Video: Rose Tree Garden
I would call this garden near Moscow "the garden of rose trees", because the main party in it is played by majestic rhododendrons, almost as tall as trees. Translated from Latin, the word rhododendron itself means "rosewood". Such powerful specimens can only be seen in the most distinguished gardens of Great Britain, where they are favored by the warm breeze of the Gulf Stream. But not only this made me think of England.
We overcame the last hundreds of meters on the way to Ninel Nikolaevna Rusova along a broken road. The more striking was what we saw in her garden. When the gate swung open in front of us, a picture of a fresh May garden opened up, captivating with its comfort and intimacy. The entire interior space, although completely occupied by plantings, was pierced through and through by the morning sun, rising above a small house in the very depths of the garden. The rays glided along the plush wall of a perfectly trimmed hedge of yellow-coniferous thuja, against which, in small niches, the trunks of old junipers were texturedly cast with anthracite, which preserved their crowns only at the tops. Like the black keys of a piano keyboard, they set the rhythm for the garden and our movement. The master of English landscape design John Brooks wrote about such repeating elements:"… the sequence slows down the perception of direction, but the repetitions draws the eye further."
The garden was full of light, air, enticing aromas. The mowed lawn with thin young grass amazed with its cleanliness and well-groomed. For some reason, lawns are often called emerald, although the emerald has an inanimate hue. And this lawn of fresh green color, competing with the sun, seemed to "illuminate" the garden from below.
It is quite unusual for our gardens that the fruit and berry plantings are brought out to the entrance, and the front part is taken inland, to the facade of the house. Although this division is, of course, arbitrary. Rectangular plots with neat raspberry trellises, fruit trees, currant and blueberry bushes, surrounded by lingonberry borders in pearl flowers, look very decorative, reminiscent of English walled gardens. As well as apple palmettes, which I see for the first time in the Moscow region (it is believed that trellis trees in our zone suffer from poor supply of horizontal branches). Here palmettes (they are 8-10 years old) are distinguished by excellent health, large foliage, and bear fruit every year. The last apple blossom still remains on the branches, but numerous green apples have already begun to pour.
Japanese rhododendrons of all shades of sunset dropped the first petals in the garden. Now it is the main color accent in the garden. They positioned themselves along the path, revealing their gilded silk flowers to the south, towards a small cobbled patio.
In this zone, two yellow pines grow, peeled from the lower branches, and therefore resemble Mediterranean pines. A blue spruce with a high crown in their company seems cumbersome, but contrary to the laws of composition, this old tree is carefully preserved. In the patio area, the lines become soft, smooth bends appear, free plantings of small shrubs and perennials. In general, there are not many of them in the garden (no lush-colored mixborders, “buttercups-tiny”, as the hostess says, “only aristocratic plants”), only under the bushes you can see a lot of liverworts everywhere, which in early spring fill the garden with a cute pink and blue scattering. Later, peonies bloom, and in the middle of summer - lilies, among which the giant OT hybrid "Dallas" with yellow tubular flowers dominates.
As with many English gardens, the regular plantings are made of yews - in the form of meter-long clipped hedges and tiny borders. They not only give the necessary shapes and volumes, but also indicate the age of the garden, because it is known that yew grows slowly. Below the yew alley is lined with the common juniper "Repanda", and here, too, a creative approach was shown - hardly anyone had the idea to cut the already creeping shape.
The small house, with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing an inside view of the garden at any time of the year, bears the echo of the Scandinavian style. To the right of him are the evergreen rhododendrons of Smirnov and Katevbinsky, taller than human growth. Lace hats of white and lilac-pink flowers rise above the green with foam.
This 13 hectare plot is not only an example of a beautiful mature garden, which is a rarity in our area, but also the pinnacle of rational farming. It is based on structural plantings of coniferous and deciduous woody plants, which require easier care than flower crops, and retain their decorative effect at any time of the year. Nowhere you will find a heap of plantings, all plants are ideally ventilated and practically do not get sick.
Ornate patterns of paths, woven from chunks of chipped marble and large pebbles, line the garden around the perimeter and across, giving access to every corner. The clear lines of the lawn and the abundant mulch are maintained throughout by the lawn belt. All plantings in the garden are under mulch, which minimizes maintenance (the soil does not require loosening) and almost completely get rid of weeds. And therefore the hostess considers the best gift for herself … a bag of sawdust.
Even the plumbing hatch next to the house has been transformed into an indisputable decoration: the wooden pentagram lid is surrounded by a fluffy yew border in accordance with the shape.
We sit down at the garden patio table and learn that Ninel Nikolaevna has never studied landscape design, and the landscape magazines are late. A philologist by profession, she was guided in everything only by her own taste and intuition. But most importantly, she treated her garden with great love. And, of course, it was not without talent: "I do this not because I saw somewhere, but because it is beautiful."
By the end of our conversation, it becomes clear that it is no coincidence that there is so much geometry in this garden - a rectangular partition, a lot of sharp corners and sheared shapes - all this is a reflection of the strong-willed nature of the hostess. Ninel Nikolaevna laid the garden in 1953, when one could only dream of such a variety of planting material as now. Most conifers were grown from tiny cuttings, which were not easily obtained. There was no place to buy lawn grass seeds then. After unsuccessfully trying to get them at the football stadium, she had to go to the meadow for herbs. Having freed from weeds, she carefully planted the low bluegrass and clover in the garden. So, piece by piece, she formed a perfect lawn from natural grass. And he repairs it with fragments of turf, which "it is enough to scatter and trample into the ground"- after a couple of months, the grasses close together and give an even green carpet.
The appearance of the garden gradually changed. At first there were a lot of weeping birches in it, but they gave a lot of garbage and self-seeding - now only one of them remains. The wall of blue fir trees turned out to be difficult to cut, thuja was planted in front of it, and for some time the hedge was two-colored - blue on top and green below. Then the thuja completely replaced the prickly spruce.
The matured garden has combined aesthetic and functional components, while remaining an integral piece of landscape art and an expression of a high culture of being. The aesthetics of the garden can be attributed to the English traditions of the early 20th century, but how modern it is today!
Ten years ago, a fire broke out and, together with the former house, unfortunately, it took away the guest book - many famous people have visited the garden, enthusiastically celebrating the sense of style, purity of lines, color harmony and other artistic merits of the garden. Some of them have survived thanks to the publication in the magazine "Landscape Design", among them is the entry of the fashion designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev: "What a blessing that there are people on earth … capable of comprehending the harmony of nature, creating a beautiful world with their own hands, a fabulous world by giving it to us, coming to bow, so generously, so disinterestedly … ".
Now Ninel Nikolaevna says that she has created for herself an aristocratic "garden of old age", in which she is cozy and comfortable in the nineties of her life: "The titanic work for which I was called" turbine "is gone. The work remained aesthetic - to pinch, to plant …”.
It seems to me that she could agree with the statement of the famous entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre: “Such, or rather, it was, when I took him into my possession, the magnificent Eden, in which I expect from now on to live alone … (with a garden) ".
It remains to wish the mistress good health and restless energy, so that she can continue to cherish and improve her wonderful little Eden, her amazing garden of "rose trees" with love.
Photo from the family archive of N.N. Rusova
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