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Fun to read, Billy. Enjoyed your photos and commentary. I can so relate to the inky fingers too, and your appreciation of the artwork, which was all over the place at the convention centre.
Love that Salvia Limelight against the dark purple foliage.
So glad I got to meet you in person in Raleigh. So, when are the rest of the 800 pics going to be uploaded?
Beautiful combination of jungly and tranquil with the whites and the inviting looking porch. Would love to see this in real life. Sounds wonderful. The white cleome are lovely. I have some this year, but they aren't growing like this!
That puya flower really is strange, esp the colour. You can see why people are going ga-ga over it. So weird to see that teal in a flower. Colours that would work with it are the ones that are already in the flower: a persimmon-like orange, a deep blue, a slightly paler, yellower orange, and a pale orange pink (sort of peach). You could also get away with a hot red, as long as it was softened with a softer peachy pink nearby. Rust colour would be good too. Any combination of greens, inc. pure green, blue greens, (esp soft ones), and an acidy yellow green.
Great collection of pics. Succulents are so varied and beautiful.
Is that artificial turf like the stuff they have in baseball stadiums? What is it anyway, sort of carpet? How do they attach it to the ground? Why on earth would they use it in a botanical garden. Rather shocking. Coming across it here must be like hearing the needle being suddenly dragged across the vinyl.
Yes, I do suffer from it. Funny scenario Billy. I have a pic of me this spring with the back of my sister's van spilling over with our purchases, much like your ad.
My One-Of-Each-Itis comes from budget restraints mixed with intense plant lust. You see it, you HAVE to have it. It's $4.99 a pot, (or more) so you get...just one.
While I've certainly had the "itis" for most of my gardening career, I am changing my ways over the last few years and now keep the phrase: "Paint with a Big Brush" in my mind when I go to the nursery. I try to make myself buy fewer varieties and at least 3 of each plant. (little budgets!) or 5 if I feel I can really splash out.
Then I try to have patience, and also try to develop my propagation abilities, so I can get those wider brushes faster. ;^)
Interesting that so many of what we learn about other countries comes from the movies. It's not suprising that the notion of the suburban lawn, picket-fence America is pervasive in England and Europe. I confess, I've seen a lot of them in real life too, here in Canada.
But the sterile and cookie-cutter suburbs that were built in the 50s, 60s and 70s are only a small part of what gardens are here, and even they are changing now. The suburbs that I saw in the mid-60s look a lot different when I revisit them today: there is a huge shift taking place to making gardens more interesting and varied.
Suburbs and movie visions aside though, I think that historically, for most of America (and Canada, where I live) gardens were informed by their European originators. British settlers in New England wanted to create a "little bit of England", and did, in many places. Imported Dutch, German and Italian styles of gardening create their own garden flavours.
What it amounts to is a battle with what we might historically "want" and what is in fact possible. Some of our best nurseries around Toronto were started by European immigrants: The vast Humber Nurseries, which specializes in *everything*, and Richters, which specializes in Herbs. Their knowledge of plants and garden practices imported from their country of origin means that we learn from them, purchase the plants, and create new styles of gardens. It really is a bit of a gardening melting-pot.
I know in Toronto, because of our huge Italian population here-many of whom are great gardeners-Toronto becomes "Rose City" in June with climbing roses at the fronts of houses everywhere.
People miss what they have left, and want to re-create it in the new land. The trouble is we run up against the "Zone Problem", and that's where creativity and synergy come into play. In accepting certain truths about your zone, you make new discoveries and develop new appreciation for things that work: in the last few years many in North America we are in the growing phase of a love affair with "native plants", and naturalized planting. It was a style dubbed: The New American Garden. This is all good - and beautiful new (sustainable!) gardens are coming of it.
However, I know I (deeply) envy warmer zones. A trip to England and Wales last year had me drooling at shrub sized fuschias that live in the ground outside all year, and the fact that you can actually over-winter pots of New Zealand Flax outdoors. (I come by it honestly - I was "imported" from England)
On the flip side, when my aunts came over here from Wales they were marvelling at our "Solidago" (what we call Goldenrod, a beautiful and somewhat invasive native plant/weed) growing along the roadsides in the fall, along with the New England Asters. I have to admit, they were right. It is one of the joys of fall here.
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