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Friday Favorite: Hedges

October 30th, 2015

Continuing with our tour of Heronswood garden in the Pacific Northwest, I had to post about hedges. I must admit, that a beautiful hedge makes me go weak in the knees. I’ve always dreamed about having beautiful hedges in my garden, but have yet to make that dream come true. I planted a short boxwood hedge in my Ohio garden (16 plants) and it was starting to grow out when we moved. Thankfully, the previous owners didn’t want the plants, so I dug them up and brought them with me. There are still in the nursery area, waiting until I have their final garden area finished. Most likely, they will be moved next spring to a new garden area right below the house.
Heronswood formal garden 2
Heronswood formal garden 1
Heronswood formal garden 10
On Wednesday, I talked about the scalloped hornbeam hedge at Hersonwood, behind this garden is a lovely formal garden with box lined triangular shaped beds. These beds are filled with a riot of colorful perennials that grow up and out and spill over the box borders. Here are just a few of the lovely flower spilling out of the box borders.
flowers at herons wood 1
flowers at herons wood 2
flowers at herons wood 3
flowers at herons wood 4
flowers at herons wood 5
flowers at herons wood 6
The beauty of a box hedge is that it contains some of the chaos that can happen in a perennial garden. It provides structure that grounds all the other plants. I can only imagine how lovely this garden looks in the winter, when all the flowers have faded but the bones of the box remain, it must be stunning!
Heronswood formal garden 3
Heronswood formal garden 4
Heronswood formal garden 5
Heronswood formal garden 7
Heronswood formal garden 8
Heronswood formal garden 9
I will never have hedges to this scale in my garden, at least not unless I hire a gardener to help me maintain them. There are still things I can take away from a garden like this. Even on a small scale, a hedge can something beautiful in the garden. So often we look at grand gardens like this and feel like we can never achieve anything like it. The truth is we can, we just have to look work within our boundaries. Even a five foot box hedge will provide the same feel in your garden.

Do you have any hedges in your garden? What’s your favorite hedge plant?

Making the Most

October 29th, 2015

When visiting Heronswood in the Pacific Northwest we noticed an upturned tree while walking down the main path to the house. When we saw the other side we were pleasantly surprised. It had been turned into a planting nook, which was perfect!
Overturned tree garden at heronswood 1
Sometimes things happen in the garden that are beyond on our control, we can choose to look at these as a setback or as an opportunity. I love that they used this space to grow beautiful things.
Overturned tree garden at heronswood 3
Overturned tree garden at heronswood 2
It’s a stunning feature and a showstopper in the garden, something so simple. Thinking outside the is a great quality to have as a gardener!

Visiting an Icon

October 28th, 2015

I can’t believe I never really posted photos of many of the gardens I visited last year when my mom and I went to Seattle. That’s the nature of the game, when I travel I end up behind both at work and in the garden. My return home is filled with too much paid work and I forget about things like looking through photos to post on the blog.
Herronswood hedge garden 1
Herronswood hedge garden 2
Heronswood has been on my “must-see” list for years, many, many years. Whenever I happened to be in the area it was closed or up for sale. Thankfully, I was able to schedule a private tour for my mom and I and a few blog readers who met up with us. It wasn’t the best day for a tour, the lighting wasn’t great, but we still enjoyed ourselves. The formal hedge garden was the part of the garden I was most excited about seeing and it didn’t disappoint.
Herronswood hedge garden 3
Herronswood hedge garden 6
The neatly trimmed arched hedges were simply stunning, something that I have always admired and would love to find a place to incorporate something like it here at Chiot’s Run. What struck me most about this garden is that it was so small. It would be something that would easily fit into a small city garden and is the perfect way to break up a very large garden.
Herronswood hedge garden 4
Herronswood hedge garden 5
If you’re bored of photos of this one part of the garden, too bad. It was the reason I came to visit this garden and I wanted to capture it from every angle (this is only a small portion of the photos of this part of the garden).
Herronswood hedge garden 7
Herronswood hedge garden 8
This garden was everything I expected it to be, and more. I won’t go into all to details, you can research that on your own. And beside, photos are much better than words anyways. Come back tomorrow for more photos of the other parts of this lovely garden.

The Last Hurrah

October 27th, 2015

Last week when I was mowing, I spotted a few dandelions blooming in the lawn. I also noticed a few daisies blooming here and there as well. Yesterday I cut one final arrangement from the garden, there are still fairy roses, alyssum, hollyhocks and few other plants with a few remaining blooms.
last flowers 2
last flowers 3
last flowers 1
It’s the last hurrah of the flowers for the year. I’m always reminded this time of year that I need to add witch hazels and other winter interest plants. I’m actually working on an area by the driveway that will be dedicated to plants with winter interest. I’ll be referencing The Winter Garden, which is a fantastic book. In fact, I’ll probably pulling it out this week.

Are there any blooms left in your garden?

Trying Something New

October 26th, 2015

Every year I try a few new varieties of vegetables. I love endive and decided to try growing a few different types. Right now it’s coming into season, it mellows and gets a little less bitter with the cold. I tried them before our first frost and they were bitter, no doubt they’ve mellowed out a bit with the cold weather.
growing frisee 1
I tied up all the frisee this past weekend to blanch the hearts. I covered one with a bucket to see how that would work and it seems to be working. I’m trying to see which method will work best and be the easiest to manage. I also want to see if one method works better for cold protection.
growing frisee 2
I’m pretty excited about the radicchio as well, I buy it at the grocery store throughout the winter, I’d love to be able to grow at least some of what we eat.
I’m a huge fan of bitter greens, so endives are a natural choice for me. Growing them is a bit different than lettuce, I’m really enjoying the process of trying different types and learning to use them in the kitchen.

Do you grow any endive or chicories in the garden? Do you have a favorite variety?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.