Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Simpson/McKitrick garden - another spectacular Huntsville garden

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama) Following the Huntsville Garden Tour (see the previous post), we were invited to see the garden of Tom Simpson and Dan McKitrick who lived just a few blocks away. Wow, I'm glad we saw it. This garden was completely different from the tour gardens. This garden had more sun and much more color. It was small too but jam-packed with plants. The word that came to mind as I walked through it was "electric". There was so much vibrant color from both plants and decorative objects. This was obviously a garden belonging to an obsessed gardener!


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
The garden filled the entire property, the front, side and back of the house.
This is the front as seen from the street.

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
There was so much to see at every turn, not only plants but whimsical
touches as well. Love the purple chair!

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
I should have asked Tom how he keeps these ferns looking so good in sun?


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
Wonderful textures!


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
This was just one of the bottle trees in the garden. This is along the pathway leading to the back of the house.

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
The back garden is lush with plantings, surrounding a firepit and water feature. An elevated
back porch to the right overlooks the garden. The focal point is a dramatic Blue Atlas Cedar.

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
Tom is fond of Japanese maples and there are several throughout the garden. I also noticed a variety of pine trees. I have always loved pine trees, although I have never planted one. I loved the way there were incorporated into this garden.


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
A beautiful Barberry grows alongside the small pond. Branches of the
Blue Atlas Cedar hang above.





Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
A view of the back of the house and porch area.


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
The small pond is surrounded by Japanese maple, spirea, persicaria and lilies.


Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
At the back of the property was another building.
Climbing Hydrangea was growing under this balcony.

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
The view from a balcony.

Tom Simpson garden (Huntsville, Alabama)
So glad we got to see this - it is a great example for plant lovers with limited space! I hope to visit again and get photos at a better time. We were there in the middle of the day, not the best time for photography.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Monday, June 9, 2014

Huntsville Spring Garden Tour

Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This garden featured an array of hydrangea types, including "Annabelle" and
Oakleaf (behind the statue) as well as mophead and lacecaps (macrophylla)

On Saturday, we drove to Huntsville to attend the Spring Garden Tour, a self-guided tour of five private gardens in the historic district. It was a very hot day but all of the gardens were shaded and they were all within walking distance of each other. I did not think it was too bad hot even though Michael was sweating bullets. We ran into gardening friends Cyndia and Steve, who took us to a terrific place for lunch. They also took us to another fantastic garden that was not on the tour. I will post photos of it soon. It was a good day!

The gardens were small and many of them were designed by Bill Nance, a noted landscape designer who died two years ago. As hot as it was, one thing that I noticed was how calming and cooling the gardens were. Lush green lawns were bordered by boxwoods, hydrangeas, ferns, hostas and other shade-loving plants. The tour was a great way for homeowners to get ideas for landscaping small spaces.



Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
The same garden viewed from an elevated porch. The open lawn area makes the garden feel much larger. Notice the mixture of stonework and brickwork for the pathways.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014  


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This pathway ends with this beautiful urn which provides a dramatic focal point.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Another garden featured a container planting with a plant I don't see that often - Plumeria.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This courtyard garden has clipped boxwoods and ligustrum standards (or that may be a different plant)
under a Japanese maple.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
I loved this ivy-covered shed behind the residence. Actually I am not sure if this
belonged to them or the neighbors. I thought it was cool.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This garden had lots of various elevations and steps which always appeals to me.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A serene front garden.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A small Japanese maple, underplanted with liriope, enhanced by a perfect placement of a statue.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A bird bath by Birmingham artist Frank Fleming.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This potted ivy was so pretty - I wish I knew the name of the variety.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A beautiful gazebo surrounded by lush plantings.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014  

Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
I love the pop of color of the coleus in the urn.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
"Annabelle" hydrangeas along the fence in a side garden. The light green leaves hanging in the foreground are from a Sweet Bay magnolia. There were several beautiful specimens of that tree in this garden.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014 The side garden.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Ivy-covered wall and a garden bench.
  

Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Various types of ferns were planted in the hell-strip outside one of the gardens.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A clematis variety and unidentified flower.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Almost all of the gardens and homes had these wonderful porches!


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A unique garden bench.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This garden was not on the tour but we walked past it along the way. Isn't it charming?
 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Late Spring Flowers

The dreaded heat and humidity is encroaching!  The good news is that we have been getting rain. These photos were taken during the last two weeks and I am just now getting around to them. I have already posted some of these photos on Facebook and Twitter so if you follow me there, I apologize for the duplications!

Some close-ups from the garden -


Lady Belles (Adenophora)



Geranium "Vancouver Centennial"
Geranium "Vancouver Centennial"
Spiegela (Indian Pink)
Indian Pink (Spiegela) - love this plant!
Indigofera amblyantha (Chinese-Indigo)
Chinese Indigo (Indigofera amblyantha)
Rose "Red Cascade" and Phlox
Rose "Red Cascade" and Phlox
Rose "Daydream"
Rose "Daydream"
Rose "Sweet Chariot"
Rose "Sweet Chariot"
Aralia cordata "Sun King"
Aralia "Sun King" (Aralia cordata)
Variegated Solomons Seal and Indian Pink
Indian Pink (Spiegela) with Variegated Solomon's Seal
Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy