There are those days I regret not having a summer blooming perennial garden. The big and wild kind. Russian Sage, hyssop, shrub roses, hardy hibiscus, monarda-I am sure you know what I mean. I am not a fan of rudbeckia, so I plant hemerocallis “Goldner’s Bouquet” in any perennial garden I design. -It is a clear yellow that blooms late and blooms heavily; I would guess a mature plant has a 300plus bud count. It was bred by our noted landscape designer Al Goldner. He hybridized in the field, without supplemental irrigation; he loved any perennial that had the staying power of a shrub. It is no doubt the finest daylily I have ever had the pleasure to plant. But I am ahead of myself-let’s go inside a landscape of mine, with a fine summer garden.
The entrance to the property has a beautiful view-in large part sparked by my client. Designers who do not listen to their clients miss plenty. I did design the drive especially to court the view; my client went over this plan again and again, until we both were happy with it.
A decomposed granite walk leads to the rear yard; the gate is still in the design phase. A good walk intrigues a visitor. Vis a vis the curves in this walk-what need is there to telegraph every move a landscape makes from the start? A well designed walk anticipates interest, before the landscape delivers.
This long walk to the rear is fringed by the Griffith Buck rose, Carefree Delight. No kidding, a carefree wonder. This rose blooms and grows profusely, with little or no disease, in full sun, or part shade. This hedge performs equally, in spite of differing sun conditions, and fierce winter winds off the lake. I know a planting of them near me done by a friend-some 12 years old. Gorgeous. Carefree Beauty is my favorite rose; Carefree Delight delivers spectacularly; it is everblooming, adaptable to less than optimal siting, and happy to boot.
The hedges of Carefree Wonder roses give way to a perennial garden that slopes towards the lake from the house.
This wild summer garden is in remarkable contrast to the architecture of the house. It is, to my mind, a successful relationship. At the risk of repeating myself, I think the dynamics of a relationship far outweigh this part, or that part-taken individually.
This aforementioned perennial garden faces down the lake. Spot gardens on the way to the lake repeat the idea- big gorgeous house skirted beautifully with a big wild garden. This landscape is three years old, and growing.