The beauty continued, post-garden tour, in Laurie’s garden on the bay.
How I love Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ in the fall: The pale yellow little sunflowers, and the dramatic height….which of course in Laurie’s Jurassic Garden grew even a little taller than anywhere else (thanks to a sprinkler system and manure from her five horses).
Tasteful pale yellow and green makes an excellent backdrop for any other plant. ‘Lemon Queen’ blooms for at least two weeks if not longer. Not long enough….but worth the wait, and lingering in memory.
I had great luck with Hebes in Laurie’s garden. They came through every winter and bloomed profusely from summer on into the winter. All Laurie’s Hebes came in small pots from Joy Creek Nursery and burgeoned into dramatic structural plants with powderpuff pink or white flowers.
Never have I seen Joe Pye Weed get as huge as at Laurie’s. It spoiled me; I always expect it to get this big in other gardens and it never, ever does because the magic isn’t there. They say “the best fertilizer is the gardener’s own shadow” and I know that Laurie loved and talked to her plants. The only problem was that eventually Joe Pye would fall right over, and he was far too monstrous to be staked.
We had this job for one more summer after 2009, until Laurie and Mike moved away. Usually when a job ends I am glad to let it go, even when I think I won’t be, because we are always overbooked. But Laurie’s garden is the one that I will always miss, and it would not be Laurie’s garden without Laurie and Mike….and the equine cast of Dewey, Mooney, Pinta, Elé, Katchina…