Friday, May 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up May 2015 - All the Colors of Spring

May 2015 Garden
Spring took its time arriving this year with cooler than normal temperatures all the way through April. Then the month of May arrived with a warming trend that rapidly turned into a premature summer.  With temperatures rising into the 80's for a few days, an explosion of intense color suddenly made its way throughout the garden.  Now the hotter temperatures have settled into a more normal spring-like pattern with upper 60 to mid 70 degree days, but the heat was just enough to get everything back on track and all the blooms seem to be arriving at once!  Come along for a walk with me in my Long Island garden.
Ajuga, Heuchera (Coral Bells) 'Caramel' and Sedum 'Brilliant'
Azalea Girard's Fuchsia
Azalea Girard's Crimson
Salvia 'May Night'  First May Bloom
Pool Garden with New Globemaster Allium Buds

Allium Globemaster Bud (First season in my garden)
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' still showing blooms in May
Wisteria in May
Weeping Japanese Maple 'Red Select'
Blue Globe Spruce (Picea pungens  Montgomery Globusa)
Weeping Norway Spruce and Heuchera 'Palace Purple'
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (Japanese Forest Grass)
Spirea Double Play 'Big Bang' May Foliage
Perennial Border with Allium 'Mont Blanc', Daylily, Lambs Ear, Astilbe, Salvia and Hosta
Itoh Peony 'Bartzella' May Foliage (second season in garden)
Hosta 'Minuteman' May
Sedum 'Brilliant' May Foliage next to Mugo Pine
May Garden Foliage

Thank you to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who makes it possible for us to have blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Tuesday Garden PartyToday's FlowersFloral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  I hope you enjoyed the visit to my May garden.  If you leave a note I will know you dropped by, and will be sure to visit you as well. 

 As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Beautiful Day on the New York City High Line

New York City High Line Park Early May 

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the High Line in NYC. The High Line (also known as the High Line Park is a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) New York City linear park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan's West side. The park runs from Gansevoort Street (three blocks below 14th Street) in the Meat Packing District through to the northern edge of the West Side Yard 34th Street near the Javits Center.
The NYC High Line in Early May

Tulips (Tulipa turkestanica)
The Park, owned by the City of New York, is maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line which was founded in 1999 by a community of residents.  Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. 

High Line RR Tracks and Gardens
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) in Bloom
The refurbishing of the railway into an urban park began construction in 2006, with the first phase opening in 2009 and the second phase opening in 2011.The third and final phase officially opened to the public in September of 2014. A once abandoned railroad track has now become an array of blooms for residents and visitors to enjoy.
'Sherwood Purple' creeping phlox Early May High Line Gardens

New York City High Line Park
The High Line was constructed back in 1847 when street-level railroads utilized to transport goods to businesses and warehouses were deemed unsafe due to increased traffic demands.  The city and state of New York and the New York Central Railroad decided to construct the elevated High Line as part of the Manhattan West Side Improvement Project. 
Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Toyo-Nishiki’) NYC High Line
Tulipa linifolia ‘Red Hunter’ Early May High Line

Artwork Along the High Line

The High Line has been developed with various works of public art and the native greenery incorporated into the long forgotten tracks has preserved the history of the area, leading to a beautiful and dynamic park. The New York City skyline as well as the Hudson River can be seen as a backdrop to the gardens.
Fothergilla x intermedia ‘Mount Airy’ (Mount Airy fothergilla)

Tulipa sylvestris  (Wild Tulips) High Line

Allegheny Serviceberry Blooms on the High Line Early May

View of Hudson River from High Line

Cornus florida ‘Jean’s Appalachian Snow’ Dogwood in Bloom

NYC High Line Park
The High Line gardens are a welcomed addition and have certainly added a certain charm by combining urban atmosphere with the beauty of nature, right in the heart of New York City.  The park's carefully planned display of native plantings, mature trees, blooms and artwork has developed into an extraordinary public space for visitors of all ages to enjoy.  To walk the High Line takes approximately two hours and as of September 2014, the park gets nearly 5 million visitors annually.

