a visit to Longview Ranch

good food

Jane, aka The Mulchmaid and Ben, aka the Mulchman invited local bloggers to visit their gardens on Sunday. Here Heather, Laura, Linda and Laura’s Pirate (yes, we finally got to meet him) gather around the yummy treats Jane had laid out for us.

a closer look
I need to zoom in so you can see the cunning centerpiece, a stone-shaped white pot with succulents. That Jane has such good design sense.

Ben & Anna

Here’s Ben telling Anna about his Native Garden. Drawn by the sound of voices, we went directly to the back yard, which is Ben’s bailiwick.

gravel path

He has created such a sense of enclosure that it’s hard to believe you’re in an urban neighborhood. Doesn’t this look like a lakeside trail?

dogwood berm

Gravel paths wind around berms bordered by smooth river rocks, an unusual treatment done exceedingly well.

Acanthus mollis

Jane’s part of the garden is entirely different but no less well thought out. Her background as a master gardener is everywhere in evidence: every plant is in tip top condition, like this magnificent stand of Acanthus mollis.

Melianthus major

Compositions like this one, featuring Melianthus major let you know that placement of every element has been carefully considered.

Agastache in border

Crocosmia and Eucalyptus


cala lily & Eryngium


Rounding the corner before entering the Northwest Garden in back, there’s a last delicious taste of Jane’s finesse. Thank you so much, Jane and Ben, for your generous hospitality. It was a Sunday to remember.

16 Responses to “a visit to Longview Ranch”

  1. Alison Says:

    I’m so sorry that I missed you, and Laura and her Pirate. It was a lovely gathering. Wasn’t that Eucalyptus trunk beautiful? I got rotten photos, but I’m going to try to put a post together. I actually wish I’d gotten some pictures of the roses out front, which were left over by the previous owners.

  2. Anna K Says:

    Such a lovely afternoon, and you captured it well! It was good to see you again! :)

  3. Janet, The Queen of Seaford Says:

    Love the color of the Calla lily. I keep seeing Acanthus…. will have to see if some of the garden centers around here carry them.

  4. Shirley Says:

    It’s so special when you can spend a few hours with such passionate gardeners who genuinely love welcoming others to share their garden and hospitality.

    Beautiful gardens and how could you not have a wonderful time. Thanks to all for sharing this garden so those of us for whom it would be a bit of a drive (3-4 days!) can enjoy it too.

  5. Grace Says:

    Total eye candy! I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Wendy Says:

    she has some really interesting things in that garden!

  7. Peter/Outlaw Says:

    Rats! I missed you, Laura & her pirate! So many great things to do on our visit to your fair city (o.k. the general area) that day. I’m always impressed when driving through P town at how many gardens there are! Mr. and Mrs. Mulch’s garden was really wonderful. It’s quite interesting the way the two gardeners have divided the space and made his and hers gardens which are both beautiful but very different from each other.

  8. Loree / danger garden Says:

    Sorry to have missed you Ricki! I think I was most impressed with the seamless transition between the “his” and “hers” spaces. I’d never been able to visualize it from online images so it was wonderful to see how it worked in person.

  9. ricki Says:

    Alison~Not getting to see everyone is the drawback to open house format, but it does give most people a chance to fit it in. I’m so impressed that you and Peter made it down. Next stop: fall swap?

    Anna K~I’m loving these get-togethers. Glad we were there at the same time.

    Janet~I’ve seen Acanthus in every garden I’ve visited this year. I’d be happy to ship you a division of spinosa or mollis if you can’t find it locally (though that might mean it won’t like your conditions)

    Shirley~If you ever make that drive, we can make it worth your while.

    Grace~Wish you lived closer.

    Wendy~Yes, and well-placed to boot.

    Peter~It was fun to talk to Ben about the negotiating going on…both wanting to extend their reach into the buffer zone. Proof positive that there is no panacea when two gardeners share the same space. Thanks for the invite to join you at JC. It was an offer I almost couldn’t refuse, but I needed to visit another garden out of town after Jane’s. Next time?

    Loree~It would have been fun to walk the grounds with you…but we’ll get your take in a future post, right?

  10. Heather Says:

    What are the chances that you could get so many people in one space, united only by gardening, and have them get along so famously? I love our little gardening community.

  11. Laura @ gravy lessons Says:

    Ricki, it was wonderful to see you again! My Pirate and I really enjoyed seeing how two gardeners can share a garden. And I was delighted to meet Jane and see their garden in person…it looks much bigger in her pictures. I wish that we had been able to stick around and see everyone.

  12. ricki Says:

    Laura~Jane and Ben provide a good model…for gardening and for hosting. I enjoy our little group so much…and yes, it would have been nice to linger and get to visit with everyone.

  13. Jane / MulchMaid Says:

    Ricki, it was a delightful day to share the gardens with other avid gardeners. Thank you so much for visiting, and for creating this lovely post! It’s fascinating to see your fresh take on the gardens. As I look out the deck door, I’m now appreciating them in a completely new light!

  14. ricki Says:

    Jane~And thank YOU for inviting us into your wonderful garden. I would say it’s brave, but you and Ben have created such a wonderful space that we couldn’t help but be enchanted.

  15. Janet, The Queen of Seaford Says:

    How nice to have both husband and wife to garden, way to go Jane! Love how intimate the garden feels, certainly not an urban feeling space.

  16. ricki Says:

    Janet~I think everyone was blown away by how well these two worked together.

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