Monday, September 24, 2012

Patio Party at Idyll Haven

What could be more perfect than a gorgeous sunny afternoon, temps in the low 70's, terrific food, a gorgeous garden and the best of friends? Not a thing I can think of.  Sue's fabulous gardens, Idyll Haven,  lure me to Connecticut as often as I can get there and can get an invitation to visit... well sometimes if I don't hear from Sue I invite myself. Te he.  It's really a good thing we are good friends because Sue only got about a 24 hour notice that we were going to descend on her for a garden party.  There were great protestations about how the gardens were a mess and the house wasn't clean.... etc, etc, etc, but she stepped up to the plate and we got a green light for a visit to one of my favorite private gardens anywhere.

My dear, clever husband is a private pilot and we decided to fly to Connecticut instead of the taking the two hour drive.
Flying into Hartford's Brainard Airport

Hartford Skyline 

A welcoming vignette at the front door

A beautiful combination of containers, perennials and shrubs at the kitchen door.

Wonderful dinner of tossed salad, roasted summer vegetables and grilled wild teriyaki salmon

Homemade apple cake with caramel pecan sauce

Some fabulous patio views


The fountain garden with Nickster - what a cutie


Stepping off the patio to the back garden area - wonderful plantings and container gardens everywhere you look

I'm green with envy over this Albizia 'Summer Chocolate'  gorgeous!

The Viburnum is smothered with berries


The east garden


Some views from the west side.... 

The amazing Twerpster the Idyll Haven's Garden Cat. This is a boy with cattitude!

And on and on, there are photo-ops everywhere you turn. A fabulous garden and a wonderful day. Thanks Sue!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I know, beyond a doubt, that every year, without fail, mother nature will throw me a few curve balls and I'll have some damage to the gardens and containers that I nurture so lovingly and carefully thoughtout the season.  Last year we had a hurricane that blew all the leaves and buds off the brugmansias which were too big to move into the garage, then  the infamous 'Snowtober' storm that devastated my mature oak trees in the back gardens.

This year we had a couple weekends in a row during August with severe thunderstorms accompanied by dreadful straight line winds.  Yesterday, yet another front came through with strong winds and I'm glad it's time to dig into getting the containers disassembled and put away for the season because I've never had this many blow over before.  I just spent a half hour or so assessing the damage and I've got a pile of stuff to pick up so many damanged plants.  Sigh.

Interesting that you can see how the winds changed direction over the course of the day yesterday
The pot in the foreground blew down around noon and I decided to leave it until the storms were done.
The others blew down last night when the front passed through.

The Colocasia 'Thailand Giant' is completely smushed and it was huge and gorgeous...

Just a little mandevilla but for some reason this one REALLY made me sad. it was smothered with buds and that long upper stem is broken off.
I won't repeat the selection of bad language that is swirling in my brain at the moment but all you gardeners get the picture, so to speak...  Maybe I'll just leave it all and have a glass of wine?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Foliage Follow Up - September 2012

Well, I'm late with getting this together because I've been getting into the  "hack it all back and start getting all this stuff in the house mode".  Our last safe frost date here is end of September. The last few years we haven't gotten a hard frost until the end of October but one never knows. I've got hundreds of tender plants including a collection of bromeliads, begonias and calatheas... and on and on...

Thanks to Pam/Digging for being our hostess for this foliage extravaganza!
Some of the Vrieseas....
 V. Heiroglyphica

V. Ehiku

V. Gigantia Nova

V. Snows of Mauna Kea

V. Kiwi Sunset
Neoregelia 'Hanibal Lecter'

Neoregelia hybrid

Neoregelia correia-araujoi albomarginata
Neoregelia hyrbids

Neoregelia 'Picasso' non variegated
Neoregelia 'Picasso'

Neoregalia 'Big Mac'
Cordyline terminalis 'Chocolate Queen'

Calathea 'Burle Marx'
Coleus 'Big Red Judy'
Coleus 'Sedona'
Coleus 'Peter Wonder'
Coleus 'India Frills'
Coleus sport from 'Tilt-a-Whirl'

Calathea makoyana


Hydreangea 'Little Honey'

Acalypha 'Jungle Dragon'
Acalypha 'Raggedy Ann'

Canna 'Pretoria'
Canna 'Pink Sunburst'

Achemea blanchetiana

Euphorbia tirucalii 'Sticks on Fire'

Colocasia 'Mojito'

Ensete maurelii - Red Abyssinian Banana

Colocasia esculente

Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum' and Begonia 'Wild Pony'