Visit the High Line on-line!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, ©Copyright 2015. All rights reserved

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Look Beyond: Blooms and Birds of Kauai, Hawaii

Hawaiian Birds and Blooms

Bird of Paradise
During the winter months I had sorted through some photos from a November trip to the island of Kauai and thought I would share some of the birds and blooms I encountered while there.  Kauai is truly a tropical paradise and the home to a huge variety of amazing wildlife and blooms.  Being an avid gardener and aspiring photographer, I ventured out on many walks with camera in hand during our trip in order to capture as many memories as possible through the eye of the lens.
Mountains and Palm Trees
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands geologically and is the fourth largest of the five main islands.  It is known as the "Garden Isle" and has an average rainfall of 50–100 inches annually.  Kauai is the home to many tropical rain forests and the constant rainfall allows the island mountains to be heavily vegetated. The majestic green mountains in the backdrop with tropical palms gracing the foreground make for a picturesque view.
As I zoomed in closer I found myself in awe with every click of the camera. 
Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)
I came across such a variety of birds on each stroll that I was amazed at what I was seeing.  I spend about twenty minutes or so slowly getting closer and closer to this adorable little sandpiper, which was living right at the resort.  During the same walk I also saw this egret. Neither bird likes to stand stationary and are both very fast moving, so I had to be patient and it took many attempts to get these photographs! 
Cattle Egret
Red-Crested Cardinal
These cardinals were just outside the resort eating berries from a tree down the road.  They resemble our northern cardinals only they have a red head and gray and white body.  Also known as the Brazilian Cardinal, these tropical birds were introduced to Hawaii in 1930 from South America. The juveniles have a brown crest and black bill.
Red-Crested Cardinals
Red Crested Cardinals are often seen traveling in pairs as these two here.  They feed on seeds, fruits, insects and plant material.
Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata)
One of my favorite plants in Kauai is this Red Ginger. The combination of foliage and bloom makes this a magnificent plant and the flower is interesting to photograph. Red Ginger is a tropical perennial with a native range that spans from the Maluku islands in Indonesia to the southwest Pacific. It was introduced to Hawaii in 1928. 
 Hibiscus 'Montego Wind' (Tropical Hibiscus)
These Tropical Hibiscus can be seen everywhere on the island and come in an amazing array of striking colors.  There are seven known species of Hawaiian hibiscus which are regarded as native to Hawaii. The native Hawaiian yellow Hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei) is the state flower of Hawaii.
Hibiscus brackenridgei (Tropical Hibiscus)
The varieties mostly seen for ornamental use on the island are of the Chinese variety (Hibiscus rosa-sinensisand its hybrids.
Hibiscus Pink versicolor (Tropical Hibiscus)
It is wonderful seeing these beautiful blooms growing all over Kauai.  They can only survive as summer outdoor plants or houseplants here in the northeast.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Here is some more of the local wildlife. On one of my walks I spotted this little fellow who was a familiar sight, as we have sparrows in the northeast. I believe he is a House Sparrow.  In the resort areas the birds are so used to having people around that they didn't even budge.   As I got closer up with the lens I believe this little one was actually posing for me! 
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)
All over the island this pre-historic-looking plant can be seen.  The leaf belongs to Monstera deliciosa, also known as Swiss Cheese Plant.  These large plants can be seen growing at both the resorts and along the sides of highways.  Monstera grows way above the rainforest canopy and can develop huge aerial roots up to 70 feet in length.
I loved seeing and photographing these beautiful Plumeria trees. Plumeria are tropical trees famous for their gorgeous flowers which are used to make Hawaiian leis.  They can be seen everywhere on the island and their aroma of sweet perfume is wonderful!
(Crinum augustum)  (Queen Emma Spider Lily)
These tropical lilies are amazing. Queen Emma Lily displays spiral-like flowers in either pink or white on plants that can grow to about five feet tall by wide.  The blooms are not only beautiful but are also fragrant.
Ixora (Jungle Geranium)
Here are some Ixora, also known as Jungle Geranium.  Ixora can be found in hues of pink, orange or yellow and displays showy spikes that burst open into flowers and resembling geranium once opened.
Cordyline terminalis “Red Sister” (Red Ti Plant)
In ancient Hawaiian culture the Ti leaf was believed to offer spiritual protection, and only royalty were allowed to wear them. Today the plant’s foliage is still a popular element in many Hawaiian religious rituals and is also widely grown for gardens.  Hawaiian Ti is also known as the "good luck" plant. Ti can be seen growing all over the island and was originally introduced to the islands when brought over in canoes by ancient Polynesians.
Zebra Dove
Doves can be seen throughout the island are are not at all camera shy, such as this one perching on a rock right along a walkway.
Kauai's Unofficial State Bird!

Kauai is known for its wild roosters that can be seen everywhere on the island including parking lots, backyards, roads and gardens.  They were brought there years ago by early settlers and have no natural predators, so the population continues to flourish.  The real state bird of Hawaii is the the "nene", or Hawaiian goose (Branta sandwicensis) but the chicken population seems to be much more visible. Known as "moa", or wild jungle fowl, these birds are protected under state law. Like all the birds of Hawaii, the moa is protected as an important part of nature.  I was able to photograph this colorful fellow as he was casually walking along on the road aside me. 

As our walk ends it is time to get back to reality once again. I hope you enjoyed Kauai's birds and blooms.  Aloha.

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, ©Copyright 2015. All rights reserved


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