Garden Diary - June 2011

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Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Watnong Soirée at Willowwood Arboretum

It's the summer soirée of the Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. We're meeting at Willowwood Arboretum in Chester, New Jersey (but the GPS address is in Far Hills, New Jersey. Go figure.) The chapter provides entrées and beverages, members provide appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. The event is always held in a garden. What else would you expect.

Drive up, park, and stroll over to the Stone Barn with our picnic coolers - one on loan for ice
and soft drinks, the other with butterscotch puddings that are my contribution to the event. Then
off for a wander around the grounds and conversation with friends. A beautiful evening, soft light.

Gardeners of all ages are here for the festivities.

The red border is in bloom, with small red floribunda roses and red beebalm like skyrockets going off.


People settle down in the Stone Barn for the serious businesses of dining.

And after dinner people again go for post-prandial strolls around the grounds.

. . . .

Summer gardens are filled with flowers, like these lilac spires of Adenophora lillifolia


Pam casually, but with satisfaction, told me that
she had raised the pot full of Gloriosa superba,
gloriosa / flame / climbing lily from seed. Well done!

Mary finds a comfortable shady perch on one of the stone walls.

Not too far away there's an inviting bench. Willowwood has superb specimen trees, a narrow trail
along a little stream lined with Japanese maples, stewartia, and bamboo. There's the small formal
garden, a stone coped well with dark silent water, a tall Japanese pagoda. I've been here when the
magnolias are in flower, again for the cherry trees. Again in autumn when the crabapples are in fruit
and the leaves are turning. In winter. Even on New Year's Day. Always something to enjoy at Willowwood.

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