Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ramblings in Gardening

A View from Federal Twist - Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener is the blog of the New York gardener James Golden written about his own garden and, as the title shows, about his ramblings in other gardens. All the pictures below are of him.

I found his blog by way of someone who came from there to mine. I visited it, and I was absolutely amazed that someone on the other end of the world composed the garden of my dreams.

Although it is not easy for him either. He has to cope with a heavy, wet clay, and he can dedicate time to his own garden only in the weekends.

Our taste is so similar that the second link in his blog is my favorite Canadian nursery specialized in grasses and willows, the Bluestem Nurserey. But this is not the only one among my favorites that I have found at him.

This picture of James recalls my great ideal, the garden of Beth Chatto. (You are invited to visit the page composed with the pictures of the Beth Chatto Gardens on our homepage Hortus Carmeli.)

And as you can predict on the basis of the pictures, I also found on his page the gardener from whom I learned the most besides Beth Chatto, Piet Oudolf. (Check his page by all means! And then, for a further visit, check the page of a Dutch nursery with a lot of beautiful pictures of him. And as his books are absolutely unavailable at us in Hungary, here you are the Timber Press – just now I see that this is also one of James Golden’s keywords – where you can order them. I have no experience with them, I bought my own copies in Britain.)

One of James’ August posts is for example about a work by Piet Oudolf in the Battery Gardens that I have already saved as a link. It was very interesting to see the same through the eyes of James.

And as one can suspect from the large amount of grasses, Noel Kingsbury is also a recurrent guest in James Golden’s blog. I learned a lot from his book written together with Piet Oudolf (Gardening with Grasses, Frances Lincoln 1998). I can recommend it to everybody who wants to do something with grasses. And the world is small: the foreword was written by Beth Chatto. They chose their motto from Ernst Pagel. He is a fantastic German gardener from the former German Democratic Republic. He has no homepage, but you can buy his plants at Gaissmayer. He himself refers to another wonderful German gardener, Karl Foerster, whose plants are also on sale at Gaissmayer. Beth Chatto considers Foerster as her master, while Piet Oudolf simply calls him my hero.

And another gardener from whom I have learned a lot about the meaning of freedom in the garden: Dan Pearson. He is also known to the Hungarian public through his book A modern kertművészet (The art of modern gardens) (Park Könyvkiadó 1999). And a famous name, John Brookes. He was the first English gardener known to me, and now as I already know more about gardening, I see how excellent he is, too.

And finally back to the Old World. On the blog of James Golden there is also a German garden, the Hermanshoff that I knew from the journal of the English Royal Horticultural Society, the Garden. Exactly that blend of sensitivity and thoroughnes that I love so much in German culture.

In the blog Neues von Lindenhof that I found in the last autumn, on October 16, 2007 there was a detailed report with many pictures about Hermanshoff. The blog of Lis is also worth to follow. I love her own garden, too, but she also regularly gives account of various gardens and gardening events. And – just to round the world off – the Gaissmayer nursery, who sell the plants of Ernst Pagel and Karl Foerster, the masters of Beth Chatto, Piet Oudolf and James Golden, regularly participates at these events.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Our Lady of the Assumption

Today we celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

A short walk in the garden on this beautiful day, before the rain arrives.

A quite young Acer palmatum 'Garnet'.

Acer palmatum 'Garnet'Agastache rupestris, a licorice mint with an apricot colored flower. In contrast to other mints, it does not belong to Z7 but to Z5, thus it is certainly frost-resistant at us, too.

Agastache rupestrisOn the left side a brook thistle (Cirsium rivulare), in the middle a Gaura linderheimeri, while the grass in the background is a Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'.

Cirsium  rivuale, Gaura linderheimeri, Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'.Between the hostas there is a small bamboo that does not spread its rhizomes: Fargesia murieliae 'Bimbo'.

Fargesia murieliae 'Bimbo'At the foot of the birches a Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Rosea'. A very brave plant. It does not spread its rhizomes and seeds, you do not have to cut its dried flowers, it blooms continuously from July until the frost, and it is extremely hardy. Unfortunately you only find it beautiful in a close sight, so after a long inner struggle I decided to change it for its red flowered sport in the autumn.

Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Rosea'Helenia and roses. I don’t know why, but the Helenium is not in mood at us, similarly to the Phlox, although they live their renaissance in Western Europe. And with a good reason. If someone is interested, there is a wonderful German page with a bunch of Helenium and Phlox photos:

A fabulous Monarda, called Gewitterwolke. Unfortunately this picture does not do justice to its beautiful purple color. Now I’m considering to divide the big one I have in the peasant garden, and to plant it in the middle of the big perennial garden, too. It is on sale at Staudengärtnerei Gaissmayer.

Monarda 'Gewitterwolke'

Friday, August 8, 2008

Grasses in bloom

One of my favorites: Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'. At us it grows 120/150 cm, twice as large as the you usually find in the catalogs of the nurseries. An absolute surviving champion. And, in contrast to the basic type, it is completely winter-hardy at us. After the autumn bloom I usually cut it back, because it strongly propagates with seeds.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Silberspinne'. According to the Praskac it will grow 80 cm, but in the reality at least 120 cm. I purchased it there in a 9×9 pot, and it grow this high in 4-5 years.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Silberspinne'Miscanthus sinensis 'Neue Hybriden'. I bought it in the Szigeti Nursery at least 5-6 years ago. It survives everything and it is so beautiful. It is worth to know that most Miscanthus are very resistant, they live on almost every kind of soil and even with relatively few watering. On good soil and with much watering they are of course more beautiful. And finally it received such a place.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Neue HybridenMiscanthus sinensis 'Ferner Osten'. I purchased it in 2001 or 2002 in Vienna, in a nursery in the outskirts of the town. It was a beautiful large specimen. In the rain I came in with it to the Naschmarkt – five minutes before closing still there was everything – and from there to the Westbahnhof. I will never forget it.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Ferner Osten'Finally, a Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'. On the above image it grows on sand, while on the second on an alluvial deposit. In my view it is beautiful on both places.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln