Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Beachaven Garden Club Visit to Sun's Garden

Being a member of a garden club or garden organization sure has it advantages. Sometimes we put our work gloves on and get to work or sometimes we just walk around and visit fabulous gardens in our local community. Our monthly meeting took us to a local garden last month and this post is dedicated to that garden. Ready for a garden tour? Well hold on because another one will be coming in this Friday's post.

The above plant gave everyone in my club problems with identification. I tried very hard to identify it on my own but had no luck. I then posted the above picture on my Facebook profile and we got some excellent answers. The consensus is that it is centranthus. This is supposed to be a lovely old fashioned perennial-that I don't often seen grown in our area. Sun, the owner of the plant and garden we will visit in this post, orders most of her plants online and is specific as to what she likes and does not like. Sun did not know the identity of this lovely plant but she was more than generous in sharing it with a few folks in our garden club. Now that's a gardener! One who shares.
When our tour was initially placed on the yearly agenda it was billed as a 'Topiary Garden'. While there were many topiaried plants in this garden the garden was much more than topiary.
There were many Asian influences in the garden-we even got to see a hummingbird's nest!
There was fantastic edging and a great mix of perennials, shrubs, and trees set among an idyllic setting in the county. Sun used mainly rock mulch and landscape fabric in her gardens to keep the weeds down. We'll see another garden this Friday where that gardener uses the same style of gardening. Not being a big fan of landscape fabric I must say I was quite impressed by the bounty and low maintenance of this large garden-even with the landscape fabric. It is always nice to see how others garden. I am open to all types of gardens and so love tours and blogging because I get to be exposed to different perspectives in gardens. My style of gardening is more naturalistic with all natural mulch (leaves) but I tell you I really did like this garden and do like the rocks. It's the leaf blowing that would give me a nightmare I think.

I didn't take many pictures of the huge vegetable garden
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Garden clubs are the best - looks like you had a great outing! Love the photos, but I'm with you on the leaves - life is too short to fuss over them. Prefer that centranthus to the variety I have, a not so pretty medium red.

  2. Yep, I was going to say Centranthus too. I puchased some this year and really like it. Hoping it will self seed like the tag said. This is a beautiful and manicured garden. Something I have yet to learn.

  3. What a beautiful garden, thanks for sharing. I should try to join a garden club in my area, it would be fun to take some tours. :)

  4. Looks great! There's a garden club here where I live but I think I'm in a different age group (if ya know what I mean...) I agree with you too about having a more natural garden, maybe it's easier to tend - I dunno.

  5. Beautiful!

    I wish I had put fabric under the lava rock in my Rock Garden. I was pulling weeds like a mad woman yesterday. Weeds everywhere! When I create gardens, most of the time I dont really have a plan. They just seem to evolve and then I have regrets for not thinking things through… Oh well, such is life….

    Have a great day everyone!!!

  6. Cyndy, I've never grown centranthus and everyone was so into it. I must try it. It was so pretty.

    Darla, Manicured indeed. I've been touring quite a few like this. Look for another one next Friday with the same mulch. Garden visits rock!

    Racquel, Yes indeed! I just love seeing other gardens and enjoy my garden club immensely. See if there is one by you. I bet there are at least half a dozen. Here we have three-not counting master gardeners.

    Heather, Go start your own club-it's pretty easy. Just find a few friends who have the same interest as you and there you have it. I contemplated doing that for a while. It's so nice talking with and learning from other garden fanatics.

    Skeeter, Lately the gardens I've been seeing seem to have it. I can imagine the weed fabric would reduce weeding under rock and the rocks would keep the soil cool. I hope some rain falls your way this week!

  7. Good Morning All.
    Tina, that was a wonderful tour. Can't wait for the others. Clubs would be nice as one could see how other gardens look.
    I've never heard of Centranthus or seen it. It is rather pretty. Must see if I can find some seed of it.
    I agree the leaves would be something else to deal with. I only have 1 water oak {I think} with very small leaves & nuts. Arrrg. It is dying & must come down. That means no shade except for neighbors.

  8. My garden clubs garden tours start later this month. I can't wait.
    I have never seen a hummingbirds nest Tina. Where do thy build them? what do they look like?

  9. How interesting and exciting to get a chance to tour many gardens. I always wonder what people grow on their backyard. I am still quite puzzled that Australian made garden at the backyard but where I come from people usually garden at the frontyard so passerby can enjoy them too.

