Dynasty Drive flowers and bonus hosta garden: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


A garden tour within a garden tour was offered on day two of the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling, held in mid-July.


Bused to a half-dozen lovely private gardens on a local Master Gardeners tour (see my upcoming post about the Walden Road garden), at one point I found myself admiring a colorful prairie-style garden along Dynasty Drive, near a house that wasn’t even on the tour.


How amazing is that, to have such a wealth of gardens in an area that even the non-tour yards look gorgeous?


The flowering extravaganza of the front yard continued around the side yard, which was adjacent to a neighborhood tennis court. As I followed the flowers…


…several bloggers heading back toward the bus said, “You must see this garden. The owner is inviting us in.”


Owners Julie Carley and Gary Mosiman were standing at the entrance to their expansive back garden, lush with hostas and ligularia in shade, lilies and daylilies in sun, and inviting passing bloggers to have a look. As it turns out, they were scheduled to be on a different tour the next day, or so I understood. It was a lucky bonus garden, then, for the Flingers!


Brightened with variegated hostas — and not a slug- or snail-chewed leaf in sight — the garden shows how beautiful a shady foliage garden can be (in the upper Midwest).


You talking about me?


With a little more sun, daylilies appear.


In the center of the garden, a sweeping lawn (no water shortages in Minnesota!) provides a verdant space to rest the eye. In the sunny border around it, brightly colored lilies and daylilies vie for attention.


I love a garden with lots of places to sit and enjoy the view. This simple concrete bench offers the perfect spot to breathe in the lilies’ fragrance.


Looking uphill, you can see what a huge elevation change there is between the house and lower garden. A deck helps bridge the gap between indoors and out.


Panning right, you see an elevated patio with steps and a retaining wall of wooden timbers — a beautiful way to bring the house and garden together. (And look, there’s Rebecca from Buda, Texas!) Climbing steps on the left (not pictured)…


…you arrive at an intimate, bark-mulched seating area shaded by a tall tree.


It offers views across the garden, including the upper patio on the other side.


Zooming in


And now here’s the view from the other patio.


Elevation changes add so much interest to a garden, and the broad curves of the planting beds set off the lawn to perfection.


More hostas under the trees


These oversized, rippled hosta leaves are lovely.


Ligularia (‘The Rocket’?) adds a swath of sunshine with its golden flower spikes.


What a beautiful garden!


Here’s one of the owners, Julie (left), explaining something to Diana and Gryphon. I’m grateful to Julie and Gary for spontaneously sharing their garden with us.

Up next: The Walden Road garden, one of the gardens on the Master Gardeners tour. For a look back at the flowery and art-filled Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


Our Minneapolis Fling banquet dinner — an opportunity to dine with blogging friends, win amazing giveaway prizes from sponsors, and listen to entertaining anecdotes and announcements from organizers — was held at the end of the second day, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Time was short before the dinner, so I darted into the garden with a few friends to see as much as I could in 45 minutes.


The north-country beauty of gardens on sunlight and rainwater steroids was showcased at the entrance, with lush perennial beds accented with flowering shrubs and small trees.


Daylilies and Oriental lilies were blooming alongside hydrangeas and black-eyed Susans.


Really, what wasn’t in bloom?


Ka-pow! Lily power!


Purple coneflowers were looking good too.


Summery containers…


…and color-block plantings of annuals jazzed up the intimate entry plaza.


Exiting the main building onto a shady rear patio, I saw this unusual sculpture of three women dancing atop a fourth woman, curled on her side in a fetal position. What in the world?! Ah, an engraved title explains: they represent the seasons, with Spring, Summer, and Fall frolicking atop poor, hibernating Winter.


This small formal garden awash in pink flowering shrubs and perennials was overlooked by a…a…a giant spider! The spider and many other super-sized bug sculptures are part of Big Bugs, a traveling exhibit that I’ve seen at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and San Antonio Botanical Garden.


Maybe it’s a daddy longlegs, not a true spider, now that I think about it. At any rate, I’m glad not to be bug-sized myself.


More pinks


Rhode Island blogger Layanee, whose own garden I’d had the pleasure of visiting just a week earlier, cools her heels as a Big Bugs damselfly rests nearby.


I was pointing my lens left and right, trying to take it all in, like this freckled lily with crimson bee balm behind it.


The blond-flag seedheads of grama grass, with feathery, yellow-green amsonia foliage


Flowering blackberry lilies


Their maroon-red freckles are echoed by crimson bee balm.


A closer look


This lovely pool and fountain caught my eye as well.


Flowering plants in purple, silver, and yellow give it a Mediterranean look.


Echinops — so cute and spiny!


Cypress vine rambling along a low lattice fence adds cottage charm.


An arching tunnel of foliage offers a shady place to sit.


Lurking near a stand of blackberry lilies, a giant wooden wheel bug stands ready to take out garden pests.


In a shady spot, a spider in a Shelob-sized web hangs between two trees. Although Big Bugs may seem a little scary, especially if you’re already a bit shy of bugs and spiders, they represent beneficial insects that help us control plant-eating pests in our gardens.


Moving on, we headed into a restful, green Japanese garden.


The branch-constructed gate was open: come on in.


A dramatic waterfall spills into a koi pool in the heart of the garden.


Sculptural pines, boulder islands, and a stone lantern complete the scene.


But now it was time to head back to the main building for dinner with friends old and new.


I leave you with a final image from the beautiful gardens at the MN Landscape Arboretum.

Up next: Dynasty Drive flowery goodness plus a bonus garden not on the official itinerary. For a look back at the daylily-breeding farm of Springwood Gardens, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Visiting Layanee’s ledge and garden in Rhode Island


Wherever I travel these days, I seem to know a garden blogger who lives there. That’s partly because I’ve been blogging and reading blogs for a decade and partly because I’ve gotten to know lots of bloggers in person through years of attending the annual Garden Bloggers Fling. (I just got home from the Minneapolis Fling and will have posts about it soon.)


So a couple of weeks ago, when my daughter and I flew up to Providence, Rhode Island, to visit Brown University, I was excited to realize we’d be just a 40-minute drive from blogger Layanee DeMerchant’s home. Layanee’s been blogging at Ledge & Gardens for about 10 years, and I was thrilled to finally see her garden in person. Getting to meet her adorable granddaughter, Hailey, was a bonus! The occasion called for a silly photo, although Hailey wisely remained dignified.


And then there’s Gibbs. Gibbs! The biggest loverboy of a chocolate lab you’ve ever seen. He wanted to be in our laps every time we sat down and give us hugs every time we stood up. Who could resist that face? Not me.


Although I’d read about Layanee’s garden many times on her blog, its rural location somehow caught me by surprise. Layanee and her husband — “The Equipment Manager,” as she’s dubbed him — live out in the country on a gravel lane.


Surrounded by woods, with old fieldstone walls marking the property line…


…the garden is a burst of color and texture in a large clearing around their contemporary home. The eggplant-purple of the front door is repeated in a cast-stone leaf on the wall…


…and in containers and even a bowling ball set amid lush perennials.


A fun purple trio


Daisies and variegated Japanese forest grass


Daylilies and clematis


A swimming pool sits in the center of Layanee’s lawn, but you’d never know it was there at first glance. A wire fence surrounding the pool is layered with climbing vines and flowering perennials, making a colorful long border that leads your eye to a big barn and shed.


Daylily and coreopsis


‘Lucifer’ crocosmia


Another cast-stone leaf adorns the shed wall, where pink and red hollyhocks echo the upright lines of the battens.


Tissue-soft, pink-veined petals


At each end of the pool, a half-moon gate invites you to enter with a terracotta face planter wearing a hot-pink flowery crown.


The lady on one gate…


…and the gentleman on the other.


This potted yucca surprised me! Not what I expected to see in a New England garden. It would be at home in Austin.


Delphiniums, on the other hand, are exotic to these Southern eyes.


We can both grow daylilies though.


Verbena bonariensis too, although I expect it’s an annual for Layanee.


The butterflies had found it, of course.


I haven’t yet mentioned the moths. Rhode Island had experienced an unfortunate plague of gypsy moth caterpillars in June, and Layanee’s garden was hard-hit. The caterpillars stripped the trees bare, turning a summer vista into a strange pantomime of winter when you looked up.


Not even conifers were spared. Layanee had lost a few beautiful trees and shrubs.


By the time I visited in early July, the caterpillars had become moths, and the air at ground level danced with their fluttering wings. As we walked through the garden, the moths bumped into our heads and bodies.


We snatched a few out of the air and tossed them to the goldfish in Layanee’s pond, who snapped them up. It was small revenge for all the damage they’d inflicted on her garden. But she was philosophical about the losses, and already the first glimmers of new green leaves were appearing amid the branches.


It’s a testament to the variety and lushness of her garden that, had it not been for the stripped trees, I wouldn’t even have noticed the damage. As the gardener, she could probably see nothing else.


One of the things I love about Layanee is her wry sense of humor, and even a plague of gypsy moths can’t keep her down. We enjoyed a lovely long talk under the umbrella on her patio.


And homemade refreshments too: lemon bars and lemonade. Delicious!


Thank you, Layanee, for the delightful garden visit! I loved meeting your family and Gibbs and seeing the magical place you’ve created. And it was fun to see you again the following week at the Minneapolis Fling!

Up next: The magical WaterFire festival in downtown Providence.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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