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Monday, May 12, 2008

The Shakespeare Garden

Yesterday my daughter Emily and I took the train into New York City where we met my Mom. Most of my life has been spent in the suburb of this amazing city or in the city itself. I've been to Central Park dozens of times but had never seen this area. There are still many parts of this beautiful park that I have not yet explored.

Here's a shot of Mom and Emily overlooking one of the many charming bridges that one always sees in movies filmed in Central Park.

The first thing that struck me was the peaceful calm that comes over you as you enter this magical place. At one moment you are standing on the streets of New York City, a protest group marching past you, police lights flashing, road barriers and then flash, with a few steps you are in a whole new world.

There were no sounds in the park other than the laughter of children and lots and lots of sneezing. We kept laughing, as we ourselves were sneezing, it's definitely pollen season here.

Look at these beautiful rustic fences and the espaliered trees. Do you see throngs of humanity? We didn't. In fact, we were amazed at how uncrowded we felt. We've been to Old Westbury Gardens and Planting Fields Arboretum on Mother's Day and one could hardly take a photo of a flower without getting somebody's leg or pocketbook in the picture.

The whole visit was so soothing. There were signs posted around that this is a "quiet zone" which means no audible music and no loud cell phones. Look at all this luscious greenery.

I wish I had taken a better photo of this area, it just had me in total awe. There was a sea of Camassia bulbs, Ferns and Hosta. Kim, I know you are reading this and when I was standing there I wished you were with me. This was in a spot that had quite a bit of sunlight and I'd be surprised if there were many underground sprinklers if any at all.

Kim and I both are crazy about these plants but I never would have thought of combining them. As soon as my Camassia blubs are finished I'm going to pair them with ferns and hosta too.

There were drifts of Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff) all over and interspersed in it was this charming white bulb. Any idea of what is is? I must have some!

Here you can see the Hosta just unfurling their huge Elephant like ears and the wave upon wave of Polygonatum (soloman's seal).

The red tulips were about finished, our heavy rains on Friday probably helped them along but in another week or two the many types of hardy Geraniums will take over with a whole new bloom season.

As we left the park on the East side we had to stop and admire the blooms on this tree. I'm pretty sure it's a red bud but then again, maybe not?

Hope you liked the tour, I know I can't wait to get there again some day.


Kim said...

Hi Melanie,
So glad you had a nice relaxing day after the frantic spring you've had. Even the way you worded things was calmer.
I planted Camassia bulbs, but they are smaller, bluer, and not as spectacular as the ones in your posts. Paired with ferns… hmm… great thought for my driveway.

Northern Shade said...

I wouldn't have suspected that the peaceful woodland scenes were from New York if you hadn't mentioned it. The shade combinations were great on the large scale. The fern, hosta and bulb combination especially.
I love the idea of the quiet zone, with no loud music to disturb the peaceful environment.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Whatever that last tree is, it's stunning. It looks like a little piece of paradise, away from the madding crowd. :)

Helen said...

I think the white bulb is white bluebell - I have some in my garden which look the same.

I hadnt thought of combining Camassias with hostas and ferns I thought Camassias liked a different environment - meadowlike

garden girl said...

Melanie, what a lovely way to spend Mother's Day! I'm glad you had a relaxing day. You earned it, and then some!

Lin said...

Enjoyed the photos! I've been to New York a couple of times and made a point of going to Central is beautiful and unexpected in the midst of the city.

Glad you had a good Mother's Day!

Matron said...

You bring back memories for me of a visit to NY a couple of years ago. I remember great big green animal topiary outside Tavern on the Green! I will make a point to find the Shakespeare Garden next time I'm there!

Frances, said...

Hi Melanie, what a delight your photo tour was. That does look like some type of red bud, but unusual. The white looks like wood hyacinth, some type of scilla? They also come in blue and pink. I have some camassia planted last fall, they look terrible, but hostas and ferns might improve their looks. Thanks for the idea and the wonderful look at Central Park.

Cinj said...

Another city I'd love to visit. I've never been to New York, but if I do ever get there Central Park looks like it's a must on the sites to see list.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I've never seen a redbud tree bloom quite like that one. It is beautiful!

Glad you enjoyed your special day.

MARY LEE said...

I am going to this garden tomorrow morning. When I googled for more information, your site popped up. What a delightful blog. I now know to look for the white flowering bulbs and the unusual redbud. Thank you for sharing your day with us.

Gail said...

Loving tour and how nice to have a day with your mother and daughter...

A quiet zone without screaming music and cellphones sounds perfect...wish there were more spaces like this in every city. We could use a break from the country music that blares everywhere here!

I am not crazy about Camassia, they just don't look good in my garden, maybe they need the lush greenery of the NW states.

I think the white bulb is Leucojum/Summer Snowflake. I have it in my garden but it bloomed a few weeks ago.

Thank you, Melanie for a lovely peaceful tour...


Melanie said...

Kim, I really was surprised at that combination, I have a few little ferns that I dug out back and as soon as the Camassias are done blooming I'm going to pair them somewhere.

Northern Shade, what was really nice about a quiet zone was that it really was quiet! New York City has a no-fly-over zone restriction so there were no airplane noises and also no car noises. Here in my own garden those are two constant sounds that I try to ignore.

Nancy, it was so special, I might have to look for one for my garden.

Helen, you are right about the bulb, it's a white bluebell. Kim had e-mailed me the botanical name. It's hycinthoides 'Alba' and I need to get me some :-)

Linda, it was so relaxing that I fell asleep on the train. That was pretty funny because I woke myself up with a snore. My daughter almost fell off her seat with laughter.

Lin, I don't think people realize how huge and how stunningly beautiful Central Park is. I just adore all the amazing rock outcrops there.

Matron, I've seen that topiary too, we've eaten at Tavern on the Green a few times in the past years.

Frances, have patience with your Camassias, mine took awhile before they look so wonderful and now I need to divide them.

Cinj, if you get to New York you have to ride around on one of our double decker tour buses. I haven't been on one but I told my older daughter that it would be a fun date for her and her boyfriend to do this summer.

Robin, somebody told me it's a chinese redbud, I'll have to do some research.

Mary Lee, lucky you! Tomorrow is supposed to be perfect weather, I hope you have a wonderful day.

Gail, we have a nursery out east on Long Island called The Peconic River Herb Farm. They have thousands of Camassias in bloom there and they just look amazing! They have very sandy soil with great drainage and I think that's key.

Rhonda said...

Thanks for sharing Central Park. I've never been there and I guess I never realized how many beautiful flowering plants are there. Does the city care for all of the park? I think I will have to go someday. Thanks again!

Bek said...

What a great post! I've never been to NY before. I will make sure to find time for Central Park though. It doesn't look like a city-park at all. I can imagine how quiet it was in there.

Wicked Gardener said...

My memory of Central Park is mostly of racing thru it, my Dad gripping my hand so tightly it started to go numb, praying not to get mugged. (It was the early 80's after all.) Good to see that it has changed. The Shakespeare garden looks so peaceful.

María José said...

Hi Melanie!

Lovely tour!! It´s gorgeous!!! . One thing that surprised me most was the "quiet zone" I wish we had here the same because here we are very nosy people , I have to confess that I feel ashamed of this when my friends from abroad come to visit me.
Lots of kisses!

chey said...

Thanks for the wonderful garden tour Melanie. Great shots! The redbud is spectacular!!

Dave said...

Great photos! The rustic fences are perfect. I need to make some of those for my yard. The Solomon's seal is pretty cool too!