Change of scene

the Display Garden big bed 8-4-10I have looked at these gardens so much that even though they change everyday I can hardly see them anymore. It’s not that I’m tired of the garden – far from it. I still want to witness every little change. But it’s August and my eyes have grown accustomed. – It’s just like not being able to smell the roses for more than a few minutes whenever I work in the Rose Garden.

the Rose Garden and the Sophora japonica in bloom 8-4-10

One remedy is to see the garden through someone else’s eyes – or camera lens. I love checking out the views that captivate our visitors just in case they’ll be new to me too. Michelle from Fine Gardening magazine posted some pictures on her blog, Garden Photo of the Day, that she took during a visit to Blithewold. For me, seeing her photographs (click here and here) in a different context than I’m used to, is like getting a glimpse of a whole other garden than the one I work in every day.

Tiny visitors and a giant sequoia in the Enclosed Gardena new (to me) view into the North Garden

Another way to refresh the senses is to leave your own garden and look at another. Gail and Lilah and I took a trip to one of our volunteer’s garden in Little Compton where the views are entrancing and the plant combinations exciting. I hope that our visit – seeing their garden through our eyes – was as helpful to Gioia as the change of scene was for us. Gioia’s – and her husband Jim’s – garden will be open on September 11 as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program. Go on tour, if you possibly can.

Gioia and Jim's picture perfect garden - with an elm tree frameGioia's rock garden

Allium spray painted with "gumdrop"Gail just got back from her two-week vacation and her enthusiasm about how the garden grew while she was gone has been energizing for me. I can see now that it changed a lot. Lilah and I did tinker with it a bit though: The Allium christoffii are blooming all over again! (Who says a gardener can’t extend the season with a little spray paint?)

Lycoris squamigera - Resurrection lily - blooming now in the BosquetNow it’s my turn to go away for a couple of weeks. I’m ready to go – the last items on my to-do-before-vacation list were to fertilize the roses one last time before their final hurrah, and write this post. Check – and check.

I wonder how different the garden will look to me, what I’ll miss seeing come into bloom and what surprises might greet me when I return… Stay tuned. (I’ll be back to fill you in the week of August 23rd.)

Can you still really see your garden or do you find a change of scene refreshing too?

5 thoughts on “Change of scene

  1. I need a break from time to time. I even mentally check out by refusing to really look at an area, not quite closing your eyes or not focusing on it, rather seeing it, but not evaluating it or spotting weeds that need pulling. In other words, I ignore areas until I’m ready to concentrate on it. Right now, that area is the south border in the backyard which I’ve avoided all summer because there was nothing I could do about it. Now that I can start planting again, I’ve begun to look once more.

    Susan, Taking a mental break like that is a special skill, I think! I’m way too impatient, especially at home. I can’t seem to not see the problems and they plague me. -kris

  2. Hi Kris,

    We enjoyed having you, Gail and Lila visit our garden! It’s so easy to get lost in the details of the current garden project–in our case, the bog garden. Having you here noticing what has changed since your last visit reminds us of how much we’ve accomplished. Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement to your readers to visit us on Sept. 11th for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days.

    Best,

    Gioia & Jim

    Gioia and Jim – It’s amazing how there’s always something new to see in your garden. But I really love seeing how the “older” parts of it are taking hold – the shade garden especially. What a beautiful tapestry… Of course I loved the rock garden too… and the cutting garden… What didn’t I love? Thanks again for tea and a tour! -kris

  3. I am having the same problem as you. They look tired to me now but then water has been scarce. I do try to see with a new eye every few days.

    Layanee, I’m so glad I finally went to see your garden in the flesh and of course it didn’t look at all tired to me. Maybe we should just trade fresh eyes now and again. When will you come by for another visit here? -kris

  4. I had to laugh as I read your post. I was just at Blithewold this afternoon, taking notes on the interesting plants I saw and here’s something I jotted down: “allium albopilosum ‘star of persia’ – huge, looks like it’s spray-painted purple!” I was at Blithewold for exactly the reason you write about – to see things anew. And it was new – spray-painted flowers! :)

    Kira, That’s too funny! – Sometimes looks aren’t deceiving! -kris

  5. Okay, enough, you are back and I need a word fix. What is going on at Bwold!?

    So much! As soon as the drizzle lets up I’ll start taking pics and saying stuff. (Thank goodness for the rain! – I like to think I brought it back with me.) -kris

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