Saturday, July 25, 2009

SAGS: Dorothy & Dan's Victorian Cottage Garden

Oh, how good it feels to post a SAGS post this week. With all of the events lately, and the rain that has swamped Western New York, all of my Garden posts have been thwarted. Luckily, the rain stopped long enough today to get some wonderful shots of a very inspirational garden I know you're all going to enjoy. Remember this house from the Garden Walk tour I posted a week or so ago?

Beautiful isn't it. A majestic painted lady, true to the era these Victorian homes were built. Inside and Out, Dorothy and Dan, along with help from friends, neighbors, and children have really put together a beautiful and photo worthy home. (Above) The granite porch is a cozy and cool gathering spot on those warm (well usually warm) summer nights. Wrapped in a curtain of wisteria it provides a "secret society room" where our little group can meet and survey the goings on of our little community. Wicker furniture painted a deep, rich shade of burgundy and myriad of gorgeous planters provide a welcoming retreat, perfect for a few laughs with friends.

Dorothy loves all things Victorian, and you'll find quite a few Angels keeping heavenly watch over her and her loved ones. From stone to ceramic, painted to aged and patinaed, these whimsical touches fill her home and garden, and keep you smiling. (Above) An angel perched on the rail of the stone porch column along with a beautiful concrete urn filled with sweet potato vine and trailing coleus.

Just in case the Angels need to call in for reinforcement, the stone lions proudly displaying their crests guard either side of the porch steps. Pots of annuals and ornamental grasses provide beautiful, bright color through the summer season.

My favorite of all of Dorothy's plants are these. She says they're called: Dell Arte Daybreak Begonia's: perhaps that's why. Gracefully falling among the antique iron rungs of the porch, their peach and cream flower is a beautiful sight, soft, friendly - much like Dorothy.

I told you there were no shortage of Angels. Here a stone Angel sits patiently near the brilliantly blue hydrangea, waiting for a whiff of it's delicate aroma, I suppose. Behind it the ornamental grass drapes softly, creating a layering affect that so deliciously feeds the eye.

Dorothy's coneflower and black eyed susan are slow this year, just like mine, and many other gardeners of WNY. The weather has been cool, damp, and the ground hasn't had many warm nights. Still, the full collection of them here provides a Cottage look that inspired my Cottage Garden. These beauties wrap the entire front facade of Dorothy and Dan's beautiful home, and create a riot of complimentary color in the summer months.

Dorothy and Dan are lucky enough to be on a deep lot. So there are plenty of spaces to fill, and many opportunities to create new gardens. (Above) a stone birdbath, dripping water from the earlier rain helps to protect a beautiful green and aubergine king coleus from the thick rain drops we've had lately - known to destroy their delicate foliage. Coleus is a wonderful shade filler plant for gardens in the North East, and the canopy of shade Dorothy has over her home from the 100+ year old trees that line her street, coleus has become one of her favorites.

Collections in the garden are not a thing of the past, and especially not in a Cottage Garden, like Dorothy and Dan's. (Above) A gorgeous pairing of ornamental grass, tropical spikes and trailing perennials play with terracotta and the iron of an old milk can against the gorgeous stone of Dorothy's foundation.

More coleus, this time in a pot nestled among the hosta's and ferns. These vignettes are what Dorothy uses to provide a dose of color to the lush, but mostly green landscape until the summer months. Just look at that brilliant burgundy color.

A small part of the new garden Dorothy and Dan added to their side yard this year. Russian Sage, Guillardia, Sunflower, and Shasta Daisy make for beautiful perennial pairings that are sure to flourish in the coming years.



Dorothy has 3 sons, one with a truck. So when she decided to line her garden with softened river rock found along the shores of Lake Erie, she had the perfect sets of helping hands. Together, they brought back enough stone to create a natural border along all of her side and back yard flowerbeds. A gorgeous addition!

And the coveted frog. There isn't a neighbor or admirer of Dorothy's garden that hasn't threatened to take this guy in the middle of the night. An old friend of her Garden, this frog has watched the growth of so much, and seems quite happy in among the sage, yarrow, ornamental grass, and false sunflower.


Other, more interesting varieties of flowers exist here too. This smoke bush for instance, seemed to be last year's crush among the neighbors, and I can think of 2 people off hand who bought it after seeing it in Dorothy and Dan's garden. A gorgeous perennial shrub, it starts off a deep mahogany/purple, and in the summer gets a very light spray of deep lavender blooms that create a "smoking" effect.

And Dan tried his hand at vegetables this year, too! The butter leaf lettuce looks perfect for a fresh summer salad, don't you think?

Dorothy's Iris were some of the most beautiful I've ever seen, and I wish I would have thought to take a picture of them this spring. An apricot and deep purple, almost midnight blue blend, they were the joy of our walking group. Each night we'd make our final lap and venture back into Dorothy's garden to see if the Iris had bloomed. Dorothy's sister, another gardening genius gave her this beautiful (but very heavy) statue. The perfect farewell face to Dorothy and Dan's beautiful Victorian garden.
Now, you know the drill. Comment on the garden post here, and if you have a garden post of your own you'd like to share here on Share a Garden Sunday, just drop me a comment with your post link. I'll link you up in no time! I hope you all enjoyed Dorothy's gorgeous garden, and a special thank you to Dorothy who let me take all of these great pictures!
Now off you go to see the others:
ChrisC & JonJ @ The Great Wall of Lutz