Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Visit to a Special Garden

I know I have been lax in my posting on this blog and reading postings of other blogs. Time is not entirely my own right now. It is a busy time with moving, showing the house, a few trips, and general upkeep of said house. I will be putting together a few posts on the Master Gardener study trip. You may remember I posted a few entries about last year's trip.

Right after we got back from the trip, I received an invitation to see a plant in bloom from my friend Jim. His garden is primarily a shade garden and any visit to his garden makes for multiple 'Kodak moments'. The entry to the side and back gardens is framed with an arbor that held the most beautiful specimen of a Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight'. As you can see just past the arbor is a huge Daphne odora 'Aureo-marginata', in mid-winter the fragrance is intoxicating.

This is not a climbing hydrangea but a Schizophragma hydrangeiodes. The darker veined leaves are beautiful, but the white sterile blooms around the tiny flowers are almost glowing.

As we walked around the corner of the arbor and into the backyard you could see the bloom I was invited to see. A Spigelia marilandica, a beautiful and really under-used native plant.

A common name is Indian Pink,think this is one I will keep in mind for SC as it is a shade loving plant.

Jim has lots of ferns in his garden ---here are a couple
Maidenhair fern, don't you love the dark stems?

An Arborvitae fern, a Selaginella braunii. Really nice groundcover.

A Tassel Fern, Polystichum polyblepharum

And a good example of how oak trees cross-pollinate. This oak is unknown. A branch was sent off to get identified and they were unable to make a certain identification. Makes me feel better when the experts can't always ID a species.

Future tree postings will be coming, I received two wonderful tree books for Mother's Day and have been inspired. Add to further inspiration, one of our study trip's stops was the Commonwealth's Public Garden which had a nice arboretum. See you soon!!

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Kodak moments for sure! I always get inspired in shade gardens. I tried that schizo (my name for it) hydrangea 'Moonlight'. That baby held on but never did anything for over three years. I moved it and I think it may have finally perished:( Trying a climbing hydrangea in the exact same spot and I hope it does better. What's his secret?

  2. Wonderful fern collection!

    Wouldn't you find Indian Pink in the woods of SC? I had those wild in my former place that had acres and acres of woods. I only venture into my current woods in winter due to the tick infestation from the deer, so I don't know if they are growing here.

  3. Indian Pink is a wonderful plant. The colors of the flowers are so eyecatching. I first saw it at the NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill. I'll have to look up the difference between Climbing Hydrangea and Schizophragma. I've probably gotten them mixed up before. It has beautiful flowers!

  4. Janet,
    Very nice photos, to be sure! We're trying to get Indian Pink established, but my gardening companion loves mulching a bit too much, so far.

    Good luck with your transition....


  5. I jave 105 posts waiting to be read on my Google subscription list, and yours is the first one I chose to open. I am glad you are back "on-line" and am sure that you must be busy with all that you have going on. Looking forward to your study trip post.

  6. HI Tina, I can ask him, though extension agents make things look easy....ya know?

    Hi Cameron, these few photos do not even show half of his fern collection. It is pretty impressive. I do not know if there will be Indian Pinks in the woods. I understand what you mean about the ticks. Jim's yard is lousy with them....even after showering I ended up with two bites.

    Hi Sweetbay, I do like the Indian Pinks, they sure pop in the shade. I will have to look up more of the diffences between the Climbing Hydrangea and Schizophragma too. I do like these flowers.

    Hi Lisa, thanks! I will keep that in mind if I put them into my new garden.

    Hi Les, you are most kind. I feel like time is zooming by...we need to figure out a time to get together before we head south.

  7. Love that Indian Pink photo Janet. I've almost ordered it a couple times to grow in containers ~ I don't think it's hardy here?? What a wonderful garden ~ so glad you shared your visit.
    We all totally understand why you're not around too. I think you're doing great just being on the computer at all!

  8. He has some beautiful specimens in his garden. I wish I had more shady areas so I could pack (I mean plant) more of these, lol. ;)

  9. That is a nice looking hydrangea--schizo as it may be;~} Despite it not being a climbing hydrangea, it seems to act like one, by the looks of your photo! I have a climbing hydrangea that is at least 7 yrs old and has never given me a single bloom. I moved it from it's spot and planted the Honeysuckle that I posted about in it's place--and it's not doing anything in it's new spot. I just can't get rid of it though...hoping some day (year) it will decide to bloom.

    I will keep Indian Pink in looks like a great plant!

    I understand your time constraints right now! Hope all is going well for you and the house will sell soon:-)

  10. That hydreangea is yummy! Good luck keeping it all together (or at least the most important parts) while preparing to move. After many moves in the first years of our marriage, I'm hoping to stay planted here until the nursing home calls!

  11. Janet,
    I have missed reading your entries! I do know you must be awful busy. I will look for Indian Pink I recently saw a tiny plant in the local woods. I'm working on a 300 ft 4 ft high fence for our dogs and the shade garden so maybe the deer will stay out of my camellias.

  12. That's a beautiful hydrangea! I think I could would have a whole garden of hydrangeas if I could:) The Indian pink is another plant I'm not familiar with; it's a great addition of color for a shade garden. It's always fun to visit other gardens--a good way to get inspired and come home with some new ideas.

  13. Janet, that closeup of the Indian Pink is an outstanding photograph. There are lots of "Kodak moments" but few are captured as well as that one.

  14. Hi Kathleen, thanks, I was pretty pleased with this photo. Sometimes I am just very lucky. I am not sure how hardy it is, will get back to you on that. My time on the computer is in little snippets of time....not enough to do much. Think the time will be even tighter in the coming weeks.

    Hi Racquel, his garden is really very nice. He has so many different hydrangeas and ferns...real treat. I have lots of spiderwort by the way.....all yours if you want it.

    Hi Jan, it is really a nice vine. Hope your climbing hydrangea blooms one day soon for you. Indian Pink is a nice one.
    As for time constraints....still hoping to 'run away' for the day up to Lewis Ginter to meet up with you.

    Hi VW, It is yummy. The bracts seem to glow. We have moved so often in our early years....both of us were Army brats and then Charlie had 20 years active duty.....the hard part is that we have been here almost 18 years.

    Hi Randy, I have missed being around. I don't know how some folks post soooo often. Hope you have luck with the fence, the dogs, the deer, and the camellias. Think you would enjoy having the Indian Pink in your garden.

    Hi Rose, It is fun to be inspired by other gardens. I always need a plant fix. Will check out the hardiness of the Indian Pink.

    Hi David, wow, that means a lot -- thanks.

  15. Hi folks=----The Spigelia marilandica is hardy zones 5-9. You can find out about it on the Missouri Botanical Garden web site.


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