On Friday of last week I had the great opportunity to visit the garden of noted plantswoman and author, Pamela Harper. I have wanted to visit her garden ever since I first heard her speak and purchased one of her books, Time-Tested Plants: Thirty Years in a Four-Season Garden. I have met Mrs. Harper before as she occasionally shops at the garden center, but it took another customer, now a friend, to make my visit happen.
Her home and garden sit on a long waterfront lot, not far from where the York River runs into the Chesapeake. A beautiful setting for sure, but not without its perils. Hurricane Isabel and last November's nor'easter took their toll on both her house and garden. As you might expect, the garden is full of great plants and great plant combinations. Many of the things I saw on Friday, I saw for the first time. Not only did I enjoy seeing all that was planted, I also enjoyed Mrs. Harper's vast knowledge of horticulture and the story of her garden.
Unfortunately I did not take my best photos; I was busy trying to pay attention to Mrs. Harper and enjoy the day in front of the lens, not behind it. It was also a spectacularly clear and sunny day, great for being in the garden, not great for photography. After the tour we had a delightful lunch provided by my friend Donna Hackman (a noted garden designer and plantswoman in her own right) who arranged all this. Getting lost in conversation and gardening nearly made me late picking my son up from school.
Variegated Dogwood, Japanese Maple and Hydrangea Combination
(full set here)