Saturday, August 1, 2020

Long Island Attractions Virtual Garden Tour

Welcome to This Month in the Garden. While many of us seek to take refuge in the garden, many of the public gardens are either closed, on a reservation only basis or limiting the numbers of visitors during these challenging times. Contemplating what to write about for my next post, and while dreaming of returning to these gardens myself, the thought of a virtual garden experience came to mind. I hope you enjoy your visit!
Old Westbury Gardens

The first garden we'll visit on our tour is Old Westbury Gardens. Old Westbury Gardens is located in the town of Old Westbury on the north shore of Long Island. The grounds were the former home of John S. Phipps along with his wife Margarita Grace Phipps and their four children. John Phipps (1874–1958) was an American lawyer and businessman and heir to the Phipps family fortune, along with being a shareholder of his father-in-law's Grace Shipping Lines. He was also director of the Hanover Bank United States Steel Corporation W. R. Grace Company. Phipps had purchased the 160-acre farm on Long Island where he built a large mansion surrounded by breathtaking gardens. The daughter of John and Margarita Phipps re-opened the vast estate following the death of her parents and it is currently run as a non-profit organization open to the public
Thatched Cottage
One of the highlights of the estate is this charming Thatched Cottage, which was constructed for the Phipps youngest daughter as a playhouse. The cottage style garden surrounding the cottage consists of an assortment of  blooms, timing a new display for each season.
Walled Garden

Another favorite attraction is the magnificent Walled Garden with its wrought iron gazebos and evergreens for structure, a beautiful lotus pond and an abundance of every kind of bloom you can imagine. The gardens are carefully planned to supply a constant and ever changing sequence of color.
Temple of Love
The "Temple of Love", a marble and wrought iron gazebo overlooking the main pond on the estate, makes for a romantic setting. If you look closely you can see the reflection of the mansion in the distance. 
Planting Fields Arboretum
The next visit on our tour is Planting Fields Arboretum, a 409-acre public arboretum and historic site that is one of the few remaining famous Gold Coast estates located on the north shore of Long Island. Located in the town of Oyster Bay, the estate including a mansion and meticulously kept grounds, was the former home of William Robertson Coe and his wife Mary (Mai) Huttleston Coe in 1913. Planting Fields retains its original historic buildings and landscapes and can be visited year-round.
Italian Garden Planting Fields

This is one of the reflecting pools on the estate known as the Italian Garden. Mai Rogers Coe originally created the site back in 1913 as one of her favorite places to stroll. There are over 40 varieties of perennials that bloom sequentially throughout the year to produce a vibrant display of color.
Play Cottage
This adorable pink playhouse surrounded by a cutting garden built for the youngest child and only daughter Natalie is one of the sights to be seen on the estate. 
Dahlia Garden

On the estate are many cutting gardens and the Dahlias are magnificent this time of year. William Coe had admired Dahlias because of their variety of texture and bold colors. The present day garden constructed in 1998 is maintained by the Mid Island Dahlia Society and is one of the largest and most spectacular dahlia gardens in the northeast. Over 400 varieties of dahlia are tended to and Dahlia Society members donate over 2000 hours a year maintaining the gardens.
Meet the Coe Family (Photo Credit: Planting Fields Arboretum)
Avalon Park & Preserve
Next is Avalon Park & Preserve, a private park and preserve located on the north shore of Long Island, across from the Grist Mill on Harbor Road in the town of Stony Brook. The park and preserve were created to celebrate the life of Paul Simons, a native Long Islander, hiking enthusiast and cyclist, who always had a deep appreciation for the outdoors. After his life was prematurely taken away in 1996, the Paul Simons Foundation was formed, and an abandoned 7.5 acres of residential land was purchased to become the future site of Avalon Park. The goal was to celebrate the life of Paul Simon's and his love of nature by creating a natural habitat for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. While the park is managed privately, it is available to the public.
Letters to The Sky

One of the main park trails leads to this giant mirrored sculpture. The phrase Cartas Al Cielo, which is printed by a mail slit on the front, is roughly translated as "letters to the sky". Visitors are supplied with note cards and pencils, allowing them to insert letters containing their deepest thoughts into the enclosed sculpture.
In the center of the park is this labyrinth leading to a central circle, symbolizing wholeness and eternity, no beginning or end. Above the labyrinth is a sculpture of a "broken" man climbing the rock, an emotional tribute to life of Paul Simons.

