Saturday, August 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up August: Blooms, Visitors & Adventures

Welcome to my August Garden!

Welcome to my August Garden! It has been an eventful month (to say the least) here in the Long Island northeastern garden. Tropical Storm Isaias arrived on a Tuesday afternoon on the 4th of August with high winds gusting to 60 miles per hour, followed by the power going out at 3 pm, and not returning until three days later. There were trees and branches down everywhere, and I cringed as I watched the garden with each gust of wind. Thankfully, the garden was spared. We are still in the process of cleaning up, but all is good.
Lillium 'Stargazer'
Before we visit what is currently blooming, here is a flashback from before the storm. A heat wave at the end of July sparked the Lillium 'Stargazer' to bloom a little earlier than usual. They were exceptionally beautiful this year, so I thought I would share.
Littlium 'Stargazer'
The plants were just loaded with fragrant blooms!
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
After several years of putting out a variety of hummingbird feeders, we finally have a regular visitor! This Ruby-Throated Hummingbird has returned for a second season and has made our home his feeding station. He flies back and forth all day between the Magnolia tree in the back garden, taking a momentary stop at the Hosta blooms, and then to the feeder right by our patio. I can hear the humming of his wings and little tweeting noises he produces as he enjoys the nectar. Seeing his presence is so much fun and we get excited every time our visitor comes by!
Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) 'Little Goldstar'
Here is Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar', a dwarf form of Black Eyed Susan. It stays nice and compact (14-24 inches tall x 18 inches wide), blooms mid-late summer and stays where you plant it. In the foreground are  Hosta blooms, which are an attraction to hummingbirds and other pollinators.
Patio Garden-Buddleia 'Pugster Blue'
August is Butterfly Bush time and this Buddleia 'Pugster Blue' is showing off its fragrant deep purple-blue blooms. It is literally a butterfly magnet! Butterflies of various types are attracted to and visit the plant constantly. We even got a visit (for the second year in a row) from the hummingbird moth.
Swallowtail Butterfly on Buddleia
Here is a Swallowtail Butterfly visitor. He frequents the blooms several times a day and cannot get enough!
Bumblebees are hard at work too!
Agastache 'Rosie Posie' Hyssop
New to the garden this year is Agastache (Hyssop) 'Rosie Posie'. Hardy in USDA zones 6-9, this is one of the longest blooming varieties of Hyssop and grows to a height of about 22 inches. I am hoping it does well and will become as a longtime member of the garden.
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)
Here is Platycodon (Balloon Flower) blooming in the August garden. This perennial never ceases to amaze me with its interesting "balloon-shaped" blue blooms. It is always a conversation piece for visitors too.
Waterfall Extension
What does one do during a pandemic and heat wave? An obsessive gardener like myself would go to the nursery with the pick-up truck and load it with hundreds of pounds of moss rock boulders. After too many complaints from hubby about soil getting into the pool, I did a renovation of the two sides of the pool waterfall using the moss rock to extend it on both sides. After ripping out a very stubborn and overgrown ground-cover shrub that had served its time, I placed the rock to prevent erosion from the slope. Mission accomplished and hubby is happy!
Astilbe 'Sprite'
Back to the tour! If you are looking for a variety of Astilbe that blooms much later after all the others, here is Astilbe 'Sprite'.  It displays delicate foliage and light pink blooms, that last for several weeks.
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'
It's Crape Myrtle season! Here is Lagersstroemia indica 'Sioux' with its deep pink blooms. 'Sioux' is one of the larger forms of Crape Mytle and reaches about twenty to twenty-five in height. I have had this tree for many years and was so worried about it during the storm. It had lost some major branches two years ago during a severe winter and has been recovering nicely, so I was concerned.
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'
Here is a view of the full tree. I have allowed the trunks to multiply, as I love the massiveness of the tree.
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' Peeling Bark
Crape Myrtles are also known for their exfoliating bark, exposing various colors as it peels away to uncover a new layer.
Sedum 'Brilliant' Almost Blooming!
As we stroll around to the southern garden, here is Sedum 'Brilliant' getting ready to bloom. It's a lovely plant for its foliage, even when it's not blooming. Watch for it in next month's garden tour!
Echibeckia Summerina 'Blazing Fire'
Here is another new addition to the perennial border for this year. Echibeckia is a new cultivar combining the features of Echinacea and Rudbeckia all into one! Echibeckia Summerina 'Blazing Fire' grows to a height and width of 16-24 inches high by 18-24 inches wide and prefers full sun. It blooms early summer to autumn. I hope this one does well in the garden!
Daylily 'Stella D Oro'
Last but not least is Stella D' Oro Daylily, still blooming with just a little deadheading! I love how this variety just keeps on giving!
Long Island August Sunset
With summer storms also come summer sunsets, and this one was one of the most beautiful views I have seen in a long time. 
August Sunset in the Garden
Nature certainly has its moments!
Thank you for visiting!

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my August garden. As always, I thank you for being here and enjoy hearing from you. 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. 

~Sharing my knowledge and passion of gardening~

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Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

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 and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.

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.