A Cottage Garden in Ohio – Part 1
Visiting a Cottage Garden in Ohio brings back memories of my great-grandmother, Nanny, who grew many of these same beauties when I was child.
Gardening is more fun when it’s shared with a friend. Especially if it’s one who is as obsessed as you are and loves the same unusual peculiarities of the plant world. Visiting each others gardens is always full of wonder, both for the gardener and the visitor. The visitor gets to find new plants to obsess over, and the gardener gets to see the wonder of their garden through their friend’s excitement. If you’ve been friends since you were four-years-old, then the visit is filled with memories in and out of the garden.
Every time I visit my friend Mel’s garden, I find something new to envy. Her dedication to her garden is a labor of love that happens daily. It’s full of unusual plants and colorful combinations. It’s productive with herbs and vegetables in a very small space and alive with pollinators galore.
I thought you might like to see what I found irresistible on my late summer visit. These are treasures I’m earmarking for my own garden in 2016 so this is a visual feast of the plants that were blooming their hearts out after a drought at the season’s end. I need more September color so it’s my way of getting ideas for that to happen.
But mostly, it’s just fun to see a collector’s garden who shares my same passion.
Due to my overindulgence in photos taken that day, I’m making this a multi-part series so the photos will load better. It also gives me a chance to say what I love about each plant. Plus, the added bonus is I get to live in September playing with pretties that were blooming then, when it’s cold and desolate this winter…
Salvia is one of my favorites and the bees were swarming this annual Salvia Mystic Blue Spires in late September when I was there. I could bump into the plant and get my lens right up to them and they didn’t care about me at all. They were so crazy over this plant that the buzzing sounded like a symphony.
This hot pink Zinnia in the very top featured photo and above is a Benary Giant. I love Zinnias for cut flowers and to make a statement in the garden. These Benary Giants are definitely on my list for 2016. Its fist-sized splendor will enhance any garden. My great-grandmother scattered annual seed into her row garden every year. She was a bit horrified when I wanted to cut them for arrangements in the house, but she couldn’t resist my enthusiasm. That was the beginning of my love of growing flowers for cutting.
Verbena Bonariensis has been a long time favorite of mine for cutting and drying. I love it’s self seeding surprises. It long strong stems poke the blossoms up among other plants and sway gaily in the wind without snapping.
You can see Verbena Bonariensis’ branching better in this photo. I love how it looks both airy and sturdy at the same time, attracting plenty of beneficial insects. It makes a great landing pad for butterflies and you can read more about that here.
I was excited to discover another charmer, Verbena Rigida, in Mel’s garden, which is landing on my wishlist for 2016.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of color and sunshine — may it bring you dreams of a glorious cottage garden in 2016. My thanks to Mel for sharing her garden and her time with me to feature on my blog. Love our time together obsessing over plants!
More to come in Part 2 very soon!