Maria von BrinckenSpring flowers pull me outside

As a landscape designer, one of my goals is to have exactly that happen to the people I design gardens for. I think it’s really important that you be pulled outside by the vision, to the smaller picture, and the smaller details. I’ve designed my garden so that I can see it from my office window, so it’s both inspiration and refreshment.

Pretty pale pink hyacinths with bluebells, in my back garden

It’s been a busy spring here, so I’ve not been able to get out into the garden as much as I’d like to – keeping my nose to the grindstone, so to speak. I guess it would sound kind of lame if I said “I didn’t quite make your deadline as I had to go out and look at my flowers”! So I’ve been restraining myself but mid-day yesterday I finally got outside to see what I had been admiring all morning from my office window.

What the pictures can’t show you is the sound, and the experience of the spring air. It was probably in the high 50s or low 60s (degrees F), and with bright sunshine, the feeling of warmth on your skin, a light breeze so there’s always a little flutter of leaves, and usually bird song as well.

Rich orange-red tulips contrast with the mellow blue of Virginia bluebell, Mertensia virginica

I just love the pairing of those orange red tulips. The name escapes me – they were given to me by my good friend Susan, who also did the bulb designing in some of my early garden designs. That was her favourite tulip and she said “you’ve just got to have that tulip!”. So because of her I always use it. I’ve paired it here with Mertensia virginica, the Virginia bluebell. It’s great because of that soothing, recessive pale blue color. You don’t always notice it but when you get up close you can see the soft texture of the leaves, the multiple bell flowers and that they range in color from a pale to a much darker blue.

Instead of a contrast, the early blooming rhododendron PJM (that blur of magenta in the upper right of the photo) and the mass of dark pink hellebore are shades of the same color. I tried in the photo to give an idea of what my eye sees from the upper path. Connected by color, they each combine to create a larger sensation of color.

I loved getting outside to enjoy these wonderful daffodils

Some other delights in the back garden are pink hyacinths with Virginia bluebells (Mertensia) and the lovely daffodils! Perhaps today I’ll get to spend time in the front gardens!

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Maria von Brincken

About Maria von Brincken

Award-winning landscape designer, garden journalist and lecturer, certified practising designer with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), former contributing editor to Landshapes magazine. Sudbury, Massachusetts. Read Maria's full blog at A Garden Maker's Notes

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