  10. Must have been a fun day.

    Landscape frabic works well in cojunction with some kind of mulch. It is, however, not so good for our precious earth. It takes forever to degrade. Frabic is the opertive word. The plastic stuff that preceded the frabric will NEVER break down in our lifetime.

  11. I really enjoy seeing other gardens. It would be wonderful to belong to a local club but they all meet during the day when I'm at work, so I visit garden blogs during my lunch hour. Than you for the time you spend creating this place to visit


  12. I would love to see a hummingbird nest Tina. I can only imagine how tiny it must have been?? If one ever chose my garden to nest in, I'd feel incredibly lucky!
    I really meant to join my local garden club this spring then (of course) never got around to it. You are right about the privileges it offers. I think the comradarie (sp) of fellow gardeners would be great too. I agree with you too that you can learn from any style of garden.

  13. Lola, I hope your oak holds up for a while-that shade must be priceless.

    Melanie, I bet you can't wait! A hummer's nest is quite small. This one was tucked into the center of a deciduous shrub about 4 feet off from the ground. It was camouflaged quite well.

    MKG, There is such a wide variety of gardening types and methods throughout the country. I did not know Australians mostly garden in their backyards. That is how we do it here too-generally. There will be landscaping out front but not too much gardening. It is nice to share gardens with neighbors.

    Mom, Yes, landscape fabric sure does hang around for a long time. I've not liked it in my garden but under rocks seems to be a good spot for it. It was interesting seeing this garden and another I'll be posting next week in which the gardener uses the same method.

    Sue, Thank you so very much for stopping by and leaving a nice comment. I'm glad I can share these gardens with everyone. It is so neat to see them and not everyone can so sharing them is a great way to get the word out about gardening. My garden club meets at night-the only one of three that meets at night in my town. It really is helpful when you work during the day. I'm so sorry none meet in the evening in your town-but maybe in the future?

    Kathleen, I did not get a great view of the nest but I saw some grasses in a small cup shape that was so well camouflaged I think the gardener must've noticed the nest only because she spotted the hummers entering it and leaving it. I wish I could find one in my garden but they are hard to find.

  14. Love the garden tour. I like the one photo with the mix of conifers, hostas and the red Japanese maple. Nice contrasts.

  15. Sounds fun and interesting to walk around and visit other gardens! The tourou(stone lantern) and the maple tree in the garden look beautiful. My neighbor has the same type of maple which we often see here. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Wonderful tour...I spotted the centranthus right away since it is flowing all over my seeds itself freely and I let it....lovely color and the pollinators love it especially hummers...

  17. I love that last photo! I'm a big fan of Japanese gardens and anything with an Asian influence. They always seem so serene. But it's not a style that would work in my own garden--I'm not neat or patient enough:) Besides, a more native style seems to fit in better on a farm setting.

    One of the best parts about belonging to a garden club or organization is the sharing of plants. I've noticed that starts I've gotten from our Idea Garden seem much more robust than anything I buy in a nursery.

  18. It is a very pretty garden. I like the rock mulch, it looks so clean. I think the leaf blowing would be a lot of work though too. How cool to see a hummingbird nest. I read they are teeny tiny.

  19. you being a member of a garden club has advantages for me too - interesting post, lovely garden.

  20. Skeeter, about that mulch. Did you notice if she had weeds poking through? Did the rocks look like store-bought rocks where they're all perfect little round stones or did they look like garden rocks where it's all irregular and whatever one finds in normal gardens? Also, did she say how she fertilizes the bed with the rocks? Liquid? I'm doing this in the Japanese Garden and am eager to know how someone else handles the obstacles I foresee. (I'm also averse to landscape fabric but will most definitely be using it in this instance.)

  21. Wendy, This lady was such a conscientious gardener that I doubt weeds would have a chance to poke through but she may have used Preen to help out too. As for as fertilizing. Hmmmm, I think when she cuts the fabric and inserts plants then she fertilizes then and later when she fertilizes she probably just sprinkles granular in the planting holes, not over the whole bed. The stones most likely all came from the quarry since there were so many of them. All different sizes but all rounded.

  22. Beautiful ,mesmerizing and phenomenal... really , this garden is an inspiration for all home owners who wants to make their garden look like this one.