Many attendees of the 2017 Gardens Bloggers Fling have reported eloquently about the gardens we visited in June in Washington, DC and surrounds. (See 2017 Capital Region Fling Overview). I managed to write about only a couple of the gardens after returning, but there are a few more I personally wanted to share with you.
On one morning our first stop took us to a private garden in Maryland created by Barbara Katz. This garden visit was a highlight of the Fling. By way of introduction here is the official tour description:
“Landscape designer Barbara Katz is the owner of London Landscapes, LLC and the creator of this lushly planted hillside garden. The lot slopes 12 feet up to the property line near a 200 year old oak. A waterfall and small pond make use of the slope, attracting birds and wildlife. Filled with annuals and perennials, the garden has a strict color division with plants in tones of orange, white, and purple on one side and yellow, pink, blue, and maroon on the other.”
The day began auspiciously. Humidity and oppressive heat had dogged us the previous day, but then cleared out overnight, leaving the early hour air noticeably fresh.
Upon our arrival Barbara greeted us warmly in her driveway and described how she came to own the property.
As a landscape designer she had worked with clients on this garden for years. When she learned the clients were planning to move she found it difficult to leave the garden to destiny, and figured out a way to purchase the home. Barbara directed us to the left side entrance toward the hillside garden in back.
As the path was narrow we queued to enter. (I later circled back around to capture this image.) We happily inched our way along, stopping to admire beautiful plantings. Each step brought delight.
Other Flingers have written so well about the plantings, the color combinations, the hardscape and water features in the Katz garden. I simply will share some glimpses of the garden and my reaction.
As I moved along what stood out to me was the sense of place, a feeling, the impact of being in a special setting.
Before ascending the steps I first traveled the base of the garden. New vignettes opened up with every step.
This garden really spoke to me. As I explored the paths leading to, from and around the garden, I felt transformed, overcome by the beauty, appreciative of the vision and work that leads one to create such a space.
After surveying the garden from below I worked my way up the stone steps alongside the waterfall.
At the top of the garden I found this circular lawn perfectly satisfying. It seemed quite secluded. Just behind where I stood to take this picture there was a shady spot with a wooden bench. Across the way, a gazebo beckoned. I headed in that direction next.
Looking down from the gazebo side the steepness of the property is evident.
Notice the three empty chairs below on the left? I worked my way toward them.
I settled on the edge of a seat. From this vantage point I could gaze up at the plantings. I could pause, admire and contemplate. The garden itself was a meditation.
Though surrounded by the din of 50 enthusiastic Flingers, the quiet force of the peaceful setting was more powerful. Human voices receded, even as sounds of birdsong and trickling water reverberated. I felt practically alone in the garden. Noticing. Breathing. At ease.
This is a garden with a soul.