Peconic River Herb Farm
Last on our tour is The Peconic River Herb Farm, established in 1986 along the Peconic River on the eastern end of Long Island in Calverton, New York. The farm consists of 14 acres of display gardens, eight greenhouses, a garden shop and picnic areas along the river for visitors to relax and enjoy the view. The farm is a huge draw to visitors from all over and as the name implies, they are known for their extensive variety of herbs, which you can purchase and grow. While there, you may want to take in all the beauty the location has to offer by strolling through the gardens. The story of the Herb Farm began in the late fall/winter of 1986 while the owner, Cristina Spindler was looking for a small farm/garden where she could set up a business selling garden related products. It all started with a small 14 x 24’ hoop house to grow vegetable and herb plants and the farm grew by leaps and bounds to what it is today. 
Potting Shed
Cristina and her husband Michael built this adorable potting shed along with several greenhouses to support all the plants on the farm. 
Hydrangea Walk
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for August, and be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday, Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.)

For gardening info and tips: Visit my Author Page/Purchase My Books  😊
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up July: Summer Blooms & A Little Whimsy!

Welcome to My July Garden
Welcome. As temperatures rise up into the upper 80's and 90's, the "dog days" of summer have arrived and the garden is in full swing. The landscape is now going through its third major phase of blooms as Hydrangea, Echinacea and Rudbeckia season is underway, along with ongoing blooms from May and June. Come along on a tour of my July Long Island garden!
Echinacea Pow Wow 'Wild Berry'
The month of July in gardening zone 7a means its Echinacea time and here is Echinacea Pow Wow 'Wild Berry' in the back perennial border. The flowers are an attraction for pollinators, bring excellent color and continue blooming throughout the end of summer.
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is also chiming in with its blooms. Several colors of flowers can be found on the same plant, including this light and dark orange combination, along with hues of pink, yellow and cream!
Southern Pool Border
In the southern side of the pool border, Heuchera (Caramel Coral Bells) combined with Sky Pencil Holly thrive as they receive the perfect combination of early sun and late day partial shading. In the foreground I also have a collection of miniature hosta in an assortment of colors, just for a little bit of fun! The one to the far right is called Mouse Ears and rightfully so!
Pool Garden
Here is a view of the southeastern side of the pool garden with Stella D Oro Daylily and Astilbe 'Fanal' in bloom. The evergreen in the foreground is Montgomery Globe Blue Spruce, which keeps a nice compact shape and is practically maintenance free. 
Old Fashioned 'Nikko Blue' Hydrangea
There is nothing like an old fashioned 'Nikko Blue' Hydrangea in the landscape with its voluminous blue blooms! I also have 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea, which we'll get a view of later on in the tour. Gardening Tip: Old fashioned Hydrangea such as 'Nikko Blue' bloom on old wood (last season's growth) and should be pruned right after flowering. Endless Summer Hydrangea bloom on both old and new wood, and can be pruned either after flowering or in early spring (preferably before May).
Raised Island Bed
The raised island bed on the southern side of the property is in constant bloom from May until frost. The season starts with the purple-blue blooms of Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' and is followed by Salvia 'May Night' (foreground), Heuchera blooms (middle-left) and then Sedum 'Brilliant' (backdrop) later on in the summer. On the far left end of the island bed is Crape Myrtle 'Sioux', which will be blooming by the end of July. Stay tuned for its blooms in next month's tour!
Knock Out Rose Double Pink
In the summertime garden, Double Knock Out Roses are in bloom. This particular one is Double Pink and it blooms all summer long until frost. Although they require no deadheading to keep blooming, I keep mine tidy and compact with regular pruning.
Driveway Border
Here in the driveway border, Coreopsis 'Zagreb' and Nepeta 'Walker's Low' are in bloom along with the deep burgundy foliage of Weigela 'Spilled Wine'. Golden Oriental Spruce is in the left backdrop.
Rudbeckia 'Little Gold Star'
This dwarf form of Black Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia 'Little Gold Star' is starting to bloom in the northwestern garden and will bloom through August. This variety of Black Eyed Susan is much more compact and well-behaved compared to other varieties.
Northeastern Pool Garden
Follow me along to the pool garden. This is a side view showing the Weeping Cutleaf Japanese Maple 'Red Select' which is the focal point in the poolside cut out. In the backdrop are a number of evergreens including Green Giant Arborvitae, Skip Laurel, Euonymus, Yew and Juniper. Previously, we passed by the southeastern side of the pool garden where Daylily, Astilbe and miniature hosta are currently in bloom.
A Little Whimsy
It's always fun to have a little garden whimsy. Here is one of several garden statues on the property depicting children playing a game of leap frog. It promotes a smile each time I see it.
Daylily Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell' 
Let's venture back to the perennial border. You cannot pass by without missing Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell' with its bright orange-red blooms with golden yellow centers.
Lythrum 'Morden's Gleam' 
Another eye-catcher in the back southern garden bed is Lythrum virgatum 'Morden's Gleam'. This variety is a newer seedless, non-invasive form of Loosestrife, which produces spikes of magnificent iridescent looking blooms, and just in time for July! 
Endless Summer Hydrangea
During the start of our stroll we passed by the old fashioned 'Nikko Blue' Hydrangea. Here is the 'Endless Summer' variety, which blooms on both new and old wood. This one has pink blooms due to the more basic soil in this portion of the property, allowing for a variety of colors to enjoy!
Northern Patio Garden
Come along to the northern patio area. Here is Weeping Norway Spruce withe Sedum 'Brilliant', which will bloom later in the month, You may also notice 'Blue Star' Juniper, which lies along the front of the bed.
Endless Summer Hydrangea
Let's do another loop around to look close up at those voluminous hydrangea blooms! I am loving the pink!
A Little More Whimsy!
As always, there is room for just a little more whimsy. This little gardener boy is taking care of things in the back "secret" area of the pool garden.
Kitchen Garden
Last, but not least, is the patio "kitchen garden" in containers. I am growing an assortment of basil, parsley, mint and sweet cherry tomatoes for hubby to cook with. There is also a larger container of  lemon mint on the more southern side of the patio, which is good for adding to that cold glass of iced tea! 

