A blog exploring the pleasures of gardening in Montgomery County, Maryland, USA.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Was Ellen Shipman ever here?
Here’s a scene from a garden I visited yesterday. The owner had generously given up hours of his time to take a small group of us on tour. It’s an old garden, a very old garden indeed. The signs of long habitation and cultivation are, while not obtrusive, very persuasive. The garden is separated into numerous compartments or rooms, and the one which made the greatest impression on me is shown above. In a surprisingly satisfying contrast, bold, broad, handsome, rock steps lead down into this little fern garden. The gently rounded path is green with moss; the two parallel borders are planted to ferns and companion plants, with the ferns dominating. To my eyes it’s a design straight out of the early twentieth century, when the then newly celebrated idea of firmly defined edges softened with exuberant free-form plantings was all the rage. I found it very Ellen Shipman-esque.