Yew Dell Garden – A Return To A Rare Uniqueness

I love Yew Dell Gardens. Located just outside Louisville, Kentucky by just a few short miles, it is one of America’s most unique, eccentric and yet lush gardens. It’s history I already included in the updated post below this one. That particular post was my first visit there and it was in the Fall. I describe its history in far more detail there.

But there is something of the ‘Anarchist In Us All’ that stretches imaginations and challenges the senses in this minor masterpiece of garden artisan-ship. Yes, the superlatives are flowing. I just always find it hard not to go a bit nutso when I describe this very cool and interesting place. It offers some bizarre brain food – from haunting images such as the lonely but somehow eloquent message in “The Hand” in the middle of the field below, to the raft of strangely-colored hybrid plants, cooked up via the hard work of the early owners. Those who have taken over the running of this intriguing spot have completely “bought in” to the originator’s designs and intent. We gain immensely from this, all of us.

(click all images to enlarge)

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In a great bit of serendipity, the garden was also featuring sculptures mixed in with the plantings, offering them for exhibit and sale. I especially liked the limestone carvings of this artist, Don Lawlor, a sculptor with this website which is way worth a look:

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Tucked around Mr. Lawlor’s fascinating bird bath are the curiously-colored and unique (to me, anyway) Coleus plants which we found in abundance and – to our delight – in a literal rainbow of hues, some very subtle and muted and some very bright and incredibly playfulΒ  colors.

Check out these bright red babies:

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We just missed the Astilbe Show behind these gorgeous plants, but other blooms and invading, competing flowers and plants make this riot of color a pure visual feast. I remarked to my Mom, who laughed: “Man, those are red enough to be a flower!!”

And the Coleus love did not stop there. When I mentioned “subtle”, I meant it. This stunning example of understated elegance provides the perfect foreground and lush perimeter for the rose behind it.

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Other Coleus had different designs, such as this one with the blood vessels:

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Or this bright yellow, quite playful beauty, shown here at the entrance in excessive plenty:

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A peaceful beauty surrounds the lucky visitors, complete with heart warming people who work there and who never fail to be cheery and as helpful as they can be. Below is a most peaceful image, placed near the famous Holly Walk. My good friend The Happy Monk got himself all married there. And it took!!Β  πŸ˜‰

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Proof that romance can flower near……….well……….flowers. But that’s redundant again. Like deja vu, all over again.

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Mother and I wandered a piece, curious about adjoinging areas. The reason I bring this up is that we found what was either the original “Holly Walk” or else the practice field for Holly Walking. Kentucky is a basketball-crazy state. It led us to wonder if an area like this might not actually be for super tall basketballers. πŸ™‚ Don’t laugh. When I said they’re crazy about basketball, I wasn’t just “Whistlin’ Dixie”. Anyway, we felt delighted with what was for us a discovery.

We’re easy that way.

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Back to………..hmmmmmmmmmmmm………….how about a few ‘Naked Ladies’?

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It’s the Amaryllis Belladonna Show! This Naked Lady is native South African plant – a bulb – which has the most interesting pattern of growing with a fairly graceful foliage, then losing the leaves while the blooms appear. The nickname seems rather obvious, too, I would think. Groves such as this are plentiful at Yew Dell – small, shady realms of sub canopy beauty which the garden takes immense advantage of. To me, the groves such as this are one of its true draws.

We were fortunate enough to happen by this particular grove while it was being watered by a good old fashioned oscillating sprinkler. What made it most interesting were the water trails, mixed with the interesting apparent motions of the pants themselves and the additon of this shimmering sort of sculture, smack in the midst of it all:

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Other groves of interest to me: (a small glass sculpture paradise, complete with wind-swept, spent lilies.

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A Hosta Paradise, featuring – but not restricted to – Hosta Giants with its very own Fertility Sculpture (always handy! πŸ˜‰ ):

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This is getting long………..more in a day or two………….OK, one more sculpture:

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Is that cool or what?

8 thoughts on “Yew Dell Garden – A Return To A Rare Uniqueness

  1. Steve, I love your blog – and I thank you for featuring my stone hand, head and fountain. You obviously have a passion for plants, maybe even more than my consuming interest in stone (and rocks of all types). Keep up the interesting posts!
    .-= Don Lawler´s last blog ..The Abbey of Gethsemani =-.

  2. I consider that high praise coming from you, Don, thank you so much. I’m delighted you sent your blog addy, as well. Love your work, man.

    “Restless Rocks”………..are we twins? πŸ˜‰

  3. This gal moves me. Check out her website, for those visiting, and especially anyone from the UK. Helen does the kind of work which motivates me to feature her in an upcoming post. This gal is different, interesting and even her art work/craft is beautiful. Needless to say, she is a total fox herself. πŸ˜‰ (I’m pretty sure, anyway)

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