Garden Visit: Kathryn Connell in Vermont

Finally I'm getting to share some pictures of my friend Kathryn Connell's garden in Vermont. Kathryn invited me up for the Flynn Garden Tour, but her own gardens were worth the trip. Spending the evening watching the sun set over the valley while listening to birdsongs on the porch was one of the highlights of my trip.

(also, I'm not sure I've got the right title for this type of post. I'd like to write more "other-people's-gardens" posts, so suggestions are welcome. )

Kathryn's garden looks very natural, hiding the great effort she has put into it over the years. I enjoyed the multi-level plantings - tall shrubs were complemented by knee-high perrennials like astible, lady's mantle, euphorbia, and upright sedums. Lower down, hostas, ajuga, crane's bill, ginger, and creeping phlox softened shady borders. Hens and chicks were tucked into rocks all over the garden.

I mostly use perennials or "cheap & seedy" annuals (zinnias, marigold, allysum, portulaca etc), but I was inspired to see how a well-placed begonia (above) could brighten up a shady bed of ferns. Also, they have some really cool new begonias out there these days!

Below, all Kathryn's windows had boxes over-flowing with bright annuals.

The sculptural elements in this garden were really special. An old metal bed frame completes the arbor and a garden shed is decorated with a variety of rusty farm implements, including an old cream separator. Some of these things are easier to find in rural Vermont, but I've been keeping an eye out in my neighborhood for curbside treasures for the garden.

Not only did Kathryn let me eat her blueberries, but she also sent me home with literally buckets of plant divisions for my garden. We are both pretty nuts about sedums and I'm excited to have some new varieties. She also showed me how she propagates all sorts of plants from cuttings using a little rooting hormone powder. I may be a little late, but I just potted up some cuttings yesterday. The sedum and bee balm should be easy and maybe I'll get lucky with the clematis and native honeysuckle.