A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Leonard J. Buck Garden

The Master Gardners sponsored their second trip of the year to the Leonard J. Buck Garden in a valley formed by glaciers in Far Hills. The "bones" of the garden were shaped by the ancient ice with a little help from man. The plants in the gardens are a mixture of native plants and hybrids azaleas and rhododendrons. The result looks like a magical garden created by fairies rather than humans.

Walking down the steps from the Visitor Center, your first view of the garden hints at the wonders to come.
Plants are nestled in pockets of basalt walls and in naturally occurring outcroppings.

I was amazed at the amount of work that was done by hand in the 1930's to create this wondrous place. According to the website: "Mr. Buck discovered the layout of outcroppings, and the men chiseled and shoveled, picked and blasted to expose the basalt--once hot lava that formed the Second Watchung mountain about 175 million years ago. "

And after all that work, more work using stone to create raised beds:

I want this gazebo!

I saw some incredible plants. These are Giant Snowdrops. Scale kindly provided by "A", my fellow Strawhatter who also came along:

And look how tiny these daffodil blooms are! Scale provided by a tri-fold brochure:

An entire wall of Dutchman's Breeches:

And how about these trees!

There is a small stream,

crossed by several small bridges,

that leads to a pond that must be spectacular in May. It is lined with iris and rose mallow.

We saw many frogs and a few fish in and around the pond. And this is my newest must-have for my shade garden:

Red Trillium

Please visit Flickr for more photos of the trees and flowers I saw there. The next MG trip is scheduled for June. We are going to the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden. You can imagine how excited I am about that trip!


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