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A Garden House and Summer Blooms

One June 5, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, Georgia.  My topic was “Designing A Garden For Four Seasons.”  The audience was enthusiastic and I enjoyed the event but the highlight for me was when Susanne Hudson showed me the garden house (I’m not sure what she calls it) that she and Tara Dillard had designed together.  The talented builder was Ken Spencer.   I was impressed by his attention to detail and the fact that he used salvage materials for the project (except for the roof).  This inviting structure made me want to get my favorite book of the moment and stretch out on the bed and read.

Garden House with recycled materials

Creating outdoor rooms is something that Susanne knows about.  When I first visited her garden years ago, she had created an outdoor living room with salvaged windows from a church.  Years later it looks as if it has always been there.  Boxwoods and hydrangeas look lush on this June visit and visitors are lounging on the glider.  She also has an outdoor dining room complete with an electric chandelier that works.

outdoor garden room

In my own garden I have a small gravel area with chairs next to a water garden but I love the idea of a garden house.  Now if only I can find someone to build it.  Until then I will enjoy my summer blooms including daisies, ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies, coneflowers and later hydrangeas and big plants like Silphium perfoliatum , called the cup plant it grows to 6’ or taller.  Other favorites include Hemerocallis ‘Autumn Minaret’ which also grows to heights of 6’ and offers fragrant yellow flowers with a dark peach center. 

my garden in August 2009

It’s too hot to plant but there is plenty of weeding and mulching to keep me busy.

Well, maybe I’ll add some more annuals.  You can never have too many plants.

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10 Responses to “A Garden House and Summer Blooms”

  1. Rhett Smith says:

    I have admired your work for many years and enjoyed your gardening programs. They are truely for the dedicated garden plant collector. Miss you on TV.

  2. Erica says:

    I am sorry to say there isn’t much with gardening on TV Joe Lampl has a new show called Growing A Greener World.
    Look for it on PBS or online. There is a fan page too. I hope to have a show on again someday but not at the present.
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Erica

  3. Cool site!! Great posts. Thank you.

  4. Barbara Vaeth says:

    Erica,
    I also miss your show (although I have a number of them on my DVR which I can watch whenever I need a ‘fix’). The newer ‘gardening’ shows seem to be only about spending a fortune creating ‘landscapes’ overnight. They are not about gardening at all. Your show was almost a meditative experience and it always inspired me to get out there and get my hands dirty in my own garden. I hope to be at the Cylburn lecture in Baltimore in September. Thanks for your work.
    Barbara

  5. Erica says:

    Thanks for your positive comments Barbara. I hope to see you in Sept. too.

  6. Susan says:

    I miss your show. Hope it returns to the air soon. Your show just gave me something to look forward to as I love gardening and admired the featured gardens.

  7. Erica says:

    Thanks Susan. I miss working on the show. I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.

  8. Barbara Simpson says:

    I too miss your show. Are the episodes available on DVD? We always looked forward to your show and the many different kinds of gardeners featured. Very relaxing yet inspiring to watch. Thank you.

  9. ta says:

    For the old days of Victory Garden, Horticulture, House & Garden, and oh my the symposiums Barbara Allen put together. And, your show.

    A client sent me this article today. Had a lovely time creating the conservatory with Susanne.

    Alas, it is no more. Susanne sold the property.

    Hope you’ve seen what she’s done now at her home. Very fun & perfect.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  10. Erica says:

    Thanks Tara. Sorry, I have been taking too long to respond to comments. Hope your summer is going well.
    Finally posted about my trip to Italy in late May. Best Erica

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