Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Solstice, Longwood, and 8 foot Delphs

Still busy, busy as we hit the summer solstice! It won't be long now as the days are getting shorter! Autumn leaves, it's right around the corner...SORRY.

Last weekend I caught some drum corps in Pennsylvania and bunked with friends in Kennett Square. That's right, off to Longwood to see what's up. This trip I was intrigued by two orchids (big surprise). I'm sharing the photos. That scary one is Stanhopea, a South American epiphyhte that lives in cooler conditions high in the trees. The intense fragrance of vanilla does not permeate the blog page but is was a WOW.

The other three pointed flower belongs to Disa uniflora. This time a South African terrestrial that requires ultra moist soil conditions. Just lovely, you can see why I'm smitten.

An update from last week! We did make it! The 3 year English delphs did make 8 feet(actually 8' 5") Intern (and Mr. Sustainability) Tom Kievit shown here with the proof. He 's ecstatic about the bragging rights. You can also see how wonderful this stand looks. We are super proud.

Think "Blue"(some Mohonk guests even come dressed appropriately)  and we'll see you next time... 

Gartenmeister (complete with new headshot)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Alliums Are As Easy To Grow As Onions!

Oh boy, there's alot to talk about, but first introductions all around to the summer interns. Pictured left to right Cory McCurdy, Ryan Chaney and Tom Kievit. Of course Head Gardener Kim Fusaro, front and center and yours truly backstage. We are havin' a great time gardnin' here at the big house.

We didn't make 8 feet :(  The three year old English delphs are just about 7 feet high, DARN. The purple varieties shown below are hand pollinated stock from the RDS (Royal Delphinium Society)... you know, across the pond. Well, we keep trying.

Oh right, blue flowers......... here's some goodies, Allium azureum and Delphinium bellamosum. The shades are so groovy, but they don't really come across in these shots. Oh yeah, another excuse for a Mohonk visit! Alliums are as easy as onions to grow and the seedling species delphs like bellamosum can be sowed directly into good garden soil right at home.

Good News! The pots along Lake Porch are up and lookin' spiffy. Begonias, of course, accompanied by fuchsias, plectranthus, and friends. This summer make sure your containers are well watered and fertilized. We use both timed release pellets and liquid organics. "Feeding is Fundamental"

Flag Day, Father's Day can only mean that summer is upon us!

CU Next Time,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rich Garden Soil, Early Delphinium and More!

You asked for more info? Here it is. Now don't be shy...please comment! First, after thinking the rains were gone forever, they returned over the weekend. Thank goodness! Plants are growing like crazy. How about the unreal blues of the early Delphinium. Pictured are "Aurora Light Blue" and "Diamonds Blue." Both are easy enough to start from seed and do require rich garden soil.  (Don't we all?)

Next in the line up, Cotinus coggygria "Velvet Cloak." Spectacular clouds of pink "smoke" hide the seeds which eventually dry off and blow away (how aptly named). Smokebush come from the United States and Europe and can grow into small multi-branched trees. Several cultivars are available that may highlight gold foliage or a particular fall color but the message is PLANT ONE.

On to Syringa reticulata "Ivory Silk." Always an attention getter as the tufts of creamy-white flowers are "abuzz" with bees and various sundry pollinators. Yes a Lilac but blooming much later, this time with a pungent honey fragrance. The trees live for years and seem to bounce back even after devastating ice and wind storms. "Ivory Silk" is a much showier cultivar than the species which I've seen once at the Planting Fields Arboretum.

Got a sneak peak at the Garden Holiday line-up, taking place August 29 through September 3 at Mohonk. It should be quite a reunion of old horticulturists who made their mark on the grounds in the past. Let me know what you think of this blog and tell all your friends because I'd like to know who's out there...

Drew (A.K.A The Garden Meister)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June is busting out all over!

No truer words can be spoken than at the Mohonk Mountain House. Feast your eyes on these beauties......Lupines, Peonies, Poppies and Roses.

Of particular note is the Papaver orientale "Great Red" which we raise from seed and Rosa "William Baffin"  which happens to be the hardiest, most reliable climber on the planet.

This week we also dug the "dahlia ditches". An "old school" technique of trenching the tubers, leaving them exposed to the sun, and burying them after the shoots emerge.

The Garden Pass is becoming quite popular and I'm happy about that. Have I forgotten anything?