Search This Blog

Monday, February 18, 2019

Planting Fields Arboretum

Today I read that a gardening friend was at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I realized that I've only been there once, many many years ago for a symposium in the middle of the winter. I didn't walk one path in their gardens as it was miserable weather. I wonder why I've never been back.

My favorite public garden by far is Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay. I have been there hundreds of times over the past 30 years and still find new things to see. 

The amount of spring flowering trees and shrubs is just incredible. I spend hours walking the many pathways and always find lots of things to photograph.

These photos were taken May 10th so if you are planning a trip and want to see Planting Fields in all it's glory, that is the time to go. It's a huge Mother's Day location but I always try to find a day during the week so it's not as crowded.

The plant in the foreground is Bergenia. I have seen huge waves of Bergenia thriving in Germany but have not yet seen a place on Long Island where it grows well.

The fountain garden at planting fields is more of a summer location. The plant material is not at it's best in the spring time, all the more reason to go back again!

The last time I was at Planting Fields I noticed a plant that had previously escaped my attention. It's the one with the chartreuse blooms, some type of Euphorbia. 

Here you can see how wonderful this Euphorbia looks combined with the pink Azalea blooms. What really caught my attention though is that this is a shady location and this Euphorbia seems to thrive. Here at Doodle-dog farm we have mostly shade so I am going to have to try to find this plant.

Not the clearest shot but I wanted to take a close-up to share with you. If you know of this plant I'd love for you to leave me a comment.

It might be February 18th, but it feels like spring is right around the corner!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Blogging, the new direction

I don't know when I began blogging, I guess it's not hard to look up. For years my passion was gardening, the first place I learned to share my passion was with my different garden clubs. As the internet began to explode I joined an e-mail daylily robin. Although I had never met most of the other robin members, they soon became my dear friends in gardening. 

The e-mail robin I belonged to did not allow photos at the time so once I heard about blogging it became the natural progression. I found an outlet for my love of writing, photographing and sharing my passion for gardening. 

This blog, Melanie's Old Country Gardens was my first blog. It has over 400 posts and probably thousands of photos. When I began here I barely knew how to choose my background, add widgets, post hyperlinks and other technical things. In it's heyday I became quite adept at changing and updating the blog. There were so many things I wanted to share and I loved blogging so much that I began a new blog at   My reason was I wanted to have a blog where I could write more and share my thoughts (this blog) and a second where I could highlight a specific plant or concept.

Having spent the last 7 or 8 years redirecting my life I suddenly find myself back to the beginning, a baby in the knowledge of how to blog. The desire never went away, blog topics pop up in my head all the time, it's just that life gets in the way. I went from being a full time mom, garden writer and lecturer to a middle age woman needing a career. Somehow I fell in to banking, first as a teller, then out on to the bank floor as an officer. My hard work has paid off, I've made it to Vice President and Manager of my own branch in Bayville NY. As fulfilling as my career has become, my lottery dream is to return to full time gardening with it's writing, lecturing, garden travels and to be with the people who share my passion.

I have visited so many incredible gardens over the past years and have so many photos and thoughts to share. Today I posted a plan on melanie's perennials blog to go back over the past years and do some arm chair tours, after all, it is February! Some of the posts will be here in Melanie's Old Country Gardens, these will have longer stories to accompany the photos. By the way one of my favorite gardens visited last year was Anna Carlson's in Jordan NY and I promise a full photo tour in the very near future. 

There are topics to cover like window box gardening (I could have taken hundreds of photos in Nantucket last August)

Sometimes I'll just blog about the beautiful places I've seen. At least once a year I visit my mother in Delray Beach Florida. The nature that abounds there calls me back over and over.

Of course there will be posts showcasing new plants I've bought and can't live without in my new garden adventures. Half the fun of finding new treasures is to share them with you!

Another post that is busting out of me is the discovery of my roots, a visit to the place my love of gardening first began. 

Last but not least this blog, my Old Country Garden is the place I can still share stories about Calie the wonder doodle and maybe my daughters will even make a some guest appearances. The garden itself, Old Country Garden may no longer be mine in property but it's here in my heart.

So glad to be back

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Doodle dog farm

What’s in a name? For so many years my garden was named Old Country Gardens but that garden belongs to somebody else now. Much as I want to continue using that name it doesn’t suit the little beach cottage where we live. Calie the wonderdoodle still gardens with me, she is 13 years old now and we named the garden after her. Welcome to doodle dog farm!

Our cottage is a few blocks from the Long Island Sound on the north shore of Long Island. The neighborhood is called Huntington Beach Community Association and it’s filled with darling cottages and beach homes. 

This is a view over our fence and you can see what I mean about small cottages.

We are surrounded with mature Oak trees so most of the gardens are shade beds. My beloved daylilies are not used as much as I wish but the hosta truly shine.

We have a lovely Cherry tree that rains pink petals everywhere.

This last year I set out a small sale table featuring succulents and a few perennials that were ready for dividing. This spring I will be putting more out.  I’m so happy to be blogging again, just trying to figure out the best way to get my photos and words here.