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my July garden. As always, I thank you for being here and hope you experienced a smile along the way. 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 FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Homestead Blog Hop and Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays.

Looking for some gardening inspiration?-Visit My Author Page and Books
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden: 14 Low Maintenance Landscape Plants for Your Garden

14 Low Maintenance Landscape Plants for your Garden
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! With today's busy lifestyles, homeowners are looking for ways to establish a beautiful, yet low maintenance landscape. Here are 14 landscape plants I have used over the years to add ongoing seasonal interest with little maintenance needed. Keep in mind that in addition to the hardiness and growth pattern of a plant, providing the correct conditions of sunlight, irrigation, soil conditions and space will ensure your success.

Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' (Bugleweed)

Also known as Bugleweed, this low maintenance perennial is widely used as a groundcover for shadier areas. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, and growing just 4-6 inches tall by 12-18 inches wide, greenish-burgundy foliage adorns this plant with spikes of purple-blue flowers that appear in spring. Foliage turns to bronze and burgundy tones in autumn, which may persist throughout the winter months. 
Heuchera 'Caramel' (Coral Bells)
This newer form of semi-evergreen Coral Bells is a hybrid between Heuchera and Tiarella (Foamflower), which is native to the northeast. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, this selection can be grown in full sun to partial shade and prefers a moderately moist soil. (Note: Try to avoid full southern exposure.) Scalloped leaves emerge gold in spring, deepening to amber and finally peach with sprays of light pink flowers appearing in midsummer. This hardier cultivar grows 12-18 inches in height and will keep its color throughout the winter months! The only required maintenance is to trim off any tired old leaves in spring. 
Carex oshimensis 'Everillo' (Golden Sedge)
Sedges are grass-like plants preferring sites with full to partial sun and a moist, rich soil. This selection, hardy in USDA zones 5-10, forms a cascading mound of bright, lime-green leaves that turn yellow-gold as they mature. This perennial reaches a height and width of 18-24 inches and remains evergreen all year long. Maintenance involves a slight pruning of any winter damaged growth in early spring if needed.
Sedum spectable 'Brilliant' (Stonecrop)
This more compact form of Stonecrop, hardy in USDA zones 4-8, offers interesting perfectly clumped foliage earlier in the season, followed by a colorful display of mauve-pink blooms that deepen in color late summer and into fall. Stonecrop prefers to be planted in full sun in a well-drained soil. When the flower heads are done blooming and have turned completely brown, simply break off the spikes to the ground or leave them for winter interest. This is one of the lowest maintenance perennials I know! This variety grows just 18-24 inches tall by wide.
Liriope 'Variegata' (Lillyturf)

Hardy in USDA zones 6-11, Lilyturf is a grassy-leaved, evergreen perennial most often used as a groundcover or edging plant. This selection features leaves striped lengthwise with green and creamy white, bearing short stems of violet-purple flowers in late summer. Lillyturf will grow just about anywhere, but ideally prefers part shade (as in a northern or eastern exposure) with a moderately moist soil. The only maintenance needed is to prune off any faded or winter damaged growth in early spring.

