If you have a chance to tour an established garden, whether it is public or private, take it. It is a great opportunity to gain inspiration and ideas. About a month ago, I had the opportunity to tour Mary Herring’s garden. I have heard about it many times but I’ve never been there before. You might think that walking through a garden in September would be borderline depressing, after all, what are you really going to see? Signs that winter is coming? Most of the flowers are done blooming and the trees are starting to lose their leaves. Isn’t it time to think about the end of the garden season? Shouldn’t we start cleaning up and wait for spring to come again?
Oh no! There is so much to see.
In the fall, the structure of the garden becomes more apparent without the distraction of the spring and summer flowers. The trees and the hardscaping come to the forefront and showcase the annuals that are still thriving and the fall blooming plants like asters and sedum shine like jewels against the fading foliage of the rest of the garden.
The coleus were breath-taking and so were the irisene and alternanthera.
She had touches of whimsy scattered throughout the garden.
She told me about how she and her late husband created the water features from scratch and that her children were represented by the statues playing in the stream.
There were so many hostas. Mary has a collection of over 600 different varieties.
Even with so many hosta to choose from, she had no problem picking ‘Touch of Class’ as her favorite. Due to the wet weather this year, she has had a lot of trouble with slugs this summer and ‘Touch of Class’ showed no slug damage. The leaves are incredibly thick which helps to make them unattractive to slugs.
One of my favorite things about seeing a mature, established garden is that you see what you can do if you set your mind to it. When she talked about how they created the water features, berm, and grotto, you could tell that every part of the garden had a story behind how and why it became what it is now.
To hear those stories and to meet people that are passionate about plants helps to inspire me to take my love of plants and gardening to the next level.