Xanadu 4: The Gardens Are Thriving
In another year or two, the horticulture is beginning to suggest its mature scale—but only just. Many years will pass before the trees are at their peak.
- In another year, plants are fully established, but are years from maturity—the trio of weeping beeches most dramatically. In decades to come, all the terracing in view here will be cast into dense shade as their writhing limbs cantilever farther & farther outward. Not least, there won't be any need for an umbrella over the dining table.
- Looking down the path past the jewelry studio to one of the entrances into the enclosed gardens. The weeping beeches are barely visible to the right, while the dramatic poolhouse—whose curved-roof stairwell echoes that of the jewelry studio—is in the distant center. A corner of the garage peeks out to the back right of the jewelry studio. In the right foreground, a young Grace cotinus; at the left, a young seven-son tree.
- Looking from the base of the stonedust pathway down from the main house, to a gate into the enclosed gardens. The Berry Folly is out of view at the right, hidden behind one of the gold metasequoias. At the left the corner of the shade structure; before it is one of the tree viburnums that will, one day, screen it from the house. The pathway courses through the orthogonally-paved pool terrace, continuing its curving way out into the grassy rectangle. The fulcrum bed of brightly-variegated tree aralias is partially visible in the distance center.
- The stonedust pathway that, in an earlier gallery, was seen passing between the front of the berry folly and the beds fronting it, curves lazily through the grassy rectangle, around a fulcrum bed planted with trio of still-young variegated tree aralias ground covered with plum yews. In years to come, the aralias and plum yews will both triple in size.
- With the gates from the parking area open, the starting extent & density of details in the enclosed gardens is introduced. The garage is at the right, the poolhouse at the left. The weeping beeches will, in time, totally hide that there is anything at all beyond them, let alone the swimming pool, Berry Folly, and cutting & vegetable gardens.
- Looking past the weeping beeches to the gigantic shade structure. In years to come, climbing vines will cover its canopy. The curved stonedust pathway between the Grace cotinus and jewelry studio is out of view at the right, just right of the purplish foliage of the continue.
- From the gravel parking area fronting the poolhouse (left) & garage (right), the enclosed gardens are only teasingly visible through the eight-foot gate. The weeping beeches are the near focus beyond.
- Looking north from just before the bed of yellow hostas, to the new garage. The poolhouse is out of view at the right. The high facade of the garage faces south, so is a comparatively sheltered suntrap. Behind the grey-leaved "rosemary" willows is a quartet of evergreen southern magnolias. They are rarely seen (and tricky to establish) this far north. This cultivar—Bracken's Brown Beauty—in this sheltered-in-Winter, roasting-in-Summer setting, are extremely happy: To keep them in bounds In years hence, they have needed a massive "coat-racking" pruning more than once. TOO-vigorous southern magnolias in rural Connecticut? These are the problems one prays to have.
- On a grey & cloudy day, the pool cover retains the water's heat. The feathery gold foliage of the Tiger's Eye sumac is as eye-catching as ever.
- With its immense doors in place, the Berry Folly is functional. Cages contain the swift growth of the berries & grapes.
- The vigor of the berry & grape vines (let alone volunteer sunflowers) is almost scary. The cages that control them have since been extended much higher!
- The billowing bounty of the vast vegetable garden in high summer.
- In August, the ten-foot stalks of the cup-plant daisy sport thousands of flowers—while also completely screening the caretaker's house beyond.
- Trumpet vine is climbing a cable to reach the canopy of the shade structure. Other vines planted along the structure's left side will assist in providing coverage.
- Trumpet vine flowers are irresistible to both perching butterflies & hungry hummingbirds.