Saturday, June 1, 2024

Feature Native Plant: Baptisia ‘Lemon Meringue’

This Month in the Garden

Welcome to This Month in the Garden! If you're looking for a plant that can add beauty, resilience, and a touch of whimsy to your garden, Baptisia (False Indigo) can do just that. Baptisia is a member of the Fabaceae family and is native to North America. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, this variety, Decadence 'Lemon Meringue' grows to 2 to 3 feet, and tends to stay more compact when compared to other False Indigo. This characteristic along with its other attributes makes it an ideal candidate for growing in containers on patios, decks, or balconies or as an addition to a native or pollinator garden.  Hybrid False Indigo 'Lemon Meringue' is celebrated for its compact growth habit and striking lemon-yellow flowers, reminiscent of lemon meringue pie, followed by decorative seed pods in the fall. Not only is this perennial a visual treat, it is also a beneficial addition to your landscape.

Decadence 'Lemon Meringue' False Indigo

Besides blooms, Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' displays attractive blue-green foliage. Leaves are trifoliate, giving them a unique texture and structure and the color of the foliage complements the yellow blooms perfectly. Like other members of the Baptisia genus, 'Lemon Meringue' is a favorite among pollinators like bees and butterflies. Its nectar-rich flowers attract beneficial insects, contributing to a thriving garden ecosystem. Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' is not preferred by deer; however, where populations are large, deer have been occasionally known to nibble on the new growth or blooms of the plant.

Decadence 'Lemon Meringue' False Indigo

Plant 'Lemon Meringue' in a location with full sun and ensure that the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogging, which can be detrimental to the plant. ‘Lemon Meringue' False Indigo is drought-tolerant once established; however, regular watering during dry spells promotes healthy growth and blooming. Minimal pruning and fertilization are usually sufficient to keep this plant healthy and vibrant. Applying a balanced fertilizer in spring can support vigorous growth and blooms while deadheading spent flowers helps to encourage continuous blooming and to maintain a tidier appearance. Pair with complementary plants for a harmonious and visually appealing display.

Decadence 'Lemon Meringue' False Indigo

Other varieties of Baptisia, include native Baptisia australis, the most common species, known for its tall spikes of blue-purple flowers in late spring to early summer which attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' displays smoky violet-purple flowers that bloom in early summer, Baptisia 'Solar Flare' has striking yellow flowers with orange highlights appearing in late spring to summer and Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight' features soft yellow flowers and blooms produced in late spring to early summer.

False Indigo 'Lemon Meringue' is a charming and resilient perennial that brings sunshine and joy to your garden. With its striking blooms, compact growth habit, and low-maintenance nature, it is a must-have for gardeners seeking beauty and functionality in their landscapes. Add a touch of whimsy and elegance to your outdoor space with this delightful cultivar!

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! 

"As Always...Happy Gardening!" 

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2024. All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up May: Color, Color Everywhere!

Welcome!
Welcome to my May garden! I am happy to see you here! Here on Long Island, as everywhere else, the weather patterns have been erratic. From summer like temperatures pushing into the high 70's in the beginning of the month to days in the 50's and now a series of repeating rain events, the spring of 2024 has certainly been interesting. The garden does adjust though and there is new growth and lots of blooms to see. Join me for a tour of my Long Island zone 7b garden.
Patio Border
Our first stop is at the patio border where Weeping Norway Spruce is accompanied by Nandina 'Obsession' and Ajuga 'Black Scallop'. Nandina 'Obsesssion' is an evergreen, non-invasive species and stays at a compact size of just two to three feet over time. Ajuga 'Black Scallop' displays deep greenish-black foliage with purple blooms in springtime. 
Backyard Island Bed Western Side
In the back island bed, Variegated Weigela is forming buds which will soon become pink flowers and is joined by Coral Bells 'Palace Purple', Hydrangea Limelight and evergreens Mugo Pine and Hinoki Cypress 'Compacta'. 
Shade Garden
In the back shade garden is Heuchera (Coral Bells) 'Caramel' joined by Pulmonaria (Lungwort) with its polka dot foliage and deep purple blooms.
Azalea Season!
As the Azalea are blooming, Rhododendron buds are getting ready to open within a couple of weeks. A Skyland's Oriental Spruce joins the mix in the backdrop.
Perennial Border Renovation
I have been revamping the perennial border as it was time for a change and planted this Trombly's 'Red Sentinel' columnar Japanese Maple as the focal point last fall. Just a week ago I added three Spirea 'Candy Corn' behind it while keeping the existing Lamb's Ear and Astilbe. The goal is to achieve a lower maintenance garden. 

