The Idea Garden was where I spent most of my visit this time. I've been feeling uncreative about gardens recently. Since moving to an apartment, my 3/4 acre herb garden has become a production garden with everything in rows for best abundance and accessibility, I have not designed a "pretty" garden space in several years. Missing this, I decided to take a look at their ideas and see if that might cause me to drag out the garden design book once again.
I liked both the ideas presented here in this space. The Wheelbarrow "dumping" the flowering plants and the Trellis. See the teacups. They are growing Teacup Vine on this trellis.
The possibility of making a walkway with thyme or chamomile as the main plant has always been part of my design. I liked the idea here of using lattice brick laid on its side in the ground because you could put in just a single plant. It would make winter kill so much easier to fix in the spring rather than having to fill in a square of plants where some are mature and others are young.
I love all things thyme and at first I thought this was a thyme bed from a distance, but then I realized it was Corsican Mint surrounded by a variegated grass. I liked it so much I got out the sketch pad to jot down the dimensions. It was a bed of a perfect square 4 feet on each side. There are slabs of stone that are well hidden too.
They also had some general ideas for groupings. They had a scent garden with spaces for each of the five senses. I might have chosen different plants and in fact I started to sketch out my own senses garden in the car on the drive home. They also had a Children's garden filled with colorful and playful plants as well as those that encourage touching.
I also found a couple amusing ideas for edging and plant patterns.
|This one is wine bottles pressed into the ground|
|A salvia tic tac toe board!|
|Farm implement filled with Hen & Chicks|
Now I also obtained ideas for water features, markers, composting and water conservation too, but I will share those with you tomorrow.
We could not leave without looking at the roses which were just at peak in most cases. This is a water fountain with slate edging surrounded by different shades of red roses. The gray slate was a stunning backdrop for the reds and yellow foliage plants. I guess they were on a yellow and red kick this year!
And no trip to Cantigny would be complete without a stroll through the tank garden! The promise of this was what made him linger long enough for me to take all these pictures.
I shared more ideas from Cantigny here.
If you want to learn more about the gardens, mansion and military museum which are all part of the 500 Cantigny Park (former estate of Robert McCormick), check out this link http://www.cantigny.org/.