Spirea 'Magic Carpet'
Magic Carpet Spirea is one of the newer varieties of Spirea having a compact form, only reaching a height and width of 18-24 inches tall by 2-3 feet wide. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, this easy to grow flowering shrub displays clusters of rose-pink flowers in mid to late summer. Colorful foliage emerges as pinkish-red, fading to bright gold and then to shades of russet red and bronze, giving this plant an ever-changing look that adds interest to the landscape. Spent flowers can be pruned off to extend flowering if desired. Plant spirea in full sun in a well-drained soil and space to allow air circulation between plants.
Weigela florida 'Spilled Wine'
This newer cultivar of Weigela is known for its dark burgundy foliage and compact habit. Its hot pink-magenta flowers produced in late spring are similar to those of Wine & Roses, but on a smaller plant (only 2-3 feet high by 3-4 feet wide). Hardy in USDA zones 4-8, plant this shrub in full sun with a moderately moist soil. Prune to shape after flowering if desired. 

Picea pungens 'Montgomery' (Globe Blue Spruce)
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' (Montgomery Globe Spruce) is a slow growing dwarf conifer hardy in USDA zones 2-8. The dense vibrant blue-green foliage of this evergreen shrub provides year round interest. Picea pungens 'Montgomery' thrives in full sun and prefers a moderately moist yet well drained slightly acidic soil. Montgomery Blue Globe Spruce grows to a mature height and width of 3-4' and requires little to no pruning. (Tip: This shrub is best watered from the bottom. Avoid allowing water to remain on foliage for any length of time.)
Chamaecyapris obtusa 'Aurea Nana' (Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress)
Chamaecyapris obtusa 'Aurea Nana' or Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress. This species of slow growing Golden Hinoki Cypress is dwarf in size, only reaching 2-3' in height. It is hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and displays luxurious golden twisted compact foliage throughout all the seasons. Chamaecyapris obtusa 'Aurea Nana' prefers to be grown in full sun in a moist but well-drained acidic soil. The two low to no maintenance varieties of this evergreen are Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea Nana' (seen here) and 'Verdoni' which displays a deeper yellow foliage and grows a bit taller to 6-8 feet.
Picea abies 'Pendula' (Weeping Norway Spruce)
Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula') is hardy in USDA zones 2-8, exhibits dark green cascading branches and requires little maintenance. Picea prefers a moderately moist well-drained soil and will tolerate a range of soil pH's from strongly acidic to mildly alkaline. Weeping Norway Spruce will tolerate some partial shade but does best in full sunlight. Being one of the more compact varieties of pendulous trees, this specimen tree ranges in height and width from 4-15 feet. Remove older inner branches when bare. This tree can be pruned (if desired) to keep a more compact shape.
Pinus strobus 'Pendula' (Weeping White Pine)
Weeping White Pine (Pinus  strobus' Pendula') is a larger weeping evergreen in the conifer family displaying graceful soft blue-green needles on cascading branches. This tree thrives best in full sun and is hardy in USDA zones 3-8. Weeping White Pine prefers to be grown in a slightly acidic, moderately moist, well-drained soil. Height at maturity varies from 5-10 feet and width from 4-10 feet, so supply this specimen a location with adequate space. Little maintenance is needed; however, if desired, candles may be pruned in spring to keep this tree more compact. 
Buxus sempervirens 'Variegata' (Variegated Boxwood)
Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, Variegated Common Boxwood is a compact, slow-growing evergreen that reaches an eventual height and width of 3-5 feet high by 3-4 feet wide. Variegated foliage has white margins that turn cream and finally light yellow during the growing season. This compact plant is good for smaller areas and requires little pruning to keep its shape. This plant prefers to be located in an area of full to partial sun with moderate watering.
Taxas 'Repandens' (English Spreading Yew)
This low growing evergreen with arching branches displays dark green foliage which emerges light green in spring. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, 'Repandens' English Yew prefers to be grown in partial shade and reaches an eventual height and width of 3-4 feet tall by 8-12 feet wide. This low maintenance shrub can be allowed to grow to its full potential or pruned occasionally to keep a more compact shape. Red fruit may appear from early to late fall on female plants.
Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'
Hardy in USDA zones 4-8, Blue Star Juniper is a slow-growing evergreen with a low, mounding shape. Silver-blue foliage is displayed in a compact 2-3 foot tall by 3-4 foot wide shrub that remains attractive year-round. Plant Blue Star Juniper in full sun in a well-drained soil and prune to shape only when needed.

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for July, and be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday, Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.)

For gardening info and tips: Visit my Author Page/Purchase My Books  😊
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.


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