Travel with Anita and her blog pals at Castles, Crowns and Cottages. I am joining in on this fabulous blog journey to France! Leap from the soaring gargoyles in Paris to Versailles. Here you can immerse yourself in the quintessential French garden. Water, Earth and Sky meet where colossal sculpture defines a space. The Grand Trianon provides shelter from hot sun and rain for a King or a Queen, or you. Do you know your Louis XIV from your Louis XVI? Louis XIII was apt to use the land to hunt while the Sun King had grand notions of taming nature and with the plans of Le Notre brought order to a chaotic World. Then came Bien-aime, the beloved Louis XV. Find history at Versailles in the gardens. Two great books to catch you up are: The Gardens of Versailles by Pierre-Andre Lablaude and Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles by Christian Duvernois. Getting lost at Versailles is a dream. One day at Versailles is not enough; expect a call to return. Maybe someday…. Visit through books and photographs, paintings and sculptures. But to see it and smell it and FEEL it is sublime; you must be there! Paris at night with the lights is divinebut by morn, escape to Versailles where the garden of Kings is open to all! Visit with Anita’s fans; we are all aboard her train to France as she directs the journey!! Bon voyage! P.S. Please also join in at Roses and Other Gardening Joys for the May Book Reviews!
Been to Boston area and back. Dear husband said to me bright and early on Mother’s Day ”Happy birthday!” My birthday is in August!
My penchant for Chinese export rose mandarin and medallion and curious small animals such as foo dogs came together on this top shelf!
It is not the usual way to put a well sized Chinese famille rose bowl on a what not shelf, but its placement on this shelf may have given it the home it needed to be seen, and now it is in a new home!
This is a great antique show that benefits Longfellow’s Wayside Inn which is a wonderful historic site outside of Boston. We went on from the show to the quaint town of Concord Ma, which then led us to get lost a few more times. But sometimes getting lost brings you to the best possible places. Taking a different route, we found ourselves near Logees in Danielson CT. I have wanted to visit this mecca for over 15 years! I order from their catalog, but being there in person is a magical mystery tour for plant nuts. I came home with some new (to me!) begonias. And a mystery to solve. I forgot to ask them what this was and when I downloaded the photos, I saw it again. Do you know what this is?
When we arrived home, the lilac were blooming and the garden looked beautiful in the bright sunshine. It may have been Mother’s Day, but it felt like my birthday.
The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days in New York State had a day to remember today! The flowering trees under blue skies! Nothing better! Duck Hill in North Salem was open all day today and the day could not have been finer! Over the years I have had the pleasure of visiting this garden a few times and have been enchanted by every “room.” As the garden changes and matures, it becomes more complex and its many layers fascinate. The property sits high on a ridge and gives beautiful views of the countryside. Walking through this garden, I am intrigued by rare plant material . There is a joy that is translated in the placement of pots
They bring a smile as they appear at the end of the slow walk through the woodland . If you missed today’s opening of Duck Hill, mark your calendar, and bookmark the Garden Conservancy, because you will have another chance in June to view this special place…as another layer unfolds!
The bleeding hearts are tall and showy and seem to like their companions, the purple myrtle!
The phlox will spread one day and fill the bottom of this “woodland garden”. The mayapples will take over someday too. When I started this dry hillside garden, I knew the day would come when I wouldn’t be able to bend so easily and hike up and down. The idea was, as the gardener grew older, the woodland would fend for itself. Suave is a favorite daffodil – still going! The kiwi vine appreciated the haircut I gave it last Summer – it is about to bloom! The new growth on the boxwood is so gorgeous! All the boxwood had an early Spring hair cut in hopes of destroying the sawfly larvae that winter inside the leaves. Hosta are up, to tempt the deer (and the cavalier King Charles spaniels!) As the trees leaf out to obscure Potts pond, the roses and clematis along the fence will make a new rosy view! Did I mention that the spaniels also like grass seed?
The humans will settle for the asparagus – first picking today!
But before I begin the evening dinner, I want to tell you about a trip we took today to Untermyer Park. I first heard about this garden through a lecture by the authors of the Gardens of Hudson Valley. Having grown up in the Hudson Valley, I have a strong connection that I thought would be enhanced by visiting the gardens detailed and photographed in the book.
So husband and I drove to Yonkers, NY, got lost, missed the guided tour at 2 p.m. and decided to take a walk through the Park on our own. I knew from the lecture that the restoration of the gardens was a work in progress. But the fact that Marco Polo Stefano is the consulting horticulturist made me hopeful and curious despite some of the photos I had seen in the book.
Well, this garden is the Miss Haversham of Hudson River Gardens. So tired, but with the former beauty deep in the bones of the place, there is much wanting to be brought back to the former glory. It will take a lot of $$$$$.If you look closely there is much to disappoint, but the view of the Hudson will not. Can you imagine the former owner who planted this tree in great expectation that someday it could be appreciated. I did!
The Temple of Love must have been quite an extraordinary place to come upon after a walk through the woodland path. But some citizens of Yonkers have not been showing respect.Despite vandalism and the ravages of time, there are signs that the garden is trying to come back to life, and one can only hope that the efforts being made will continue. I plan to make a follow-up visit with great hopes of seeing the genius of Marco Polo Stefano as the works goes on!
‘Narcissus, brilliant as our hopes,
Uncertain as our date.’ Anonymous
Here in Connecticut this is the week for daffodils. The Greenwich Daffodil Society hosted its Annual Daffodil Show at Christ Church in Greenwich CT, and daffodil growers came from far and wide to display their dandy daffodil demoiselles! What a great way to find new varieties and to test your skills as a grower. I entered 7 and reports are that they did very well! Lots of competition!
