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

 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


  1. I think botanical nomenclature is very sensible; "common names" vary so much. Latin names are occasionally changed when plant relationships become more clearly understood by the taxonomists, but that change is rare compared to the way a common name changes from region to region, or even neighbor to neighbor!

    1. Well said Quinn! Interesting to read that common names can change from neighbor to neighbor. I will keep an eye out for that one! ;)

  2. Such fun plans for your garden. There is nothing more fun than planning a garden space and they watching it come into bloom to see how the reality matches up to the plan. I envy your huge garden canvas. More things to enjoy!

    1. Agree Webb, especially seeing how reality matches up to the plan. I see the gardens evolving over a long period of time. We have been so rushed through much of this process I am honestly looking forward to taking my sweet time from here on out! Might even learn how to make jam properly in the process. ;)

  3. Beautiful and enchanting post that feels like a walk in a summer garden during a poetry reading. Thank you

    As for the orchard...a Must is the word because without the anticipation of fruit tree blossoms, springs loses its spring. I have allergies. Yet, I will push my face into a thick blooming apple tree, and breath deep. I have to as my soul requires it. Without an orchard on that much land would be like a forest without pine trees. Orchard all the way!

    1. Maywyn...I know Mr. H is going to be SO happy to read your thoughts on an orchard. You got me on fruit tree blossoms! ;)

  4. The kiss of the sun for pardon, the songs of the birds for mirth, there is no place closer to heaven than a garden here on Earth. X0X0 Beautiful blog posting as always. X0X0

  5. Great post. Love the jam-making "advice" you offered Mr. H.

    1. Thank you Marielle! Just saying it like it is... ;)

  6. I do think an orchard could be lovely, but it depends on your intentions. If you want a bountiful harvest of beautiful fruit, be prepared to spray and protect the trees nonstop. If you want to enjoy the blooms, the flowing grace of the trees, and a destination for wildlife, then go for it! You can always buy perfect apples, peaches, etc in season locally.

    1. I always love your advice Paula, especially the part about buying at the local market. I know Mr. H is going to love this even more. Still have to decide where that pool is going to go. We are at a crossroad. ;)

  7. Beautiful post Jeanne. We've just moved to the Southern Highlands and I have to now get my head around a new zone....but having seen the gardens around here I know it's going to be a joy. Cold climate....hot Summer, low humidity...I can't wait for Autumn to arrive to witness the colour changes and to begin the digging, free from the heat we're in now!! Also, having "shed" bags and bags of excess baggage from my life with our move, I also can't wait to read Kondo's book. I've been trying to implement her philosophy, even though I haven't read the book. Everytime I pick up something, I ask myself if it has bought me joy in the last 12 months....a sure fire recipe for clearance!!! As always, a lovely start to my day, reading all your thoughts!! ❤️

    1. Thank you Susan! I am thinking that when you say Southern Highlands you are referring to New South Wales? It sounds like you have the perfect setting for a garden. So exciting!! You inspire me to no end...I am feeling the urge to tackle my wardrobe now. Thank you!! ;)

  8. DONOT LISTEN To that WOMAN who has no sense of personal STUFF!YOU CLEAN OUT when you are READY NOT when some woman who probably doesn't have any kids tells YOU TO DOWN SIZE!MY GOD you will never be able to accumulate the STUFF you TOSS today in the rest of your LIFETIME!IT Costs MORE, the kids will NEVER Be kids again, ETC ETC............everything YOU have YOU have for a REASON.........a memory, a treasure from your travels .....same goes for clothing!YOUR Friends and FAMILY DONOT want to see YOU in the same THREE outfits day after day.....................DO THAT CONTESSA THING!GO SHOP and ADD TO WHAT YOU HAVE!IT will make YOU HAPPY and HELP THIS ECONOMY!!!!!!!!
    NOW GO DIG IN THAT GARDEN................YOU ARE SO LUCKY!YOU DO KNOW THAT!TELL MISTER H I Like the fruit tree idea TOO!!!!!!!!!I will COME help him PICK!

    1. Elizabeth...I know that MR. H would LOVE for you to help him pick fruit. I am just imaging what type of hat you might fashion for fruit picking...Love just thinking about it! xx

    2. POP over to my instagram..........I have some NEW ONES!!!

  9. Replies
    1. Feeling a swooning kind of vibe from Florida Joan... ;)

  10. Oooo. Mr. H's dream of a field of lavender is lovely. Although I have not visited it (yet!), there is a pick-your-own lavender farm, Craney Nook Farm, in Henniker, New Hampshire. So, apparently, it can quite thrive here! I have not yet tried to grow any. Also, there's Cape Cod Lavender Farm, which seems to grow many varieties. Happy planting!

