A Retiring Garden?

  • Post published:12/14/2009
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“The garden just grew,” Bruce Aune said with a slight shrug as we sat in his living room and looked out across a still green lawn to a neat curving border. All the perennials had been cut back, but shrubs, evergreen and deciduous, and small trees remained, providing the bones and structure of this garden. While it is true that the garden had changed over time as Bruce and his wife Anne moved into retirement, it had not…


  • Post published:11/11/2009
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I went to the NYBGfor the roses but I got chrysanthemums, kiku, too. This is the third and final year for this extraordinary exhibit of Japanese chrysanthemum art forms set up at the Enid Haupt Conservatory courtyards. I was familiar with this form, Kengai, because similar cascades are created for our local Smith College Chrysanthemum show. All season long a single chrysanthemum plant is trained through wire mesh, pinched and artfully pinched again to create this waterfall of bloom.…

Terror Among the Tomatoes

  • Post published:10/31/2009
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Happy Halloween! One way to strike terror into this night of goblins and ghosts is to think of the fears that plants have generated over the centuries. Deadly nightshade was rightly understood to be a poison, but other members of the family, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers were less deadly and more delicious. The large pale flower of datura, another member of the family, is beautiful but equally deadly. Not all peas (Lathyrus sativus) are benign, or all members…

Cleaning Up and Digging In

  • Post published:10/26/2009
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When I called Old House Gardens to order some bulbs last week I feared I might have missed their shipping season, but they reassured me  and on this perfect morning I found my order in the mailbox. It took only a few minutes before I  was out in the garden. I knew just where to plant the ivory Beersheba daffodils - right under the Miss Willmott, a white flowered lilac Jerry Sternstein gave me last year. To say under…

My To-Do List

  • Post published:10/19/2009
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The Monday Record was intended to show what I had accomplished in the preceeding week, possibly including Monday itself. However, this week I spent a lot of time looking out the window at rain, and wind, and even snow muttering that if I were a Real Gardener I wouldn't let poor weather stop me from attending to all the chores that needed attending to! After five days of below freezing tempeatures, the low temperature today was 27 degrees. After the…

Dahlia Season – Blooming Friday

  • Post published:08/28/2009
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Katarina at Roses and Stuff invites us all to share what is in bloom on Blooming Fridays.  How many more will there be before the cold shuts down the outdoor show? I'm  sure I have the name of this dahlia somewhere.  The cosmos are from Renee's Garden seeds. Foxy Lady has already made her way into bouquets. Patty Cake has just begun blooming. This nameless hydrangea has been blooming for over a month. I love Red! Especially scarlet…

Wedding and Work

  • Post published:08/10/2009
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First I have to say the very most important event of the past week was the wedding of my cousin Jay  and his beloved Juliet in a beautiful garden in Manchester by the Sea. It was a glorious day and celebration was in  the air. Our hotel was hosting three wedding receptions and packed to the rafters with SEVEN groups of wedding guests. Juliet is a Nanny in the classic mode. The wedding guest list was filled with her…

Eyes to See

  • Post published:08/05/2009
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Creating good plant combinations and beautiful color pairings is not my forte.  Obviously I don't even note such things in my garden because today, I suddenly realized that I had this great combo, a clump of crimson bee balm next to a clump of Black Dragon lilies.  They are perfect together and I wasn't even trying.

Jane Markoski’s Garden

  • Post published:07/27/2009
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“I guess you can see I like water,” Jane Markoski said as she gave me a tour through her gardens. There was a birdbath in the shady entry garden, a trickling fountain as you turned the corner of the house, a bubbling faux millstone fountain at the corner of the barn, a lotus tub in the middle of a mixed shrub and perennial border, a small fish pond with a waterfall, and a larger fish pond with a…

Tours of Delight

  • Post published:07/17/2009
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These tours are over, but even these brief garden descriptions may be useful to others.   When I visited Mary Manilla’s garden in Hawley this week it was a ribbon of green along the stream that borders the garden. By the time the Hawley Garden and Artisans Tour takes place on Saturday, July 11, there will be a river of color along the stream as the hundreds and hundreds of daylilies in every hue come into bloom. It…