Friday, November 30, 2012

My visit to Alternative Eden, the garden of Mark and Gaz (part 2)

Yesterday we visited the densely planted jungle that is the garden of Mark and Gaz. Today we leave the jungle and step out into a more arid landscape. It’s the transition between these two spaces that I could never completely understand. In case you've felt the same (or this is your first time seeing their garden) took a photo from yesterdays post to help…

The bottom arrow leads back into what we've already explored, the top arrow points on to this, just around the corner, jutting out perpendicular to the rest of the garden, as I mentioned yesterday almost forming an "L."

What was once a flat boring bit of land (I’m guessing) has been completely transformed. Their Yucca aloifolia 'Purpurea' (again, guessing) are striking no?

And how many trunking Yuccas does one garden need? At least five…

Aloe polyphylla, the spiral aloe.

That thin leafed Euphorbia at the base of the Yucca is E. deflexa.

Graptopetalum paraguayense, yes…this gorgeous succulent has lived through the winter in the ground. (how jealous am I!?)

I also loved this Leucogenes leontopodium.

The green mound is Scleranthus uniflorus, and yes I had to touch it.

Agave bracteosa

Another Aloe polyphylla.

Looking back…

And on the other side of the path…

Here’s the Celmisia I mentioned last week, C. hookeri.

And finally the koi pond! (well, it will be…soon) I was surprised, it’s even bigger than it looks.

It made me happy to see they’d properly signed their work.

I should have turned just a bit more to get a photo of the area beyond. At least you can see a sliver of it. Where the piece of wood is now will be a window.

The work these two have done to create this structure is nothing short of amazing. Just clearing out lawn and putting in our patio was enough work for me. I am in awe. Looking back the other way (where we came from).

From the photos I’d seen I also thought the roof might feel a little claustrophobic, but it doesn't.
This will be a smaller open pond across the path from the large one.

Every gardener has a ‘plant maintenance facility’ (or plants in waiting) theirs is beyond the pond and filtration house area. There was a Saxifraga longifolia (I believe)...

And a Mahonia 'Soft Caress,' along with many others fabulous plants.

Inside their second greenhouse...

You knew there had to be another Schefflera today right? S. brevipedicellata…

But wait, there's more! Schefflera delavayi…with completely different shaped leaves from mine.

Finally we end this garden visit with Schefflera multinervia.

The time we spent in the garden flew by, it felt like minutes but before we knew it hours had passed. It was time to get a bite to eat! The guys took me to the Fancott, which was actually my only true English pub meal, and it was delicious.

After a leisurely meal and more chatting it was time to do a little sightseeing. We hopped in their car and headed to Woburn. This is where I admit my silly American-ness and say OMG! Sitting in the front seat of the car in what to me is the driver’s seat as we met oncoming or turning traffic was a thrill indeed. I had to stifle a tiny scream more than once.

As we walked through the village I was struck by how picturesque everything was…

I love seeing plants up on a balcony.

And old cemeteries had somehow become a feature of this trip too. I suppose when you visit a country as old as England you are bound to run into the prior inhabitants around every corner.

As for my hosts, thank you so much for inviting me into your home and garden and making my visit so memorable. The beauty of your garden was eclipsed only by your personalities, I so enjoyed getting to know you both a bit. I hope you’ll let me repay the hospitality someday!

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