Purple, the blending of blue and red, and all of our favorite colors are lushly blooming now in the gardens at 900. It has taken me a while to get in the summer mood for this letter, a lot due to the fact that we really haven’t (happily!!) had the typical stretch of hot, humid, July and August weather. Purples predominate right now from the softest lavenders of daylilies, geraniums, and pentas to the deepest burgundies of lilies, dahlias, coralbells, and hazelnuts. There are vignettes galore this year.
Our gardening crew of Jose, Felipe, and Alfredo make it all happen – these guys put the G in gardener!!!
Because of moderate temperatures and cool nights, the gardens have never been more beautiful or more colorful. The delphiniums in the Blue Border lasted for six weeks, and one Sunday morning I counted 48 spikes abloom! One of my favorites, “delphs” usually last two weeks and just shatter in the 90 degree temperatures. Not this summer!
As I write this, it is a virtual “Oriental Lily Spectacular.” The Scheherazade hybrids, transplanted from our Wilmette garden, are seven feet tall with bulbs the size of grapefruits. I figured out that these same bulbs are now 18 years old and still thriving – must be our transplanting and un-clumping every few years. The 75 newly planted Casablancas by the pool in between the peonies are so fragrant, Paul is having sinus trouble. He grins and bears it, aided by medication, but won’t give up their beauty for a clear head! Stargazers, Acapulcos, Auratums, and Marco Polos all grace the collection.
We have begun harvesting about three tomatoes a day now – always a treat, especially in the heat of summer.
On our events front, we were happy to be involved in the Lake Forest Infant Welfare Showcase House during the month of May. Paul Klug, Inc. and CBLD were again a dynamic duo creating a fabulous Italianate terrace garden for the famous Pike House designed by David Adler in 1916. We received many a compliment and felt so fortunate to be represented in this collection of selected designers for such a worthy cause.
Our gardens at 900 attracted a whopping 866 visitors for the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour at the end of July. We were very pleased to be part of the support of such a great cause and organization.
Back in the gardens, the reflecting pool in the Eagle Terrace has been joined by a second water feature – an antique English Pan fountain exactly like one in historic photos of this garden in the 1920s. What a find from our friends Marty and Kay at Finnegan Gallery.
We have added many new seating areas due to Paul and my nightly garden strolls. Paul has suggested so many vantage point seating areas with beautiful furniture and fabrics, that I am doing more of this type of spontaneous seating on client projects. Our teamwork really makes the garden much more accessible, dynamic and comfortable to be in. We will never be through – nor should we ever be!
Remember, as author Diane Ackerman wrote: Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.
Happy Summer and take time to smell ALL the lilies!!!
RLA, ASLA, Proprietor