Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day Two or A Continuation of Pure Bliss

Part One, The Gentling Gardens

Our first stop the second day was a garden that was incredible.  Many of the others who came to the fling have already posted so much about this garden.   To see more of all the various gardens, click on this link.  On the side bar are all the blogs and all the posts that have been written.  Many talked about the design and the history of this garden.  I was so taken with just the walk down the driveway that I missed the introduction and history of this grand place.  I was not alone.  One of the first out buildings was an art studio.  

This is the home of the Gentlings, Peter and Jasmin.  It is an historic home, owned at one time by William Jennings Bryan, rented by Herbert Hoover's son, and visited by Pres. Hoover.  For a more complete history of the garden, check out Jim's blog posting. The Gentlings have lived here since the 1970's and put their heart and soul into this place.   Peter is amazing with all the plants.  He does a great deal of propagating and their gardens, truly spectacular.  As I looked over my pictures I noticed most of mine were of plant material. Many bloggers had some wonderful wide views of the gardens.  


I have always enjoyed Flowering Maples Abutilon, one
day I will put one in the garden.  
 Here is one nice shot of the vastness of the garden pathways.  So peaceful and green and lush.  Doesn't this just invite you to take a stroll?

At the edge of the pathway was this gorgeous variegated Ginkgo! Ginkgo biloba, there are a few different varieties of variegated species, not sure which one this is.

Everyone  had a camera going, the different terraces lent themselves to great views.

Another plant that caught my eye is Zenobia pulverulenta a native shrub....yes yes, it NEEDS to be in my garden.  Full sun to part shade, moist soil, and super fall color.  Sounds like a winner to me!

A soft foliage plant that seems to have called out to be petted is a Weeping Larch, Larix decidua 'Pendula'


A few more blooms I just had to get a photo of.....
Phlomis fruticosa
Jerusalem sage

 Cuphea Ignea, Mexican Cigar Plant

Spigelia marilandica, Firecracker plant

Fun spots to see and enjoy the view.
We had  a lovely catered lunch here and then it was off to the Biltmore.  


Part two, The Biltmore Estate

We spent the afternoon at the Biltmore Estate.  This grand house is larger than life.  I had seen pictures, but it is far more than I could imagine.  It is truly America's castle.  

We first walked the gardens around the rose garden.   My fling roommate, Daricia and I were playing 'Stump the Answer Man' while in the gardens.  We found a couple plants that we tried to ID.  We couldn't figure them out, asked the poor guy at the answer desk.  One was identified.    See these large fuzzy leaves?  The flower bud is in the center, interesting shape.  
 Turns out it is Clary Sage, Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica.  I have heard of it, but hadn't seen it before.  The leaves are as large as my hands.   The stems are purplish and square, the clue that it is a salvia.  Hooray for the answer guy.  I didn't get a good picture of the other 'unknown'.   Daricia made the ID when we got home.   It was another sage, Yellow Sage, Salvia koyamae.

The 'Answer Guy' had a desk set up in the grape arbor allee.  It was a great spot in the shade with superb views.


 A short walk toward the house from the rose garden led us past this Copper Beech, Fagus sylvatica almost a hundred years old.

The Wisteria arbors are done blooming, imagine how lovely it was in bloom!!!

 Look at the age on the trunk of this Wisteria.  

 Once up to the house we were able to take in the grand views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  What a vision Mr. Olmsted had when designing this garden for George Vanderbilt.   Breath-taking!


On the way back to the rose garden and the bus we passed a beautiful open gate, leading to the open meadows.  Eight thousand acres of beautiful vistas.


For all the beautiful roses in the rose garden, and there were plenty, I am always a sucker for a Rosa rugosa 'Hansa'.  The fragrance is the best!!
Our second day ended with a wonderful dinner and lively discussions.  One more full day to go.....stay tuned!



©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.



40 comments:

  1. Beautiful photographs; enjoyed the commentary and the memories.

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    1. Debbie, thanks!! Super getting to know you over this past weekend.

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  2. Your photos make me sad I missed the envent, oh well. I have had one experience with Cleary Sage at Kew in London. I rubbed the foliage to smell it, and it is even more B.O. like than other sages, it clung to me the rest of the day, and I was sure I smelled like an unwashed American tourist.

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    1. Les, I know you would have enjoyed both the venues as well as the camaraderie. (even though you might smell like an unwashed American tourist) :-)

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  3. Zenobia! That's a wonderful native for you!

    Clary sage is easy to grow from seeds, just make sure you deadhead it once you have all that you want or it will keep going and going!

    Thanks for sharing your tour.

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    1. Freda, I think I am going to look into the Zenobia. The Clary sage was really large!

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  4. I'm glad you got those plants identified. That sage was really cool and seemed to definitely stump the answer man. I was surprised by that because I thought they would've had the plan on hand to refer to. The zenobia is beautiful. I'll have to check it out as I am not familiar with it at all. I found a stunning stewardia in the lower garden and OMG I was amazed by that and hope to post it this week sometime. The Gentling garden was most wonderful! What a great visit.

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    1. Tina, it is a habit, have to know what the plant is! I saw the Stewardia too, my photo wasn't the best so I didn't share it.

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    2. i agree with you, tina! i was really surprised there was no plan to refer to. i did get an email address though, so if i had needed to, i could have sent the pictures in.

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  5. Janet I enjoyed that garden and the cute place you ate...again the Biltmore is fab and I am sorry to have missed it!

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    1. Donna@GEV, yes, sorry you weren't here with us.

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  6. Fantastic post! I'm sure to re-visit it. We visit the Biltmore Estate at least once a month. And we find something different on every visit.

