Does timber bamboo count as a tree? When it’s growing in the garden of John Monroe, proprietor of the specialty nursery Architectural Trees, then I think it counts. The bamboo lines the fence along Amed Road leading to the nursery, but it’s most visible from inside the fence. John propagates and sells a huge variety of trees, mostly conifers and Japanese maples. If you’re looking for something interesting, unusual, and architectural then you’ve gotta get out to Bahama and see John.
Architectural Trees is out in the country northwest of Raleigh. The old farmhouse has been on the property for a long time, as have numerous log buildings. The pond provides irrigation water as well as a visual focal point. John writes about his trees on the Architectural Trees blog.
Those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest would never think to put the chaise lounge in a shady woodland border. But when you live in hot and humid North Carolina it makes perfect sense to create a hideaway in the shade where you can catch the breezes and relax away from the sun.
This is one small part of Maureen Buck’s garden near Franklinton. She retired here from Pennsylvania about four years ago and started creating the garden. She’s definitely a collector of conifers and Japanese maples. Most of the varieties are dwarfs that she expects to take several years to develop any size. Some are in the full sun in front of her home, but most are placed in the shady woodlands behind her home.
Maureen gardens with the company of four large dogs, which she says creates its own set of challenges. But she’s not giving up either the garden or the dogs. She and her husband also have about 45 acres of farmland and woods several miles from their house where they’re growing more trees. Sounds like a pretty decent retirement to me.
A little of this and a little of that could describe Jeanne Andrus’ generous garden in a gated community in Raleigh. She grew up on the property and said she used to fly kites as a kid in the meadow where her home now stands. It’s changed a lot since then, including an ever-expanding garden that surrounds the house. Jeanne started gardening when her kids grew up and hasn’t stopped since.
The largest part of the garden is a shady woodland where Jeanne is adding choice dwarf conifers and shade-loving perennials under the native loblolly pines. This yucca is in a sunny perennial border on the west side of the house, providing a visual break between a small lawn and the lake below. It’s the newest part of the garden.
After heavy rain last night, today was a bright sunny autumn day with cool temperatures and low humidity. The photographic challenge was working under all that sun. It sure was pleasant to be outside all day but I would have appreciated a few more clouds. While I was out at Maureen Buck’s there were photogenic puffies floating by so I could set up a shot and wait for the next passing cloud before tripping the shutter. Other times I pulled out the polarizing filter and cut the foliage glare and kept working. The sun hadn’t risen over the house when I photographed the yucca. I really like shade with open sky light but it’s a rare commodity.