12th February 2010
I got the news today that Debbie has passed away. Shocked, stunned, saddened… apart from all of the many beautiful charachteristics – she was also a fellow gardener Funny thing, we spoke last week and were planning on doing garden tours together as a bit of a new business…. She was gonna call back after she did some research….. All that aside, Debbie would smile knowing I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a coffee or a pint she has in that photograph Missed already.
As a by the way she stayed up well into the wee hours of the [next] morning trying to get this garden guest post together….
debbie… thursday garden guest #2
If you’d like to know more about Thursday Garden Guest time – click here.
For the moment writer number #2 is Debbie Metrustry alias debbiemet. A lover of all things outdoors and botanical. I first met Debbie at Electric Picnic. A common love of horticulture is more professionally shared here. An absolute lady, a pleasure to meet and a great person to be around. For now, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce Debbie.
The Garden – What I Like
There are so many things I like about The Garden that it’s hard to know where to begin. From the personal lessons I have learnt through gardening, through the visceral joy of being connected with the earth, the curiosity and wonder at observing plants grow, the pure aesthetic pleasure of being in gardens of great beauty and intriguing design — through all these and the wonderful opportunities that I’ve been given – from the profound to the frivolous – there is not one aspect of my being that remains untouched.
My first ‘go’ at this blog came out as a chronological list masked as my biography: not so interesting, really. So I ditched it, and decided instead just to give you the things I like, in no particular order.
- I love the brown earth. I love having my hands in the soil. I mean I really love it. When I look at the rich, chocolate-coloured earth, dormant, but harbouring and nourishing all manner of living things, I feel a deep sense of rootedness, a connection. The smell of it after rain. Or a bright, crisp day with the sun shining and birds singing: well then there’s nothing to beat digging it. And mulching. Spreading well-rotted manure on a just-weeded or newly-planted bed is incredibly satisfying. It’s like Guinness for plants: black gold.
A whole field of the earth, just waiting for action
On a more modest scale: garden potential from Heligan
Toadstools at Mount Cuba Center, Delaware, taking advantage
- Plants: I get excited about all sorts of plants and really have no discrimination. There’s nothing more exciting than going to a garden or nursery and discovering lots of fabulous plants I’d never heard of. Some nurseries are better than others, and this one, Plant Delights in North Carolina, is at the forefront of plant introductions. I spent hours and hours there, and had to be torn away from all the amazing new plants.
Banana and Tetrapanax
OK, so it looks a bit nettley (same family)…
…but it’s actually a really cool foliage plant
called Boehmeria platanifolia, collected by Plant Delights
They take their signage seriously
Beautifully laid out, and just look at all those lovely labels (bottom left)
- I have a weak spot for herbaceous perennials which I love to grow myself, and I adore gardens that are full of them, especially when mixed with grasses in what is called the American prairie style. I’m a big fan of naturalistic planting, using natives where possible.
Prairie planting at Hunting Brook Gardens, Wicklow
The meadow at Mount Cuba Center, Delaware
A meadow on the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina
Looking out to the meadow at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Trees make me go weak at the knees and I am passionate about looking after them