Thursday, July 29, 2010

Field Trip!

It's always nice to get away once in awhile to get inspiration from other folks. Last week...a little "R&R" in mid-coast Maine. Lobstahs, of course, wild Maine blueberries (very nice in summer pudding) and a delightful stroll through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Just lovely and only open a few short years. Here are some shots of just a few of the highlights. Of particular interest to me was the rhododendron hillside (complete with waterfall) and the bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) growing in the woods. This is one of those public gardens that is SO user friendly. Very accessible for all ages!

Oh right, i forgot about the blue "stuff" who couldn't live without Echinops ritro, the globe thistle.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

If you can't take the heat..

Well, I can take the heat with a little rain on the side and that's exactly it. Little. I guess I digress but as I look around I see some garden areas that are enjoying this sultry weather. The Abyssinian Ensete (banana cousins) are looking quite perky, shown here underplanted with castor beans (Ricinus) and copper-leaf (Acalypha). They are certainly thriving in the beyond balmy nights (70 deg.+) Over yonder in the upper cutting garden, we are exploding with summer flowers. Zinnia, Lisianthus, Phlox, Delphinium, Dianthus, Amaranthus, and the list goes on. No small chore keeping these plants irrigated and fertilized.

Last week I rambled on about English tuberous begonias at White Flower Farm and I now think we are holding our own at Mohonk with our American hybrids. Protected in the shade of the Lake Porch, it is quite a show. 

The orange Begonia in the basket is 'firecracker' which is a hybrid of Begonia boliviensis...handles a slight more sun.

For more "flower power" check out the Plant of the Week link...TTFN off to Maine for a couple of days.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Annual Pilgrimage

Each year, in the 2nd week of July it's off to White Flower Farm to admire the English Hybrid Tuberous Begonias. Our expectations were once again satisfied. But first, a couple of other POI there:

In addition to the immaculate sales area (above) we stumbled upon a really nice planting combo in one of the trial borders. Here Hemerocallis 'Little Grapette' joins Cimicifuga 'Brunette' and Hydrangea 'Preziosa' (below). What a groooooooooooovy combination.

Next it's off to the BIG border designed by Fergus Garrett (Christopher Lloyd's right hand) very impressive in stature.

Now for those mouth watering begonias...wowie zowie, just incredible in form and presence. All mature stock plants from the world renowned breeding of Blackmore and Langdon in Bristol UK. Do yourself a favor....go and see them!

 Meanwhile back at the ranch... we were inspired by a some "pennies from heaven" and got right back out there and rehashed the center bed of the showgarden. Through the generosity of a GOOD friend we have on loan, a 72" sphere wire sculpture that now hails from the show garden. We decided to plant 'Heavenly Blue'  morning glories and complement it with a circular planting of Lavender. Shown here, contortionist planters Ryan Chaney and Tom Kievit. Stop up and see the progress as we get gussied up for Garden Holiday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pullin' in the Reins

Well our dear friend Mother Nature is toying with us and she turned off the rain. On top of that she turned up the thermostat. Now gardening friends of mine we have to "pull in the reins" and pull out the hoses! Day in, day out, we have to take the "heat off "and saturate, as best we can our plant's root systems. So with a smile on my face (see head shot), we carry on keeping Mohonk lookin' fresh. (Wish us luck!)

Looks like the Extension Dutchess County is looking fresh. Their gardens on Route 44 in Millbrook are looking quite snappy. Here I photographed three sections of the demo plots, ornamentals for sun, for shade, and an edible landscape!  Well done...well labeled ...well mulched...good for them!

Speaking of "good for them," how about this Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' growing in front of a local pet food store.What am I doing wrong?


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gas Station Gardening

Do you believe June is gone? There's still so much to do and July is supposedly "throwing in the trowel" month.  Anywho, I led a garden tour last Sunday and I thought you should see these three shots. A lovely shade glen highlighting Hosta 'Sum and Substance,' elegant and "hard to hug" Aralia spinosa variegata and last, and certainly not least, Acer pseudoplatanus 'Eskimo Sunset.'  The latter really needs protection from the sun to show its variegation well.

June is a big garden tour month and we at Mohonk are no exception. Check out the folks in awe of the BLUE delphiniums June 30th at the annual Ulster County Gardener's Day sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension.

July is crunch time for your containers. Try not to get lazy about proper watering and fertilizing. Remember, the more you water the more you have to feed. Let's get advice from barrel gardener extraordinaire, Harold Frisbie of (believe it or not) West Hurley Garage. Yes a gas station with barrel planters that rival the pros. Harold says water every day even if it has rained. His planters are under cover. Harold feeds with Miracle-Gro Shake and Feed. Fantastic results! You can view this great display anytime on Route 375 in West Hurley, New York.
Who picks out Harold's plants! 3 guesses...Happy Birthday America and Happy Birthday to me!