Garden Diary - September 2009

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Saturday, 19 September 2009
Author, Author at Linden Hill

Jerry Fritz and Nancy Ondra have a new book, Lessons from Linden Hill. And how better to celebrate than with a reception and book signing. Upon receiving an invitation I happily sent my RSVP with acceptance. Then I e-mailed Joan to see if she'd like to come with me. The day arrived with perfect sunny weather and mild breezes. I did my presentation at the Sergeantsville Farmers Market. Dashed home to deposit produce and provender, then off to Joan's house for our short drive to Linden Hill.

The big barn was set up with refreshments to the left, beverages to the right,
and our host and the author directly ahead, signing books for eager purchasers.

The tables were beautifully arranged with big bouquets picked from the garden,
temptingly set with bowls of raspberries and strawberries, bunches of grapes,
dishes of nuts, and several different tempting cheeses. And Jerry berry ice cream
fresh from oWowCow Creamery, a divine blend of four berries.

Joan won Basil's heart with the rind from her morsel of brie.
Cupboard love, I'm afraid, but what a sweetheart of a dog.

A day at Linden Hill is not complete without a stroll around the grounds, especially today
so we can see the gardens that are the focus of Jerry's book. Wonderful details, such as
the vivid flowers of Asclepias curassavica, a tropical milkweed easily raised from seed

and as popular with monarch butterfly caterpillars as our native species of milkweed.

Attention to detail with the chartreuse trim of a dark green shed,
background for the spiked seedpods of Ricinus 'Pink Carmencita'.

Attractive pair of autumn-flowering Colchicum speciosum bursting into bloom
through a carpet of Lysmachia nummularia 'Aurea'. As the bulbs flower
"naked" without any leaves until Spring, the yellow creeping Jenny protects
them from mud spatters when it rains, and provides a more finished look.

Another option - Colchicum autumnale partnered with a near-to-black heuchera. If nothing else
Linden Hill's gardens offer options and possibilities, with the added bonus of plants for sale.

Alas not quite hardy until you garden in USDA zone 7, Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'
adds panache to summer's end with true blue flowers accentuated with calyces of black.
Take cuttings to root and winter over indoors if this tender sub-shrub is difficult to find.

These playful blue accents (Saratoga water bottles) hint at the garden art
and craft that's to be found at Linden Hill. If you cannot come and visit
or even if you can, remember that now you can always read the book.

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