May is Ajuga Time!
Here are the blooms of Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' in the raised island bed...
Welcoming Committee!
and here is the welcoming committee to greet you! It just would not be the same without them!
Patio Border
Along the opposite section of the newly renovated patio garden is Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple and Salvia 'Blue by You'. This cultivar of perennial Salvia is supposed to be longer blooming. We shall see!
Patio Border
Along the patio border, Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' is doing well after the winter and is displaying its continuous array of golden color with white trumpet-shaped blooms to follow in summer.
Azalea 'Girard's Crimson'
Here is Azalea 'Girard's Fuschia' all in bloom. If you are looking for an Azalea that catches the eye, give this one a try. The color of its blooms are amazing!
Backyard Island Bed Northern Side
This combination of Hinoki Cypress, Mugo Pine, dwarf Butterfly Bush 'Pugster Blue', Caramel Coral Bells, Gold Lace Juniper and Dwarf Japanese Andromeda 'Cavatine' resides in the back raised island bed. A mature Crape Myrtle is in the backdrop. Stay tuned for blooms in July! 
Pool Border
Following along to the pool border, reblooming Encore Azalea is joined by Sedum 'Angelina'. The Azalea will repeat bloom later towards fall while the sedum will produce spikes of yellow blooms in summer.
Kwanzan Cherry
Springtime means it's Cherry blossom season and here is the amazing Kwanzan Cherry. It seems that the blooms started a little earlier this year, so I am enjoying them while they last.
Allium Globemaster
While awaiting the blooms of Allium 'Globemaster', Weeping Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist' is showing off its delicate lavender blooms in the front garden. 
Weeping Eastern Redbud
Large heart-shaped foliage will start to emerge soon. 
Driveway Border
Along the driveway border garden, Dwarf Norway Spruce is accompanied by golden Skyland's Oriental Spruce, Hinoki Cypress, Coral Bark Maple, Spilled Wine Weigela and Nepeta 'Walker's Low'..
Driveway Border
  while Spirea 'Magic Carpet'  prepares for its dramatic blooms!
Front Island Bed & Lawn
As the tour comes to an end, let's venture around to the front corner island bed with a combination of evergreens, flowering shrubs and perennials and lawn where two mature Weeping Japanese Maple reside.
Front Lawn
I admire them every season of the year both structurally and for their foliage. Nature sure does work its magic!
Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my May garden. I so appreciate you being here, look forward to your comments and look forward to seeing what you have growing in your area. 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 had hosted Foliage Follow-Up, a meme I will continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday, Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden

 Are you an avid gardener or wanting to learn?  My books can help you! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Wild Turkey Revival on Long Island: A New Garden Visitor and Conservation Success Story

This Month in the Garden: A New Visitor!

Welcome to This Month in the Garden! I have a new fascination with wild turkeys and since one visited my garden, it is garden related, right?! Over the past few decades, Long Island has witnessed a remarkable revival in its wild turkey population. Once on the brink of local extinction, these iconic birds now roam the wooded areas and open spaces of the island in numbers. Since I just followed one around my property, it sparked me to do some research on the revival of this remarkable creature. I had seen them here and there as an unusual sighting around the island and had heard stories, but now one was strutting around my garden like she owned the place! A friend told me that she was digging in my garden because she was eating grubs...not a bad thing.


