Wednesday Vignette – the crowning missus

About three years ago, my boss Maurice and his husband George took down a row of declining poplars. But, instead of doing what most people do, they chose to not have them removed. Instead, they left the base of the trunks in the ground, and cut up the rest into suitably sized logs that they used to build a stumpery. The soil between the stumps was filled with a multitude of ferns, and other plants that might do well in a situation like that.


Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Robert Brydon.

The other night, we were invited to their garden to hang out, and to admire the progress. We donned our masks, and off we went. We were met by a veritable cloud of small, pale blue bells floating atop the fern berm. It looked especially effective and fabulous in the blue light of evening. This chance hybrid was found by an estate gardener in Cleveland, OH, back in 1935. He named it after his wife – well, in as far as back then, wives’ names were pretty much their husbands names, preceded with a “Mrs”. So, let me introduce to you; Mrs. Robert Brydon . I’m guessing what the honored missus’ actual name was, has been lost in the fog banks of time. I appreciate the subtle protest of her spirit, as her official namesake assumes the form of a dense mist, making itself very noticeable by smothering everything in its path with a cloud of airy flowers. Mrs Robert Brydon – whomever she was –  was no shrinking violet!

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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16 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – the crowning missus

  1. rusty duck says:

    That is lovely. I have just released a very similar stump from blankets of English ivy. And now I know exactly what I am going to do with it!

  2. Tina says:

    A stumpery! Besides being a really fun word, I think that was a fabulous idea and look how beautiful it is! I’m sure you had a nice evening, thanks for sharing. Here’s my WV, thanks for hosting:

  3. krispeterson100 says:

    What a beautiful effect! I’m afraid latest post from my garden isn’t nearly as attractive:

    • annamadeit says:

      Well, my options last night was between something beautiful, and shots of my seemingly dying Edgeworthia… I opted for beauty, so your post will be the yin to my yang. LOL!

  4. I still have never made it to Maurice and George’s garden. Someday!

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, we never got a chance to return last year… Reportedly – this time around – I (and most of us, actually) missed an essential part of the Clematis collection, so need to go back. Not sure how that happened!

  5. Marilyn Bauer says:

    You have inspired me with your stumpery. I was wanting to tear out a long hedge of Ligustrum japonicum but did not want to pay the added cost of digging out all the stumps. So now I will just create a stumpery which will add a new dimension to my garden. Another fun fall planting project.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Hey, poplars used to be used as a renewable source of firewood. In some regions, they grew on the banks of canals, both because they were happy there, and also because they stabilized the soil. I grew six Lombardy poplars where I lived while in high school. They grew like weeds, and when big enough, one could be cut into firewood. Another tree got cut down each year. After six years, the first tree to be cut down was ready to be cut down again. Of course, I was not there long enough to manage the system, so it did not work very well.

  7. hb says:

    Well that’s a beauty. Also the grace of what (guessing) is Hakonechloa on the left. Love that plant.

    Due to seeing quite a few “stumpery” examples on PNW garden blogs, I saved a pair of Cypress stumps and they have become fine homes for Tillandsias and other Bromeliads. Ain’t garden blogs great?

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