Woodland shade gardening with a purpose – pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
“A Dell of Ferns” is an article written by Charles O. Cresson, that appeared in Fine Gardening magazine. A summary at the end of the article explains how to create a double border. This summary put into words what I had never been able to see in pictures of gardens. It changed how I view garden photographs, how I view gardens, and how I think about planting gardens – not just planting borders. After reading the article I summarized the summary into my gardening notebook, and have read it several times. And will probably read it more times!
This was my turning point as a gardener. Previously, I had been fond of plants, but had little concept of how to think of placing them. My garden at my previous home was full and shady, a plant collector’s love of shopping showed clearly. But Charles O. Cresson’s article opened my eyes, very suddenly and with much light, to the idea of sitting down with pencil and paper and deciding how I wanted to design my garden. Much research and study was needed to know which shrubs would prosper if planted on my shady property. I used library books, the internet, and a very knowledgeable plantsman at Latham’s Nursery – and I finally began to feel the idea take shape in my mind.
Not all of Charles O. Cresson’s theories appear in my gardens, but his theories guide me as I consider possibilities. It seems logical that a small urban lot could ‘echo’ groupings from one side of the yard to the other, which is a very large way of planting a double border. The plants in my design are still small and immature, but my mind can imagine their mature sizes as I stroll through my gardens and contemplate the joy of growth, and time. Their forms, colors, textures, and sense of enclosure are already speaking to me.
For those who wish to know, here is the capsule version of the article, verbatim from my notebook! I particularly like the explanation of echoes, and of balancing mass.
Thank you, Charles. You really did change my life!
Woodland shade gardening with a purpose - pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
THE JOY OF GARDENING IN THE SHADOWS
Garden & Home