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A Frosty Morning on the Farm

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What’s in Bloom Mid-July

I do love this time of year! The perennials are all in bloom.

There are so many things that I want to blog about! Numerous posts have been started that I can’t wait to finish.

So to kick things off today we’ll have a short stroll through the garden.

IMGP7688I do love Lilies! The soft yellow blooms show up nicely against its dark green foliage.

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IMGP7684My absolute favorite color! I wish I knew which Lily this was so that I could order more. As you can see it is rather delicate.

IMGP7675Who doesn’t love a mass planting of daisies?!

IMGP7665IMGP7738Garden Phlox and Liatris make such a statement this time of year.IMGP7748

We can’t forget what is blooming in the potager! A star shaped yellow zucchini/squash blossom. To keep up with the zucchini this year I have a great new recipe! Check it out here.

What is your favorite perennial flowering plant?

Tiny-Daisy

Thanks for joining me! Now, let’s get back to work. : )




Houmas House Gardens

A couple of years ago Farmboy, the kids and I surprisingly decided to drive down to Mississippi and take my 95 yr old grandmother to Thanksgiving brunch at Houmas House in Louisiana.  What can I say;  we try to be an adventurous bunch whenever possible. That was the year that we discovered the Columbus Topiary Garden… pajamas and all.

This time of year makes me think of our trip: going home, that amazing lunch and sitting with my grandmother in the gardens. Boxwood hedge, century old live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, and distant sculptures framed by long allees create a series of exterior spaces to take in and savor. Let’s stroll through an old southern plantation garden, shall we?

Our day at Houmas House ended with standing on the levee overlooking the Mississippi River watching the sunset. Not too shabby. If you are in south Louisiana/New Orleans area during the holidays… the Thanksgiving Brunch is to die for. You will NEED a walk through the extensive gardens after you leave the table! Believe me.

For more information on Houmas House, its history and gardens or to make dinner reservations click here.




Fabulous Friday Find: Linwood Gardens

Linwood Gardens were created by William Henry Gratwick II from Buffalo, New York as a country home in the years between 1901 and 1910. Architect Thomas Fox designed portions of the craftman style Big House and all of the original garden areas.

In 1933, William H. Gratwick III moved to Linwood with his family and set up the Rare Plants Nursery. The Japanese Tree Peony became a feature of the nursery and the gardens. As an artist, landscape architect and horticulturist, WHG III contributed sculpture and new garden areas to the Linwood landscape. His wife, Harriet Gratwick, directed a community music school on the property from 1946-1963. Linwood also hosted a wide variety of cultural activities during those years.

Lee Gratwick, WHG III’s daughter, is now living at Linwood and is working to preserve the Tree Peony Collection, the gardens, and the Big House.  (From promotional literature.)

The Craftsman style Big House. The interior spaces are sparse with wide wood floors, large mouldings, a beautiful fireplace and craftsman style furniture-  simple, weighty and honest.

The view from the house looking through the side portico.

The Italian Garden with a stone sculpture by WHG III.

Inside the Italian Garden.

The arbor next to the swimming pool.

The stone Labyrinth on the grounds of the old tennis court.

The Perennial and Vegetable Gardens.

The Lily Pool with a sculpture by WHG III of a tree peony blossom.

The view from the Italian Garden.

And… last but not least Oscar, the energetic people greeter.

For more information on the Tree Peony Festival of Flowers and Linwood Gardens click Here.

 

 




The Columbus Topiary Garden

Oh my, what an amazing amount of ground we covered over the past week. From Lake Ontario in New York State to the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana.

22 hours in the car one-way… I thought I would be a blogging fool.  Unfortunately, I needed the stars to align and pigs to fly before I could “write” in the car. Oh well. While surfing the web via my laptop in the car (Have I mentioned that I am married to the most amazing IT guy not to mention he’s also a charming and handsome farmer? What more can a girl ask for!)… ok. Back to the story.

While driving through Ohio I was reminded by RoadsideAmerica.com of the unusual topiary garden on the grounds of the Old Deaf School in downtown Columbus. It was listed in their Columbus attractions as Topiary French People. Well, I’ve seen that garden over the years in magazines and I couldn’t wait to see it in person.  I love that Farmboy and the kids are always up for a detour.

This amazing garden was created by Columbus sculptor James T. Mason to mimic the famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon On The Ile De La Grande Jatte” (1884-6) by French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat.  Farmboy was completely enchanted. The Bean yelled out while running in and out of the figures “It’s like we’re in the painting!”. What a treat and yes, those are my children running around Downtown Columbus in their pajamas. Please don’t call the Board of Parenting Fashion Police. What can I say, we left the house at 4 in the morning… at least they are wearing shoes.

