Wednesday Vignette – the darnedest things…

A couple of weeks ago for WV, I posted some photos of a type of garden that made me scrunch my face into a puzzled expression over the meaning of it – it was odd enough, there had to be a story behind it. In response to one of the comments on that post, I remarked that my neighbor wasn’t a whole lot better. Fast forward to last week’s Vignette. It was of a beautiful gate, enveloped in fabulous foliage. So, since the impressions of the world around us often are appreciated through contrast, I figured I would post a photo or two of the “gate” my neighbor erected. It is stunning in its raw, ugly clumsiness, and truthfully – I have yet to conjure up the guts to ask him about it, afraid it would come out as “What the hell is THAT?” or “What did you do THAT for…?” Anyway, here goes:

See what I mean?

See what I mean? On the morning of the recent storm we had, we were watching him through the window, as he added the supporting boards to brace for the anticipated winds.

Sadly, his efforts didn't help.

Sadly, his efforts didn’t help much, but we got a good laugh out of it. The following day, he painstakingly put it back up again. I wonder if it’s us? Maybe my messy yard and my old truck offend him? 

On a totally different note, let me post two more photos, but this time something that made me happy.

Isn't this Amsonia out of this world??? I can't get enough of that ferny, orange fall foliage!

Isn’t this Amsonia out of this world??? I can’t get enough of that ferny, orange fall foliage!

Here is another shot of the same thing, except with a Quicksilver Hebe in front of it. The planting is part of a project I designed three years ago. I went back and photographed it the day before the storm, figuring it likely would be another year until it looked good again. Haven't been back to check, but hopefully it did okay in the ravaging winds.

Here is another shot of the same thing, except with a Quicksilver Hebe in front of it. The planting is part of a project I designed three years ago. I went back and photographed it the day before the storm, figuring it likely would be another year until it looked good again. Haven’t been back to check, but I’m hopeful it did okay in the ravaging winds.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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28 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – the darnedest things…

  1. How hideous. We had a door inside the house very like that. I removed it as soon as we moved in

  2. Tina says:

    The Amsonia is stunning, the “fence”–not so much!

  3. Our neighbor next door cut down an old maple tree at the end of his driveway near the street. I was glad to see it go – until he left about a 3′ stump. The tree guys said he wanted to be able to sit out there. Ha! In 20 years of being his neighbor he’s never spent time out there. I’m sure it was a cost issue. Now I get to see it sticking up behind my border, out my kitchen window etc. C’est la vie in the U.S. Your Hebe/Amsonia combo is breath-taking! What Amsonia variety is it? Mine just gets yellow.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh no! Maybe you could surprise him one dark night, by placing a large planter full of lovelies on top of the stump? That way, it wouldn’t mar your view so much… It’s Amsonia hubrichtii. I can’t get enough of it this time of year. I really need to find a good place for it in my own garden. Right now, I enjoy it vicariously through other people’s gardens. 🙂

  4. Tomik says:

    How long have you been growing the Hebe Quicksilver? It looks nice and full. My experience is that they get rather lanky and loose.

  5. Kris P says:

    If I was to venture a guess, I’d say the allure of that fence for your neighbor is probably ease of construction (which is fortunate as I’m sure it’ll be falling down on a regular basis) and price. It is not pretty but your Amsonia, on the other hand, is beautiful. I’ve been tempted to try that plant here, although it’s hard to find locally and my guess is that we wouldn’t get the same kind of fall color from it. Here’s my WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha, Kris – your comment just made me laugh out loud! 😀 I think you’re probably right about the Amsonia needing a drop in temperature to flare up like that, but even so, it is very lovely in its regular green, ferny state too. It is such an underused plant, it drives me nuts! Hope you can find it.

  6. I couldn’t help but look at that strange lattice panel and wish my neighbor would do the same. Instead I get to stare out my kitchen window at his recycling and yard waste bins parked in his front yard, where he left them just off the driveway. They are at about a 75% tilt too, just for added drama.

    But enough about ugly!

    Love your last photo, beautiful combo. Interestingly I’ve got the same two plants relatively close to each other but couldn’t ever get that lovely angle that you did. Nice work!

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! Had to get on my knees to get it, and there were no painful plants to stop me! You know, the funny thing is that my neighbor once told me he’s been taking design classes at PCC. Made me marvel a bit about the range of creative thought out there…

  7. One of the hardest lessons to learn in gardening is to view what you’re doing from a distance to see the overall effect. The fence person is totally unaware of the effect he’s creating; doesn’t even know what a fence is for! Maybe someday he’lll look around and see your garden! Interesring post

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – well, thank you for the confidence. I need to tell you that although my garden looks alright from the street – it is a plant hoarder’s hell inside. Nothing to be proud of, at all… 🙂

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your Amsonia pairing with the Melianthus is stunning. Love blue and orange togehter and the contrast in foliage shape and size is fab too! Interesing gate – looks like the kind of quick fix I’d attempt. Here’s my WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh no, you wouldn’t… I just know it. If you made a gate, it would have some stained glass features… And, it would have some quirky twists too, I’m sure. And, all taken together, it would look fantastic! 🙂

  9. rickii says:

    When we moved into our house, there were many WWTT moments. Probably whoever comes next will think the same of us.

  10. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening! says:

    The gate could have been worse, maybe a camo tarp tacked to a frame? In any case the second half of your post shows you’re focused on the right part of the neighborhood: your own.

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, WHY did I only now see this comment? Sorry, Alan… If it can make you feel better, it’s not the first time comments have gotten lost. As for the post, actually, no. The second part was from a project for another person – not mine. I SO wish it was mine, but my Amsonia isn’t half as amazing. Not enough sun or water, I think, but I will try again next year. Such a great plant!

  11. Evan Bean says:

    There’s something to be said for a quick, cheap fix…that you have to keep fixing over, and over, and over again… Yeah, maybe not.

    Your photos of the Amsonia with the Melianthus and Hebe are both fantastic, though! I’d love to have those combinations in my garden.

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      That’s the part I don’t understand… A fix for… what? Maybe he just doesn’t like the view across the street, and I guess I can live with that. As for plant combos – with all the space you have… Wow – would love to see big drifts of yellow and blue all over that fabulous garden of yours. 🙂

  12. Alison says:

    Your Amsonia is a beautiful color! I’m so jealous of everyone posting their pictures of it this time of year. My WV post is here:

  13. hb says:

    Your neighbor’s craftsmanship is about at my level (not high). But the Amsonia is beautiful. Funny but the Calothamnus here makes a sort of substitute–not as much beautiful orange color, but the texture is close.

  14. Wow, that Amsonia has amazing color! I’ve never seen it turn such a brilliant shade of orange.

    • annamadeit says:

      Stunning, isn’t it? I wish it were mine… Mine was spindly this year. For next year, I will move it to a sunnier spot and water it more. It is so totally worth it!

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