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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Another tour

It seems as if I've posted about a lot of house and garden tours; the main tour I make it a point not to miss is the Van Vleck, which has just taken place. This year's gardens were, for the most part, high-end professional endeavors, and, as such, they lacked "soul" (in my opinion).


Still, there was much to notice and admire. Plenty of details to record. Cute bird feeders! How did they make those holes, I wonder?

Here's a mature pair of shadbush (serviceberry, or amelanchier) trees. I have three of them, and only one of them actually could be mistaken for a "tree" so far. I always try to be aware of what my plants are going to look like in years to come. Even, so, I'm frequently startled.

The main event at this stop: the formal rose gardens. Each boxwood-edged bed contains a different, carefully named and dated variety of hybrid tea rose. This garden has been virtually unchanged for years. Not a do-it-yourself thing.
I thought of H&D's house here. This designer's solution to the "jagged" shape of the rear of the house was to resolve the geometry by plopping a huge square dining pavillion right in the middle of the yard, doing away with pretty much all the grass. The far corners of the yard are occupied by a large square pond with waterfall (almost de rigeur in these situations) and a round seating area.

The garden that drew the most comment was this one. Densely planted with a complex assortment of carefully chosen plants.


The best part of this same property was the "Zen garden" - reclaimed from a formerly neglected sloping side yard. The paving pattern was done using pieces of square wooden posts, laid upright and surrounded by gravel.

Throughout the garden we keep finding other examples of the square posts. Here, for example, they are used as a stair detail, and combined with stone to form a different kind of surface.

Birdhouses appear throughout the garden, all different, all simply mounted on the same square posts. Great look!

Even the small table here has been made by combining four larger posts, with the feet made by cutting them at an angle. The poured concrete slab was another example of over-the-top detail; there are tiny "pit" marks over the surface made by blasting with some kind of grit at just the precise moment.
Do those chairs look comfy to you? Hmmmm.

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