Georgian Reborn—in High Summer
Last fall, the previous Georgian Revival gallery introduces the fearless reconfiguration of vehicular & pedestrian hardscape, with accompanying horticulture of equal bravado, that brought unity to this rangy & triumphantly eccentric project.
Here, the sparkling excitement continues through the growing season. In late summer, when so many plants—& landscapes—look tired, this one continues to sing.
- After a long passage through the larger property, the driveway terminates in parking areas near the new wing (barely visible at the left) & to the right of the original stone garage. Some parked cars are visible behind the left shrubbery. In the next shot, we see what they see at their fronts.
- Turning to the garage's parking court, the choices are two: pull left (out of frame) to park, or pull into the garage. If you turn left, you see the next shot.
- A giant raised bed—forty feet by eight feet— bounds the near-garage parking area. Five young tree lilacs, here coming into flower, anchor the slope just beyond. In spring, daffodils crowd the bed, to be followed by longest-flowering Princess Irene daylilies and, soaring ten feet & higher, the astonishing flower stalks of the Midwest native, prairie dock. Here, in early summer, the dock's banana-sized leaves are an eye-catching (& vehicle-stopping) show from May until flowering begins in August.
- By August, the Princess Irene daylilies are long in bloom while the astonishing flower stalks of prairie dock soar ten feet & higher.
- To the right of the garage, the original stone garage, now for a studio & storage. The parrotia trees intriguingly announce the broad curved bluestone walkway that leads a hundred feet away, to the main entrance.
- The arc of parrotia trees confirms the importance of the arc of bluestone walkway. Regardless of the temptation (or puzzle) of the various doors of the old & new garages, the walkway is the path you should take.
- Shrubbery at the left is intentionally bulky—& will become only more so—so as to screen two (!) different service doors into the new wing. For guests, the main door is at the far end of the arc of walkway.
- The young southern magnolia thrives in the shelter & heat of its west-facing location. Already, it has masked the first service door, into the mudroom, immediately behind it to the left. Ahead, the family entrance is now becoming apparent: Head up the steps onto the covered porch, and that door is on your left.
- The raised granite landing for the mud-room & family doors is just a passing detail compared to the onward sweep of parrotias & arced bluestone walkway.
- Past the granite-landing'd service-entrances area, the parrotias & bluestone walkway arc pass a showy bed of shrubs & perennials, still performing at peak energy even at the height of late summer. In the distance, frothy variegated foliage of a grove of variegated Japanese tree angelicas provides the brightest-possible encouragement to Keep On Walking.
- This stretch of the parrotia arc is separated from the wider property (all of which is gently uphill) by a pair of arced plantings concentric with the river-stoned bed for the parrotias and, of course, the bluestone walkway itself. The bright green leafiness is white-flowered indigofera; the grass is Shenandoah panicum.
- At last, the main-entrance terrace is at hand. The main entrance is up the stairs at the left.
- Three Silver Umbrellas tree angelicas provide maximum showy enticement for visitors, both from a distance away on the bluestone arc, and closer. They are still adolescent, and when mature will be twice as high & wide. August into September, they bear (as here) four-foot clusters of innumerable tiny white flowers beloved by pollinators. No hardy shrub is as showy!
- The increasing shade beneath the Silver Umbrellas is prized by the purple-leaved ligularias. Despite their huge, juicy, host-like foliage, deer don't even nibble. Orange daisies are a late-summer surprise.
- The contrast of the palm-frond leaves of the variegated tree angelicas & the dense, dark, hosts-like leaves of the ligularias is appropriately intense for a planting that needs to entice visitors that start out a hundred feet away.
- The journey down the bluestone arc is as intriguing at departure. The blue French doors lead into end of the former stone garage. Originally, the driveway accessed the property where the bluestone arc is, and the car pulled right into the garage.
- The bluestone & parrotia arcs curve by the stone garage, out of sight at the left, to bring visitors back out to the main parking court that fronts the garage, whose corner is at the right. Ahead, the arcs point to a magnificent old red oak in the distance.