Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mountainside garden delights gardeners...

The first stop on the second day of the garden bloggers Fling in Asheville found us in a breathtaking garden, filled with stone  terraces, outcroppings and layers and layers of lush plants.  Around every corner and down every path, the garden of Jasmin and Peter Gentling never failed to surprise and delight.

When I looked at our schedule for the day, I was curious about spending 3 hours with lunch in one single garden.  It only took a glimpse to understand that we might need more time!

Amidst the incredibly green and lush backdrop, the poppies seemed to jump out right at you.
The terraces were woven throughout the garden, with winding trails that led to seating areas scattered about.
Some of the specimen plants in the garden were awe-inspiring, like this juniper that trailed along a support and created a grey-green curtain on the edge of the vegetable garden.
There are several buildings on the property - a greenhouse/art studio, a propagating building, and the main house.
The towering trees were stunning.  But photos don't do them justice without a little perspective!
More of the juniper curtain.
We weren't the only ones visiting the garden -- it was full of bees and butterflies enjoying all the lovely plants.
Our host and planner extraordinaire, Christoper, of Outside Clyde, was busy studying and photographing the garden while herding the crowd of more than 90 garden bloggers.
There was no shortage of places to gather or plants to talk about.
Fellow Austin garden bloggers, Pam, of Digging, and Vicki, of Playin Outside, stop to talk about the white rose campion.

I almost mistook Lisa, of Greenbow Gardens, as a part of the poppy garden.  She graciously agreed to pose for me in her stylish hat.
Watching teeny tiny fellow bloggers wander up the mountainside in the distance gave some more perspective to the expanse of the garden. 
The rock work around the patio creates a cozy room.
Paths lined with plants wind around corners and lead to magical garden surprises.
A view of the main house (as full of character inside as the garden is outside) from the terrace below.
The back patio, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Something we rarely see here in Central Texas gardens - moss.
The terraced beds were full to the brim with flowers in bloom, many of them things we can grow in Austin.  I saw rose campion, poppies, salvias, nasturtium, sedums, irises, day lilies, Jerusalem sage, lavender, rosemary, hostas, ferns, miscanthus and wisteria, just to name a few of the plants we have in common.
This stylized grouping of plants, shrubs and rocks against the wooden fence was very striking, and had a different feel than the rest of the garden, which was soft and flowing.
More paths, more flowers, more bloggers!
Look closely and you'll see this bench tucked into the front of the rock retaining wall.
Jasmin's cat (whose name escapes me now, sorry kitty) was a little overwhelmed with all the attention in her garden and Mom took her inside for a little cat nap.
All the steps had ferns and hostas and succulents peeking out from the nooks and crannies.
A focal point at every turn...
I love this view from the side of the garden - that's the main house on the right, with several layers of terracing - rock, grass, flowers -- to the left.
Garden bloggers galore resting on the house steps waiting for lunch.

It was stunning garden, the Gentlings were warm and gracious and the story of their garden was interesting and historic.  William Jennings Bryant and Herbert Hoover's son stayed there.  The Gentlings bought the house in 1971 and said it was such a jungle when they got it that they didn't even know the terracing existed.  Both Peter and Jasmin are gardeners with a passion for what they do, and their love of their garden shows in how they talk about it.  We all wanted to offer the our to become their live-in garden helpers!

This was the highlight of the Fling for me -- a delightful garden that inspired and amazed me at every turn.


Daricia said...

Diana, This is one of my favorite gardens ever. I absolutely loved it and the Gentlings were so nice and so knowledgeable! It was a great time there and your pictures of it are wonderful. I especially like the tiny bloggers on the hillside! The garden was large and the trees were huge! It was nice having dinner with you...hope we meet again.

katina said... much acreage did they have?

Alison said...

Thanks for this wonderful, long post! What an amazing garden.

vbdb said...

Maybe my favorite as well, Diana, but the jury's still out. So many lovelies in the running. Thank you for letting me revisit this peaceful beauty as I re-enter the rat race.

Pam/Digging said...

This was my favorite of the Fling too, Diana. I enjoyed your post. I'm finally going to get a Fling post up today, about this same garden. You can be the judge on how many of the same viewpoints we got. :-)

Lori said...

Oh, my...that is GORGEOUS!

Suzie/Viva Verde said...

i'm loving the multiple perspectives from you and Pam, between the two of you i feel like i've seen every inch of this amazing place!

LKW said...

Wasn't their garden amazing? And it was so personal, too, even though it was large.

I loved how their personalities were expressed in the garden, too -- that was the magic to me of the private gardens that we visited (

Lovely post!


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

You have some wonderful photos in this lovely garden, love the long shots ---gives a good perspective on the vast garden pathways.
I didn't go around back, so thanks for sharing the patio area.
This was a very giving couple, so very gracious.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I loved this garden too. I think I was standing there when you added a person for perspective on the height of the conifer. I could have spent even more time there. Fun sharing the fling with you and all the other bloggers. Carolyn

Jean said...

You were really able to capture what made this place great through your photos. I don't think I was able to get that perspective. Love how tall the trees were!

Sheds said...

Very refreshing photos! Where is this place?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I quite agree Diane as this was my favorite too. It was stuffed so full of shrubs, flowers, trees and art that one couldn't possibly see it all in such a short time. You brought it all back to life for me. Wonderful post.

Desert Dweller said...

The greenery growing in and over the rock walls is what grabs me most. I can almost smell the air and greenery w/ your photos, in fact. Amazing what the other end of I-40 is like! Thx for the tour

Summerwinds garden centers said...

I am agree with all of you..
Thank you for post..

Rose said...

I think this was my favorite garden of all, too; you've captured it beautifully, Diana. I also wondered how we could spend 3 hours there, but I could have stayed there all day. Lisa does fit in well with the poppies:)

It was nice to visit with you again!

Skeeter said...

I love this garden and just prepared my post on it for Thursday. But I see you calling Juniper what I thought is Weeping Atlas Cedar Tree. There was a large one at Biltmore gardens and it was labeled as such. Your pictures are great and lucky you to look up at the trees! I failed to look up as I was captivated at ground level…

Diana said...

Daricia - wasn't it amazing? Dinner was fug -- hope to see you in San Francisco.

Katina - I can't remember, but it was acres.

Alison - I could have posted many more photos - I had to cut myself off at these!

vbdb - We sure had a great time, didn't we?

Pam - It's so interesting which ones were our faves. I took many of the same ones you did, but some of them weren't in my first cut to put on the blog.

Lori - You would have been stunned - it was really something.

Suzie - Pam and I did post a lot, but I'm sure there are still lots of posts that captured things we missed!

Lisa - The garden was so personal and that's why I loved the opening talk about the history and their philosophy.

Janet - We ate our lunch in the back and it was delightful and gave us a chance to really get a good look at all the patio details.

Carolyn - I had such a wonderful time in that garden - I could have stayed for days. It was so nice to see you again.

Jean - That's one of the things that amazes me the most - those wonderful, majestic trees.

Sheds -- Asheville, NC

Lisa/Greenbow -- My only wish was that I'd done a better job of capturing the flowers and the color. That was hard to get with the vast long shots.

Diana said...

Desert Dweller - It was so lush, those majestic trees and green grass had all the Texans salivating!

Rose - Great to see you, too. I can imagine how rewarding it is to work in such a beautiful garden, too.

Skeeter - It was such a wonderful garden. I think cedars are junipers, but I didn't know the variety.

zareen fatima said...
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