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.