Sunday, September 4, 2011

Visit to MaryBeth's garden

Pink Cleome self-seeded by the drive
Our family recently had the pleasure of getting to tour a local private garden which is owned and cared for by Mary Beth, a wonderful lady from my husband's office. We all enjoyed walking around her garden haven and the beautiful home that she and her husband have created over the past 12 years.

Down the front path to the house, her white picket fence is lined by several large butterfly bushes (Buddleia hyb.) with self-seeding white spider flower (Cleome). The latter has happily taken up residence all over the garden for a whimsical effect.

 Walking around the back patio garden, we came upon this Japanese burnet or Sanguisorba, which I believe might be Sanguisorba tenuifolia 'Purpurea'It was used to great effect at the top of the planting. I have just made my acquaintance with this plant family while beginning to read Designing with Plants by Piet Oudolf, which is a revelation in the artistic use of North American prairie plants.

 One of my favorite area of the garden...
 Mary Beth has surrounded her potager with antique fencing from a funeral home. It makes a quaint setting for puttering around the veggies and herbs. White Cleome have infiltrated here too, which adds to the charm.
cabbage and cleome
Scarlet runner bean clambering up a pole beside the towering sunflowers.
Another metal piece re-purposed as a threshold to the potager.

Just as I had lamented the slow growth of my own Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire'), here I found an excellent example of the larger variety planted by MB's foundation. I love the combination of the blue morning glory planted with it!

 Another great combination was this small-flower sunflower blooming beside the caster bean plant (Ricinus communis). It looked so fetching in the August sunlight.
Caster oil plant (Ricinus communis), which is highly toxic.
Late-August sun caught by the red and orange tones and the shimmer of the grass behind.

Here is a fun plant which was given to Mary Beth by a friend...
Popcorn Bush (Cassia didymobotrya)
The Popcorn Bush, Cassia didymobotrya or Senna d., originates from eastern Africa from the Congo to Ethiopia. There it grows to be a 5-10 foot shrub which blooms smell distinctly of buttered movie popcorn. Though it is part of the legume family, all part of this plant are poisonous. 

Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petriolaris) scaling the house.
Oh, for the days when my climbing hydrangeas look like this! *sigh*

Thanks for the wonderful visit, Mary Beth! 
You have a beautiful home and garden!


  1. Its always lovely looking round someone else's garden, especially when it is as nice as this one. All the Perovskia is fantastic, puts mine to shame! I'm sure you had a lovely visit.

  2. Thanks for the garden tour. I love the antique fencing. Happy Labor Day!

  3. Wow Julie. Where's that Garden, anyway??????

  4. Delightful scenes Julie! Enjoyed the Cleome being allowed to just self-seed itself up and around the veg patch. Excellent close up of the Ricinus!


  5. That is a beautiful garden. I am struck by the absolute charm of that potager. The opportunity to discover some new plants like the popcorn plant and the Japanese such a joy!

  6. A stunning collection of beautiful plants, what a garden. I love how you interspersed the closeup shots, with the wide angles. It really felt like we were there with you. A real treat.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  7. thank you for sharing that, it was absolutely beautiful


  8. Thanks for sHaring these. Isnt it amazing how we just never get too much of looking at flowers/gardens! I had to look up Potager- didnt know that word. :-) I especially loved her awesome tower of her Trumpet vine in the Potager! I might have to try to copy that idea!

    1. Gabrielle,
      Beware! It is scarlet runner bean in the veg patch, not trumpet vine :) Still a great look, I totally agree.


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