Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring in Full Swing

Magnolia veitchii

"The special charm of a Southern spring is its earliness; it is as long drawn out as it is sweet."
 A Southern Garden 

What a winter it was in the Lawrence Garden!  (I say "was" with great optimism)  Temperatures were generally colder for much longer than I remember in recent years.  Although the extended winter chill set blooms back anywhere from two weeks to a month, with the recent prolonged spring warmth, flowers are popping out absolutely everywhere!  One can only hope this year's gorgeous Southern spring is long drawn out.

One of the latest discoveries in the garden: an entire stone landing that was hidden under 3-4" of pathway gravel!  It is amazing how time changes a garden.  Mostly, we think of change in terms of plant material, not in hard-scape.  Once I uncovered and relaid the landing, it made perfect sense to be there.  Yet more testimony to the success of Elizabeth's keen design skill.  Each time I find something new (to me), I get a deeper sense of the meaning of this garden.  It's as if Elizabeth is with me, understanding the wonder and delight that this garden brings.  

Here are a few pictures of the lovely floral display in the Lawrence Garden over the past few weeks.  Join me for the April Garden Walk to discover many more spring treasures!

Happy Gardening!

Narcissus 'Tahiti'

Camellia 'Freedom Bell'
Narcissus 'Barrett Browning'
Crocus vernus 'Flower Record'
Iris unguicularis

Trillium cuneatum

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Warmth of January in the Garden

The first Galanthus elwesii of the season

"Sometimes, in January, I find something new in bloom every time I go into the garden; even when there is no new flower, I find a tender leaf of hope."
Elizabeth Lawrence
Gardens in Winter
Happy winter greetings!  I am thrilled to be Wing Haven’s new Lawrence Garden Associate.  Having known this garden for many years, I never truly took the time to visit with it as I do now.  This is a most intimate garden.  I am humbled by the mastery and success of the garden's design.  Elizabeth Lawrence was so ahead of her time in her plant collections and trials; many plants she grew here sixty years ago are still rare in the trade!  Part of what we hope to accomplish here is propagation of many of these special plants, as well as trialing new plants from around the world, to continue Elizabeth’s philosophy of using the garden as a laboratory.  I so look forward to sharing  with you everything we learn along the way.
Each winter day that I am here in the Lawrence garden, I find myself searching, almost feverishly, for some delightful discovery; spotting a fresh tiny bloom of Galanthus elwesii (snowdrops), catching the intoxicating fragrance of the Chimonanthus praecox (winter-sweet), or perhaps unearthing a stone laid decades ago by Miss Lawrence.  With each discovery, I get a rush of excitement and wonder.  Even on the harshest days, when the crisp winter winds whip through several layers of clothing, and my hands and feet are so chilled they are almost numb, my heart is filled with the warm joy of uncovering the many secrets this garden tirelessly gives.  
Come discover for yourself the magic that is Wing Haven Gardens!  Visit our website for all the information about our fantastic Winter Lecture Series, with classes starting next week and continuing through the end of March.
Happy Gardening!
Andrea Sprott