Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up March: The Spring Garden Awakens!

Welcome March! 
Spring is arriving and it is an exciting time of year here in the northeast! I invite you to join me on a tour of my zone 7a Long Island garden for another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up, the day of the month in which we all walk out into our gardens to see what surprises await. This has been one of the most unusual winters I can remember, with temperatures in the 60's in February, followed by our first and only accumulating snow of just two inches on February 28th, to a calm start to March with daytime temperatures fluctuating from the mid to upper 50's to the 40's and back again. To add a little excitement, a nor'easter with large sprawling snowflakes and enough snowfall to cover the garden came to us on the 14th, which was Mother Nature's way of saying, "I'm not done yet!" Even with the unpredictable weather, every day continues to bring new foliage, buds and blooms! Let's start the tour!
Crocus vernus ‘Flower Record’ 
The first stop is at the front garden berm where my favorite cluster of crocus in the garden grows, displaying a deeper purple bloom when compared to others. This variety is known as 'Flower Record' and it continues to thrive after many years.
Crocus vernus 'Remembrance 
In the back perennial border are Crocus vernus 'Remembrance' with their pretty lighter purple blooms to bring in spring!
Hellebore 'Champion' 
The various varieties of Hellebore have been blooming since the beginning of January. This variety is Helleborus 'Champion', which blooms from February through March and possibly into April.
Allium 'Globemaster' Coming up!
The Allium bulbs in the pool surround are coming up much earlier this year. This one is 'Globemaster', which will display large purple blooms in June, so keep on the look out!
Sedum Rosettes
Sedum 'Brilliant' is a wonderful plant even for its foliage, which emerges as mini rosettes in late winter-early spring. Deep pink blooms will appear in late summer.
Weeping Pussy Willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula')
A sure sign of spring are the fluffy white catkins on Weeping Pussy Willow. FUN FACT: Pussy Willow are dioecious, meaning they are either male or female. Male plants have larger catkins that open to expose longer filaments and more yellow looking flowers, while female plants have smaller, thicker catkins with greenish flowers.
Shade Garden! 
Venturing over to the shade area, here is Magnolia 'Royal Star' with a backdrop of Leucothoe 'Axillaris' and Golden Sweet Flag. The moss and lichens on the tree are much more prominent this year with the mild winter and will slowly disappear as the weather warms.
Happy Visitors!
In this same garden, the bird visitors keep me busy filling up the feeder on a regular basis, as they are loving their new seed mixture containing and assortment of seeds and nuts for some culinary delight!
Nandina 'Obsession' 
Moving along to the back foundation garden is a combination of Dwarf Cryptomeria and Nandina 'Obsession'. The foliage of this dwarf form of  Nandina has been a vibrant orangey-red all winter.
Rhododendron Buds! 
Back in the pool surround is Rhododendron 'Elegans', as it prepares for its early spring bloom!
Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus)
Here is Black Mondo Grass in a planter in the back perennial-patio border. Mondo Grass remains evergreen all winter and in early spring I remove any damaged foliage to allow for new growth.
Pieris 'Cavatine' Buds!
In the back raised island bed, Pieris 'Cavatine' is getting ready to show off its beautiful white bell-shaped blooms in early spring, while the structure and foliage of Weeping White Pine keep the garden going all year long. 
Weeping White Pine and Golden Japanese Sedge in Pool Garden
The Golden Sedge seems to have taken a beating this year with the fluctuating temperatures, but should pop back up in spring. Once the temperatures warm up, I will remove any damaged foliage so that new foliage can emerge. HELPFUL TIP: Golden Japanese Sedge remains evergreen in zones 6-9 and does not get cut back, except for the removal of winter damaged foliage.
Daylilies Emerging! 
Another early arrival this year is Hemerocallis (or Daylily). Along the back patio, you can already see clumps of green foliage emerging above the ground!
Front Lawn
As we come to the end of our stroll, here is a March view the front lawn with Blue Atlas Cedar, and a glimpse of the front walkway. This is perhaps the last glance of the bright red bark of Coral Bark Maple before its foliage arrives.
Front Walkway
As outdoor blooms become more widespread, new blooms continue in the indoor garden. 
Indoor Garden: Thanksgiving Cactus Still Blooming!
The Thanksgiving Cactus has continued to bloom throughout winter and into spring, putting on quite a show...
Indoor Garden: Echeveria Blooming!
and the succulents are blooming too! Here is Echeveria with its orange bell-shaped flowers.
Indoor Garden: More Succulent Blooms!
The new planter I created over the winter with a combination of succulents is thriving in the bright west facing window and it is fun to watch flower stalks appear, followed by delicate white blooms!
Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my March garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and seeing what you have growing in your garden! 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 FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro 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. Wishing all a wonderful 2023 planting season with gardens that thrive!

IN THE NEWS:  It's that time of year for the Great Grow Along Virtual Garden Festival running from March 10th to the 19th. You can still register for an abundance of gardening workshops and tours. Search for “The Great Grow Along Virtual Garden Festival” to register for this free conference. Gardens make the world a better place!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Winter at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park

Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park
Welcome to Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park. Established in 1886, this 691 acre state park is located in the hamlet of Great River, on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Running along the Connetquot River, this beautiful place is known for its various plant collections and is a haven for native plantings and wildlife. 
Dwarf Conifer Garden
Entering the park and looking out onto the Great Lawn is the Dwarf Conifer Garden. Planted in 2016 and relatively new to the arboretum, this collection hosts a huge variety of conifers that were sourced from around the country. In 2018, an "extremely rare" dwarf conifer collection was donated by the Rezek family and added to the garden in honor of Long Islander and horticultural pioneer Ed Rezek. Rezek was the founder of the American Conifer Society and it was he who popularized dwarf evergreens as we know them today. 
Dwarf Conifer Garden
The garden provides interest year-round with an assortment of dwarf upright and weeping species of conifers, heaths, heathers, Japanese maples and colorful perennials.
Moss Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa')
Towering above along the main walkway is Moss Sawara Falsecypress.
Moss Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa')
This fast-growing needled evergreen (hardy in USDA zones 4-8) generally grows to 12-18 feet but can reach a mature height of 30-65 feet tall in the right conditions. In the arboretum, its twisted branches look like artwork!
Galanthus (Snowdrops)
Snowdrops are a sure sign of late winter going into spring, as they are one of the first spring flowers to bloom. Here they are showing off their delicate white blooms along the River Walk. Being one of the first flowers to bloom towards spring, Snowdrops have acquired a very special meaning, as they symbolize purity, new beginnings, hope and renewal.
Sedum Collection
Also adding interest in late winter is this groundcover sedum collection with various varieties of low growing Sedum, including Sedum 'Angelina' and 'Blue Spruce'.
Golden Columnar English Yew (Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata Aurea’)
Hardy in USDA zones 6-8, I admire this Golden English Yew every time I visit the arboretum. It's golden margins stand out even more in the wintertime. This plant grows to approximately 10 feet tall by 2 feet wide, but a mature plant is capable of reaching up to 30 feet tall by 8 feet wide over time. This one is relatively new to the park.
Holly Walk-Mahonia (Oregon Grape Holly)
Along the Holly Walk, you will view various types of holly, including this Oregon Grape Holly, Nellie Stevens Holly, Steeds Holly, American Holly and Winter Bounty among others. Oregon Grape Holly is known for its bright yellow blooms early in the season, that lead to deep blue fruit later towards fall. The fruit can be stewed with sugar to make jams and jellies.
Holly Walk-American Holly (Ilex opaca 'Dan Fenton')
Here is American Holly with its bounty of bright red fruits, which are an attraction for birds in winter.  Added to the collection in 2015, American Holly is hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
Weeping Sargent Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis Pendula 'Sargentii')
Located along the Old Pinetum is one of the showpieces of the arboretum. Hardy in USDA zones 4-7, this Weeping Sargent Hemlock exceeds 25 feet in width! The Pinetum is known to house the largest collection of  conifers on Long Island.
 London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia)
London Plane Tree, which reaches a height of 75-100 feet tall and a spread of approximately 80 feet at maturity is known for its interesting multi-colored shedding bark. It is now accepted as a hybrid cross between Oriental Sycamore and North American Sycamore and is hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
 London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia)
Here is a closer view showing the variation of colors in its bark.
 London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia)
Looking up, this London Plane towers over other trees in the park!
White Barked Birch
Nestled in the All Season Garden is 'Whitespire' Clumping Birch. Hardy in USDA zones 3-7, it's chalky white bark is a highlight during the winter months.
Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum  'Sangu Kaku')
The vivid eye-catching red bark of this tree will certainly catch your attention. The newer growth of Coral Bark Maple glows in the midst of winter. It is even more prominent on this younger tree, new to the arboretum.
Cabana and Seating Area
Stop, sit and relax for a while under one of the cabanas at the arboretum...
River Walk
then tour the River Walk along the Connetquot River. A mild winter's day is perfect for a stroll.
Walkway Towards Breezy Island
Follow the path towards Breezy Island, which is the perfect lookout point.
Breezy Island and Mrs. Cutting's Tea House
Breezy Island was constructed from soil dredged from the Connetquot River in the 1890's to help with the passage of William Bayard Cutting's ship to his Idle Hour estate further upstream. A Tea House was constructed for Mrs. Cutting back in 1887 as a place for her to enjoy her morning cup of tea. Being declared as structurally dangerous, the Tea House was demolished in 1965 and in 2016, a restoration project began to eliminate invasive bamboo from the island. The Tea House was rebuilt in 2016, keeping its integrity in place, along with the planting of several native species. 
Mrs. Cutting's Tea House
The plaque reads, "There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen."-Maurice Sendak.
Typha latifolia (Broadleaf Cattail, March Bulrush)
Along the River Walk, you will encounter Typha latifolia, also known as Broadleaf Cattail or Marsh Bulrush. Typha latifolia is a North American marshland native, hardy in USDA zones 3-10. The white cottony material at this time of year are its seed hairs. Besides being important to wildlife, Typha latifolia has been to known to have many construction and medicinal uses. The stems and leaves have been used for rafts and boats, and to produce paper, while the roots medicinally as cotton balls to treat wounds, cuts and burns, and the flowers to treat abdominal pain. 
Wildlife at the Arboretum
Bayard Cutting Arboretum is the home to many forms of wildlife, including approximately 170 species of birds, red fox, racoons, chipmunks, squirrels and aquatic mammals. There are a number of Osprey platforms as well around the park in which birds tend to return to the same nesting area year after year.
View of Connetquot River and Marshland From Breezy Island
One last glance of the view of the river and marshland from the Tea House is exceptional, and on the way back you may even have an encounter with some of the local wildlife!
A Greeting Visitor!
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden and a winter stroll around Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Also visit the top navigation bar of this blog to view Bayard at other times of the year, along with other botanical and community gardens and parks. If you are looking for some gardening inspiration, be sure to visit my author page and books, as I share my experiences and knowledge as a lifetime gardener and landscape designer for over 26 years.

"As Always...Happy Gardening!"