And it wasn't just that it was beautiful, which it is, or even the most beautiful garden I've ever been to, which it isn't, it was the precision and thought of the plant materials that made it different. It is like a painting by the old masters, where the artist spent a year on getting a hand depicted correctly.
Walking through Marion's garden I could actually see the brush strokes. Extraordinary when you consider that her plant collection is very heavy on interesting specimens. Other gardens where the gardener is focused on individual plants lack the flow and color schemes that Marion has been able to pull off.
Some might consider this type of gardening as too rigid, overly planned, even "precious". At this juncture in my life, I totally relate to what she's doing and appreciate her effort. Since moving to Texas I've worked for two start-ups - and the CEOs of these companies do just what Marion does. They have an end goal and if you can't fit in, complement the rest of the team, make the business better and faster - you're out. After spending the bulk of my career in banking where dead wood rules, I find this approach invigorating. It's fun to run with the big dogs and Marion's garden is definitely ahead of the pack.
And, oh, the plants! The shear volume of what she's got packed in is really overwhelming. I walked by the same spot three times and saw something new with each passing. I nearly missed seeing one of my favorite wildflowers - Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia).