Thursday, 24 March 2016

The best experiences are often unplanned

When I finally heard Peter Korn speak for the first time at a lecture to a NARGS group at the New York Botanic Garden last fall, I thought I must add this garden to my ever-growing list of must-see gardens. But upon talking to Peter after his lecture, I actually thought this really is a garden worth working at for a little while. You don't need to listen to Peter very long before realizing that he is of a special breed, the sort of gardener that doesn't come around too often. I've been fortunate enough to work with and learn from some very talented gardeners, and I've learned when the opportunities present themselves, to, when possible, take full advantage of them. This was one such instance. 

Going to Sweden in March to garden isn't really ideal, but you do what you have to when you get to. So as can easily be expected, I arrived to snow and cold. 

View back to house from across the garden

The winter garden is not something to dismiss. To the contrary, it is an opportunity and a privilege to see the garden this time of year. Not only is the garden closed to the public now, but it's also a great time to see the winter bones and skeleton of the garden- really an opportunity to see the who's who of winter survivors and which plants might be worth growing for their durability and fortitude (surviving a Swedish winter and still standing strong is a nice accomplishment afterall). Some examples that stood out to me when walking the garden are: 

Miscanthus sinensis 'Nishidake' 

Molinia caerulea 'Edith Dudszus' 

Thalictrum 'Elin'

Calamagrostis epigejos

Eryngium giganteum 'Miss Willmott's Ghost'

Just to note a few...


  1. Ben,
    I was at a NYBG today and heard from James Golden that your where you were in Sweden. Good for you for taking these kinds of opportunities. You won't regret it. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

  2. Hi Michael,
    Good to hear from you! Yes, I'm in Sweden through Apr. Peter Korn is doing some really fascinating things, and its been great to learn from him first hand. Were you at the Luciano talk?

    1. Yes, I was. I saw his last two Chelsea gardens and last May, I got a chance to see his trial bed at Great Dixter. I was very interested in hearing about his process. I am still working on striking the right balance of structure and mixed plantings in my own garden while having it have the sense of place here in NH. It was an inspiring lecture. Have a great time learning from Peter Korn.