Time for Maytime Magic & Wonder . . .

May 28th, 2013 § Comments Off on Time for Maytime Magic & Wonder . . . § permalink

Sunrise_Silverbells_(Halesia_tetraptera)_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com Maytime Magic: Waking Up to Sunlit Silverbells in the Bedroom Window, Eagerly Anticipating an Unstructured Day

With cold temperatures and rainy days squeezing an already tight work schedule, finding time to enjoy my own garden can be a challenge at this time of year. Busy creating outdoor spaces for others —with a growing backlog of projects and deadlines to meet— it’s essential to recharge my creative batteries. I promise myself Sunday and Monday rest; tending to my garden’s maintenance on off-days. More often than not though, this year Mother Nature seems to have other ideas; late frosts, torrential rains and damaging winds. Finally, at the end of a raw, wet weekend, she decided to grant me my wish… A glorious, golden day in the garden.

This is my eden; a secret sanctuary where I seek fresh inspiration and refill my well . . .

Blossom_Strewn_Table_on_the_Terrace_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com Seduced by the Warm Light and the Song Sparrow’s Springtime Serenade 

Sunlit_Terrace_with_Silverbell_Blossoms_in_May_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegarderseden.com We Accept Our Invitation to Breakfast Alfresco on the Blossom-Stewn Terrace, Beneath the Sun-Drenched Silverbell Boughs

Blossom_Strewn_Terrace_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com Drinking in this Moment of Purest, Springtime Perfection

Camassia_quamash_in_Full_Bloom_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com  And Later, Perhaps a Walk Through the Meadow, Swaying with Blue-Violet Camassia Blossoms (Camassia quamash)

Secret_Garden_May_Sunset_2013_ Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comAnd Later, a Stroll through the Secret Garden —Long Afternoon Shadows Slipping Through Pathways— Fragrant with Wild, Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) and Daphne (D. x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie)

Prince_Pickerel_in_the_Secret_Garden_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com  Where We’ll Rendezvous with Prince Pickerel —Resident Royal of the Secret Garden— Just Recently Returned to His Summertime Throne, Beside the Stone Door

Magical_May_Secret_Garden_Path_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden We Won’t Hurry, Instead, Lingering Long on the Phlox-Lined Path (P. divaricata)

Fothergilla_major_Mt._Airy_in_Afternoon_Sunlight_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comWatching as the Witch Alder (Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’), Catches Fire in Afternoon Sunlight, Dizzy with Drunken Honeybees

Secret_Garden_Steps_May_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comLater, as Evening Moves in —Forest Echoing with Birdsong– We’ll Wander Up the Stairs, Back Onto the Terrace

Halesia_tetraptera_Blossoms_Upon_a_Rainy_Evening_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comSipping Wine Beneath the Blossoms, Long into the Late May Evening

Garden Design: Michaela Medina Harlow

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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The Alluring Scent of Lila & Muguet: Treasures Lost & Found in the Rain. . .

May 25th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Muguet_Convallaria_majalis_Lily-of-the-Valley_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com  Muguet, the Fragrance of May (Convallaria majalis)

Oh, how I wish there were a way to bottle the sweet perfume of a rainy May evening. French lilac, lily-of-the-valley, Spanish and English bluebells, daphne, viburnum, violet and damp moss; the heady fragrance of springtime swirling about in dusk’s chilly air. Alas, with no way to truly preserve it, I’ve resolved to indulge in May’s beautiful aroma twenty-four hours a day, by filling every vase and vessel with freshly cut flowers.

And while out gathering lily-of-the-valley between springtime showers, I made an unanticipated, happy discovery. A favorite pair of Japanese gardening shears —presumed lost in a moment of careless distraction, last autumn— lay partially concealed amongst the muguet; camouflaged by blackened compost and umber leaf mold. Reclaimed in the nick of time, with a bit of oil and a whetstone rub, they’ll soon be no worse for wear. In this moment, I’ll delight in their rust-stained beauty; complement to the bluebell. Treasures lost and found in the rain.

Scilla_hispanica_Spanish_Bluebells_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comSpanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica, aka Scilla hispanica) 

Syringa_vulgaris_'Mme._Lemoine_French_ Lilac_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com French White Lilac (Syringa vulgaris ‘Mme. Lemoine’)

Lily-of-the-Valley_Convallaria_ majalis_and_Shears_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comLily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Silverbells Upon a Moonlit, May Night: Planning an Enticing Evening Garden . . .

