During last month’s Garden Blogger’s Fling in the U.S. Capital Region, (and following my visit to Washington DC’s fabulous Dumbarton Oaks and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello near Charlottesville VA), I was delighted to find myself meandering through the garden of fellow color connoisseur and Facebook pal, landscape designer Linda Hostetler. I’ve long admired her photos so it was a pleasure to wander the paths exploring her amazing textural plantings. But there was definitely a color theme running through Linda’s garden, and I loved ticking off all the ways she manages to celebrate ‘blue’. So let’s take a little tour, starting in the front garden of Linda and Ralph Hostetlers’ pretty home in Plains, Virginia, not far from Washington D.C. The tapestry-like plantings here, while very lovely, don’t really prepare you for the immense scale of the back garden.
Let’s walk down the side path with its playful boxwood balls.
You might catch the light glinting off the sweet mirrored suncatcher….
…. and at the end of the path, any one of hundreds of interesting plants might catch your eye like the native Indian pink (Spigelia marylandica).
But look up and gaze around and you’ll be struck by the flashes of azure and turquoise shimmering in every corner of Linda’s garden. How does she love blue? Let us count the ways.
Like a little sense of occasion? Walk into Linda’s garden and you’re passing under a blue arch. Doesn’t that curved boxwood allée make you want to start exploring? And look at the blue-toned hosta in the rear.
Want to rest a minute in a little bit of shade? These blue umbrellas (there were several) and tables and chairs were popular spots for relaxing when masses of garden bloggers were trying to escape the June heat. And don’t you love that spectacular pairing of ‘Lucifer’ crocosmia with the furnishings?
Little artistic touches in blue abound in Linda’s garden – like these metal spheres in blue and contrasting yellow.
And no southern garden is complete without a bottle tree – this one sprouting cobalt blue bottles. (If I’m not mistaken, those are Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry bottles….)
A glazed ceramic globe is an easy way to give a blue punch to the border, especially contrasted with bright-red coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides).
Like me, Linda is a fan of blown glass – this one in swirls of blue.
Speaking of glass, there are lots of solar lights in the Hostetler garden, all in shades of blue. You’ll see stained glass globes….
…. and swirls….
…. and even blue Japanese lanterns. Imagine the starry canvas these would make at night!
Linda’s lovely, glazed, blue containers are an opportunity for her to change up little scenes each season, whether with tender begonias and tropicals….
… shade-tolerant heucheras….
…. or colorful coleus.
Then there are the artful ways Linda uses blue-hued hangers and stands to feature her pots, like this agave in a blue birdcage.
And this lovely pedestal stand for succulents.
It was such a sunny afternoon with so many people running through the garden, I gave up trying to get landscape shots. But I did love seeing this little water feature with purplish-blue pickerel-weed (Pontederia cordata). It’s a favourite of bumble bees (and me).
And then, alas, it was past the blue hydrangea and back on the bus to continue our tour of Virginia gardens. Next time, Linda, we will hopefully meet in person in your lovely garden (not via blog!)