Sunday, July 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow Up July 2018: An Abundance of Summer Blooms!

July Garden
Welcome to my Long Island garden for the month of July. After a week long heat wave of extensive humidity with temperatures in the upper 80's and lower 90's, a welcomed cold front brought in clear skies and comfortable temperatures. The garden is in full bloom with an abundance of color, so I would love for you to join me for a stroll. Come along...let's start the tour!
Welcome to My Garden!
There are so many varieties of Astilbe that I enjoy in my garden. Each has a different bloom time, so I can enjoy the sequence of color. In the back shade garden, while Astilbe 'Peach Blossom' (far left) is just about done blooming, Astilbe 'Visions in Red' is taking center stage with its striking pinkish-purple blooms. Heuchera 'Caramel', Hosta and Weeping Norway Spruce join in with added texture and color.
Astilbe Visions in Red
Here is a closer view of the foliage of Heuchera 'Caramel' (left) along with Hosta 'Gold Standard" (right) and Astilbe Visions (center).
Back Shade Garden
This statue may look familiar. It has taken on a new home in the shade garden and seems to fit right in!
Back Patio Garden
Follow me up to the back patio garden. Here Hosta 'Golden Tiara' thrives under the shade of a grafted Montgomery Globe Spruce. Following down the walkway are grasses, Balloon Flower (which will bloom in August),Weeping Norway Spruce and Blue Globe Montgomery Spruce. To the far left is golden Hinoki Cypress 'Verdoni' with its twisted foliage and Hydrangea are blooming in the background.
Hydrangea Nikko Blue
After a few severe winters, this old fashioned mophead hydrangea, Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' is doing well and producing a nice display of color. I also have several Endless Summer Hydrangea, but there is something about the vibrancy of the blue on the blooms of this one.
Stella D Oro Daylily
'Stella D Oro' Daylily is in full bloom on the west side where there is plenty of sun. When I am sitting on the patio the blooms are up close and in clear view!
Lythrum Morden's Gleam
In bloom for the month of July is this seedless, non-invasive hybrid of Lythrum, which brings vibrant shocking pink blooms on a four foot tall plant. Gold Lace Juniper is massed out in front of the blooms.
Daylilly Time!
Here are more 'Stella D Oro' Daylily. I have them in various areas of the property and enjoy their continuous blooms.
Front Driveway Garden Bed
In the front driveway border garden Nepeta 'Walker's Low' and Coreopsis 'Zagreb' make the perfect combination of bluish-purple and yellow blooms that last all summer long. Golden Oriental Spruce Skyland's is in the backdrop.
Perennial Combination
Here are the blooms close up. It is one of my favorite perennial combinations with a mixture of warm and cool colors.
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' Multiple Colors on One Plant!
July is the time for Echinacea. In the front south garden is Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'. Cheyenne Spirit produces pink, orange and yellow blooms all on the same plant!
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' in Bloom!
Here are some pink blooms up close. They are a real eye catcher with stunning shocking pink petals complemented by golden-orange swirling centers.
More Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
Here is an orange bloom. Even the different colored blooms vary. Some are solid in color while others are variegated. I just love this plant! We'll visit the yellow blooms up close in a bit!
Front Entrance Walkway
Come along the front walkway and get a bit of a long view of the front. Variegated Liriope, Japanese Garden Juniper, Dwarf Mugo Pine and Heuchera 'Caramel' exist along the left (east side) while boxwood, Blue Star Juniper, sedge, sweet flag and Weeping Birch can be viewed on the right (west side). Walking down the walkway we are headed southward towards the driveway border garden.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar
Now we are at the southern side of the property. Here is the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar by the driveway, which spans approximately ten to twelve feet in length.
Front Walkway Garden
We are now standing to the south of the Blue Atlas Cedar facing north towards the other side of the front yard. You can view the upright cedar in the backdrop.
Welcome to the Pool Garden!
Through the back side gate, we come around to the pool area. Our new guest, a giant peacock pool float has now taken residence! On the right of the steps to the patio is dwarf white pine and to the left is globe blue spruce.

Just Another View
A weeping Japanese Red Maple has matured over the years in the cut-out bed by the pool. Japanese Garden Juniper, Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' and Creeping Jenny 'Aurea' ground covers grow underneath its canopy.
Northern Shade Garden Foliage
Towards the northern end of the property, a small path leads to the shade garden where Japanese Forest Grass (left) and Leucothoe (right) thrive. When it comes to shade, foliage takes on a major role.
Succulent Planter
For full sun on the patio, this strawberry planter is filled with all my favorite succulents, which are starting to bloom for the later part of the summer...
and here is this year's Mandevilla plant, a bright red variety with yellow throat that grows on a trellis right near the back door. 
Rudbeckia Little Gold Star
Rudbeckia Little Gold Star is showing off its blooms. This dwarf variety of Black Eyed Susan stays more compact in the garden!
Ligularia dentata 'Othello'
This Ligularia is a new addition to the garden this summer. I have added two varieties, this one, 'Othello' and also Ligularia 'Little Rocket'. The 'Othello' resembles a cross between daisies and sunflowers...
Ligularia 'Little Rocket'
while the 'Little Rocket' displays elongated spikes of yellow blooms. Ligularia prefers a shady to partially shaded area and a moist rich soil. Each plant will grow to 3-4 feet in height!
Monarch Butterfly
To end our tour is Butterfly Bush with a much welcomed first Monarch Butterfly sighting this summer...
Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit
and Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' with its cheery bloom to brighten the day! I hope you enjoyed your stroll in my July garden. Thank you for visiting and I look forward to seeing what you have blooming.

