Elizabeth Lawrence is said to have been "obsessed" with color. Nowhere is that more apparent than in her research notes, a part of which are contained on handwritten 3.5”x5” index cards in her “card catalog.” When documenting details about every flowering plant she ever grew, Elizabeth noted very specific colors which she matched from one or two (or both) color charts she used throughout her lifetime.
It is always a pleasant surprise to go into the garden on a hot and humid August day to find that, quite literally overnight, Elizabeth Lawrence's Lycoris albiflora are blooming.
"Today, the seventeenth of March, is the Feast of Saint Patrick... In our family, though our attitudes are Anglo-Saxon, we always wear the green for Saint Patrick, and feel for him great affection, for his feast is my mother's birthday."
I always find it fascinating to compare Elizabeth Lawrence's bloom journal entries with what's happening in her garden present-day. A better biographer this garden could not have had; on-site, we have 30 years of bloom journals - 1953 through 1983. Here are a couple of entries I recently found interesting:
Elizabeth Lawrence's garden fares amazingly well through the long dry periods we call the "dog days of summer." (The dry spell started far too early this year... months before the "dogs days" usually begin.)
For the past four years, I have kept a close eye on Elizabeth Lawrence's Camellia sasanqua hedge at the sidewalk. It has not been uncommon to see evidence of camellia tea scale in the hedge, which had been kept in shape for several years by shearing.
"It seems to me that there is never a time when some living thing is not pushing up from the ground, and that at the beginning of the year there is a more vital stirring."
- Elizabeth Lawrence, Gardens in Winter