Brookside Gardens and a Dougherty twig sculpture: Capital Region Garden Bloggers Fling


One of our stops on the Capital Region Garden Bloggers Fling was Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland, where I was smitten by a stand of Verbena bonariensis along a formal path.


I didn’t end up taking many pictures at this garden but rather just strolled through it until I happened upon the Purple.


How pretty is that verbena, standing tall over tufts of grass?


A few more random scenes, including this cobalt fountain backed by the burgundy leaves of several Japanese maples…


…and this Big Bird-sized sculpture.


It also functions as a birdhouse! Half of its beak is open, and birds had nested in there.


Speaking of big birds, this twiggy sculpture by Patrick Dougherty is big enough to house a pair of them.


While strolling around Reston Town Center, where the Fling hotel was located, I immediately recognized the nest-like structure as a Dougherty sculpture, having seen another at McKee Botanical Garden in Florida.


A Bird in the Hand consists of ash, red maple, hickory, willow, and other saplings and was woven on-site. As we explored its curved passages, we were nearly deafened by a chorus of chirping birds living inside the man-made hedgerow. The artist titled it well!


And here’s our group, all smiles as we prepare to start Flinging the next day: Laura and Diana, who are my co-planners for the upcoming Austin Fling 2018 (woot!); Diana of Garden With Diana; and Julie of Garden Delights. Delightful blogging friends!

Up next: My visit to Hillwood Estate and its lovely Japanese garden. For a look back at the stunning hillside garden of Barbara Katz, click here.

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12 Responses

  1. Diana Stoll says:

    I was also smitten with that Verbena bonariensis. Your photos are beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  2. Lisa says:

    Pam, isn’t Verbena bonariensis great? I’m afraid it’s going to become a naturalized “pest,” but it’s an attractive one that supports flower visitors, at least.

    Enjoyed this post (and the garden!)

    • Pam/Digging says:

      It’s interesting to hear that it’s a pest in other parts of the country, because I’ve struggled to keep it alive in my garden. I think it’s just too hot and dry here for it to take off on its own. —Pam

  3. Kris P says:

    How did I miss that giant bird sculpture?! Actually, I missed quite a bit at Brookside – for me, that visit was all about the butterflies.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love Verbena bonariensis and have had it in every garden since I discovered it until this one. Fortunately, I have plans to add it back in after we “refresh” on the of our perennial beds.

  5. laura says:

    I love Brookside Gardens! I took many classes there for my landscaping degree. What an oasis it is. Saw my first Ginkgo tree there in full fall color. They have some amazing specimens and collections there. That cannot be grown here in our Texas sun…sigh

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I’ve yet to see a ginkgo in fall color, even though Austin’s own Lucinda Hutson has one in her front yard that she posts about every year on FB. I need to time a visit at just the right moment this year. —Pam

  6. Susie says:

    Brookside was a neat place, but didn’t have much time to explore except for seeing the butterflies. That verbena is striking. It’s spreading itself around my garden the past few years, finding mostly appropriate places to grow. It’s easy to pull out though when it blocks a path. The Patrick Dougherty sculpture is cool.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I made a quick pass through the butterfly room, which just didn’t captivate me as it did so many other bloggers. I guess I just wanted to be outdoors, and this scene grabbed me. —Pam

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