Go Inside a Landscape Architect's Stunning Magic Garden
Out of the Blue
It took one couple 30 years to accumulate this most curious collection of plants. Learn all about their story
and click through for a tour of their spectacular magic garden.
Delicate blossoms of sweet woodruff and Spanish bluebells burst forth in spring.
A corridor outside the azalea room leads to a dark glazed pot filled with a pop of bright yellow-green coleus.
“We were trying to create a place that was shimmery in a cool, cloudy landscape,” says Gwynne of the silver garden—tall, thin “pencils” of weeping white spruce add height to the sea of gray, silvery plants in midsummer; recycled aluminum bats and galvanized antique croquet hoops were placed along the walkway to protect the beds from the hose during watering.
Several varieties of blue clematis are encouraged to intertwine along a high trellis.
To create the weeping-beech tunnel, Gwynne and Folcarelli began with 12-inch pots of Fagus sylvatica ‘Black Swan,’ which they trained over nine-foot-tall steel hoops made by local tinsmiths. They had to insert wedges of wood between the branches and the hoops, because otherwise the metal, heated by the summer sun, would burn the branches. In spring, dark-red tulips and purple alliums add a splash of color to the border.
Let the Sunshine In
“Even on a foggy day, the yellow garden always appears sunny and bright,” says Gwynne; an eight-foot-tall boxwood hedge, which Folcarelli pruned to just a foot wide, frames the space and provides a backdrop for pale ‘Golden Star’ rhododendrons.
Yellow-edged comfrey complements the gauzy flowers of alexanders (Zizia).
Low-clipped yellow barberry and variegated Hakonechloa grass are “as brightly colored as any flower,” Gwynne says; yellow spider daylilies were planted toward the back of the beds to hide their mass of green foliage, which would take away from the intended effect.
In spring, bright Welch poppies (Meconopsis cambrica), which grow near yellow rhododendrons and Calanthe sieboldii orchids just outside the yellow room, appear to glow when backlit by the sun.