May 22nd, 2013 § Comments Off on Silverbells Upon a Moonlit, May Night: Planning an Enticing Evening Garden . . . § permalink

Moonlit_Halesia_ tetraptera_(Carolina_Silverbell)_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com Silverbells Swing in May Moonlight (explore Halesia tetraptera here)

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”  
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

After the Sun slips below the horizon, tossing her golden farewell to the tree tops, a different kind of garden romance begins. Slowly, indigo-blue twilight sweeps in, enveloping the garden in long, velvet shadows. As darkness falls, lady Moon often makes a dramatic, evening entrance; seducing us with her ever-changing glow and mysterious platinum charm. Overflowing with shimmering, fragrant blossoms and leafy silhouettes, there’s something irresistibly enticing about a moonlit garden. Many of us spend our daylight hours busy with work, leaving our gardens for late afternoon and evening enjoyment. So why not make the most of the night? When designing outdoor rooms for busy clients —particularly entryways, porches, balconies and dining terraces— I like to add a bit of moonlight garden surprise into my planting plans.

Halesia_tetraptera_Blossoms_2013_michaela_thegardenerseden.com Silverbell Blossoms —Pretty as Crystals Dangling from a Handblown, Glass Chandelier— Sway in the Breeze Above the Outdoor Dining Table on a Moonlit Evening

A wide variety of trees and shrubs —including the Carolina Silverbell (Halesia tetraptera), pictured here—produce white and light colored blossoms; perfect for catching glints of moonlight. In spring, Serviceberry (Amelanchier x arborea), Dogwood (Cornus florida, C. alternifolia and C. kousa), Cherry (Prunus), Apple (Malus), deliciously fragrant Daphne (D x burkwoodii) and many Viburnum come to mind. Climbers, like self-clinging Moonlight Hydrangea Vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides), and Clematis (particularly white-flowering moon-garden-classic Clematis Henryi), are invaluable for adding height and glow to the evening garden. Flowering perennials —such as fragrant Oriental Lilies (Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’ & ‘Star Gazer’), Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) and Fairy Candles (Actaea simplex)— especially those with lush, variegated leaves, as well as ferns (particularly Athyrium x ‘Ghost’), foliage plants and ornamental grasses in shades of silver, white and gold are also helpful in creating nighttime drama.

Queen-Annes-Moon-ⓒ-2012-michaela-medina-thegardenerseden.com- Queen Anne’s Lace, Silhouetted in the Late-Summer Moonlight

But often, in the stillness of late spring and summertime air, it’s the light, lacy silhouettes and fragrant, evening-blooming annuals that we find most enticing in an evening garden. For alluring scent, try fragrant, flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris), delightful Datura (Datura meteloides ‘Evening Fragrance’), Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens), Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis), Four-O’Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa), Angel’s Trumpts (Brugmansia arborea), Night-Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum); all among my favorites. And for some reliable, light reflection, add classic Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba), Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) and sparkly, white Spider Flowers (Cleome hassleriana), for more night-dazzling pizazz.

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Apple Blossom Love in the Afternoon . . . A Little Romance at Scott Farm Orchard

May 20th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Sunset_Scott_Farm_Heirloom_Apple_Orchard_Vermont_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com A Late Afternoon Stroll Through the Sun-Drenched Orchard at Scott Farm; Fragrant with the Sweet, Delicate Scent of Apple Blossoms . . .Heirloom_Apple_Blossoms_in_the_Orchard_at_Scott_Farm_smallJPEG_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden Seduced by the  Impossibly Romantic Combination of Apple Trees in Full Bloom, Golden Light and Perfumed Air . . .

Sunlit_Heirloom_Apple_Blossoms_Scott_Farm_Vermont_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comMinutes Slip and Stretch to Stolen Hours; Luxurious into Evening . . .

Sunset_in_the_Heirloom_Apple_Orchard_at_Scott_Farm_Vermont_smallJPEG_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden As the Last Rays of Sunlight Illuminate Silken, Pastel-Pink Petals . . .

Delicate_Heirloom_Apple_Blossoms_Scott_Farm_Orchard_Vermont_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenersedenBlushing and Trembling —Chill to the Breeze— A Frenzy of Dizzy Dancing Above Dandelions . . . Apple_Orchard_Blossoms_from_Scott_Farm_Hilltop_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comSoon a Twilight Chorus of Redwing Blackbirds and Bumble Bees, Rises from the Shadows . . .

Heirloom_Apple_Blossoms_at_Scott_Farm_Vermont_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden A Springtime Siren-Song, Whispering on the Wind, Shaking Loose a Cascade of Wayward Petals . . .

