This summer we undertook phase one of a landscaping revival here at Juniata Valley Winery Wilson House Bed & Breakfast. Here are excerpts from a note I recently sent to our friend Suzanne King who created a design plan that she is helping to implement over the next few years.
"I think of you often when standing on the front lawn for hours, hose in hand, communing with our green friends.
"Yes, sad to say, 2 transplants have died from post surgery trauma and thirst. It has been a challenge to keep everything adequately watered with our primitive, by-hand/sprinkler system, rationed time and manpower available for the task, and a dearth of rain. . .As for pulling the two bushes, there is a contingent that believes in magic and thinks those two boxwoods will come back . . . It’s not looking good.
"All your other plantings seem to have adjusted to the environment. The little trees and bushes have taken quite happily to their new digs.
NEWLY PLANTED EVERGREEN COURTS POTTED PETUNIAS
The foxglove and lavender are also settled – I cannot wait to see them when they come back next year. All of the pots look fabulous.
A HAPPY GATHERING
My favorite is the gray one out back."
I'm sure for someone like Susan, the surroundings of the gorgeous stone home we call Wilson House Bed and Breakfast are a veritable playground. The towering deciduous and evergreen trees on the grounds occasionally give way, so that the property is variously studded with sun-drenched sections juxtaposed with areas of deep shade.
SHADED HYDRANGEA FEELS FOR SUN-ROASTED FRIENDS
Then there are the dappled spaces:
*"GLORY BE TO GOD FOR DAPPLED THINGS. . .LANDSCAPE PLOTTED AND PIECED"
A favorite of Suzanne's additions to the landscape is the tree hydrangea that delighted us with delicate white flowers.
CLOSE UP PHOTO OF HYDRANGEA TREE
Sadly, the many existing hydrangeas yielded but one, lone, albeit gorgeous, pink flower this year.
NEEDS A FRIEND!
We capitalized on Suzanne’s creativity on a small patio beside the winery. Susan added a tropical feel with enormous pots of canna and potato vine on this shady side of the house. We added garden seating to provide a cozy, shaded nook for our patrons to “chill out,” sip wine, and chat.
INVITATION TO AFTERNOON WINE & CHEESE!
Suzanne’s invaluable input is part of an ongoing beautification project in the gardens at JVW Wilson House. The vision is to include most of the existing landscaping, enhanced by Suzanne’s plan. Phase one called for re-arranging our boxwoods and added new flowers - foxglove, lavender, a hydrangea tree - some evergreens, and large, strategically, placed pots. The evergreens, to use Suzanne’s words, are “the key elements. . . to add structure and some winter interest. As for the overall feel of landscaping, Suzanne says, “I wanted just a bit of formality with some cottage whimsy feel.”