Sunday, June 30, 2013

Landcraft Environments

Well garden season is rolling along at light speed and my Garden Conservancy Open Days tour is only two weeks away. I'm looking forward to it and I'll be glad when it's over, LOL. 

I did take a week out of my flurry of tour preparations to attend the yearly Idyllunion with my wonderful internet gardening friends.  Sue from Idyllhaven has a great explanation of our group from a post last summer so I won't repeat it here. We did a five day whirlwind tour of gardens and wineries on Long Island and had a fabulous time.  My favorite garden of the trip was the private gardens of Dennis Schrader & Bill Smith of Landcraft Environments, LTD.  Many thanks to our wonderful hosts for opening their gardens to our group. It was beyond marvelous with many different garden rooms all featuring beautifully grown and maintained plants.  The gardens presented everything from a formal knot garden with Berberis flowing around an urn with a twenty-year old specimen of Bougainvillea to a meadow garden that was a textural feast for the eyes. 

As they say a picture says a thousand words so I will let the photos tell the story here.  I shot about four hundred frames in the time we were there and here is a collection of my favorites.

Knot Garden

Meadow Garden


Loved this window box!

Newly planted border of tender plants. Would love to see this in a couple months




It never ceases to amaze and delight me how sharing fellow gardeners are.  I can only imagine how busy their schedule is but they made time to let us tour their gardens and spent the time to visit and answer questions.  Many, many thanks to Bill and Dennis for their hospitality!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Few More Favorite Things....

I've been running around like the proverbial chicken... trying to get all my containers and gardens ready for a Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour in July and have been spending way too much time looking at and trying to fix problem areas. It seems I don't ever pay attention to the things I like and forget to enjoy the gardens. Why oh why do I do this much work if instead of enjoying the process I'm frantic to keep things perfect all the time? I promised myself that this year I'd spend more time enjoying and less time obsessing. So to that end I spent a morning walking around the gardens  again with camera in hand. Taking pictures is one of my favorite things to do so taking pictures of my favorite things in the gardens seemed an appropriate way to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the gardens.

  Love roses in June, this Knockout and Carefree Delight live up to their  names.

 Some of the succulent collection. The Jade plant is thirty years old. The fabulous leaf casting was done for me by one of my great garden friends and is one of my garden treasures.

 Love the wonderful bromeliad Neoregelia 'Big Mac'. It takes full sun and grows at a fantastic rate. This is a pup from the original plant I bought a couple years ago. 

Another view of the N. 'Big Mac' amongst its summer companions.

One of the succulent troughs I made over the winter when working in the greenhouse. Those echeverias are huge!

And yet more succulents, I might have gotten a bit carried away with these as they have to be wintered indoors.

I found this baker's rack on sale quite a few years ago now and have some of my cement rabbit collection displayed in the garden room on top of my hill. 

This giant Sword Fern is three years old now and just continues to grow and look great.

Aechmea blanchetiana

A living wall of ferns and Tillandsias
The view of the shade garden from the top of the hill
And now I must run and get to an appointment then I can spend some time finishing up the rest of the containers this afternoon.  Maybe I'll go plant shopping and find a few more favorite things?

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things

Progress on getting the gardens put together for the year has been slow this spring. Between two weeks vacation in April (when I should have been cleaning out the borders and moving things around) weeks of cold rain, and this past weekend three days of 94 degree temps and humidity I've not made as much headway as I'd like. Today the hot spell ended with an overcast sky and temps in the 70's, halleluiah!  I'm finally getting to the end of the containers that need assembling and arranging the container borders to my satisfaction. 

Anyway, I took a walkabout with the camera this afternoon to capture a few thing that are looking very nice at the moment.... Some are very old friends like my Hydrangea petiolaris that has been climbing my old oak tree for eighteen years.

This is a Rosa rugosa that was a gift from a friend's garden twenty-five years ago. About fifteen years ago it threw an enormous cane that was much longer and stronger than the rest of the shrub so I thought I'd do an experiment and try to standardize it.  I was told by another garden friend that "you can't make a standard out of a Rugosa" so the challenge was on. I'm happy to say that yes, indeed, it can be done if one is persistent and patient enough.  It's looking quite lovely this year and is covered with blossoms and buds.  I don't know how much longer I'll have it as I have no idea what the life span of that original cane will be.

I like to pair this with one of my fuchsia standards (Beacon Rosa) because the two forms complement each other.  It's always a bonus when they are blooming at the same time.

The Rhododendron 'Minnetonka' is in full bloom right now and is putting on quite a show. I love this variety as it is very well behaved and is easy to keep to a reasonable size.

This outstanding begonia is a new one in my collection and rapidly rose to the top of the favorites list.  It was one of my great 'finds' last summer. I bought this gorgeous, large begonia for $15.00! Eureka! I had to ask the clerk if it was a mistake but I was in luck and this year it is bigger and better than ever. It produces large, extravagant panicles of pink flowers. Between that and the beautiful, glossy serrated foliage what's not to love?

I had to include this pot with my "favorite things" list. Doug bought this beauty for me for my birthday about five years ago. It's an imported English limestone planter. Just love the relief design on the sides. So pretty! I try to plant things that don't trail over the edges so the sides can be seen and appreciated. This year I'm trying Caladium 'Florida Beauty' Hopefully they'll live up to my expectations.

The newest addition to my list is my bromeliad 'tree'.  I had this old oak branch kicking around the garden for a few years and I thought it would make a great presentation for some of my bromeliad collection.  I'm loving this up against the Japanese Maple.

This was just a quick walkabout and there are other gems to add to this list so I'll have to do a sequel to this post as soon as I get the rest of the pots done....