Daffodils are the harbingers of Spring!
Antiques are my year round job, and working with beautiful objects never ceases to interest me, but even the shiniest and brightest of objects, can’t compete this time of year with the magic of watching the natural world emerge.
Daffodils, the darling demoiselles of the Spring garden are just the beginning!
Hello, old friend! Come with me to enjoy other gardeners’ blooms at May Dreams Gardens. This is a great way to see what is blooming in other gardeners’ back yards!
We were all a mess on Weed Street lately! Dearest daughter had the flu (Influenza B is raging still! Doctor still seeing about 5 cases a day!) Only the little beasts were upright and healthy, and actually very content to have their people at home all day in bed!
Peonies pulled me from the sick-bed finally. Have you heard of Peony’s Envy? I’ve met Kathleen Gagan ! Her New Jersey farm of peonies and her web site are extraordinary. She came to lecture, and there was a dinner the night before, during which she regaled us over wine and good food with funny stories and also with good sound horticultural advise. If you havent succumbed to a peony (or three) in your garden, consult her on-line catalog first! I know it isnt the right time to plant a peony, but I broke the bank and purchased one of her tree peonies because I had to have it NOW. No, it won’t bloom this Spring. She had only brought a couple along to the lecture.
Dear husband hates it when I tell him that he has to wait to see flowers or to see a tree grow. I had to tell him that we will be quite old when this tree peony reaches its full 7 feet tall. It could live a century on Weed Street if I have planted it properly.
For a tree peony, you want a two foot DEEP hole. You want to amend your soil with something coarse like sand or wood ash and compost. My other peonies like the soil in this area, so hopefully “Concubine’s Feather” will like her new spot! I’ve not had luck with tree peonies in the past, on our last 4 acre garden. My Mother grew them beautifully and encouraged me but I gave them up. But Kathleen tells me I didnt plant deeply enough. (Not too deep on the herbaceous and not too shallow for the tree peonies.) Also you don’t want to mulch these beauties. No, no, no, no. (Margaret Thatcher fresh in my mind.)
“Concubine’s Feather” doesn’t look like much now, but I will build a bed around her, getting rid of the grass and giving her the space she needs to start a new fascinating and long life (I hope) on Weed Street. I hope she will be worth getting out of the sick-bed…
It’s all beginning again!
blue light shining in the bedroom window disoriented me, though the bird song followed soon to mark the start of day. The sun rose and cast long shadows as I checked on Spring’s slow progress. The raised beds need some repair. Dear son built the first of them about ten years ago. Uncovering one or two, was not premature, as forgotten daffodils were released . The beds with garlic did not get a winter blanket; the bulbs grew through the long Winter months. Small sign posts that Spring would come . My usual zeal for Easter has waned this year. Though some decorative touches will be apparent, Spring feels different this year. My fondest garden mentor is no longer with us; I miss our usual chatter and banter about the garden. My college roommate left the world this year and much too soon because there is still so much we haven’t spoken of in the garden. She was just hitting her stride in the gorgeous and grand world of gardening. Dear son is living far away in the high desert of New Mexico and we will miss his usual raucous, funny and larger than life presence around our holiday table.
Come on Spring! Easter is here and the equinox signaled equal day and night. Now just days later, we should be feeling MORE day than night! Less feeling of loss, darkness and death and more of life and growth. Thank you iris,
you know what is needed!
A true gardener doesn’t let a little snow on the first day of Spring dampen the spirits! Surely there is something alive and growing indoors! I have been “babysitting” a terrarium. Today we are taking this birthday gift to our friend; it is like bringing a little Spring to her – a terrarium with some tiny plants, without the snow. I still have sweet peas growing indoors, begging to get some sunlight. For now they have to stretch at the windows as it is 26 degrees F. this morning.
This is a short post, but I wanted to join in with Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday. I liked her blog immediately when I saw the garden bench in the header. Anyone who can imagine sitting in the garden has the heart of a gardener. (I wonder how many hours we spend on the bench compares to how many hours we spend bent over at work! ) Thank you to Roses and Other Gardening Joys for leading me there! Happy Spring!
The snow sprinkle before St. Patrick’s Day did little to delay my obsession and attention to detail with the dahlias! A little rummaging among the over wintered tubers was due. After the earlier discovery of water in one of the containers, I knew that some new tubers needed to be ordered. Some tubers in the box above seem shriveled but there are still some weeks to go before the final determination will be made if they are worthy of planting. New tubers are arriving and as they come in, I make labels while I still have time for this attention to detail. If the dahlia is successful, this label will follow the tuber into its Winter home and I will know what it is when I unpack in Spring.
A little tip for those who love detail and have not yet found a marker that won’t fade or wash off during a growing season. Give up your Sharpies and try DecoColor! Another tip…. I have found a great label that will work with the paint marker and has the benefit of allowing the metal to be etched. First I impress the soft metal with a ballpoint pen and then go over the lettering with the paint marker. No more mystery tubers!
This is the kind of thing (tips) that we share in my Garden Friends’ group. There are no by-laws, no rules, no agenda other than to pick a topic we all want to talk about. Today we are meeting to discuss garden writing. A book that I’ve just finished and one that will be read again and again is ELizabeth Barlow Rogers’ Writing the Garden. This is a beautifully researched book, and I love the way she links the great garden writers, some of whom I have already read and become devoted to and others who are new to me. One writer that she has introduced me to is Paula Dietz. I’ve just begun Of Gardens and I will let you know what I think when I am finished! I will want to re-read some Joe Eck and Wayne Winterowd books. Their writing hits all the right notes with me! Still can’t believe Wayne is gone. Do you have favorite garden writers that you return to over and over?