November 02, 2013

Helene's garden

Helene at Graphicality-UK and I have been online friends for a couple of years--commenting on each other's blogs and emailing back and forth occasionally on the side. When plans were finalized to visit London this fall, I informed Helene--and she graciously invited us to visit!

Helene's garden is every bit as special as it appears on her blog--maybe even more so, because it's a comfortable, organic oasis in the midst of a very urban neighborhood. Walking into her garden after pounding the pavement of the city streets is truly a secret garden experience.

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Not only does Helene have an incredible collection of plants carefully arranged in a small area, she also has an eye for structure, scale, and perspective. Her creative arrangement of hardscapes, paths, and plants is pleasant from every direction.

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A vase artfully arranged with the garden's latest blooms brightens the sitting area,

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Along with bright mugs, comfortable patio chairs and potted plants. After following Helene's blog for a while, I know she has plants blooming and sharing the spotlight year-round.

Some of the highlights during our visit:

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Two varieties of Skimmia (S. japonica),

hydrangea

Several types of Hydrangeas, including 'Pinky Winky' (H. paniculata),

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Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum),

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Primroses (Primula vulgaris),

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Chinese Lantern plant (Physalis alkekengi),

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Passion Flowers (Passiflora),

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and several cultivars of Fuchsias. Some of the Fuchsias are tucked in surprising places behind other plants, and I like the way the light plays with the blooms in an old-fashioned kind of way.

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Helene also has a healthy collection of Hellebores, already showing signs of new growth.

dahlia

Her striking, colorful 'Mary Eveline' Dahlias are definite focal points.

seedlings

Helene's is very much a working garden, with experiments, seedlings, and propagated plants always waiting in the wings.

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My personal favorites are all the luscious, healthy Roses--particularly photogenic just after a rain shower.

the hostess

Thank you, Helene, for your hospitality.

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I know you said the Sunflowers are done for the season, but they'll be back next year. And we'll all be following your blog to see what magic you work in your little piece of heaven in the middle of the city.

52 comments:

  1. How wonderful to get to meet an online friend, and to get to see a garden you are familiar with only in virtual reality! Thanks for showing us Helene's garden through your eyes, Beth.

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    1. Yes, it was neat to meet Helene. Her garden is incredible and she was a most gracious host. :)

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  2. How incredible to have the opportunity to visit a fellow bloggers garden. It is beautiful. It is so interesting to see plants blooming side by side that bloom in different seasons in my garden. What a difference a few heat zones make! I am inspired to try to grow more plant cuttings from my garden.

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    1. I know--I was thinking the same thing, Karin. Just imagine a few zones colder yet for me. I tend to think of plants as going dormant or dying in the late fall and winter, where Helene can carry them through into the new growing season. That would be fun!

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  3. What a delight this must have been, to meet Helene in person and to actually tour her garden. When you've become familiar with a garden from photos and then actually get to see it live and have the total experience, it's like meeting an old friend, isn't it? I did pop over to visit Helene after your earlier post and realized I've visited her a few times before on Bloom Day. She's created a beautiful garden retreat; I especially like the paths and wow on the dahlias! Thanks for sharing this with us, Beth; it's always interesting to see someone's garden through another's eyes.

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    1. It was fun, and it seemed like we've known each other forever. Interesting how that happens sometimes. Helene has a sweet garden oasis in the middle of a very urban neighborhood. It's kind of neat to have the bustling city just a block away from a very quiet, lush garden. And Helene is a very kind person. It was great to meet her in person.

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  4. A lovely garden~So glad you shared it with us.

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    1. Helene's blog is wonderful, too. It's fascinating to see how some of our plants are the same, yet our gardens are very different.

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  5. It is so lovely to see how you present my garden, I have never had anyone else describing my garden with photos before! Thanks for all your kind words. I finally got the garden cleared after the storm yesterday, has been a busy week, and it turned out I was able to save one stem of the sunflower, the rest was just a tangled mess and had to be cut off. So I still have sunflowers for a while! They are annuals so will die down when we eventually get frost but I will sow again next year. Thanks for all your lovely photos Beth, looking forward to your next post about all the things you did in London.

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    1. I wondered if your Sunflowers were annuals for you or if they would survive a light frost. I'm glad you will have their bright colors for a while yet--and then you can plant more next spring! It was a pleasure visiting you and seeing your beautiful corner of the world, Helene! Your garden exceeded my expectations!

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  6. Thank you for sharing the photos of Helene's garden with us. It is really a secret garden in a big city and I love following her blog. Now we have your beautiful pictures too, which give another view of the same garden.

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    1. It's a very photogenic garden! I could have spent much more time photographing plants there, but we needed time to visit, too. ;) Helene was a most gracious host and we had some interesting discussions--not only about plants, but also about cultural traditions, and so on. It was fun!

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  7. Beautiful is your garden!
    Greetings, RW & SK

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    1. Yes, Helene's garden in beautiful! She was so kind to let us visit.

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  8. Helene looks like someone I would like to know. But then she is a gardener, so I guess that goes without saying.

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    1. Yes, I think you would like her. We gardeners do have special personalities. ;-)

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  9. Her garden is super drool worthy! So amazing that you were able to visit her. What a treat!

