Yesterday Racquel and I went drove over the water (rather under the water, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel) to Norfolk to visit Les in his garden. What a great day! Les has a small garden but it is filled to the brim with interesting plant material. At his front walkway you are greeted by the Red Banana paired with Coleus.
On the other side of the front steps is another Coleus 'Alabama Sunset' paired with Jasminum officinalis, a hardy jasmine with wonderful golden foliage.
His backyard has some of the most interesting plants. One of these treasures is Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Steriodal Giant'. This plant looks prehistoric.
In his backyard is a Linden tree…which I was sure was a Littleleaf Linden, but after seeing a tree with small leaves at the Botanical Garden later in the day labeled Tilia Americana, now I am not so sure. More studying is in order!
A short drive from Les' house is the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Both Les and I had blogged about this garden in the spring when the Camellias were blooming. We strolled around the garden and had so many great plants to take in. I was especially happy with this photo of the Bird of Paradise in the Tropical Display House. There are so many unusual specimens.
From the Tropical Display House we ventured out in to the Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden. It was as if we were walking into a dream…..a gardeners dream!
There are blooms galore and some interesting insects to boot!
I love the colors of the Lespedeza with Russian Sage
and Black-eyed Susans.
These berries are from a wonderful old crabapple tree. The variegated Ginger lily is very sculptural.
Look across the waterway, see the Tetrapanax like Les has in his yard?
Here is a dilemma for you…sun or shade? I was intrigued with this pairing –the Ginger lily needs sun and the Caladium are shade lovers. Both seem to be very happy under some very mature trees. Perhaps there is enough morning sun.
Too bad I already offered my ornamental grass photo for the contest…here are two nice combinations.
With relative certainty this pink grass is Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah'. zones 8-11
Jan at Always Growing shared Cat's Whiskers a little while ago…I was happy to see them in person. I love the tips with a touch of purple on the ends. It is a member of the mint family. It is listed by Jan as Orthosiphon aristatus.
The rose garden is in full splendor – each rose is prettier than the next. I really like this one with so many variations of pink on one bush. Of course we couldn't find a name for this one though we think it is one of the Fairy Rose cultivars.
What a great time walking through the gardens with a couple other plant lovers. It was a nice time getting to know both Les and Racquel a little bit better. We will have another mini-blogger get together again soon. As we left one of the Norfolk mermaids bid us farewell……………. I will be back soon!