If I could, I would provide a link to the article, but the magazine doesn't provide that. You will just have to buy a copy for yourself.
March 30, 2015
Late last summer I had a chance to visit the garden of a co-worker. Hearing others talk about how nice it was, and knowing the garden had been on a tour sponsored by the Norfolk Botanical Garden, I pestered her into letting me come see for myself, camera in hand. As much as I love seeing what other gardeners have created, I also had been on the lookout for an opportunity to write another garden profile article for Virginia Gardener magazine. Knowing this, my co-worker still said yes. What I found was a very unique and personal creation, and despite the threat of storms, I was able to get some great photos. I worked on the article this winter, submitted it in January, and it just came out in the April issue.
One of the striking things about this garden (other than the adept use of color) is the choice of plant material, in that it thankfully makes a very wide departure from the typical Norfolk garden of azaleas, nandina and Japanese hollies. The gardener originally set out to create something with a more tropical feel to it, and although that element is still present, in recent years she has steered it a little more southwesterly. After her son got bitten by the succulent bug, they began amending soil, improving drainage, and experimenting with what might survive in a wet zone 8a garden. Those things too tender for a typical winter here are kept in a very crowded sun room during the cold months. The beautiful agave below is 'Arizona Star' and punctures and blindness are risked to bringing it in for the winter.
Before heading to the back garden I want to share my favorite photo of the day, which unfortunately the magazine did not use. Maybe they didn't know how much of a thing I have for crows.
The foliage below belongs to Manihot grahamii (hardy tapioca). My co-worker says she pulls its seedlings up frequently. I hope one can find its way to my garden.