'All Creatures Welcome' is what the sign would say if Kris Green had one inviting passersby into her garden.
The chairs sit empty but inviting in the center of the garden. They are begging for a rump or two to sit and survey the quiet complexity of this verdant space.
There is the resident pup, Nino, seen here surveying the kingdom and then there is the pollinator condo Kris has devised to provide an invitation to visit and a bit of security for nature's winged critters.
I imagine some crawlers lodge here as well. All are invited. Kris is a fellow blogger, an Interpretive Horticulturist at Blithewold and a friend and this past summer I was invited to visit her garden in Bristol, RI.
Now, we both live in the same state and the smallest state at that but Bristol is right on the ocean and my garden sits in the western hills a full zone colder than Kris's garden. That is one reason it is such a fun to visit.
She easily grows this Clerodendron shrub which would succumb to cold in my garden. (Perhaps I should give it a try.) There are other treats as well.
Monarda punctata adds subtle color and wonderful form to the front border. Kris has a creative eye along with busy hands making a small but sensory packed jewel of a garden.
She has an artist's eye as evidenced by her clear mastery of texture and color. The echo combination of agastache and cleome is just one example.
She knows full well that August can be a tired time in the garden and she has embraced the nuances of lace and leather here in the borders.
If you happen to sit in the chairs, there is a lovely view of the deck complete with perfectly potted plants and upon entering the house, it is clear that an artist and gardener lives inside.
The living room even has a living wall.
Kris was born with her unique perspective which she has honed in life along with her horticultural skills. She works in the greenhouse and gardens at Blithewold Mansion and Gardens and she writes their blog with wit and wisdom and always a quick turn of phrase which you can read here. We can all look forward to more of Kris's writings as she is completing work on a new book, the contents of which remain a mystery.
Due out in the fall, it promises to be filled with a fresh approach to the age old art of gardening. While Kris is never in anyones shadow, she prefers to keep a low profile but should you stop in at Blithewold, take the time to talk with Kris and also with Gail, Dan and Fred. You will recognize her from her smiling picture above and herestanding just behind and to the right of the enigmatic and always interesting Michael Dirr. Thank you to Kris for a lovely day in her garden with her, Nino and the critters.