July 10, 2022
We visited a number of gardens with ponds at the Garden Bloggers Fling in Madison, Wisconsin, last month. Tom Kuster, who was not a gardener at the time, inherited his pond with the house he and wife Cheryl purchased in 1990. Did the pond work its magic on him, converting him into a passionate gardener? He didn’t say what sparked his interest, but by 2004 he’d hired a designer to create a design he could install himself, and he soon became obsessed with “the vast array of plants available.”
Tom characterizes himself as a plant collector. On an ordinary suburban lot, he’s amassed more than 600 different varieties of plants, organized by genera into 20 sections of his yard. Not being a collector type myself, I simply wandered, admiring the pretty pond and waterfall realistically tucked into a wooded slope along the back of the yard.
The fishpond is nicely fringed with low plants and sedges and a couple of accent conifers.
I also admired this foliage combo — shapes and shades of green — along the property line.
Orange nasturtiums tumble over the edge of a tall cobalt (or purple?) planter against a golden-green shrub — a nice color combo.
And I love the shaggy texture and shade-brightening gold of this stepping-stone path lined with Japanese forest grass.
No idea what this is, but it’s handsome with forest-green leaves and snow-white flowers.
Ah, hostas. Such a foreign sight for these Texas eyes, and so pretty among the reddish tree trunks.
Another eye-catching shade combo
Clematis were blooming all over Madison. Spectacularly. I dub them the Madison Fling’s signature plant.
Allium fireworks in the front garden
And near the front porch, these two grassy-headed pot people — representing the plant-loving owners, perhaps?
Up next: The native-prairie, wildlife-friendly Grosz Garden. For a look back at Part 1 and Part 2 of the Brazill-Golbach Garden, click here.
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