Now, that’s a large garden ornament! Juno, who resides at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, is the largest classical sculpture in any museum in the United States and has an interesting garden history. Juno dates from the 1st-century BC but It’s unclear as to which ancient Roman building she once belonged. However, records as early as 1633 show her in the inventories of Villa Ludovisi in Rome where she was the major ornament in an Italianate garden for over 100 years. She was eventually purchased by Mary Pratt Sprague, an American collector, at the end of the 19th century and placed in her formal garden in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Sprague garden was designed by Charles Adams Platt, a well known architect and landscape designer who was a member of the Cornish Art Colony which formed around Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, New Hampshire. When Juno first arrived at the garden of Mary Sprague, it took a team of oxen to pull her up the long driveway of the estate. Getting her into the MFA presented no less of a challenge after she was acquired in 2011. At 13-feet tall and weighing 13,000 pounds, a special casing had to be built for her and she was lowered into the building through a large skylight by a huge construction crane. A special platform had to be constructed which would help spread her massive weight over the floor’s support beams. Juno will be the focal point of a future gallery at the MFA featuring the gods, goddesses and heroes of ancient Greece and Rome.
What a privilege it was to photograph the beautiful gardens of Russ and Prue Robertson in Dublin, New Hampshire. And, as always, it was such a pleasure working with writer Robin Sweetser, editors Andi Axman and John Hession, and the entire team at New Hampshire Home Magazine. Here are a few outtakes from the shoot. Copies of the magazine are available on newsstands now or you can check out the digital edition here.
I have to admit that, here at Juniper Hill, we LOVE lilacs and by carefully selecting a variety of cultivars that flower in succession, we can extend the season of bloom for well over a month. Here’s a post from the blog’s archives that tells you exactly how we do it.
There are numerous legends surrounding the origin of the common name for many of the species of the genus Cornus known as dogwoods. In England, “dogwood” was thought to be a derivation of the term “doggerwood.” Because of the hardness and density of the wood, the trees were used to make “doggerwood,” or “dogs” which were used as skewers. Here in North America it is said that the Cherokee believed that a tiny race of people lived among the trees that they called “Dogwood People.” Whatever the origin of the name, all I can say is that the Dogwood trees in our little corner of the world are flowering now and that they are beautiful.
At this time of the year, I always get a kick out of the Actinidia kolomikta (Kiwi Vine) that hangs on the split rail fence at the east entrance to the garden because it looks like a prankster came through in the middle of the night and painted some of the leaves white. Of course, this is just the beginning of the coloration that the female Kiwi vine undergoes as it passes into summer.
Soon, by the end of June, the bright white leaves will begin to turn the most delicate pink (see next post). It takes several years for the plant to bear the small kiwi fruit and a male plant is required as a pollinator. Our male resides at the other end of the split rail fence and is rather plain looking when compared to the female.
I took this photo on May 25th last year. I doubt that we will be seeing any of these lovely little blue exclamation points in the meadow at the east entrance to the garden this year because every Camassia has been nibbled to the ground by critters. Camassias are known to be relatively deer resistant so I’m wondering if the damage can be attributed to several porcupines I have seen grazing in the general vicinity. If there’s one thing gardeners learn over the years, it’s how to deal with loss and move on from it. But, it’s been a tough year for moving on. Not just because of the occasional critter but it has been the worst year we have ever seen here for winter damage to the evergreens. Many boxwoods, rhododendrons, yews, junipers, and arborvitaes have either bit the dust or look like they could at any moment. All suffered from a very bad January. Nevertheless, after we are finished with the complaining, we know we will lace up the gardening boots, grab the spade, and get on with it.
Yes, it’s true the Daffodils are up but it has been one rainy, and rather chilly, day after another. As a matter of fact, it’s been the rainiest April on record! Fingers crossed that a proper and warn Spring is right around the corner.
Everyone needs a bunny sweater on Easter. Happy Easter!
Thanks New Hampshire Home Magazine for the cover shot on the May/June issue! It was a delight to work once again with Andi Axman, John Hession and the team at NHH on two stories in this month’s issue: Garden Designer’s Favorite Plants featuring Maude Odgers, Michael Gordon and Marc Hudson as well as the feature on Louisa Thoron’s beautiful garden in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Available on the newsstands now; digital edition at NHHomeMagazine.com.
Do you enjoy Instagram but spend most of your time on a desktop or laptop and find posting photos a pain? Well, now there is the Flume app which not only makes posting to Instagram from your Mac desktop or laptop easy but also offers even more functionality than you get with Instagram running on a phone or tablet.Read More
It has been a long time since I have given much thought to the mechanics of how we “organize",” or keep track of, the garden here at Juniper Hill so I thought I would do a quick walk through for folks who might want to adopt a system similar to ours.Read More
It’s been cut, it’s been forced, it’s flowering…might as well get artsy with it. I shot this vase of forced Forsythia through a grey background using just the ambient light from a side window which allowed me to expose the window behind the background. Then, to give the background a brushed metallic look to complement the stool, in Photoshop I added a layer of Adobe Paper Texture Pro just over the grey background, masking out the flowers, vase and stool.
I had such great fun shooting this session with Miss Claire! All you need to do is hand this girl a prop and, well, just check out the images below.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge…
With the unrelenting cold outside, at least it’s nice to have a little taste of Spring inside.
I have England and Spring on my mind today.