The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)


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With the pragmatism of a professional who has learned that less is almost always best, Morrison tells you to ask yourself these three questions before you plan:. Let me tell you right away that this is a book not everyone will embrace and is diametrically opposed in style and temperament to the previous book. But if you love colour and are not in the least intimidated by it, this is the book for you! His approach is highly personal in that, at first glance, his arrangement of plants seems haphazard.

But if you look more closely, it is really quite quirky and humorous.

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He is unapologetic about his love for colour, and more than this, about his passion for combinations that are either electric, romantic, nostalgic or trendy. The book starts as he recounts his Cheshire, England, gardening upbringing alongside his granddad, where he admits that his plant fetish began. He was hooked. There are two chapters at the beginning that deal with colour theory contrasting vs complementary, harmonious, etc.

He then talks about care and cultivation of your plantings. Of course, the options presented for each theme is far more than is needed, and I do like the fact that he has identified every plant with its full botanical name, including the most relevant part, its cultivar name. The way to use this book is not to jot down every plant in each featured combination and then go out and find them.

But rather look through each combination to find what appeals to you, make note of the colours and perhaps some of the names — especially of the plants that will end up being the centre of attention — and then visit the nursery or garden centre to see what they have. This book provides a great opportunity to teach your eye — to understand what colours work well together and which combinations appeal to you.

But most of all, this book will give you the eye candy you crave after months and months of white and gray. It is hard to believe that there is life outside on a day when your cheeks will freeze in five minutes! The birds are huddled in evergreens, the squirrels curled up in their leafy beds and the mice and voles are buried deep under their blankets of snow and soil.

Only the pushy crows and hungry hawks can be seen cutting through the skies…. I lie on the couch in front of a gentle fire with my dog Scout curled on my legs. Come with me as I show you his place, with gardens that are now relatively mature. Jeff invites me annually so I can swish around the gardens, point here and there, saying this needs to go here and something else needs to go here instead. He is a very patient man. The monumental thyme steps have grown in and beckon the visitor to follow….

The multi-stemmed Amur maple Acer ginnala , which turns a rich shade of red in the fall and is bullet-proof in terms of disease and insect damage, is surrounded by the species form of Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra.

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A few shaped golden cedars join the party but will likely be moved elsewhere as this form of forest grass grows quite tall and dwarfs them. The dry-laid flagstone patio at the front of the house is a step down from the gravel road but is the perfect place to sit for tea or simply to enjoy the garden. Pots with bright annuals are perched about, lending the space intense colour. The idea is for the plants here to be low or diaphanous, so they do not present a visual barrier to the other plantings.

The bristlecone pine at right; Pinus aristata provides structure and interest. A slow growing, beautiful, unique and ancient evergreen, it will over time reach great heights — but long after Jeff has kicked the bucket sorry Jeff! The solidity and gorgeous texture of these stones are in glorious contrast to the plants above and adjacent.

They produce delicate white flowers in the early summer which attract the hum of bees and wasps; in autumn, the foliage turns a brilliant gold. The staked tree at the corner of the house is a young fringe tree Chionanthus virginicus , which will produce white filigree blossoms before it matures in late spring, early summer. Hardy to Zone 3, it will provide an interesting feature and a tree for visitors to talk about long after they leave.

Thank you Jeff for letting me be a part of your beautiful countryside idyll! But first, here I am with my big sister in the Gatineau hills. My two loves: the outdoors and food. If you crave chewy, flavourful, delicious and inventive bread, both savoury and sweet, this is your destination!

Oh well — live and learn. Incorporating a large pot into a garden planting can be very rewarding and can afford a big statement, that can be changed according to the season. This is a family garden, where kidlets enjoy the raised pond and lawn play area while the adults appreciate the colourful planters.

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The Garden of Evening Mists

Grouping smaller planters like this into a vignette makes a bigger statement than just one. As you can see, the blue-silvery planter is raised on a simple metal stand, giving it extra height and presence.

Planters can be anything — this one uses an antique bucket to great effect and is very much a part of the garden display in a plant nursery in Hudson, NY. The same nursery, this time with a large copper tub acting as planter, along with a vintage red truck. Such whimsy! This mirrored planting shows the value of both scale and foliage. This is the perfect combination for a sheltered, shady porch. Another entrance planter enthralls in the sunshine with luscious chartreuse, yellow and black….

Tucked next to the Rideau River, and surrounded by other charming homes of similar vintage, the Kendall home is full of character and style. And so is the garden. Barely large enough to swing a cat, the natural paving stone patio nonetheless is furnished with a small teak table and two wicker viewing chairs. The secateurs and trowel on the table are not props; Kristin and her husband Bill my old high school teacher no less! There is not a weed to be seen! A weeping hemlock on the right, Virginia creeper on the fence and a Serbian spruce on the left all provide a green backdrop for this brilliant canvas.

A stone water bowl with rhythmic striations provides a feature in the garden as well as a drink for wildlife.

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These grooves are mimicked by the shadows of the iris growing alongside. Kristin would have me tell you that the garden is impeccable at this moment because it is post-tour.


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On this day the hyssop was absolutely covered in buzzing bees; a sound that complemented that of the gently bubbling fountain…. The weeping larch cascades to the ground alongside the giant boulder, bubbling constantly. Everything is compact in this garden, but every inch has been thoughtfully filled. Non-living details in this garden are chosen with style and taste. This garden is truly a labour of love and the owners appreciate what they have helped to create. You may even find one of them sitting, every once in a while, appreciating the view….

As a child, I would gaze at these immobilized animals behind glass and imagine living among them, either in the distant past or in the wilds of today. But I was also always mesmerized by the scenes that surrounded these beasts: the painted flora, the cliffs, the expansive plains….

Cabinet of curiosities

Not only the scenes but the dried plants and paintings of plants that dressed the landscapes…. As I grew up, I longed to see these distant landscapes as they lived and breathed, rather than preserved …. The western edge of the Canadian Museum of Nature in downtown Ottawa has been park-like for as long as I can remember. And by park-like, I mean predominantly lawn and shade trees…. To understand the history of the lawn, read this.


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  8. This western side of the Museum was also home most recently to a family group of woolly mammoths. In late and early , plans began to take shape for the new appearance of this piece of green space. It would represent the last stage of renovations to the building and its surroundings that began in So in June , the Museum made public their concept for fully Canadian-izing this public space and issued a press release that included this announcement:.

    Starting the third week of June, the museum will begin landscaping the west side of its property to develop the Landscapes of Canada Gardens.

    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)
    The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2) The art of gardening in Japan and England, a cultural artifice (Art in Nature Book 2)

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