful! I enjoy these notes and photos very much. Your wife is a good sport!

    1. Dave says:

      My wife laughs at my changing descriptions of her, but she knows that we’re not on the same page regarding most aspects of the garden. So, there’s somewhat of an adversarial relationship here, but I tell her I get my way because I’m much larger than she is. Somehow, she doesn’t think this matters.

  5. Dell says:

    Ha! Good to finally meet you! I have been reading your blog for years and always look forward to new posts. Nice to put a face to the space. Keep up the beautiful work. Good luck with the swamp. You have really helped me by justifying my gardening philosophy, which is, “plant, plant, plant, and question convention”. Thank for all the time you put in to share your experiences. Happy Gardening!

    1. Dave says:

      Thank you for reading. Beyond just planting, I also want to emphasize that this is much easier than many garden people try to make it. Too many people would like to be involved, but they fear failure. Success is not a matter of fertilizers or constant care. I have molded my gardening habits around the concept of doing as little as possible (though I do more than I think), so readers can see that great success can come without great effort.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Wow! I just commented to someone else about how I grew a few Davidias, and sent them away while young and awkward, but never saw one looking good in a landscape. I grew may Exbury azaleas too, but NEVER saw on like yours! They looked so twiggy in the can. I could not understand why clients were so happy to get them.

    1. Dave says:

      This is an area where evergreen azaleas dominate, but certainly anyone who sees this display would question why?

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Well, we at least have an excuse. Aridity. The foliage can get a bit raspy by the end of summer, and if it does, it does not color well in autumn. The growth is also irregular. I am not certain why. (I mean, they put out healthy stems that flare out nicely while other stems remain stunted. It gives it an awkward structure.)

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