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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Living sculpture

Today I visited a favorite pair of spectacular private gardens in nearby Nutley, NJ. The generous owners open them to the public fairly often, usually through the Garden Conservancy. The larger of the two is owned by a retired banker and serves as a showcase for his collection of sculpture.

But, in a larger sense, the entire garden is a piece of living sculpture. Views and vistas are important. Also details. Everything is controlled. Discipline rules. This is the antithesis of a wild, or cottage garden.

Plants are chosen for their foliage, and appear in broad sweeps. Flowers are rarely part of the show, but when they are, they appear, like the foliage, in generous, controlled fields.

Both gardens were designed by Richard Hartlage, now of Seattle.

Where are the flowers? Bulbs put on a big show in the spring, but otherwise it's not about flowers. And it doesn't matter. I love these gardens. I always learn something from them. And I'll look forward to the next visit.


Anonymous beecher said...

Beautiful! I'll have to keep an eye out for Garden Conservancy events in our area.

Right now we're off to the bike trail. Next time you visit you'll have to bring your bike! The rail trails are very flat.

10:14 AM  
Blogger joco said...

Hiya 65,

If you don't post this September, I'll have to make do with re-reading last year's offerings :-)

Know what? I will paint one window blue on the inside: what a startling picture frame that makes. My work room, I think, to begin with.

Hope all is well.

Gardens always look brilliant inside-out. Flattered and mysterious.

Hmm, I wonder, do snails like Coleus?

8:17 AM  

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