Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Way Too Much is Just About Right

Like Saturday, the Garden Bloggers Fling schedule on the final day, Sunday, was grueling, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m., once again a list of eight gardens. I'm going to cover most of the gardens in a future post. But there were two private gardens that day that really stood out for me. In many ways they were opposites, but they had something in common that is always guaranteed to appeal to me -- a certain degree of over-the-top, overabundance. I'm a girl who believes that more is more, at least when it comes to the garden.

I suppose that could also apply to the Fling schedule, which had way too many gardens for any reasonable person to make sense of in three days

The first garden was the garden of Rob Proctor and David Macke. Rob Proctor is a local Denver gardening authority who appears on the Denver channel 9 news in a segment called Proctor's Garden. He has also written 16 books on gardening.

The front garden, including this hell strip, was devoted to drought tolerant plants that we had seen in many other gardens already -- Salvias, etc.

The entrance to the house, through an enclosed porch

Rob Proctor on the enclosed front porch greeting Flingers
We all obediently filed through the house on the way to the back garden.

My first glimpse of the colorful back garden let me know I was about to see something special, a very different thing from the many tons of rock and xeric plants we had seen in so many gardens

Truly, a little electric shock of excitement went up my back when I saw this through the window

I was immediately struck by how very English those double perennial borders were, backed by a fence held between tall brick pillars. I made that comment to a few people, only to be met with silent stares.

So in my defense, I present Exhibit A

There was also a lot of color being provided by annuals in blue pots, found throughout the garden.

For a flower floozy, this was a very welcome sight

Denver does rock gardens well, but damn, by Sunday I had reached my fill of them

On the back side of each border was an equally beautiful perennial border

To the left of the borders was the area I think Rob referred to as the Waffle Garden

A metal gazebo with pots in the center stood in the middle of the Waffle Garden

Looking back at the back door

From the opposite end of the double borders, looking back at the house

Even the pots in the pot ghetto were blue

Under the wooden folly at the far end of the garden

There was a spiral staircase leading up to the roof, which we weren't supposed to climb, although at least one visitor tried

There were some special, very statuesque plants that stood out.

A tall, silver-white thistle/Onopordum acanthium


Cow parsnip/Heracleum maximum

On one side of the house, on the way back to the bus, Heather (Just A Girl With A Hammer) and I discovered the sunken garden.

From a patio full of containers holding Agave attenuata, steps lead down into a shady area

The second garden that greatly appealed to me on Sunday was the garden of Dan Johnson and Tony Miles, stylistically very different, with its upcycled bits and pieces and painted stucco walls. But the principle of more is more was very much in evidence.

Right out by the street was this wavy-armed metal piece of garden art

Great juxtaposition of the terra cotta wall and the purple foliage of the smoke bush, as well as the Iris that matches the wall

Hanging from a large conifer in the front garden were Tillandsia usneoides/Spanish moss

This head planter with a fabulous Medusa Euphorbia for hair stood out on the front porch amongst a profusion of succulent containers

Painted shutter with hanging containers on the wall by the front door

And a cluster of pots with a pink flamingo by the front door

More Spanish moss with a very long rat-tail cactus

I'm so jealous of this Sedum container -- I look cross-eyed at my specimen of this Sedum and it drops all its little beads

On the way to the back garden this troll leers at visitors

A strappy plant with Artemisia 'Sea Foam' tucked into its base

A rock with a cluster of Sempervivum and a sparkling blue jewel

Every step through this garden revealed something new to look at -- a plant, a flower, a little vignette.

This colorful doorway revealed a comfy couch

This little naked figurine facing off against a snake was hilarious

And a water feature made from a bottle pouring endlessly onto a shell and then onto the frog with his umbrella up was intriguing

More enormous metal spirals

A dragonfly on the tip of one of the metal spirals floats over colorful flowers

A boulder with jewels and antlers -- of course!

Looking back toward the comfy couch through the field of flowers

Glass bottles with swan-like necks rise over a field of thyme

Far at the back of the garden a wooden pergola covers a wooden deck, backed by a painted stucco wall

Next to the deck is a fish pond

A stream empties into the pond

Yet another wavy metal sculpture -- and a crowd of bloggers all trying to keep out of each other's way

A now familiar Agave treatment -- skulls on the sharp tips

A piece of driftwood bends sinuously around the trunk of a Yucca

Time to head back up the side of the house to the street -- and the bus