Tuesday, May 31, 2011


When up in Wisconsin over this past weekend, I paid a visit to one of my favorite nurseries, Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, Wisconsin.  I have visited many times over the past several years and they are always expanding their gardens so that now it is experienced as a small arboretum rather than just a nursery.

The beginning of a wonderful journey!

Horse Chestnut Tree
Fort McNair

I will definitely be planting these next fall, blooming after the daffodils and tulips.

I am not sure which variety this one is, but they do not carry Hubertii (Plant of the Year).  Northwind has developed their own Amsonia introduction called "Amsonia Northwind Select," don't think it is available anywhere but there.  I purchased two of them, thin leaved like Hubertii and according to them superior!

This is the same nursery where Panicum Northwind was found on the property and we know that this grass is a winner. 

Roy Diblik is one of the owners and is well known in the Chicago area for being one of developers along with Piet Oudolf and others of the Lurie Gardens in Millennium Park

I am in the process of understanding the philosophy of Piet Oudolf who does not believe in a programmed looking garden design.  I am reading Designing With Plants over and over to digest the idea that it should be a design but not look like a design.  As I looked at Roy Diblik's plantings at Northwind I know he understands what Piet Oudolf is talking about!

Halcyon Blue in the foreground and we would love to know what is in the background?

Artifacts appear unexpectedly.

Geranium Karmina

Nepeta Walker's Low
Looks much better than mine!

Geum Prairie Smoke

I can see that Northwind has also incorporated the idea of having many pathways leading out from a main area like the fingers leading out from the palm of your hand as in Gordon Hayward's book Art And The Gardener.

I know, I got the idea that you can never have too many paths leading to interesting areas.

Paths leading to ponds

Benches and ponds

Benches on pathways

Art in the garden is a major feature at Northwind.

Donkeys in the garden

Goats in the garden

Cat in the garden on the lush perennial table

Lots of great choices, good prices - gallons $9.80, well tended

Great artwork for the garden!

Northwind is right outside Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, about ninety minutes from Chicago.  Check out their website for more photos of the farm.  http://www.northwindperennialfarm.com/