Thursday, December 25, 2014

Pressing on, into the end zone

Hadn't been to Chanticleer in awhile, and a cold, wet day isn't the best time to visit. But I was amazed. Look at this creation of Jonathan Wright, who takes care of the Tea Cup and Tennis Court gardens. It's a simple, elegant design and a thoughtful illustration of how sometimes less is more: He took a few strands of the silver-leaved Dicondra 'Silver Falls,' added nasturtiums, dahlias and beautyberry, and floated them all - very delicately - around some papyrus. Wow!

Pressing on, into the end zone

Hadn't been to Chanticleer in awhile, and a cold, wet day isn't the best time to visit. But I was amazed. Look at this creation of Jonathan Wright, who takes care of the Tea Cup and Tennis Court gardens. It's a simple, elegant design and a thoughtful illustration of how sometimes less is more: He took a few strands of the silver-leaved Dicondra 'Silver Falls,' added nasturtiums, dahlias and beautyberry, and floated them all - very delicately - around some papyrus. Wow!

The garden closes to the public on Nov. 4. It's nice to know, but not surprising, that the gardeners here hustle right into the end zone. (Actually, I can think of some folks around here who might benefit from learning that!) This Friday's Home & Design story takes a look at what these talented gardeners, as well as other professionals and amateurs around the region, do in what used to be called "the off-season." As my story describes, there's no such thing anymore - not in your job, not in mine, not even in the garden.

After talking with about a dozen folks who make their living gardening, or who do it for fun, I have to say that the disappearance of the traditional winter rest time may not be a terrible thing. A lot of creative and otherwise necessary work - I say otherwise, because I think creative work is a necessity, too - gets done during these quieter months in the garden.

So here's to that end zone. We press on.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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