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    1. Totally! It was great to meet in person. I feel now like we are old friends. It makes visiting Helene's blog now even more fun.

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  10. I have found one of the joys of blogging is getting the opportunity to sometimes visit other bloggers' gardens. Helene's beautiful garden is intimate, yet expansive with its offerings.I want some of those chinese lanterns! Now I must visit Helene's blog!

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    1. Yes, that's a great way to describe it. You will enjoy your visits to Helene's blog--I am sure of that! ;-)

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  11. Plantpostings I have been following Helene's wonderful blog for sometime and so enjoy .

    And now this was even extra special to enjoy it again with your personal visit.

    Thankyou.

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    1. Glad we were able to meet through Helene! Thanks for your visit and kind comments.

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  12. It is always wonderful to visit a gardening/blogging friend. And your beautiful photos have let us join you. What a pleasure.

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    1. It's funny--now when I visit a garden, no matter where it is, I often think, "Gosh, my fellow gardeners and garden bloggers would love this!"

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  13. I love those roses, and the way she's put that path together.

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    1. Yes, me too! ;-) I never tire of looking at and photographing Roses. Sigh.

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  14. I too am a follower of Helene's blog - was nice to read and see through your eyes. I love how she packs her garden full of plants and am very envious that she's able to keep all those cuttings and seedlings as she does.
    Was nice to read that you enjoyed your visit.

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    1. Helene and her garden are amazing! I'm feeling a little envy now that we're getting frost and the plants are dying here. But happy some people in the world have green, growing gardens throughout the year.

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  15. Lovely to se helene's garden through your eyes - and lens. i love the sense of enclosure she has achieved from all that lush planting and the curved path.

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    1. Yes, Helene is a talented artist as well as an expert gardener. A person could be very comfortable spending hours in her secret garden!

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  16. Lovely to see Helene's garden thru a second set of eyes. And to see the lady herself!

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    1. Yes, it was a fun visit, and it's a joy to share a few photos from her beautiful garden.

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  17. What a nice garden. I love seeing what other gardeners have growing in their little slice of paradise. Those skimmias are very impressive. And I love the roses and dahlia blossoms too.

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    1. Yes, I really enjoyed the Skimmias, too. I don't see them around here. Apparently USDA zone 6 is about as cold-hardy as they get. Beautiful shrubs! I could have looked at the Roses and Dahlias all day!

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  18. Thanks for a different perspective on Helene's garden. The second photo, looking through the arbor, is just beautiful. She is very talented to have something blooming all year. I like your description of it being a secret garden. From the photos, it does seem to have that kind of feel to it.

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    1. Thank you, Holley. Yes, Helene is one talented gardener and blogger! It was even more of a secret garden after walking the city streets to get there!

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  19. Helene does have a lovely garden and you showed it off beautifully. It is so nice to see roses at this time of year and they all look so pristine. I loved seeing all her potted experiments too. Thanks for sharing your visit.

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    1. Yes, Helene's garden is beautiful from any angle. I fell in love with the Roses! And the Fuchsias! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  20. How cool that you got to go to London, and what fun to be able to go to Helene's! I enjoyed your photos.

    Thanks for your comment on my last blog post, by the way. I seldom get to adding replies to my comments.

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    1. Hi Sue: Yes, it was great fun to visit Helene and to actually see her garden in person! Sue, I always enjoy visits to your blog--like Helene, you have an amazing plant collection!

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  21. Oh how wonderful it is to visit a blogger friend and her garden, i am sure you felt as if you were old friends. I remember an American who visited Mark and Gaz in London, and it is always lovely to see a garden through someone's eyes. I have seen Helene's through hers and i can still see new ones through your eyes.

    I wish i can also visit and meet my longtime blogger friends, like Autumn Belle in Malaysia, Helen in Barbados, Rosie in Scotland, and a lot more. Oh how lovely it will be if only budget is not a problem, hahaha!

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    1. Yes, it was exactly as you describe it--seemed like we've been friends for years! And as you say--if only the budget was not a problem. ;-)

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  22. A wonderful tour of this beautiful garden. It is always such fun to meet fellow bloggers and particularly sweet when they are 'across the pond'.

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    1. Yes, it was great fun, Layanee. I hope to someday make it to the Garden Bloggers Fling to meet more garden bloggers. :)

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  23. What a delightful visit! I felt like I was there. Thank you so much for sharing Helene's garden with us.~~Dee

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    1. Certainly. It was my pleasure to visit Helene's garden, take the photos, and share the post. I'm glad I conveyed the merits of her garden--if only a snapshot. ;-)

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  24. It was so fun to see Helene's garden through another person's camera. It is truly beautiful, so neat and organized and full of unusual plants.

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    1. Yes, that's a great way to describe her garden! It was so fun to see it in person.

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  25. Helene's garden is amazing and Beth your pictures showcases it in all its beautiful glory. I too love her roses.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I really fell for the Roses--but then, I always love the Roses!

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  26. Thank you for sharing her beautiful gardens, I feel like I was there with you!

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    1. You're welcome! And thank you, for joining the tour! ;-)

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