Thanks for Visiting!
Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled Rose and Image-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue.
The Sayville Garden Club Tulip Award!
In the news...the garden tour in June was a huge success. The ladies who run the club visited the other day and presented me with this Tulip Award...such fun! Other news...gardening season is still underway. If you have not already checked out my books, just click on the links below and give them a look. They might just inspire you! 😊 (Each is Available for purchase on Amazon.)

~As Always...Happy Gardening!~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

This Month in the Garden: Swan River Preserve-From Parking Lot to Native Habitat

Swan River Preserve
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the result of an environmental movement by a town to restore land back to its natural state, while beautifying an area for residents to enjoy. The Swan River Preserve in the town of Patchogue, located on the South shore of Long Island, New York is the result of such an effort. With grants from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, a three year restoration project turned a vacant car dealership into a man-made wetlands preserve filled with native plantings, walking trails and a natural bio-filtration system for the cleansing of storm water. 
The movement started back in 2011 when a car dealership moved its location, leaving an abandoned building, which was further damaged by Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy. A natural tidal stream had been hidden the entire time behind the dealership and to the north, Swan Lake could be found behind a pharmacy, appliance repair shop and other small businesses along Montauk Highway. Almost two decades before, one of the largest buildings in Patchogue at the time had come down, followed by the removal of the remaining dilapidated buildings several years later. A bridge was built over the spillway leading to a small parking area with trees in an effort to beautify the area. By this time, the town had purchased the property with open space funds and had obtained the grants to revitalize the site. The plan was to restore the area back to a natural state, bringing environmental awareness and allowing the public to enjoy the property once again. 
The first step was to remove the existing drainage pipe that had carried polluted storm-water (containing garbage, sand and road salt) straight into the Swan river. Ponds were constructed, with the first one designed to catch floating bits of garbage before the water hit the settling ponds, which filtered out the remaining dirt and silt. Special aquatic plants were added to the ponds to soak up harmful chemicals, while naturally cleaning the water before it entered the river. 
A walking trail was constructed of environmentally friendly permeable pavers, the town planted a vast selection of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and wetland plants, and the park officially opened to visitors on November 15th of 2014. After some time, local wildlife gradually moved into the renovated area and now it is the home to geese, swans, mallards, gulls and other inhabitants. Even a blue heron and a belted kingfisher have been occasionally spotted.
The ponds have also gained new residents over the years, including frogs, turtles, and naturally reproducing fish, including Large-mouth Bass and Yellow Perch, and is stocked with Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout. The abandoned buildings and parking lot of the past with a once hidden tidal stream were now transformed into a vast 3.8 acre natural habitat.
The river is open to visitors to enjoy kayaking, so a permeable paved path leading down to the river was constructed to serve as a landing. Trees such as Fir, Spruce, Cedar, Swamp White Oak, Tulip Popular and Cottonwood can be seen along the river banks.
Wildflowers including (clockwise left to right) Rudbeckia, New England Aster, Goldenrod and Thistle can be seen as you walk along the paths throughout the park. Other natives include Purple Coneflower, Blue Vervain and Purple Bergamot. The wildflowers bloom throughout the seasons and are an invitation to pollinators.
A quaint bride crosses the Swan River, creating a serene place to stop and do some reflecting on nature. 
As you can see, there are native wildflowers that can be enjoyed everywhere...
as you cross over the bridge connecting the two sides of the man-made pond.
These local Mallards have made it home here.
The system is quite remarkable. The water goes through a stone weir under the bridge that crosses Montauk Highway and flows through a drainage structure which extends into the Swan River. The water is naturally bio-filtered by the wetlands themselves and creates a water source for the plants and animals that live there in return. Under the direction of L.K. McLean Associates P.C., the engineers had designed the park to maintain the wetlands indefinitely. 
The Swan River flows south from Swan Lake to Patchogue Bay. It is one of the few free-flowing, spring fed streams on Long Island that still exists as a relatively natural habitat. The wetlands provide a critical habitat for the plants and animals that co-exist here, as well as provide a beautiful place for residents to enjoy. 
More About Swan River Preserve

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Beautiful Day to Host a Garden Tour: Sayville Garden Tour: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"

Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
Every other year, the Sayville Garden Club and BAFFA (Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts) host the Sayville Garden Tour: "A Little Garden Music...and Art" for a beautiful day of self-guided tours of six private gardens. Participants receive directions and a tour guide describing the story behind each garden and are greeted by the garden owners themselves, all willing to answer any questions visitors may have. Garden artists and musicians are on site to add to the atmosphere of the tour as visitors explore each garden with its unique personality. After being one of the homes on the tour in 2010, my husband and I were honored to be one of the six homes participating in this years tour on the 16th of June. Come along and experience the day!
“A Garden of Dreams and Memories”

     Built in 1953, our home stands on what was once a gladiola farm. Our gardens originated from a vast lawn shadowed by maple and wild cherry trees along with an original iris garden planted by my mom, which still exists today. There is also an eastern red cedar that I planted with my dad, which was my first “real tree” ever dug into the soil. You see, I never left the home that I grew up in, so there are many memories here. 

