Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year as the landscape is quiet and we have a moment to vest and reflect on the season past.

Last week I headed back down to Longwood for the Chrysanthemum display and luckily hit it on one of the last days of Indian Summer.

Before I talk about mums, I wanted to compare some hardy woodies that are prevalent at Longwood with related plants growing on the Mountain.

First…deciduous conifers

We have two specimens of Dawn Redwood: Metasequioa glytostroboides. This tree was thought extinct until the 1940s, when it was discovered in China. Ours were planted in the early 60s.

They have intriguing fall color, sort of a rosy-bronze.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood
Longwood has a dramatic allee of another deciduous conifer: Bald Cypress: Taxodium distichum. Breathtaking against the azure sky in November.

Longwood Allee Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress

"Knees" Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress

“’Tis the season to be Holly”
Three Holly’s to talk about here at Mohonk.

Ilex verticillata or Winterberry, a native of eastern swamps just sings as the leaves fall and winter approaches.

Ilex verticillata Winterberry Holly
Down at Longwood, their main conservatory hosted a newer cultivar ‘Wintergold.’ We added it to our “must have” list.
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold'
I stumbled upon another Holly, Ilex cornuta ‘Burford’ with scarlet berries contrasting to the waxy evergreen foliage. A real winner.
Ilex cornuta Burford Holly 
We both grow oakleaf hydrangea. It’s our personal favorite, particularly in late autumn when the shrub sports burgundy leaves and interesting dried flower panicles.
Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf Hydrangea
As for the Longwood Chrysanthemum display—as dramatic as ever.

I’ve included a sampling of tender mums grown in the classic Japanese style. You really should go (next fall) to study in detail how these plants are grown and displayed. Some plants spend 18 months in cultivation. I wish I had the time…

Happy Turkey Day!

Single Stem Chrysanthemum Mound

Single Stem Chrysanthemum Shield

Standard Formal Incurve Chrysanthemum 'Hagoromo'

Longwood East Conservatory Entrance Chrysanthemum arch

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