Over the weekend, I got to see Camille's exquisite garden in person (more pictures to follow) and afterward, the gracious gardener walked with me through other gardens on the tour. Lavonne's garden was a short walk. How fortunate to live in a neighborhood of passionate gardeners!
Lavonne is a master of pruning Japanese Maples.
Although Acers are often the show stoppers, don't think for a minute that they supply all of the color in these gardens.
Some are still green!
Lavonne was sure to warn me not to touch the Gunnera as it's so spiny. I like the sand-paper texture of the leaves but others don't.
Acer palmatum 'Koto no ito' (strings of a harp) is one of the few whose name I remember as I lusted after it for years before I got my own. Now it vies with A.palmatum 'Fairy Hair' for the stringiest-leaved maple.
Like several of the gardens on the tour, Lavonne's is on a hillside and there is wonderful rock work, including many curving flights of stairs which replaced the straight shots of railroad tie steps which were inherited with the property.
Beautiful views at every turn framed by trees wearing their autumn best. Here a pair of Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gums) frames blue sky.
Skillful pruning has created what appears almost like an undersea scene complete with undulating and exotic creatures.
There is a stream that meanders down the hill, over rocks, creating small pools, one with a stone bridge and ending at the large koi pond below which is covered for the season to catch the falling leaves.
Here's the aforementioned rock bridge.
A stone bench from which to appreciate the sounds of water and birds and one can even spot those giant four-legged slugs (deer.)
This is half of the largest expanse of Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra') I've ever encountered.
How vibrant are the maples right now? Compare the fuchsia boom to the maple foliage. The popular Albert Camus quote “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” comes to mind each year as the trees scream warm colors at the moody gray northwest sky.
More grand examples of pruning. One day I hope to learn how to do this.
This is a mature garden, full of treasures large and small.