Our timing seemed perfect to view the garden… almost planned. The sun was low in the sky, casting long shadows from the figures and accentuating the detail in their forms. It really was enchanting and I will always delight in the memory of seeing the kids running around the figures as if in a strange shrubby Other World.




Sycamore Hill Garden Tour- Fall

A couple of times a year our neighbors down the street open their gardens to the public to benefit our local nature center Baltimore Woods. I have been attending with Junebug (my mom) on Mother’s day since The Bean was tiny enough to fit into a Baby Bjorn. This is the first time that I have visited the gardens in the Fall.

George and Karen Hanford have created a local treasure in our community. While the gardens are covered in tulips during the Mother’s day tour, the conifers, hydrangeas, ornamental grasses and hostas were the stars at this time of the year. Unfortunately the deciduous trees have not turned yet. That will be breathtaking I’m sure.

So join me for some beauty and inspiration. You won’t be disappointed!

There were many hydrangeas (Pee Gee and Tardiva) blooming and the butterflies were abundant.

Isn’t she beautiful? I love the weeping Norway Spruce next to her repeating her downcast posture.

Don’t we all need some wild boars in the garden?

The bridge to the Koi Pond.

Love this pathway through the pond. It is always a huge hit with the kids on Mother’s Day.

Junebug and I thought these guys looks like a gathering of hooded monks.

The stone from this castle in progress came from the old Jamesville Penitentiary .

The entrance to the Aborvitae Maze.

One of the many beautiful bronzes that grace the property.

Aren’t these Morning Light grass hedges great? They remind me of two giant fuzzy catepillars!

The children’s garden.

Oak alley – a series of English Oaks.

One of the things that I love about this garden is the use of conifers. Although there is nothing blooming in this photograph, the contrasting colors, textures and sizes of the plant material with the natural stone creates a varied, pleasing serene landscape.

One of my favorite sculptures.

Me and the lady who started it all… my love of gardening, that is. Junebug. It began when I was a little girl planting petunias next to her in the red soil of Mississippi. Most of the perennials in my garden now began as off shoots from her beautiful garden in Pittsford, NY. Whenever we get together for a visit, we take our strolls around each others garden discussing what has changed and of course what needs to be done because it is never finished.  From her I inherited the terrible sickness that I refer to as Gottahavethatplant-itis. It’s when you would rather have a new plant than a new pair of shoes! Gasp! It’s true. Where is the doctor? : )

On with the tour…

There are many gongs and bells hanging throughout the gardens.

For more information on Sycamore Hill Gardens please visit their website http://www.sycamorehillgardens.com




The Gardens of Ballyduff Manor

pho_3932_pho_photoWhile staying at Ballyduff Manor in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny in Ireland last summer Farmboy and I found the most wonderful secret. A gorgeous private garden out beyond the old stable and barn.

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Farmboy went out early to explore the grounds the morning that we were leaving for Dublin. After a few minutes he came in and insisted that I come… forget the lipstick. Sorry DH Holmes Jr. Board in Mississippi wherein I learned I was not completely dressed until I was wearing lipstick. Oh, if they could see me now… practically naked. Nevertheless… we went trapezing out into the dewy morning and to my delight I saw a most beautiful sight. A lovingly trimmed boxwood hedge parterre. Behind it there were sheets blowing in the morning breeze strung between the apple trees. Heavenly. Established. Quaint yet of substance. Personal and intimate. I loved it. The parterre was surrounded by a perennial bed and path on one side, an old greenhouse on another, the high wall of the barnyard on the other. The fourth side opened onto to a beautiful grassy lawn framed by corner plantings then surrounded by a fence.

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During our traditional Irish breakfast in a formal coral painted dining room over looking the River Nore, we spoke with the charming owner, Brede, about the origins of the garden. It was designed by her mother-in-law who spent most of her waking hours tending it. The garden used to be 4 times the size but over time it had been downsized to aid with the upkeep.  I would have loved to have seen it in is glory! Wouldn’t you?!  A wedding was to take place the following weekend in the garden and I could just picture the giant reception tent on the grassy lawn next to the parterre and fruit trees. Lucky bride. For a lovely B & B stay in the country be sure to visit www.ballyduffhouse.com.

Heart Knot




ABOUT

Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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This blog and all of the creative elements ie., written content, illustrations and photographs are the sole property of Michelle Masters Studio and cannot be reproduced in any form without the artist's permission.

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