An Irish garden in Wyoming?
|Jane and Mike Sullivan|
I might have said an ENGLISH garden, but with a name like Sullivan, I might get in trouble saying that. Whatever style you may wish to call it, there is no question that the Sullivan garden in Casper, Wyoming, is wonderful any time of year--including at the end of a long hot summer. I first met Jane when she was serving actively as First Lady of Wyoming in the 1990's: she was on a mission to promote, preserve, promulgate and just plain appreciate the wildflowers of her native state. She organized many symposia and conferences to promote the awareness and cultivation of wildflowers along highways, and make Wyomingans (and visitors) realize the enormous value of the native floral bounty. She invited me to participate in several of these meetings--a highlight of my professional life.
Like all statesmen (and stateswomen!) Jane and Mike practice what they have preach: their garden is a bower of beauty. Notice the sweet autumn clematis (Clematis paniculata) blooming behind them...the beginning of a theme!
|View of the Sullivan garden towards the house|
There is a greensward, and no end of treasures tucked around it...
It has a superficial resemblance to the rather weedy Clematis orientalis that is so abundant in Clear Creek Canyon above Denver--as well as to the somewhat less weedy (but still rambunctious) Clematis tangutica that I used to grow. This one possesses all their charm and more, and is well behaved: a good quality in clematis as it is in children (and pets!)...There were numerous clematis throughout the garden...come to think of it, there is a correlation between the abundance of clematis and the quality of gardens in my book!
|Champion cottonwood at the back of the garden....|
|Bark on the cottonwood|
|A grotto with Virgin|
|Closer view of a lovely piece of folk art|
|I don't usually associate fuchsias with Wyoming...|
|A few more pieces of garden art artfully displayed|
|Heptacodium miconioides in full bloom in a container!|
|The border was past full bloom, but full of texture|
|A corner of the Garden cottage--with a xeriscape in front|
|Obligatory skull motif (Georgia O'Keefe strikes again)|
If you follow my blog you will have noticed that most of the gardens I have featured seem to contain a skull: I'm feeling terribly déclassé and am in search of an appropriate skull to add to mine! Even this elegant garden has room for a whopper of a cranium with horns!
|Jane designed the hardscape and has put much of it in herself around the garden!|
|Granite slabs inset in the walk add contrast and interest...|
|Gorgeous container plantings of course!|
|I was charmed by this rather simple but captivating fountain...|
|Art and plant perfectly combined...|
|Lombardy Poplar in the front yard...|
I had not seen the Sullivans in over a decade, so having some time with them this past weekend was a great pleasure for me. It takes a measure of charisma and charm for anyone to achieve success in public service as the Sullivans have in their day. But now returned to private life, they are even more lovable and admirable than ever! I hope they don't object my giving you a glimpse of the garden of two of my favorite Americans!.
Again,click on "Irish-American garden revisited" to see a more recent posting about the Sullifan's great gardn