     My husband and I, now both retired educators, took over the home in 1982 and the journey began when we decided to put in a pool in 1996. I had a deep passion of gardening within me since the age of five which continued into adulthood, as I designed the gardens of friends and neighbors. Through the encouragement of many, I furthered my education in horticulture and design and began a landscape design business, called Landscape Design by Lee. As the business grew I had an increasing desire to expand on our own property. With that thought, our grounds gradually transformed into a private sanctuary for us to enjoy, and the gardens have become a part of what brings joy into our lives.
Double Knock Out Rose 'Radrazz' Greets Guests
     Our surroundings consist of a combination of colorful evergreens, flowering shrubs, grasses and perennials that highlight each season of the year. The centerpiece of the back garden is a mountain lake pool with waterfall, accompanied by Western Arborvitae, Dogwood, Star Magnolia, Weeping Norway Spruce, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Montgomery Globe Spruce, Weeping White Pine, Crepe Myrtle, Spirea, Daylily, Salvia and Coral Bells among other plantings. The front gardens are highlighted by specimens including Golden Oriental Spruce, Weeping Japanese Maples, Blue Atlas Cedar and Hinoki Cypress, with blooms of Nepeta, Coreopsis and Coneflower. My main goal was to create continuous interest.

    The journey continued in 2010, with the debut of my blog, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening. Today, I am also a published author of two books, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening (2015) and Landscape Design Combinations (2017), each where I share my passion of all things green. When not designing or writing, I can be found in my own gardens planning the next addition, a never-ending process. “A garden is an extension of its owner, a thing of beauty that constantly changes and can be enjoyed forever. It is also a place where dreams can come true.”  We hope you enjoy your visit.
Original Iris Garden Planted by my Mom
As guests entered the property they could view this iris garden that was planted by my mom while I was growing up, and still remains today. A couple of blooms held on just long enough for the day of the tour!

Salvia 'May Night', Heuchera 'Caramel' and Sedum 'Brilliant (Back to Front)
I am a huge fan of combining foliage with blooms. Here is a combination of purple perennial Salvia, 'Caramel' Heuchera and Sedum for all season interest. 
Visitors Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
Once our visitors started to arrive, there was lots to see and talk about. Some faces were new, while many were past acquaintances. 
Visitors Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
I enjoyed every moment of discussing plants and answering any questions that visitors may have had.
A little music from BAFFA (Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts)
Thanks to BAFFA, the background music provided added a nice touch to the tour as visitors walked the gardens.
Some friends dropping by
Even some good friends stopped along to share the special day.
Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
Here is a view of the northern border garden as seen from the pool. Arborvitae, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Knock Out Roses can be seen in the backdrop, while Spirea, Weeping Norway Spruce and globe shaped Allium Globemaster rise above Daylilies in the foreground.
Garden Artist Jeanne Salucci from Jeanne Salucci Art
Garden artist Jeanne Salucci amazed us as she so beautifully captured the above view in an oil painting of our garden! Without me knowing, my husband had purchased the painting and surprised me with it after the artist had left! It will be such a wonderful memory of our garden and a perfect day.
Come around to the back southern side of the secret garden.
Come along and take in some other views that visitors experienced in the gardens.
Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"

Northern Garden with Japanese Kousa Dogwood and Roses in Bloom

Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
A visitor gazes out towards the pool and gardens on the western side of the property.
Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
This is Joan, the lady next door and avid gardener who is like a second mom to me and who taught me an appreciation for all things green. I dedicated my second book to her!
Eastern Side of Pool Border

Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"

Perennial Border with Lamb's Ear and Astilbe Starting to Bloom
Blooms of Astilbe and Lamb's Ear have started to appear in the perennial border for the day of the tour...
Back Southern Side Secret Garden
while the back northern garden is in full bloom for June with Spirea, Nepeta and Heuchera.
Back Northern Side Secret Shade Garden
I refer to this area as my secret garden. A bluestone path leads through a shade garden with a surprise bird bath at the end.
Back Shade Garden

Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art" Garden Greeters!
These wonderful ladies did a great job of greeting all the guests as they entered the property.
Sayville Garden Tour June 16th, 2018: "A Little Garden Music...and Art"
The weather was perfect, the garden tour was a wonderful success and we got to meet so many wonderful people who visited our property. Much thanks to the Sayville Garden Club and BAFFA for inviting us to participate once again in this fabulous event. It's another wonderful memory to add to the list!

~As Always...Happy Gardening!~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.


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