    1. Thank you Kate...you give us hope! Very exciting to be able to add another farm to explore in New Hampshire. I will check out Cape Cod Lavender Farm as well. P. from Maine just wrote to say that www.mainelavener.com is worth a try as well. :)

  11. Flowers in different places have their own beauty, tropical or temperate, and you have both experiences.

    I think Latin names add. authenticity. Clutter or no clutter.

    Thank you for the wonderful meditation on garden and flowers.

    1. You are very welcome Edgar, always a pleasure. :)

  12. With all the effort I'm sure you are putting into planning your garden, I'm sure it will turn out perfect. Already the solution for lavender is a done deal. The bees will be very happy.

  13. Hi Jeanne
    I am so excited to see your garden take shape, the major work that you did already is fantastic and I'm sure that all this detailed planting will be beautiful too.
    If you don't mind, I'd like to put in a word of support for Mr H's orchard ... many years ago a man bought a plot of land in our valley to build his dream house, the one he'd enjoy when he retired. He put up a boundary fence, mapped out the foundations with string and then proceeded to plant a very grand alley of lime trees leading from the gate to the future front door.
    Everyone thought he was mad: the trees before the house?! But now, twenty years later, he is retired and he moved into his beautiful home a couple of years ago. And outside his door he has a fabulous driveway lined with mature trees!
    If My H wants to make jam, those trees will appreciate a little time to grow first
    Much love to you


    1. Sharon...I am over the moon just thinking about those lime trees. I can envision it from beginning to end. I have to admit I have been 'swayed' by all the thoughts on this post and yours 'sealed the deal'. Am now contemplating an orchard and I can tell you Mr. H is very happy to see that I am finally onboard! Many thanks Sharon for sharing a lovely story. xx

  14. My garden is one of my absolute best friends. I hope the same proves true for you. Do you plan to leave any spaces unfilled, so that you can plant some stuff yourself, make mistakes, let things die, pull them out, try again? I have a space like that round the side, where it's only visible from my workroom. That way I have the joy of a great garden designer's work to look at, most of the time, and the equal joy of a space to putter. You can make all the decision in advance with gardens, and then find you'll want to remake them:). Nature collaborates. YMMV.

    1. I am with you Lisa...I can not imagine living without a garden space to test my theory's. I have a few raised garden beds where I do just that. I make a lot of mistakes...but, there is always next year. I just have to remember to take notes so I do not make the same mistakes year after year... ;)

  15. We had several gardens at our VA home years ago -- vegetable, wildflowers, annuals and an orchard. And, we enjoyed them all despite the work involved. Living in an apt now we no longer grow things, but can appreciate the beauty of other's gardens. Your plans look and sound wonderful and the gardens will surely bring you great pleasure when completed, Jeanne.

  16. Thank you Beatrice, I admit there are times when I wonder if we are crazy. We seem to be doing everything in reverse these days. I can certainly appreciated the benfits to apartment living too. :)

  17. I'm with Paula about the orchard. I have ONE apple tree and it overwhelmed with me with so many apples this past fall I swore it would be years before I could face eating another apple, making apple pies, making apple/jalenpeno/peach chutney and applesauce. I got so tired of being in my kitchen hour after hour, day after day! Plus, being at the top of a 12 ft ladder with an apple picker extended over my head didn't make me feel very safe. I can't eat all that stuff that I made so I'm giving it out to friends and family, lol. We have so many choices with local, organic farms and stands and CSAs in NH and VT to get beautiful, flavorful fruits. Plant some fruit trees for blossoms and feeding the wildlife. I still love my apple tree when it's in bloom and am glad that it provides the bees with nectar. I've had good luck with lavender in my garden. I have one area of only lavender plants and they're surrounded by 3 walls, so they get an enormous amount of sunshine and reflected heat and I use pebbles around all the plants. These blooms are left for the bees too no matter how much I want to cut them! How wonderful to have Gordon help you design your garden. Happy Gardening!

    1. Thanks for the tip Roxanne. What you have just described is my biggest fear. Fortunately, Mr. H agrees. Great to hear about the lavender...sounds like you have the perfect spot! Mr. H will be so happy to read all about it. He enjoys all the comments. ;)

    2. I definitely recommend going to Scott Farm Heirloom Apple day to get some flavorful apples not available elsewhere. Ezekiel Goodband, their orchardist, usually talks about the apples and they have a large selection of the apples for sale. Well worth the drive from Peterborough and on the road to the orchard you'll go right past Rudyard Kipling's Naulakha and the roads in that area have some great foliage views.http://scottfarmvermont.com/heirloom-apples/apple-tasting-day/


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