Friday, August 3, 2012

Ideas from Lee May's Garden

Hot and humid for several days.  In the 90s.

Wednesday we went to Lee May's garden, always a treat.  Such an interesting place.

He had a striking southern magnolia called Bracken's Brown Beauty.  It has rich brown undersides to the leaves, and is dense, narrow and upright.  It may not be entirely hardy here, although his is growing beautifully.

The picture I took doesn't show its full impressiveness or rich, glossy leaves.

This one from an internet nursery shows it better. It's fuller -- Lee's is more open growing in shade.

Like the sweetbay magnolia, it keeps its leaves over winter, but they look bad.  Then it drops leaves in spring, and leafs back out.  Not the best look (that drives me nuts with the sweebay), but by late May it looks good again.  In the early years expect dieback and browning.  Southern magnolias will adjust to winter hardiness after a few years when the roots establish.

I could put it in the Drive By garden if the struggling spruce doesn't make it.

Fragrant white flowers.  Lovely narrow shape.  I like it a lot.

I also liked the Opuntia cactus he grows, and want one in my gravel garden.  A hardy cactus in Connecticut!

Lee's garden has so many wonders and interesting things. I'd like to duplicate the stand of narrow blue ribbons tied to spiral tomato stakes -- I have the stakes already.  The ribbons catch the wind in a breeze.

Where would I put them?

One last shot, apropos of nothing, and not from his garden, but from mine.  Black eyed Susans and zinnias in bloom.  Happy Summer!