5.27.2011

Jerry's Garden

The rain finally broke, just in time to visit Jerry's garden. Jerry, a fellow adopt-a-plot gardener at Ault Park, invited me to see his orchids that were in bloom. A much needed trip with Darryl and several days of rain postponed the visit by a week. But as luck would have it, a few orchid blossoms were to be seen tucked inside the garden.

Jerry is a plant collector. His discerning eye shows throughout his garden. A fine collection of hostas, ferns and heuchera anchor the garden. Mixed with the traditional shady plants I found orchid, iris, toad lilies and Solomon's Seal. As he guided my tour, Jerry offered the names of each plant, in Latin. I know there are many of you who have this ability. I am in awe. This dyslexic gardener has mastered a few Latin names, mostly for my University classes, but I am more comfortable with common names.

But common names will not due for Jerry, and for good reason. When he started gardening nurseries were not as abundant as they are today and much of his plant collecting was done via catalog. Unfortunately, the use of different common names by different nurseries for the same plant, meant Jerry would end up with three of a kind, not three different varieties of a plant. So he took to Latin and never looked back!


Lessons from Jerry's Garden

Even in a smaller city garden, focal points are a must. A half dozen statues are placed throughout the garden, creating small vignettes. Statues also add texture and shape to the garden.


Shade gardens can feel heavy. Many shade plants have dark, broad leaves designed to capture as much light as possible. To add a lighter, airier feel Jerry incorporated plants with variegated leaves as well as the soft, wispy feel of carex.

Play with color and shapes to add pop and interest to any garden.

Diversify but stay the same..... The rich plant diversity on Jerry's garden works because he repeats plant types such as ferns and hostas.  A variety of hostas adds color, shape, height and even texture. 
Hostas illuminated by the setting sun.
Stepping stones invite visitors to explore a bit more.

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