Julie favorites

As we grow into our gardens I think we all develop trademarks – styles of gardening or a certain look in plants that is recognizable to our friends as being totally us.  To mark Julie’s next to last day as Blithewold’s Director of Horticulture, I thought I’d share some of what is “so Julie”.

Perfectly and delicately proportioned plants are what I think of as being very “Julie”.  Her favorites tend to have a balance between bloom and leaf shape and keep tidily to themselves rather than bothering the neighbors.   Perhaps because her own garden is the size of a postage stamp and everything in it is in perfect scale, she also tends to gravitate towards anything diminutive that, to me, cries out “so sweet!”.

Tried and true favorites are Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Lulu’ (Marigold) and old fashioned heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens).

Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Lulu’ - marigoldHeliotropium arborescens - Heliotrope

Both have nose filling scents and although they ramble a bit, they are both brittle and more likely to be smashed than to smash something else.  (“Smash” is trademark Julie!)

A few days ago I asked Julie for a few of her current faves and here they are:

She’s into the tiny leaf basils that I wrote about here and the ornamental peppers, especially ‘Candlelight’.

Capsicum annuum ‘Candlelight’ - Ornamental pepper

See what I mean about perfect proportion?

Daphne transatlantica.  I love that Julie chose this one because it is Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ that is stealing the show in the Rose Garden right now.  D. transatlantica is like the pretty girl’s quiet friend:  When you take the time to notice her you realize she’s the one in bloom.

Daphne transatlantica and Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ in the Rose Garden

This daphne blooms all summer without stopping and is wonderfully fragrant.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’ is at the top of her charts now too (‘Limelight’ will join the list when its blooms fade to pinkish in a couple of weeks).  The double blooms of ‘Snowflake’ are amazing in detail – and look exactly right with the leaf size, shape and color.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’

The view of the North Garden from the north porch is also a Julie favorite –

bird’s eye view from the north porch

– and so is the Red-Tailed hawk that comes by to bathe in the North Garden.  It’s as if the fountain was made for him – it is perfectly proportioned!

Red-Tailed Hawk on the fountain edge before taking the plunge

What are your trademark favorites?  If you’re inspired to write a whole post about your – or a friend’s – signature style, please share by creating a link to this post.

À bientôt, Julie!

4 thoughts on “Julie favorites

  1. You expressed it just right Kris – Julie has always lived in houses with yards the size of a postage stamp and has always managed to create landscapes of tranquility and energy – so zennish she is without even trying! I don’t think I have a trademark yet, but the current garden fave in my little patch is the tithonia – grown from seed on the window sill, started late, and now six feet tall and sending out true true orange blooms from foliage so green and velvety it makes you wish you could wear it to a party. An added bonus is that a rabbit has taken up quarters in its shade during the day, providing entertainment for the dog.

    I actually would have picked Tithonia as a trademark May plant and like sister like sister, you make it all look easy too. -kris

  2. How cool that you can ID “Julie plants” like this, Kris… it’s a definite compliment to Julie that the plants that remind you of her are so elegant!

    As for me, I don’t think that I have any trademark plants myself, but I can definitely see a plant in a garden center and certain other garden bloggers pop right into my head. I think I’m just too scattered to have trademarks yet. Maybe someday I will achieve Julie-like “zenness”….

    Kim, I think Layanee’s right (see below) and it probably takes other people to point out our own trademarks. I think even with my flakey loyalty to your blog and garden, I could pick “that’s so Kim” plants out of a line up! (I think they’re silvery except for some that are burgundy) -kris

  3. Interesting question Kris. This one deserves a bit of thought. I am not sure that I can identify my own trademarks. Maybe it takes the eye of someone else to pinpoint the style. I know you will find your way today, with the obvious absence of Julie.

    It’s true – maybe I only know my trademarks because they’ve been pointed out to me! -kris (and I’m still floating down d’Nile re. the “absence of Julie”…)

  4. Kris, I agree with you both… I think that Layanee might be on to something there. And I definitely do have a weakness for silvery plants, and burgundy ones, too! :)

    It shows and your garden wears your trademarks well! -kris

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