Apple_Blossom_Petal_Strewn_Pathways_Through_Scott_Farm_Orchard_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Falling Soft to Verdant, Blossom-Strewn Pathways  . . .

Violets_and_Apple_Blossoms_Scott_Farm_Vermont_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comAnd Violet-Lined Carpets . . .

Scott_Farm_Apple_Blossom_Season_smallJPEG_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenersedenDrifting off to Sweet Summer Slumber and Autumn Apple Harvest Dreams.

Thank you to Ezekiel Goodband, Kelly Carlin, Tristam Johnson and everyone at Scott Farm and Landmark Trust, U.S.A. 

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Scott Farm’s Springtime Renaissance: Above the Orchard, Beauty in Full Bloom

May 15th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Scott_Farm_Orchard_Apple_Blossom_Aerial_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comBeauty in Full Bloom: Above the Apple Orchard, Scott Farm, Vermont

It’s apple blossom season at Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont, and the orchard is in full, fragrant glory. Having posted many articles here on The Gardener’s Eden about the Scott Farm orchard —both during the springtime bloom and again during the autumn apple harvest— I decided to do something a bit different this year. Change is in the air at Scott Farm, and inspired by the uplifting mood, I took to the sky for a fresh, symbolic perspective on this beautiful, Vermont treasure.

Scott_Farm_Aerial_One_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.comRow upon row of heirloom fruit trees —including apples, quince, peaches, plums and pears, as well as berries—  fill the orchard at Scott Farm

With Tristam Johnson now serving as interim executive director at Landmark Trust, the springtime excitement at Scott Farm has reached an all-time high. Kelly Carlin, office manager, has been updating Scott Farm’s website, and long-time orchard manager and heirloom fruit tree expert, Ezekiel Goodband has recently begun blogging; journaling about day-to-day orchard keeping, as well as posting updates on fruit tree sales, educational programs and community activities at the farm. There’s a springtime renaissance happening at Scott Farm, and the entire orchard is buzzing with the lively energy of a newly invigorated hive. Be sure to visit the Scott Farm website throughout the growing season for information about the availability of ecologically grown orchard fruit and berries, as well as seasonal events and educational opportunities at Scott Farm.

Scott_Farm_Aerial_Straight_Down_Two_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com 
Scott_Farm_Aerial_Straight_Down_Three_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com

Scott_Farm_Aerial_Straight_Down_2013_Michaela_Medina_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com

A heart-felt thank you goes out to Landmark Trust’s new, Executive Director, Tristam Johnson, Scott Farm’s Office Manager, Kelly Carlin and Scott Farm Orchard Manager, Ezekiel Goodband for extending a warm welcome on my visits, both aerial and terrestrial. Wishing everyone at Scott Farm a bright and happy new growing season!

And a very special note of thanks to William Bonnette, offering flight training, photo flights and aerial photography services in New England, and beyond. Thank you so much for donating your time, expertise and use of your aircraft for this flight! Click on image below for more information or to schedule your own flight above New England!

flypioneervalley.com

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

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Upon a May Night: Fire and Ice Follies

May 10th, 2013 § Comments Off on Upon a May Night: Fire and Ice Follies § permalink

Fire_and_Ice_Follies_Narcissus_'Ice_Follies'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Fire & Ice Follies Upon a May Night: Enjoying Narcicissus ‘Ice Follies’ & Dan Snow’s Fire Sculpture After a Day of Work in the Garden

Now that spring has finally sprung, I find myself caught in a familiar pattern of  Maytime, garden design madness. There’s so much I want to see, and so very much I need to do, how can I possibly fit everything in? Fortunately, Mother Nature has anticipated this problem and she likes to extend us all a bit of daylight credit at this time of year. It’s so nice to have a few extra, late-afternoon hours to bask in the low sunlight and linger in the garden, before twilight shadows settle in.

Once darkness falls, my favorite way to spend a May night is beside Dan Snow’s fire sculpture; relaxing with a glass of wine, a view of the ever-expananding flowerbeds, my furry friends and good company . . .

Fire_and_Ice_Follies_Narcissus_Ice_Follies_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Note to self: you can never plant too many Narcissus! Fire Sculpture: Dan Snow Stoneworks 

As a garden designer, this is my busiest time of the year. Most days, I only catch tiny glimpses of my garden as I run to and from appointments. I like to make the most of those moments, so I choose a different path each time I pass through the garden, and  I carry my camera with me most of the time. First to bloom beside the Secret Garden wall, the Bodnant Viburnum (V x bodnantense ‘Dawn’), is just now fading to leaf. Meanwhile other Viburnum species —my favorite genus of woody plants— as well as the Lindera benzoinAmelanchierFothergilla and Syringa are budding and bursting into flower. I adore the spicy-sweet fragrance of the Viburnum in  early morning and later, in misty evening air . . .