Historically, wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a native species of North America, abundant throughout the U.S. including Long Island, with its origins tracing back to at least 11 million years.
However, by the early 1900s, excessive hunting and habitat loss had greatly diminished their population. By the mid-1900's, sightings of wild turkeys on the island had become rare, and the species was considered locally extinct. The turnaround began in the late 1900's when organizations such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and other local conservation groups collaborated to restore suitable habitats and implement protective measures. 


Wild Turkey are members of the Galliformes order, 
which also includes pheasants, grouse, and quails. Adult males, known as toms or gobblers, have iridescent plumage with a mix of bronze, copper, and greenish-gold hues. Females, called hens, are slightly smaller and have more muted plumage compared to males. They play a vital role in raising offspring, constructing nests on the ground, and protecting their young from predators. Wild turkeys are adaptable birds found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, grasslands, and swamps. They are highly social creatures, living in flocks known as a "rafter" or "gang" which provides safety in numbers and allows them to forage more efficiently. During the breeding season in spring, male turkeys put on elaborate displays to attract mates. This includes puffing up their feathers, fanning their tails into a dramatic display called a "strut," and emitting the iconic gobbling call to announce their dominance. Turkeys are omnivorous, feeding on a diet of seeds, fruits, insects, and small vertebrates. Their return has had positive ecological impacts on Long Island, as they play a crucial role in forest ecosystems by controlling insect populations, dispersing seeds, and creating habitat diversity. 


One key aspect of the massive conservation effort has been habitat restoration. Through land acquisition, reforestation projects, and habitat management, conservationists have recreated vital habitats here on Long Island. Another critical step was the implementation of hunting regulations and protections. Wild turkeys have been designated as a protected species, with strict hunting seasons and limits enforced to prevent overharvesting. This has allowed turkey populations to recover without human interference. Today, Long Island holds a healthy and sustainable population of wild turkeys, symbolizing a successful conservation comeback. In conclusion, the revival of wild turkeys on Long Island is a testament to the collective efforts of government agencies, conservation organizations, and the community. By restoring habitats, implementing protective measures, and fostering public awareness, Long Island has welcomed back a symbol of wilderness and conservation success.

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Have you seen these visitors in your neighborhood and what have been your experiences with them? We'd love to hear!


"As Always...Happy Gardening!" 

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2024. All rights reserved. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up April: "It's Into the Garden We Go!"

Welcome!
Welcome! There is a well known quote, "It's into the garden I go to lose my mind and find my soul." ~ John Muir, which I live by. It is springtime and the garden is a place where I find peace and refuge, while enjoying new the foliage and blooms surrounding me. With spring-like temperatures in the upper 50's to low 60’s and a day last week reaching a high of 72 degrees, this gardener is in her glory. Join me for a tour of my Long Island April garden! 

