Sunday, June 6, 2010

Touring the neighbor's garden

Yesterday brought me a delightful garden treat. We're visiting family in Indiana, and one of the neighbors down the road is an avid gardener, and works at a local nursery. He was kind enough to offer me a private tour last year (See Hoods Gardens) , and yesterday I got a tour of his personal garden just down the road.
This is farm country -- rows and rows of cornfields and soybeans as far as the eye can see. But going to Ed's house was like going to a garden paradise. Because we are far, far away from my Zone 8b-9 home, it was fascinating to see all the different plants he can grow here in Indiana in Zone 5.
Ed has a wonderful collection of chickens and roosters, too, and I got to meet most of them while I was there. They seemed curious about having a visitor, but they didn't get too close, as they were much too busy pecking for bugs.
I fell in love with this iris, as it is the same colors that my Ocelot at home was supposed to be and wasn't. Most of his irises were done blooming, but I did get to see a few stragglers. Not sure of the name of this one, he's dubbed it his 'hound dog iris!'
Now I can't remember the name of this, but it sure looks like something in the salvia family to me.
His gardens surround an amazing and historic farm house, complete with big porch and unique architectural touches. And his gardens are also little vignettes with interesting focal points to draw the eye, like this old metal spoked wheel next to a pot of succulents.
A few day lilies and Easter lilies were still happily blooming, adding splashes of color to the garden.
And imagine my delight to see this old stock trough filled with Amaranth, Cleomes and a few other plants.
Not sure of the botanical name of this bright patch of yellow, Ed likes to call them butter cups.
And this old garden was also full of Valerian, which is a hardy perennial here with pink or white flowers. It self-seeds freely and used to be used a a perfume in the sixteenth century and is still used to make a potion to aid in sleeping.

These sweet, ripe cherries called to me and I had a taste of them as we passed under this cherry tree, heavy with fruit.
And I can't think of anything more appropriate to adorn the side of this wonderful farmhouse than this giant snowball bush, full of vintage blooms harkening to times past.

It was a wonderful afternoon in the garden with a dear friend. Thank you, Ed.