Viburnum_judii_2013_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenersedenWith its silver-green, pubescent foliage, cerise buds and intensely spicy fragrance, the Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x  judii) is truly one of my favorite species.

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_Dawn_Blossom_Reflection_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Mirror, mirror, beside the garden wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Why Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, of course! Although her blooms are slowly fading, I still have her gorgeous foliage —and scarlet autumn color— to enjoy.

Viburnumxburkwoodii_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Beautiful Burkwood Viburnum, Anne Russell’s Buds Swell in Sunset Silhouette: Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Mohawk’ (Mohawk Viburnum)

Viburnum_x_ bodnantense_'Dawn'_ and_Lindera_benzoin_in_bloom_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com The last flowers of Bodnant Viburnum (V. x bodnantense ‘Dawn’) greet the first blooms of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Fothergilla_major_'Mt_Airy'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com And the fragrant, bottle-brush fluff of Fothergilla major ‘Mt Airy’ (Witch Alder)

Fire Sculpture: Dan Snow Stoneworks

Garden Design: Michaela Medina Harlow

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Beautiful, North American Native Plants: A Springtime Garden, Gone Wild . . .

May 3rd, 2013 § Comments Off on Beautiful, North American Native Plants: A Springtime Garden, Gone Wild . . . § permalink

Lindera_benzoin_North_American_Native_Spicebush_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comGolden droplets of wild wonder: Lindera benzoin. Read about the sunny Spicebush here.

Although my garden contains a wide variety of plants from many different parts of the world, come springtime, native plants usually steal the spotlight. The earliest blooming shrubs and trees, as well as many of the flowering ground covers and springtime ephemerals, are North Americans. I believe that it’s important to create gardens in the spirit of place. This point of view is particularly relevant when gardening in rural locations; where the use of native plants not only helps to establish design context, but also helps to protect the native habitat by avoiding the inclusion of aggressive foreign, and potentially invasive species. When it comes to designing gardens, I think it’s lovely to go a little wild . . .

Viola-labradorica-ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden Lovely in flower and leaf, the Labrador Violet (Viola labradorica), is one of my favorite, native ground covers. Read more about this beauty here.

With so many gorgeous, North American plants to choose from, it’s possible to create a dynamic, four season design without using any foreign plants at all. However, a gardener needn’t be a purist to both protect and enjoy native plants and wild habitat. I like to combine both native and non-native (but of course non-invasive and non-aggressive), species in my garden designs. Pictured in this post are three of my favorite, early spring bloomers; all garden-worthy, North American natives: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and Labrador Violet  (Viola labradorica). I’ve profiled the lovely, Labrador Violet, as well as the season-spanning Spicebush, our beautiful, North American Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), and other, native, spring-bloomers before. Click back to my previous post on ephemeral, woodland wildflowers (here), for more wild favorites and some great resources for planning a native garden of your own . . .

Sanguinaria_canadensis_North_American_Bloodroot_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com White stars adrift on the garden floor: Sanguinaria canadensis. Beautiful Bloodroot. Click here for more information.

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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May Merriment . . .

May 2nd, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Pulmonaria_longifolia_ 'Raspberry Splash'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comPulmonaria longifolia ‘Raspberry Splash’ Greets the First Day of May

Welcome beautiful, light-hearted, May. Named for the Greek goddess Maia, this is the month of springtime flowers. Fragrance, color, warmth and soft light; it seems each and every morning, when I step into the garden, something new awaits. It’s time for May merriment, and a season filled with fresh delights . . .

Narcissus_cyclamineus_'Lemon_Silk'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comPossibly the Prettiest Yellow Ever: Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Lemon Silk’

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_'Dawn'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Enjoying the Peak of Fragrant Delight from Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

Narciuss_'Ice_Follies'_michaela_thegardenerseden.com Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ Catches the Morning Light

Helleborus x hybridus 'Royal Heritage Strain' s Helleborus x hybridus ‘Royal Heritage Strain’

Narcissus_'Ice_Follies'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comOne of the Most Popular Landscape Daffodils, Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’, Fills the Long, Meadow Border

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_'Dawn'_WM_HiRes_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden I Keep Photographing the Bodnant Viburnum, Hoping to Somehow Capture its Fragrance. Oh, if Only!

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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