August 05, 2022

Woodland gardens aren’t show ponies of dazzling flower color. Their beauty shines through in subtler, shade-loving foliage plants, in dappled light glinting through leaves, in cool shadowed paths that gradually reveal tucked-away art and secret hideaways. Such is the garden of Ann Munson, which I toured on the Madison Fling in late June.

A rustic wooden arbor with a clambering purple clematis invites you in and announces her garden’s name: Moor Gardens.

The main garden, behind the house, stretches across a deep, 3/4-acre suburban lot. For 43 years Ann has been expanding her gardens and planting trees and shrubs — more than 250 of them! Today most of the garden winds under her collection of trees. Wood-chip paths meander around two ponds and a connecting stream, past mysterious found-object art, and lead to various hideaways deep in the garden, including a firepit patio in an open glade, a hammock under a pine, a mural-painted playhouse, and a rustic tepee.

Ann says, “My gardens allow me to participate in the ongoing cycle of life — seeking beauty, health, and creativity. I want there to be mystery, excitement, interaction, and health in the garden. I want color, design, natural critters, and the flow of the seasons made real. I want to look out my window at a natural world, and step out my door and do a forest bath.”

A poetic manifesto for a garden!

The deeper I wandered into the garden, the more it affected me. I soon realized why. It brought to mind memories of a wooded garden I played in as a child, with hidden paths under trees and sheltered hideaways.

Ann’s garden evokes a childlike sense of discovery when you come upon her artful vignettes, like a metal bird perched in a cage…

…or a masked, ghostly figure that seems to float above the leaves…

…or an intriguing relic from farm country that marks a bend in the path.

Ann clearly enjoys recycling castoff machinery into artful displays among the trees.

Oculus

A metal dino rampages through the understory.

In a clearing, a relaxed patio offers a mix of seating around a firepit.

And at the rear of the garden, a hideout emerges.

A blanket-brightened hammock for lazing…

…and a two-story playhouse for adventuring. Is that Godzilla emerging from ocean waves?

Another mural adorns the front of the playhouse. I think the structure with the mirrored art is a garden shed.

Reflective surfaces bring depth and light into a shadowed space.

A place for grandkids to grow a few things, perhaps?

Just up the path, a rustic tepee is half-swallowed by vines.

An inviting forest hideaway for little ones

Peeking inside

A fiery begonia seems to grow out of a bird’s nest in a tree.

Trunks and tall branches make handy materials for a woodland arbor.

A sinuous dead tree seems to dance near a solitary bench.

Stained-glass dragonfly on a gothic wire trellis

One of the inviting, dappled-light paths into the garden

A wider view

Ann’s collection of trees includes some blue-green conifers that I love, like ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ Korean fir.

Check out those frosted, curled needles.

A vertical view shows Horstmann’s Silberlocke with an even taller, and contrastingly droopy, conifer — a weeping Nootka cypress.

It’s gorgeous! I bet these conifers make the garden beautiful during a snowy winter too.

A pale lilac clematis

An open area near the house offers space for sun-loving plants.

Irises were blooming.

As were many other lovelies in the fir-fringed meadow.

Up next: Lilies, clematis, and alliums glow amid raindrops in the garden of Cindy Fillingame. For a look back at Jane and Duane Miller’s artistic, colorful, and semi-portable garden, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Ann Munson’s woodland garden invites mystery and play appeared first on Digging.

Ann Munson’s woodland garden revels in shade-loving foliage plants, tall trees dappling light, and hideaways and recycled art to discover…. Read More
The post Ann Munson’s woodland garden invites mystery and play appeared first on Digging.Read MoreDigging

August 05, 2022

Woodland gardens aren’t show ponies of dazzling flower color. Their beauty shines through in subtler, shade-loving foliage plants, in dappled light glinting through leaves, in cool shadowed paths that gradually reveal tucked-away art and secret hideaways. Such is the garden of Ann Munson, which I toured on the Madison Fling in late June.

A rustic wooden arbor with a clambering purple clematis invites you in and announces her garden’s name: Moor Gardens.

The main garden, behind the house, stretches across a deep, 3/4-acre suburban lot. For 43 years Ann has been expanding her gardens and planting trees and shrubs — more than 250 of them! Today most of the garden winds under her collection of trees. Wood-chip paths meander around two ponds and a connecting stream, past mysterious found-object art, and lead to various hideaways deep in the garden, including a firepit patio in an open glade, a hammock under a pine, a mural-painted playhouse, and a rustic tepee.

Ann says, “My gardens allow me to participate in the ongoing cycle of life — seeking beauty, health, and creativity. I want there to be mystery, excitement, interaction, and health in the garden. I want color, design, natural critters, and the flow of the seasons made real. I want to look out my window at a natural world, and step out my door and do a forest bath.”

A poetic manifesto for a garden!

The deeper I wandered into the garden, the more it affected me. I soon realized why. It brought to mind memories of a wooded garden I played in as a child, with hidden paths under trees and sheltered hideaways.

Ann’s garden evokes a childlike sense of discovery when you come upon her artful vignettes, like a metal bird perched in a cage…

…or a masked, ghostly figure that seems to float above the leaves…

…or an intriguing relic from farm country that marks a bend in the path.

Ann clearly enjoys recycling castoff machinery into artful displays among the trees.

Oculus

A metal dino rampages through the understory.

In a clearing, a relaxed patio offers a mix of seating around a firepit.

And at the rear of the garden, a hideout emerges.

A blanket-brightened hammock for lazing…

…and a two-story playhouse for adventuring. Is that Godzilla emerging from ocean waves?

Another mural adorns the front of the playhouse. I think the structure with the mirrored art is a garden shed.

Reflective surfaces bring depth and light into a shadowed space.

A place for grandkids to grow a few things, perhaps?

Just up the path, a rustic tepee is half-swallowed by vines.

An inviting forest hideaway for little ones

Peeking inside

A fiery begonia seems to grow out of a bird’s nest in a tree.

Trunks and tall branches make handy materials for a woodland arbor.

A sinuous dead tree seems to dance near a solitary bench.

Stained-glass dragonfly on a gothic wire trellis

One of the inviting, dappled-light paths into the garden

A wider view

Ann’s collection of trees includes some blue-green conifers that I love, like ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ Korean fir.

Check out those frosted, curled needles.

A vertical view shows Horstmann’s Silberlocke with an even taller, and contrastingly droopy, conifer — a weeping Nootka cypress.

It’s gorgeous! I bet these conifers make the garden beautiful during a snowy winter too.

A pale lilac clematis

An open area near the house offers space for sun-loving plants.

Irises were blooming.

As were many other lovelies in the fir-fringed meadow.

Up next: Lilies, clematis, and alliums glow amid raindrops in the garden of Cindy Fillingame. For a look back at Jane and Duane Miller’s artistic, colorful, and semi-portable garden, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.