It impossible to show you all the garden tour gardens at once, so we continue today with three very different gardens.
My husband and I visited Amy and David Moscaritolo’s garden after the official tour day. We turned off the road and onto an iron bridge to cross over a small river that used to be used for ice production.
Amy greeted us and we chatted in the shade admiring the graceful expanse of lawn with a giant chestnut tree in the center providing blissful shade. The tree was surrounded by a bed of hostas and other plants. Amy is a lover of hostas!
Amy and David moved into this house six years ago. The house already had good bones, Amy said. Previous owners had provided the great chestnut trees, the ginkgos, and plantings around a Madonna which had been left by a previous owner.
Garden beds of all kinds encircle the house. We walked towards the side of the house to see many pollinator plants that would make nectar for the bee hives higher on the hill. One of the stunning pollinator plants was the flaming red crocosmia which attracts hummingbirds and butterflies as well as bees.
We walked around the front of the house with flower beds holding such delicate plants as Houttuynia cordata, also known by pretty names like rainbow plant, and less lovely names as fish wort and fish leaf. Hard to imagine how such a delicate plant can have such unpleasant names. (I have since been told that this lovely flowers is aggressive and invasive.)
One of the shrubs Amy is most pleased with is the delicate blue lacecap hydrangeas, but I found it difficult to pick any single flower to be a favorite.
It was a joy to hear the stories about plants – gifts given and received from friends and relatives over the years. Though the garden is relatively new to the Moscaritolos, it already has a loving history.
Polly and Doug Hillman’s gardens begin when you get out of the car. The front of the house is embellished with brilliant potted flowers, a cheerful welcome. The Hillmans took us around the house to a bed surrounding their fenced swimming pool devoted to daylilies and pollinator plants. I was amazed by the lush white, and purple liatris plants. Mine are quite sad right now. Polly suggested that they need more sun than I was giving them.
Other brilliant pollinator plants including coneflowers, black-eyed susans, and phlox wound around the fence attracting butterflies and bees of every sort.
Beyond those gardens was a large bed filled with daylilies in every shade from tender pastel to rich brilliant shades of gold and red. These are Polly’s love. The daylilies were acquired here and there. Her neighbor had a 150 foot long bed of daylilies. She said when she walked by, she would deadhead the blossoms. Her neighbor then made sure some of his daylilies wandered into her gardens. Some came from nurseries like the Ollalie Daylily farm in Vermont.
Then we strolled to another large bed in the shade of majestic catalpa trees. We must never dismiss the value of trees in our gardens. There were more daylilies and phlox, as well as an array of hostas.
The last garden on the tour belonged to Annette Kilminster. The lofty old trees in her neighborhood were impressive. Some of those trees helped to make shade for Annette’s back garden, serene and quiet. Annette has also planted trees choosing redbuds, a weeping willow and a crabapple. The garden itself is a graceful ribbon of perennials and shrubs around the perimeters. “There are no square corners,” she said.
Annette said her most essential perennials were the hostas. “The garden is too shady for colorful plants. Since I cannot paint with color, I have to paint with shades of green and gold. Light and dark.”
Beside the hostas she has planted an array of shade loving heucheras, coral bells. The foliage in these plants ranges in a variety of shades from almost black to red and rosy to brilliant lime.
Shrubs can also provide color. “I look for shrubs that are shades of yellow,” she said as we admired a lovely golden spirea.
While the garden relies on subtle shades of green and gold, Annette’s deck is in another class. Riotous color in pots.
Annette explained that the garden was years in the making. For 18 years she has been choosing cheerful shrubs and flowers for the front of her house and created serenity within the walls of her fence.
I am happy to provide this tour for those who could not attend themselves. The Greenfield Garden Club was very happy to see such a good turnout. The Club’s purpose in holding its garden tours, and the Extravaganza plant sale in the spring, is to raise money for horticultural projects for local schools. In the past the money raised has gone to pay for projects ranging from sheds, to tools for small hands and irrigation supplies. We hope to see everyone at next year’s events, when we hope the world will be healthy again.###
Between the Rows August 1, 2020