A garden trip to England: Great Dixter. 

Of the five gardens we visited, Great Dixter was my favorite. I probably wouldn´t want a garden like this myself, but Dixter is just so unique and special. 

The garden comes with a house that you can visit, and quite a fascinating house it is. There was no photography allowed in there, but there is a house tour on the website if you´d like to see. 

The garden was created by Christopher Lloyd and I need to read more about his gardening philosophy. For me, this garden felt wild and exotic, with lots of plants I hadn´t seen before. It seemed Lloyd had a thing for tall flowers and unusual combinations. Lots of texture and bold colors. The beds were huge, borderline chaotic, and not overly maintained. Plenty of weeds and dead flower heads! I understand this was a part of his philosophy though - and really, it was quite charming. You always felt that there was a "plan", that the chaos, if you will, was intentional. When we arrived it was a little windy and standing between the billowy plants was magical. 

I also really loved his meadows. 

Great Dixter is also home to a "specialist nursery" and oh my this would be dangerous if I´d live nearby! Also I really, really want a green house like this. 

I also asked my husband whether we maybe could create a sunken garden. I think the look on his face meant no. But hey, you can´t get when you don´t ask. 

PS: A wonderful short movie about Great Dixter. 


A garden trip to England: Sissinghurst.

So, I went to England to visit gardens. Three days, five gardens, me and a friend. I have a gazillion pictures so I´ll break this down into four posts. First up, Sissinghurst! The holy grail of gardens indeed. I had read quite a bit about Sissinghurst before this trip, particularly this book which I very much recommend. The funny thing about gardens you only know from books is that once you do visit, everything seems tiny. Don´t get me wrong, Sissinghurst is a substantial garden, but I had expected it to be much larger. That tower in the picture above? It is merely 20 meters high! It looks so much larger in pictures.

Now, Sissinghurst is definitely a wonderful garden. But what I liked best were the walls and what grows on them. In the book I mentioned above there is an entire chapter on "plants for walls" which I thought was quite odd until I visited the place. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the walls of Sissinghurst: 

Also - that blue and white border! So lovely.

Lovely, right? Makes we want to build walls around my entire garden. 



The famous white garden didn´t disappoint. And look, that is the same rambler rose that grows in my walled garden!

That was in the rose garden, I think. We were quite lucky to catch the last of the roses. 

The cottage garden was my least favorite... I just don´t like orange and red in a garden, what can I say. 

Next up, Great Dixter! Spoiler: I loved Great Dixter. 


June 2015 in the walled garden. 

What a weird summer we´re having. No rain whatsoever until mid June and then suddenly a lot of rain. Very cool temperatures except for a few really hot days. However, it is kind of fascinating to see how the walled garden is adapting to this extreme weather. There are a few plants that are thriving (catnip, baby´s breath, peonies, delphinium) and others that aren´t (hydrangea, and asters! ah my poor asters). All of the plants are way smaller than last year, but that´s not always a bad thing (I am looking at you, giant unruly rudbeckia in front of the house). But all in all, the walled garden looked lovely in June. Here are a few (ok, a lot of) pictures. 

Lots of happy delphiniums in the garden this year which in turn makes me very happy. And that pale pink poppy is such a show-off. In the best of ways.

It also seems to be a good year for roses. My yellow climbing rose was simply spectacular this year. So pretty. We had quite a few visitors in June - and many have told me something along the line "I don´t usually like yellow roses, but this one..." 

The funny thing about this rose is that I treat it all wrong. I technically know how to properly prune climbing roses but it just never made any sense to me, not for this rose in this place. I have my own method for this one and it seems to be working just fine for now (although it might very well be that I´ll regret this shenanigans in later years). 

Above is a series I took in the evening. I love to photograph the walled garden in low light. The colors really pop and everything is looking calm and lush, if that makes sense. The first pic of the three is my favorite garden picture of 2015 - so far at least! 

I took this picture yesterday. My beloved climbing rose is blooming! This rose, unfortunately, was one of the plants that didn´t fare well during the drought. It took some serious love to make it happy again, but look at it now! 

This year, I´ve arranged a potted herb garden on the big table by the wall. We very rarely use this table and since it gets a lot of good light it is the perfect place for all sun-loving herbs. And it looks pretty, too! 

Also from yesterday. My garden always has a "green" phase at the end of June when the iris, peonies and lupins are gone. But it will soon enough explode again in July! 


A summery walk in the woods.

Summer took a little break around here but last week, we had glorious hot weather for a few days. One evening, we took a little walk in the woods. This is a path that starts right when you walk out of our veggie garden and leads into deep, fairy-tale-like woods. I love it there on a summer evening - the smells (pine, my love) and the cooler air and of course, the sights. 

Someone left this on a game fence in the middle of the woods. Huh. 

Aren´t these wild foxgloves so amazing? They are everywhere at this time of the year. Love.

My boys.<3 This one is a framer. 

Back home in the veggie garden. It is coming along so nicely. And you know what, I think all that water gave it an extra push! I swear everything basically grew three inches over night. 
Have a lovely weekend! 


A flooded garden and a happy dog. 

Yesterday in the afternoon we had a major thunderstorm with torrential rain that flooded our garden. We were watching the storm from one of our roof windows upstairs when we saw a huge wave making its way through our neighbor´s gardens towards ours. It was surreal. The wave smashed the fence of our neighbor towards the left and rolled into our garden. We quickly made our way downstairs and found this. 

The water flooded our entire "orchard", a bit of our veggie garden and part of the chicken run. When we arrived all three chickens were wading in the water, desparately trying to make it to the dry part of the run (which they did eventually). As for the veggie garden, I am very happy to say that it held up just fine. Those raised beds were the best idea ever. My herbs are bit sad (and very dirty), but otherwise all is good. If you want to see the water in action I made two short videos which you can watch here and here.

Once we were sure that the situation was under control we let Ludwig out. I think I have mentioned before that our dog loves water (all Irish Setters do) and he just had the time of his life. Finally a garden after his own heart! 

This dog. Big love. 

And this is today in the evening. Almost all of the water is gone. Phew! That was pretty scary for a few hours, but thankfully all is well. And I didn´t  have to water the garden today, ha!