To fill our urns we made a trip to Loomis Creek Nursery, a specialty retail nursery in Hudson, New York, owned and run by Andrew Beckman and Bob Hyland, plantsmen extraordinaire. We are big fans of Loomis Creek, which grows and stocks unusual specimen plants not found in a typical garden center. And that's not surprising, since Andrew is editorial director for gardening at Martha Stewart Living, and Bob is former vice president of horticulture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We often find ourselves visiting Loomis Creek once or twice a weekend during planting season.
We bought three or four flats of Viola Sorbet Series 'Black Delight' from Loomis Creek to fill our urns. As I wrote in my winter urn story, we plant our urns densely when we fill them with annuals, so that we have a profusion of flowers in the brief season before they are replaced with the next season's plants.
Here is a photograph of one of our urns, just planted. It has not yet come into flower.
Here are the urns that stand on either side of the kitchen entry to Darlington, in full flower.
Next is a closeup of the blossoms. They are actually a deeper, darker purple than the photograph indicates.
This next photograph is of one of the urns leading up to our entry. It is a more accurate representation of the flowers' color.
We have painted all of the metal garden furnishings at Darlington, including these urns, in Farrow & Ball's "Off-Black," No. 57. I think they look particularly good in a high-gloss finish.
Here is the urn that stands at the base of the bluestone walkway to our house. Boy photographed it in the late afternoon with the western sun raking through the Violas.
This concludes my tour of the spring planting of our urns at Darlington. In only a few short weeks it will be time to replant them with their summer occupants . . . so please stay tuned!
All photographs by Boy Fenwick