Garden Diary - September 2009

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Friday, 4 September 2009
A Visit with Gloria Day

When I arrived at Gloria's house on Thursday there wasn't much time for more than putting my overnight bag in the bedroom and heading off for the PLNA Sustainable / Green Infrastructure Field Day tours. With our first stop about 90 minutes away at North Creek Nurseries, it was a good thing that the next, at Dansko, was just minutes beyond Landenberg, and Stroud Water Research Center not far beyond that. We got back to Gloria's well after dark, so it wasn't until the following morning that I had an opportunity to stroll around and enjoy her charming garden. If this is an example, it's no wonder clients who hire her Pretty Dirty Ladies design / build / maintenance firm appreciate her company's services.

There's a gazebo at some modest distance from the house, sufficiently far
that it feels like a destination without becoming an arduous trek. Miscanthus
creates an autumnal addition, and a dainty spiderweb embellishes the trim.


I hear the sound of gurgling water, and discover a small but deep little pond next to the path.
Just large enough for some brightly colored, darting goldfish and a water lily. Mesmerizing.

Across the lawn is a basketball court used to entertain the previous owner's teenage son.
Rustic fence along one side, and another massive clump of miscanthus. We discussed options.
I vetoed a greenhouse as too far from the house when winter's cold and snow would make it
most appealing. Outdoor kitchen was my idea, with barbecue grill and outdoor fireplace.

Leadwort, Plumbago capensis, is in bloom, with an elegantly color coordinated butterfly as a visitor.

Amusing pairing of glistening white Phlox panniculata (probably the mildew-resistant cultivar 'David')
with the antique-ivory trusses of hydrangea. Nice play on similar shape with difference of scale.

Also amusing is Gloria's habit of tucking vegetables, attractive ones, in amongst
the flowers. Such as this sextet of brightly hued Swiss chard in rainbow hues.

I was also introduced to Darla, an elegant white dove that Gloria found pacing on a highway traffic island.
Perhaps she was a wedding release that had gone astray, but driving on and leaving her was not an option.
Underweight, with mites, and a broken toe - but that was a couple of years ago and now she's definitely
part of the household, along with Sally the cat. Darla has a murmurous chucking coo with which she greets us.


A wonderful visit but now it's time to drive home, with memories of plants and gardens and good time in the company of a friend.

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