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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rainy Day Garden Tours

Today was a tough day to be a gardener. I'm in the middle of a 3 months shift at work that has me covering Saturdays. In exchange I get a day off during the week and I've promised myself to spend the day as a gardener. Drizzle, fog, rain and temperatures in the high 40's were a challenge but I refused to back down. First stop was SUNY Farmingdale, they were having a plant sale and my daylily friends would be there. This place is just magical to me.

The large kitchen gardens are still waiting for most of it's plant material to arrive but there were still lots of things to see like this cracked but still beautiful trough.

Tucked into a wooded walk was a cheerful spring planting combination.

So much blue, I just love it!

The white trees were perfect with the underplanting of blue. The challenge was taking good photographs as I was protecting my camera from the weather and my fingers were numb.

A large planting of Allium reminded me that before their spectacular blooms the foliage already poops out and gets quite ratty.

A nice little woodland walk

This spot was perfect, I could have taken a dozen photos here.

Pulmonaria in all it's glory! This is a plant I need to get for our cottage garden.

Well one thing for sure, when it rains the Alchimella molls (Ladie's mantle) is going to show off!

Next stop was Peconic River Herb Farm all the way out in Calverton. The rain was more steady here and my poor fingers really froze but I still took my time and checked out every corner of this heavenly place.

I don't think it's possible to take a bad photo of this potting shed.

Early spring bloomers were competing for attention. Epimedium, Dicentra and May Apples, oh my!

The grounds were empty, only a half dozen employees busily filling every nook and cranny with new plants for Mother's Day coming this Sunday. 

How do you like this window box? I just adore it.

One more close up look. So yes, I'm back, I've got a darling cottage garden and I'm going to write all about it. Today's post was driven by all the photos I shot today but no worries, I'll be sharing all kinds of information on perennials that do well here for me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Arctic Blast! Not at Planting Fields Arboretum

This past Autumn we spent a wonderful afternoon at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay NY. While all the outside plant displays were magnificent as always, it was the greenhouses that took our breath away.

This morning we awoke to a fridgid 4 degrees, talk about cold! It's one of the coldest winters I can remember, the salt water bays of Northport, Centerport, Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington are frozen solid. One place though that I know is warm is inside the greenhouses at Planting Fields Arboretum, I can't wait to get there again.

The plant displays change in the green house from season to season although the large main-stay plants are always there. I'm not going to try to list the plant names, tropical plants are not my expertise.

The best lesson I've learned from tropical gardens is how important foliage color and form can be. Who needs flowers with a combination like this?

I couldn't resist it, this is the same shot just a little closer. I'm in love with all these patterns, colors and textures.

Being that this was fall, there were quite a few Chrysanthemums in the display. I'm not complaining.

There are benches and ledges scattered around, it's easy to find a place to sit. I keep promising myself to come back here with a book and just relax for a few hours. It's something I've put on my bucket list.

If you have time, there's side rooms with different temperatures and air conditions. You'll find a dry room with cacti, an orchid room and a room filled with begonias. There's probably even more rooms, I haven't made the full tour in a number of years.

There's no reason to sit inside and complain about the snow and ice, get yourself over to Planting Fields Arboretum and soak up some plant life!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Armchair Dreams

The past few weeks I've been having "armchair dreams". That's when you sit in your comfy, insulated, warm house during the winter and look at garden photos.

Over the last four years I've basically lost almost every single plant that I used to grow. That might not mean much to some people but I used to grow hundreds and hundreds of different perennials Just this tiny section from my old garden would fill my present location.

Space, growing conditions and yes, funds, won't allow me to grow them all again but I've been looking  through my photos wondering which ones I absolutely must have. Kniphofia always made my heart beat faster but they won't do well in the small cottage garden here.

Astilbe do very well here. They do like super rich soil so I'd have to do some serious amending but this variety "Deutschland" would be wonderful in our shady garden.

If we had more sun it would be easy, I'd go succulents and sedums all the way.

I can't believe how easy these were to grow. Thankfully I can grow a few out by the street.

When I first began to garden I worked for a German Steel Importer in Manhattan. A co-worker named Carmen shared a piece of an annual that would sow itself all over my garden. Silene Armeria (catchfly) was always welcome in my garden after that.

It's been a few years so forgive me. Today I find myself quite humbled in not remembering the names of every plant I photographed. Don't tell me though, I'll remember better if I have to look it up and learn it all over again.

Another name that I don't remember except for the stolonifera part. I'm guessing Saxifraga stolonifera. Sadly I no longer know how to even get pieces of these.

Astrantia major was another less known plant that I loved to grow. I will be looking for these but are they the star plant I dream about? No...

The plant I need to add this year, the star that I remember so well is Aruncus athusifolious. Sure hope I can find some. It loved semi-shade, formed a perfect little ball and every few years could be divided to give you more perfect little balls. 

Do you grow this plant?