Thursday, December 24, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
After his travels, Kalm worked in Turku, both with the botanical garden of the Academy and after 1752 with this experimental plantings in Sipsalo, in Hirvensalo near Turku. Here, he cultivated many seeds and plants from his travels to North America, introducing several new genus to Finland, like the now more than common Crataegus grayana, Rubus odoratus and Parthenocissus inserta. He grew several species of crabapples, members of the Malus family, some of which are mentioned in old documents written by Kalm.
Only a few crabapples were still hanging to the branches... this tree was very old, and might be one of the varieties grown from the seed that Kalm brought to Sipsalo; note the unusual, oval form.
Kalm faced many difficulties at his experimental plantings: the soil was quite heavy containing a lot of clay, and despite the South facing exposure, it kept the cold until late in springtime. Periods of severe cold damaged many of the plants he had managed to germinate and grow from the seeds he had collected and imported. Money was always scarce and Kalm worked long days both as a Professor at the Academy and after that at the plantings. K
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Nothing up yet for a couple of months... but where can I find (or buy) some moss?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Central Californian parts of the garden.On the way to the Northwest...
The editorial test garden.
I wanted to visit the Sunset Gardens as my garden guide book advertised it as "one of Church's best preserved gardens". Obviously, this is not completely true any more, but I still found the visit very much worthwhile. A very friendly receptionist took time to show the building to us, and told us about the history (the framed first page from the Sunset Magazine that was published directly after the earth quake of 1906 was especially memorable). I also enjoyed seeing such an pleasant environment for working, as the building still houses the staff of the Sunset Magazine. The gardens are a great testament to American design from the middle of last century, which sadly now are all too often torn down and replaced with something more "up-to-date". Even if not private and on a large scale, these gardens are an inspiration to many builders and designers even today.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Excited by the discovery of Pehr Kalm's experimental gardens in Sipsalo, I have been reading his North American travel journal from 1748 to 1751 with great interest and joy. I bought this book as a reprint of the 1770 English edition. As today is Halloween, the greatest pumpkin orgy of the year in North America, I thought it could be interesting to share some of Pehr Kalm's notes on these vegetables. This is what he wrote down in Montreal on September 19th, 1749:
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Five divisions of Pulmonaria longifolia, which keeps its foliage the whole season, found its place in front of a light pink Camellia sasangua.
Paeonia wittmanniana with two fresh eyes; it is a close relative to P. mlokosewitschii, but the leaves are lighter green and the flowers paler yellow, sometimes almost white.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
A picture of the garden shown in the drawings above.
Mien thought that poppies were perfect for naturalizing in meadow gardens. This photo is so beautiful and sensitive, a real little piece of art.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Eager to share my favourites here, I managed to drag my friend to some of the treasures of the Pacific Northwest. A trip to Bloedel Reserve (see my previous post here with more details), had a top priority on my list. There is something very special about this graceful garden, opening amongst the lush, wild nature of Bainbridge Island. This was my third visit within six months, and I never grow tired of wandering through its winding paths, enjoying its calm spirit. Only a true appreciation and love for nature can produce such a dignified combination of garden design and wilderness as can be experienced at the Bloedel Reserve.
I took some new pictures, in another weather and another season. As somebody said, a garden is never the same; the light is never the same, the clouds are never the same, and the plants are always changing. Just like we and life itself...
A path through the meadow cleans the senses before wandering further into the forest and garden. The Robinia pseudoacacia 'Friesia' acts like a exlamation mark against the dark forest.
After the dark forest, a man made pond reflects the sky and the well-tended gardens around the house.
The view behind the house (that can be seen from the inside too, but photography is not allowed there).
The Japanese guest house, with a beautifully raked gravel garden.
The Bloedel Reserve is on Bainbridge Island Washington, and it is blessed by the mild, moist climate of Puget Sound. About 84 acres are second growth forest, and the remainder are altered landscapes, including various gardens, ponds and meadows. The Reserve was once the home of the Bloedel Family, which is primarily responsible for its growth and development. The vision of the Bloedels is now interpreted and extended by the Arbor Fund.