Garden Diary - May 2011

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Sunday, 22 May 2011
Watnong Garden Visit and Potluck

A busy weekend in May. Yesterday was Earthly Delights, the huge multi-vendor plant sale and estate tour. And today is a garden visit and potluck luncheon of the Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. This year it is at Maison du Hosta, a member's garden in Piscataway, New Jersey. A double size corner lot filled with more hosta than you'd think was possible. The weather is completely overcast, with a spatter of heavy mist or light rain. No matter, off we go with some orange custard for the pot luck luncheon and some nicely potted Hemerocallis 'Kwanso Variegated', a white variegated day lily with double orange flowers for the plant sale.

Upon entering the garden we're welcomed by a small flock of flamingos lurking in the hostas.

It's an interesting garden filled with all sorts of objects along with the hostas.
The tool shed is backdrop for a fascinating piece of art that mine host
calls "Homage to Frank Gehry", a sinuous sprawl of aluminum flashing.

A mirror, set askew in a stand of bamboo, reflects silvery spheres
of various sizes gleaming on the vividly green lawn. I like this.

Hostas in the ground, hostas in pots, hostas elevated in a drain tile.

With a scattering of fish food the koi are enticed to the surface. Some have been here for 8 years.
Others arrived last month. A pool heater means they live outdoors in the garden year-round.

As well as art and embellishments the garden has practical details
of maintenance to display for us: two notched boards supporting
massive drooping branches on a conifer. I anticipate that they'll
soon be embellished, painted in some eye-catching color. You think?

Some potted hosta are in plastic, which can remain outdoors over winter. Others, in clay, move to
an unheated space adjacent to the garage. This graceful shallow bowl is hypertufa, a light weight mix
of cement, peat moss, and perlite that is frost and freeze-proof, cast by our hosts, and developing a
nice patina. Wimped out by the weather, only a dozen or so members came out for the event. That's
a pity because the weather didn't precipitate, the garden was interesting, food tasty, and the company

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