Search This Blog

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Final Days

Just a short post for today. We are winding down the sales season here at Old Country Gardens. Today we'll be open for business or even just for walking around. The colors in the garden are to-die-for, eye candy where ever you turn.

Next Sunday July 26th, will be our last sales day, it will be combined with a huge garage sale out by the curb. Our 15 year old Emily will be running the sale, all proceeds will go towards buying her a new laptop which she will need for her junior year at high school.

Thanks to so many of you I've learned so much this first year of garden sales and I'm filled with so many new ideas for the future!

With love,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Picnic in a delightful garden

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of joining the women from my local garden club at a picnic lunch. Over the past few years we've been changing the location of this luncheon, this year we met at the home of Betty & John in Cold Spring Harbor.

Betty is an extremely active member of our club. Her husband John could easily be nominated as the most helpful husband. He is always there with a pick-up truck to help us move things or more invaluable, he uses his incredible talent as a master carpenter to build all kinds of wonderful things.

John's talents are immediately visible as you pull up to their beautiful home, my eye was instantly caught by the clever plant stands placed around the garden.

Betty & John have deep shade and dappled light throughout their garden. Their choice of plant material is key, everything is so lush and restful. I admit I had to stop and drool over John's arbor, it's a garden accent that has been on my wish-list for many years.

If I had to chose one favorite accent piece though, it would be this bridge used to dress up a very shady corner (almost impossible to photograph). I was so happy to be able to see this garden, they had a plant combination here that I've never seen before and can't wait to copy!

The weather was absolutely perfect for a picnic, sunny and high 70's but not the best conditions for photography as the dappled sunlight created quite a few shadows. This photo does not do justice to the wonderful interplay between the Fallopia japonica and Lysamachia clethroides (Gooseneck loosestrife).

It was the second time in two days that I had fallen in love with a plant combination including Fallopia. This spurred an instant question...Why don't I grow that plant?

If you have problems with squirrels getting into your birdfeeder, just ask John how to stop them. He built a baffle, a shield with plexiglass all around the base of the feeder and the squirrels now have to wait on the ground for the spilled seed.

Another accent that has been on my wish list for years is a tool shed that looks like an outhouse. John's outhouse looks so realistic that Betty told me a worker one day asked if he could use it :-)

Not everything was built by John, as I wrote earlier, there were wonderful specimans of plant material. I liked the way this variegated hosta spilled down over this small boulder.

The dreaded Houttunia!!! But wait, it was growing delightfully through a skirt of pacysandra. how clever, I don't ever think I saw such a nice way to grow Houttunia.

To finish things off, here's a close-up of one of the beautiful Rudbeckia blooms in the front yard.

Many thanks to Betty & John for hosting us in such a regal manner this Tuesday.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Garden Blues

My favorite color is blue but it's a color that we rarely consider in our garden. So many plants that are billed as "blue" are really lavenders or purples.

An instant way to add blue to the garden is to add some magnificent containers. I took these photographs on Sunday but would not purchase these containers at the the store I saw them. The prices were totally ridiculous, running from $299 to $799 per container.

Perhaps those high prices were the reason that there was still so much stock in the container section of this nursery? Luckily I stopped at another nursery on the way home and found very similar containers for a fraction of the price. I plan on going back there and will try to remember to take some pictures.

I did see this blue container there, peeking out through a skirt of Hydrangeas. Lovely! Better yet is the tropical feeling Hosta planted in the container. Hosta make excellent container plants.

There definitely are some true blue perennials in the garden, I snap them up whenever I can. This is a Playtocodon, a balloon flower and it's a double variety.

Hardy Geranium 'Rozanne' is blue although my camera has changed the color to a lavender. It's been blooming for two months now and I'm extremely happy I finally bought it this spring.

Hydrangeas come in different colors. Many times you will buy one that is one color only to find it change color completely in your garden. I have one variety that was pink in the pot, turned chartreuse the next year and settled down as a deep blue.

The color of your Hydrangea blooms is dependent upon the type of soil you have. Here on Long Island we have acidic soil which tends to turn most Hydrangeas different shade of blue. Sometimes though if you plant your Hydrangeas close to the foundation of your house you can get them to stay pink, another trick is to add lime to the soil. As for me, I prefer the blue ones anyway so don't do anything special to change the color.

On Sunday I went to Plant Field Arboretum. I have to say I was a bit disappointed, most of the gardens were not at their best, either before bloom or in most cases after bloom. It was a whole different scenario here in my own garden which is just bursting with color right now.

This photo shows a Lace cap Hydrangea combined with Fallopia japonica. It was a stunning combination!

Here at Old Country Gardens a much simpler combination of Platycodon and Daylilies but still just as beautiful.

Do you have blue in your garden?