Back Pool Surround
The first stop is to give you a fuller view of the pool surround in the backyard. This is just one section but it will give you an idea of just how passionate I am about conifers in the landscape. I am always looking for new cultivars to add and enjoy mixing and matching various foliage textures and color. Here is a combination of Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce, Green Giant Arborvitae, Boxwood, Euonymus, Weeping Norway Spruce, Dwarf White Pine, Sky Pencil Holly and Blue Globe Spruce.
Hello Peony!
One thing I enjoy about spring is the emergence of foliage. Along the patio garden Peony 'Bartzella' is displaying its new vibrant pinkish-red foliage against the new green foliage of Daylily.
Hellebore 'Merlin'
Besides foliage of course are blooms. In the shadier section of the garden are the long lasting blooms of Hellebore 'Merlin' accompanied by the blooms of Hellebore 'Dark and Handsome' and 'Champion'.
Hellebore Dark and Handsome
Hellebore 'Dark and Handsome' is one of the later blooming varieties, bringing blooms to the garden in early spring. I await the amazing color of the blooms every year.
Hellebore Dark and Handsome
To me the blooms look like they are out of a painting.
Hellebore 'Champion'
Hellebore 'Champion' has been blooming since February and just keeps on giving! As you may have seen me mention before, the flowers are not flowers at all, but actually colorful bracts. That is why they last for so long. Maintenance Tip: At this time of year I remove any faded or damaged foliage from winter to allow for new growth.  I also perform this task in winter when the plant is budding.
Pieris 'Cavatine' (Dwarf Japanese Andromeda)
Here is Dwarf Andromeda 'Cavatine'. It's beautiful clusters of bell-shaped white blooms are a joy to see in springtime. They are long lasting and slightly fragrant too! Following the blooms, new scarlet foliage emerges.
Pulmonaria
In the back shade garden is Pulmonaria with its fabulous polka dot foliage and purplish-blue blooms which last for several weeks.
Weeping White Pine and Krauter Vesuvius Flowering Plum
A typical sign of spring and that April has arrived are the blooms of Flowering Plum. This variety, 'Krauter Vesuvius' stays a little smaller and is more upright compared to other cultivars and its dark purple-black foliage is striking. The blooms are just an added bonus! Here it is (to the left) shown mixed in with evergreens and perennials.
Krauter Vesuvius Flowering Plum
Here is a closer view of  the delicate pinkish-lavender blooms of the flowering Plum.
Vinca Minor (Periwinkle)
Along the pool border are the blooms of Vinca minor, otherwise known as Periwinkle, which is perfect for filling in and adding a touch of color to the crevice between the waterfall and pavers.
Nepeta 'Walkers Low' New Foliage
In the sunny portion of the garden, Nepeta 'Walkers Low' is sporting its new foliage. Bluish-purple blooms will follow, which last throughout summer. Note: Nepeta will adapt to partial shade as well.
Backyard Perimeter Garden
Along the northern side of the property is Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar with Coral bells and the variegated foliage of Osmanthus 'Goshiki'. The Coral Bells are just starting to sprout some new growth.
Springtime is for Robins!
We have more varieties of birds this spring and there has been an abundance of Robins. Here is one up close...well close enough to get a view anyway. They are shy about close encounters!
Mugo Pine Seed Cones Springtime
The seed cones of Mugo Pine are especially attractive during fall and spring, so I am sharing a close-up view.
Spirea Big Bang 'Candy Corn'
For some outstanding foliage is Spirea Big Bang 'Candy Corn'. It's foliage was bright red last month and now has transitioned to bright orange. The color will change again as summer approaches to a light green, followed by blooms.
Front Island Berm
Another winner for foliage is Anna's Magic Ball Arborvitae. It's chartruese color exists all year with a slight bronzing effect in winter. This dwarf only grows to 2-3 feet tall at maturity.
Weeping Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist'
April is certainly a time for awakening in the garden. As the temperatures warm, colorful buds appear on Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist' that will soon open up to flowers before foliage emerges. Large attractive heart shaped leaves will follow.
Allium 'Globemaster'
As each day passes the buds on Allium 'Globemaster' become a little more visible and larger. They will open up to glorious blooms by early June.
Fragrant Hyacinths
Where there are blooms there can also be a treat for the senses. The sweet fragrance of Hyacinths can sometimes be detected with the gentlest breeze.
Time to Relax!

Now that the tour is complete, it is time to relax with a cup of tea (or whatever beverage you like) and take in what Mother Nature has to offer. Until we meet again, happy gardening. You may also enjoy my new monthly newsletter Northeastern Gardening News where I share garden views, news and tips. Subscribe for free to receive monthly updates. Also, as you probably know, besides digging in the dirt, I am an author too. Check out my books, all to do with gardening!

Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my April garden. I so appreciate you being here, look forward to your comments and look forward to seeing what you have growing in your area. 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 had hosted Foliage Follow-Up, a meme I will continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday, Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden