I found some watercolor plans I did of gardens more than 15 years ago. Back then planning peoples gardens and my own during the winter months was as enjoyable as the digging and doing. My hero at the time was Rosemary Verey. Her Making of a Garden was and still is, my inspiration book. I also loved her book, Good Planting Plans, that was filled with watercolor paintings of garden designs.
A woman who inherited a garden from her husband's parents in the English countryside, she knew nothing about gardening at the at the start, but her will, determination and spirit gained her a renown reputation and produced a generation of gardens that will be her legacy. A woman who inherited a garden from her husband's parents in the English countryside, she knew nothing at the start, but her will, determination, and spirit gained her a renown reputation and produced a generation of gardens that will be her legacy. Her own house, Barnsley House in Gloucestershire, was her greatest creation. She was famous for scaling public gardens down for home gardeners and for bringing the ornamental vegetable vegetable garden back into fashion. A woman after my own heart!
I made these plans, inspired by her watercolors. With rapidograph and watercolor washes, the plans gave a sense of the color that the plant material will give off when in bloom. Most of the plant materials were herbs and vegetables.
This garden was a large herb garden done for a family in Redding, CT. They had hired a crew to prepare the site, which included leveling the area, bringing in top soil and composted manure. The beds were defined in Belgian block (the rage of the 90's.) The central feature was a 10 foot birch pole, with a ball of copper wire at the top. Remember when copper was inexpensive! This was a feature I added to many gardens and looked like a huge topiary when covered with vines. I liked to use hops because it grows very tall and will wrap around the pole and ball easily.
This garden plan below never came to materialize. The feature I love of this plan was the "brick rug". After seeing an article about a woman who designed intricate patterns in brick, I was inspired. I dreamed of using all the brick pieces that were in my basement at the time. Old brick has a weathered and worn look that can't be replicated by new brick.
As I sit here waiting for the snow to melt, it is fun to look back at these plans and think about what I might add to this year's plan. As always, a look through a Making of a Garden will inspire.