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    1. NCmountainwoman, once a month at the Biltmore? Wow, I know I should go more often, two hours away. I bet you do find lots of different things each time.

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  7. Janet, both of these gardens look fantastic. Of course the Biltmore is the bomb but the other one just lovely. I would love to stroll down that woodland path. My phlomis is about to bloom too ~ I am suprised we aren't further behind. Love the pink cuphea ~ don't see it in that color often. After reading all the posts about the fling, I'm even more sorry I couldn't go. :-( Some year tho...
    p.s. would absolutely love to have gardenias to cut!!! They have the most heavenly aroma ~ I can imagine how fragrant your house is....

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    1. Kathleen, it was all so wonderful. The gardens I shared are up in the mountains, a bit behind my location. Wish you had come too.
      Yes, gardenias are wonderful to have in the house. Have mine by the kitchen sink....super!!!

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  8. I absolutely love your picture of the open iron gate at Biltmore -- it beckons you to go through.

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    1. Pam, thanks, I liked it too. Daricia said the same thing when we were there.

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  9. I'm so glad to see your plant close-ups because I was regretting not having more of those from the Gentling garden. I loved that salvia and had no idea what it was -- Thanks for tracking down the answer. It also made me smile to see your tree shots, knowing how fond you are of them. Wonderful post for reliving a great day.

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    1. Diana, I am such a plant geek, plants are my focus. Think I will be starting the trees again. Have some new time available.

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  10. The Answer man had nothing on you, Janet! You were always so helpful in identifying plants that were unfamiliar to me; thank you. Great job of presenting the highlights of these two beautiful places--this day was so full of great gardens to experience. Pam is right--the photo of the Biltmore gate is stunning!

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    1. Rose, hahaa!!! You are too kind. My plant ID-ing gets rusty. Need to stay on my toes. We sure were in some great places, weren't we?

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  11. Zenobia is truly beautiful. Maybe it's me, but I've found that it's pretty difficult to get established. Have tried several times over the years, but the soil was not moist enough, I think, and they did not prosper. The flowers on the Gentlings' plant seemed larger than I remember. Theirs must be a cultivar. Good to know about a truly fragrant rose ( 'Hansa') to recommend! Enjoyed your account of the two gardens.

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    1. DJ, I wonder why the Zenobia doesn't do well for you?? We have a low spot that I think would be a perfect spot. Crossing my fingers. I would imagine the Gentlings' was a cultivar.
      The Hansa is a rugosa, so very thorny. ....but the fragrance is carried on the breeze.

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  12. I thought the Gentling garden was remarkable -- setting, plant combinations, and a wonderful and talented pair of gardeners. Hard to beat!

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    1. Lisa, is was remarkable. I am in awe of how talented he is in propagation, and the ability to acquire all these cuttings...wow!

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  13. Janet, I love your shot with the group of gardeners with cameras all pointed in different directions. As you indicate, we all see the same thing so differently. Love the red Firecracker and the Mexican Cigar plant. The Fling sounds like such fun, I wish I had been there!

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    1. Jennifer, it was funny to see all the bloggers scatter with cameras poised. I was happy to make an ID on the Mexican Cigar Plant!
      Wish you had come too.

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  14. I dearly loved the Gentling Garden. I need to post about it. Your pick of Tink with her hand touching the tree is so lovely. It made me smile. Wasn't this little, pink cuphea a darling? I took lots of pics of it. Also, a variegated Ginkgo sublime? I want a gingko. Maybe next year.~~Dee

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    1. Dee, I really liked it as well. Most of my photos really didn't do it justice. I need to tell Christa she is featured in my posting. I LOVED that Ginkgo!! Surprisingly there are a number of species of variegated Ginkgos.

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  15. So nice to connect with you at the fling. I loved the Gentling garden. I appreciated the chance to visit the Biltmore for free too. The natural gardens on the way to and around the bass lake were wonderful. I love 'Hansa' too--we must be kindred spirits. Carolyn

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    1. Carolyn, Same here, wish we could have talked even more. I really love Hansas!!

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  16. you've brought it all back to me, janet! haha, how quickly we forget...well, some of us. i always love when a plant mystery is solved. was fun tracking those sages down with you. i never found out what the cuphea was...thanks for that. your copper beech pic turned out a lot better than mine. what a great tree!

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    1. Daricia, it was such a whirlwind, easy to forget some parts until you go through the photos. Wish my Copper Beech pic had been better, what a glorious tree. Lucky find on the Cuphea!!

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  17. That Mexican cigar plant was introduced to us here in our Master Gardeners class last year. The speaker said it looked like vampire bats, and introduced it that way to help interest kids in plants and gardening.

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    1. Swimray, There is a bat faced Cuphea, really cool looking. Love any method to get kids interested in gardening.

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  18. Gorgeous photos, as always! I have Clary Sage in my medicinal herb bed, and it is taking over--but the leaves are just so cool! I love the shot of the wisteria--it really speaks to the age of the garden. I still haven't written about the Gentlings' garden--I adored it so much, I'm afraid I can't do it justice! ;-)

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    1. Julie, I imagine it will take over, the Clary Sage we saw in the garden was really large.

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  19. I am glad to see I am not the only one that strokes some plants as if pets! I so want to move into the Gentling gardens. I believe I could hide out in the gardens and they would not know I was there. Well, until mama bear would run me out of hiding!

    Biltmore gardens were breathtaking with the mountain views in the distance. At times, it was hard to believe we were in a mountain setting with all that beauty. The breezes were nice as well. I would love to go back in Early Spring to see the Wisteria on that arbor…

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    1. Skeeter, Yes, Christa was petting the larch, pretty cute!! The whole trip was amazing wasn't it?

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