Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up December 2021: Winter Views & Blooms

Happy holidays and welcome to another walk in the garden. My northeastern garden is located on the south shore of Long Island in zone 7, although you wouldn't know it with the unusually warm temperatures we have been having for the month of December. With daytime temperatures in the 50's on many days, venturing out into the garden without a winter coat is still a pleasure, so I am taking advantage of the situation while it lasts. It is evident that before long, the true winter temperatures will be here, but for now, come along for a stroll in the garden, and you won't even need to bundle up!
Front Lawn
The first stop is along the front island bed that was reinvented just two years ago to include more low maintenance plantings with all season interest. Here is Osmanthus 'Goshiki', a new favorite, along with Weeping Norway Spruce and  Mugo Pine with Weeping Japanese Maple in the backdrop. 
Pieris 'Cavatine' (Dwarf Japanese Andromeda)
On the opposite side of the island bed is Pieris 'Cavatine' or Dwarf Japanese Andromeda, which stays at a compact size of just 2-3 feet tall by wide. I love the little seed pods which can be seen this time of year.
Driveway Entry
As the temperatures cool, the bark of Coral Bark Maple (back left) will continue to become a more vibrant pinkish-red as it stands alongside Golden Oriental Spruce 'Skylands' and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. A winters snow really does the trick in bringing out the most color!
Skyland's Spruce Seed Cone
Here is a close-up view of the seed cones on 'Skylands' Spruce this time of year. They change from a purplish hue to a more golden brown color as the season moves on and add nice interest to the tree.
Northern Lawn
Along the northern lawn is Blue Atlas Cedar with Juniperus 'Gold Lace'. The Blue Atlas Cedar now towers to approximately 40 feet tall.
Front Island Berm
On the front island bed, Anna's Magic Ball Arborvitae (foreground) adds some golden color alongside Dwarf Japanese Andromeda. I enjoy viewing these two shrubs right through winter.
A Little Whimsy!
Let's venture to the backyard. Here is one of my favorite statues which reminds me of childhood each time I look at it. Sometimes you just need a little garden whimsy to get you through the day!
Weeping White Pine Seed Cone
Along the back pool garden, the seed cones of this Weeping White Pine add a nice touch during every season...
St. John's Wort
while St. John's Wort displays its dried fruit this time of year.
Osmanthus and Golden Sedge
Did I mention that Osmanthus 'Goshiki' was a new love? Here are more which I planted just this past summer in the back bed, accompanied by Japanese Golden Sedge. With the warmer December temperatures we have been having, it is even sprouting new growth, which varies in color.
Girard's Azalea Winter Foliage
Late autumn and wintertime brings some nice foliage changes along with it. Here the foliage of Azalea turns to beautiful hues of deep burgundy and golden-orange.
More Azalea Winter Foliage
Here is another view.
Ajuga 'Black Scallop'
Wintertime doesn't mean you can't have color. Here is Ajuga 'Black Scallop' with its shiny deep burgundy-black foliage. It will produce bluish-purple blooms in spring.
Pink Double Knock Out Rose December
Every autumn and winter I am mesmerized by this Double Knock Out Rose, which yes...still has blooms to brighten the day. Even after some morning frosts, it does not want to quit!
Weeping Pussy Willow December
Even in December, there are hopes of what is to come, as this Weeping Pussy Willow is already showing its catkins. It is one of the first trees to give interest in early spring.
Back Pool Garden
Back around the pool garden is another view of Golden Oriental Spruce along with azalea in winter mode...
Front Driveway Border
and by the front driveway is the foliage of Magic Carpet Spirea, which is still hanging on.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' December
You can have blooms in January and here is Helleborous 'Shooting Star', which will do just that. This very plant was the inspiration behind my latest book and I have enjoyed its winter blooms for years. It just makes me smile with every glance, even in the middle of winter.
Indoor Gardening; Thanksgiving Cactus
So...while we are awaiting those Hellebore blooms, here are some indoor blooms to enjoy. This is one of the four Thanksgiving cactus I have blooming on my southwestern window sill. I often get asked about what is the difference between Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus, and Easter cactus, and it is in the shape of the leaves. Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumgera truncata) has very pointed, claw shaped projections on the edges of its leaves, Christmas cactus (Schlumgera bridgesti) has more scalloped or tear drop shaped leaves and Easter cactus has more rounded leaves.
Thanksgiving Cactus
Here is another variety with deep pinkish-red blooms.
Peace Lily and Orange Kalanchoe
A new addition, which I could not resist, is this Kalanchoe and Peace Lily container combination to add some winter blooms to the indoors. As an avid gardener, I consider shopping for plants as part of decorating! 
Seasonal Decor
As the tour comes to an end, I wish for you and your family, a very happy holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022, filled with good health, happiness, and many fond memories. See you on the 1st. with a garden recap of 2021, start of a brand new gardening year, and new beginnings!
Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my December garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and seeing what's growing in your neck of the woods! 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 Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden


Teaching the garden coaching class at Farmingdale State College on November 23rd. was such a wonderful and rewarding experience and I have been enjoying reading essays from students not only saying how much they enjoyed the presentation, but that they could see themselves going into horticulture! Yes!!!-future horticultural experts to carry on! 

To follow A Guide to Northeastern Gardeningand receive updates twice a month on the 1st and 15th, there is a new subscription widget at the top right side of this page.

Lastly, If you happen to be looking for a holiday gift for the gardener in your life or for yourself, check out my four books on Amazon. To learn more and purchase, visit My Author PageI have poured a lifetime of gardening love into each of them, along with experiences, tips, journeys, design inspiration, maintenance advice, guidance and more. They are A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9Landscape Design CombinationsDream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener and my latest Gardening by Month: A Monthly Guide to Planning the Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Garden. I am hoping you, or a friend, will find them to be inspiring!

Until next time, be well, enjoy the holiday season and “As Always...Happy Gardening”! 😊

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2021. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Autumn at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park

Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Welcome to the Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park, located in Great River, on the south shore of Long Island, New York. This 691 acre state park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for William Bayard Cutting in 1886, and offers a wide range of interest from the Great Lawn to the Conifer Garden, Holly Walk, Oak Park, Royce Rhododendron Garden, Four Season Garden, Old and New Pinetums, Breezy Island and the River Walk that winds along the Connetquot River waterway. The parks 13 distinct plant collections continue to grow as new gardens are donated annually.
Common Sage

The gardens hold their beauty all year long, and autumn is the perfect time to explore the grounds as nature puts on a bountiful show. As you enter the park by the mansion, the first plant that will catch your eye is the vibrancy of this common sage along with dried flower heads of Hydrangea and Allium, along with the evergreen foliage of Mugo Pine.
Arboretum Autumn View

Continue further for a stroll along the winding woodland trail for a spectacular view.
Salix babylonic (Weeping Willow)
This Weeping Willow with its changing foliage is almost magical as it grows along the wetland area of the arboretum. 
Pink Mushy Grass
Also along the woodland trail is this Pink Mushy Grass, which is always an eye catcher with its airy pinkish-red plumes! Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Lenca' (Pink Mushy Grass) is hardy in USDA zones 6-9 and thrives in either full to partial sun.
Woodland Garden Walk

Here is another view of the woodland trail with its winding bluestone path and seasonal color.
Callicarpa (American Beautyberry)

This beauty is Callicarpa or American Beautyberry, hardy in USDA zones 5-8. Callicarpa displays beautiful arching branches with lusters of pale lavender-pink flowers in summer, followed by masses of glossy amethyst berries in fall. Callicarpa refers full fun to partial shade and a moderately moist soil.
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Bounty'  (Winter Bounty Holly)
One of my favorite areas of the arboretum is the Holly Walk with more than 100 varieties of holly. This Winter Bounty Holly, hardy in USDA zones 6-8, produces an enormous display of dark red berries which make a spectacular show during late fall and winter. This shrub grows to a mature size of 14-20 feet high by 6-10 feet wide, and prefers a location with partial or dappled shade and a well-drained soil.
Ilex verticillata, (Winterberry)

Ilex verticillata, commonly known as winterberry, is a species of holly that is native to the northeast, that loses its leaves in autumn to display its bright red berries. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, Winterberry prefers a location with partial sun.
River Walk-Breezy Island
Following along the Connectquot River is a bridge which leads to Breezy Island, where marsh grasses and perhaps some island wildlife, such as osprey can be seen.
River Walk-Breezy Island

The view is quite scenic and relaxing.
Sarracenia (Pitchers Plant or Trumpet Pitchers)
This interesting Pitcher Plant is from the genus Sarracenia, which consists of 15 different varieties of native perennials scattered across North America. Most are hardy in zones 6-8 and thrive best in boggy conditions.
Bridge Crossing
The changing autumn leaves at this time of year are simply beautiful along the bridge leading from the woodland trail.
Mountain Hydrangea Autumn
This hydrangea is still showing off its blooms while the others have already dried out for the fall.
Oakleaf Hydrangea Autumn
Oakleaf  Hydrangea produces bountiful white blooms, but also puts on a wonderful show with its brilliant burgundy foliage before the leaves drop.
 Scotch Heather-Caluna vulgaris 'Boskoop'
Here is Scotch Heather. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-7, prefers full sun to partial shade and grows to a mature size of approximately 1.5 feet high by wide. It bears pale mauve flowers in mid-summer along with bronze-yellow foliage that deepens in autumn. 
Perennial Walk (Four Season Garden)
Another one of my favorite areas of the arboretum is the perennial walk, also known as the Four Season Garden. At this time of year, Asters and Chrysanthemum are the highlight. 
Ajania pacifica (Pacific Chrysanthemum)
I love this variety of  Chrysanthemum  (Ajania pacifica) with its variegated foliage and bright yellow blooms that last well into autumn. Ajania pacifica is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, grows to 1-2 feet, and prefers a location with full sun to part shade.
These colorful Asters are a wonderful fall addition to the Four Season walk. These perennials are generally hardy in USDA zones 3-8 and prefer full sun to partial shade. I love the interest they supply while complemented by hydrangea, ornamental grasses, astilbe and  variegated yucca.

Betula Jacquemonti (White-barked Himalayan Birch)

Here is White-barked Himalayan Birch along the Woodland Trail. It is hardy in USDA zones 4-7 and known for its beautiful peeling bark. I especially enjoy its character in the fall.
Old Pinetum: Horse Chestnut
Along the Old Pinetum trail is this Horse Chestnut, which is an eye-catcher during the autumn months!
Dwarf Conifer Garden
Back around towards the Manor House is the Dwarf Conifer Garden, hosting an array of beautiful conifers from around the world, including numerous varieties of Chamaecyparis (Hinoki Cypress), Lawson’s Cypress, spruce, cedar, juniper and pine. Among the conifers are hydrangea, heather and various perennials mixed in, providing all season interest.
Pinetum Extension-American Sycamore
American Sycamore shows off its beautiful bark...
Native Woodland
while the fall season offers an array of color!
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm

An important aspect of the arboretum is this three acre Community Sponsored Agriculture Farm, which was established in 2012. A portion of the land to the right is now used for growing herbs and vegetables, which can be purchased by members. There are also egg-laying chickens, which are a hybrid cross between a White Rock female and a Rhode Island Red male.  
Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm 
This attractive trellis adds some character to the spot.
Manor House

Back around to the front entrance, this 68 room mansion was designed by architect Charles C. Haight, and built for William Bayard Cutting in 1886 as a country home. Mrs. Cutting specified that the arboretum should “serve as an oasis of beauty and quiet… a source of pleasure, rest, and refreshment.” I hope you found your visit to be just that.
Arboretum Map and Park Information

Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Long Island

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden as we toured the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. 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 up with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.)