Sunday, April 20, 2008

Philbrook Family Garden Diary Entry

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Voles, my nemeses – they attacked again!  I hate those root munching, menacing, miserable, meanies.


On the lighter side of gardening, it was fun sharing some gardens with my visiting friend.  Never enough time though; sadly, there never will be.


While the 90% first frost is October 31, it just about always goes way past this date; the spring last frost date (90%), however, is always right around the target date of April 15. This week we had a frost on the 16th.  Everyone was worrying and wondering what to cover up.  I remained calm remembering my new mantra learned from the infamous ‘Easter Freeze’ of 2007.  Basically, it is out of our hands.  Don’t put it out until after April 15 and then watch the weather for the next weeks’ report. If you do put it, then you have to put up with the consequences.   With regards to what is in the ground…let them do their thing, let come what may…


I spent Thursday with two friends shopping for garden art.  We aren’t just talking about concrete bunnies, but art on a museum quality level.  On days like this, I often stop to pinch myself not believing I’m awake.  It feels like a dream.  The thrill of knowing I am actually a part of making garden art history literally brings tears to my eyes. 


First we met with Phil Hathcock and then Thomas Sayer.  I actually have art from both that is on a more human scale than what we were shopping for on this day. I’m also very fond of both artists.  You can’t help feel the emotion that goes into their garden art. The connection between the art and the artists is important to truly understanding their art – at least it is for me.


In both cases, the connection between the artist and the garden art admirer was immediate.  At one point, tears were fought back between the admirer and the artist…I got emotional just watching this exchange of emotion.  Follow-up meetings were made for the next day to see if their art would work on the property.  I had no doubt, but seeing this fantastic property was a must for the artist and how the art would fit the land was essential.  After which, commissions were made.  I hope to be invited for the erections.  Below is a photo of some work by Thomas Sayer in the garden of my friends Marty and Alan.





Plants in the garden that are just coming up or just getting started include Crinums and, Echinacea, Butterfly bushes – all nine varieties including Blue Chip which will be available to the public soon.  It was a gift to me from Denny Werner, Director the JC Raulston Arboretum.


Plants in the garden that are waxing include Amaryllis, Mrs. G.G. Gerbing azalea, Bottle Bush, Hydrangeas – Oakleaf, Lady in Red, Lime Light, Endless Summer, Nikko blue all leafing out nicely, pink Double Knock Rose, Cl. Rose Stairway to Heaven with first bloom.


Plants in the garden that are peaking include Cross Vine, verbena ‘Homestead Purple’, another Ajuga, Iris, columbine, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, Lady Banks Rose, Hardy Orchid, Chrysogonum virginianum green and gold ‘Allen Bush’, Spanish Lavender, Dogwood (Sp.?), Candytuft.


Plants in the garden that are waning include veronica ‘Georgia’, Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’, Tulips, Forsythia (Sp.?), Weeping Cherry, contorted crabapple, daffs (waning),  Loropetalum (Sp.?), Spirea (Sp.?), Hellebores (seeding), Redbud, Carolina Jessamine, pansies, Vinca, Camellias, Rosemary, Quince (Sp.?).


I asked Lily if she thought the garden had too much purple.  With a questioning look she asks, “How can you have too much purple?”  Maybe in an 8 year’s mind you can’t…but her mama thinks you can.  Then I remember why the purple is there in the first place – to attract butterflies so I guess Lily is right, maybe you can’t have too much purple.


Helen Yoest (Philbrook)


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