Quiet like the garden...

Quiet like the garden... in Tuscany
I never seem to end up where I began and it seems to be a common occurrence these days. I have been thinking of a blog post and started to write in earnest yesterday morning. I can't even remember what I started to write except that I found many excuses to walk away from my desk. I knew I was in trouble when I had the notion to pull all the clothes out of my closet and put them in a pile on the floor (at the suggestion of Marie Kondo of "the life-changing magic of tidying up" fame). 

"Keep only those things that speak to your heart. 
Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. 
By doing this, you can reset your life 
and embark on a new lifestyle."
Marie Kondo


I took one look at how much time it would take me to reset my life by sifting through my wardrobe and decided I had more important projects to work on. I told Mr. H not to worry...I would get to it soon enough. My solution was to move it all to my sons room. He won't be home until April...I have plenty of time. 

Quiet like the garden..a tropical garden in Saigon

EDIT update... 

Last month I wrote about putting my life on EDIT.  Never one to keep things simple, I decided it was the best way to tackle all the 'projects' in my life. It has been an interesting process and sure fire way to get moving on a few things...and to procrastinate on a few others. My only advice if you plan to do the same. is to have a plan before you start. Wrapping up 'EDIT' mode can be a difficult thing to do.


Speaking of plans...

We have a gardening plan for Tahilla Farm, it is done, dusted, ordered and due for planting in May. I put the finishing touches on the plans with our garden designer, Gordon Hayward last November. Gordon has been an absolute pleasure to work with. He gets us...and that says a lot.


Quiet like the garden...in Vermont
(garden of Gordon and Mary Hayward)

Provence and Sissinghurst...

Designing a garden with Mr. H was just as challenging as coming to an agreement on the design of the house. Anyone remember the Master and Commander story? Let's just say it did not end there. At the top of Mr. H's list was lavender, fields of it...and a fruit orchard. Fields of lavender would be beautiful...but it just isn't going to happen in our neck of the woods. Wrong country, wrong plant zone. I suggested if he wants fields of lavender, we move to Provence. Gordon (the sensible one) suggested we create the essence of lavender in a contained garden with Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (catmint) and Peroskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) behind a low growing hedge of Buxus microphylla 'Winter Gem' (boxwood). For good measure, he suggested a hardy Lavandula 'Munstead' in an adjoining garden. 

Quiet like the garden...a 'lavender' garden for Tahilla Farm
Plant details available here

Mrs. H had her Sissinghurt and Mr. H had Provence...perfect solution. The 'lavender' garden will feature a garden bench on one end and one or more of our Vietnamese pots on the other. The view from the family room window will be a soft wash of lavender with an invitation to sit under a shady tree (Malus 'Harvest Gold')....quiet like the garden..in New Hampshire. 

Quiet like the garden...Sissinghurst gardens

As for the fruit orchard...it is still in negotiation. I suggested Mr. H retire first and learn how to make jam.

The 'Big Dig'......

In anticipation of the 'big garden dig' in May I have created collages of the various garden spaces. Each one notes the botanical name of the plant...just in case we forget. Which I have since discovered is an easy thing to do.  Dryopteris crassirhizoma, Origanum 'Rosenkupel', Stachy's 'Helene Von Stein', Persicaria ampleicaulis 'Firetail'... it's all Latin to me.  A sensible person would suggest we skip the Latin and refer to it by the common name. But...where is the fun in that? I see a great big puzzle in front of me..and I LOVE puzzles. 

Quiet like the garden...in latin
Plant details available here


Vita incipit in paradiso..

While procrastinating over the need to get back to my wardrobe conundrum I decided to play with words. Honestly...it reads and sounds so much better in Latin. 


beauty in the garden
forma in paradiso

to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow
 cras plantavit hortum credere 

dirt gardener
lutum hortulanus

where flowers bloom so does hope
 ubi floret et spes

life begins in a garden
 vita incipit in paradiso

If you have a garden and a library 
you have everything you need
(Cicero)

 si habes, horti et bibliothecam
 panton vos postulo


Botanical my world...

Before I run off...I will say that Marie Kondo's book is enlightening and if you are of a mind to tackle your 'stuff'...I say go for it. If you are planning a garden or just love gardening, stay tuned...I have more to share. If you are perplexed over botanical names, you may find the following links helpful.. Plant Families, Index of Plants by Common Name and The Meaning of Latin Plant Names. I personally can not wait to get my hands on this book, The Botanical Treasury: Celebrating 40 of the Worlds Most Fascinating Plants Through Historical Art and Manuscripts by Christopher Mills. Bring it on!

read here

Last words...

Poetry in the garden...


The Garden by Moonlight

A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.
Firefly lights open and vanish
High as the tip buds of the golden glow
Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.
Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,
Moon-spikes shafting through the snow ball bush.
Only the little faces of the ladies' delight are alert and staring,
Only the cat, paddling between the roses,
Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern
As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.
Then you come,
And you are quiet like the garden,
And white like the alyssum flowers,
And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.
Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?
They knew my mother,
Buy who belonging to me will they know
When I am gone.

Amy Lowell, 1926

more here





Quiet like the garden...Chelsea Flower Show, London

And that's the latest from Chateau Mango.
As always thank you for reading along!
Wishing one and all a wonderful week!

Jeanne xx

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