As an avid amateur gardener, I'm always on the look out to be inspired.
This can take many forms, from looking at programmes on TV, reading magazine articles, listening to radio, and of course more recently looking at websites on line, picture posting sites, blogs, twitter, etc. so much to choose from an plenty of inspiration when needed.
But you know what was really nice? To be around plants 'in the flesh' so to speak. Yes, on Tuesday last, I was to meet a friend of mine just out side of town for a coffee. Where we were meeting was called 'Avoca Handweavers', and although they have a chain of stores, this one in Kilmacanogue is their headquarters and what a place it is. It's on the grounds of what was once a stately home, and there is a certain sense of grandeur about it.
Although I didn't have a lot of time, there was enough to be inspired by some of the what I saw (it was actually a bonus that my friend was running late - gave me time to explore!)
I think the pictures speak for themselves, from the water feature to the more formal planting to the mixture of plants used.
In the first first picture you can see the box ball, Buxus sempervirens, in the large terracotta pot, used to great effect as the focal point as the eye travels down the path. Look at the landscape colours used too, you have the cream gravel and the red clay colour of the pots, softened by the use of ferns.
The second picture is simple. You have bamboo, which give a nice bit of movement and sound, and to the front of them the ever reliable Rudbekia with their bright yellow flowers and dark center. In fact, if you don't have this in your garden, make sure you get it - it's a must!
And in the third picture, don't you just love the way the pot grown Wisteria softens the hardness of the trellis work. I wonder has it flowered yet?
Picture four is just a good example of late colour in a border. There is the pink Sedum, yellow Agryanthems and the more shuttle colour of Lavender beside them.
The truck parked in front of what I think is a giant American redwood was annoying at first, and I was thinking it gives a sense if scale - and I couldn't fit the whole tree in, it was so large!
The final picture is my 'Neverland'; yes, how I would love to create a water feature such as this. Alas, my resources don't allow for it, so it's also my never-land! It's a great sight though and very inspiring for the future.
Of course we're regularly inspired, by many things, so when you find it, do pause and breath it in.
You can see this is part one, as I'll be writing other blogs on what inspires me.
In the meantime, time to start planning that water feature for maybe five years time ...