Saturday, June 30, 2007
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'
This plant has performed well for me. It can grow in a moist semi-shady location, which is always a plus. The flowers are fragrant and the red branches offset the green foliage nicely. It can spread a little too much if it is happy but I don’t find removing the suckers to be a problem. The fall color is the real show in my opinion as it is a wonderful kind of brick red color with some variations to purple as it goes through the autumn season. Great for the woodland garden and hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Today I am going to buy a few more plants. I have to get 50-60 Green Sheen Pachysandra and a few low perennials for along a new garage/barn that one of my customers built in Pound Ridge.
I have been going back and adding titles to some of my other posts as well as correcting my lousy grammar and spelling. I hope I haven’t confused anyone with publishing old posts. I just couldn’t figure out any other way to do it.
Friday, June 29, 2007
This is probably my last post from my trip to Long Island. I thought I had taken a picture of the sign for this rose but apparently I didn’t. So it will have to go into the great ‘unknown cultivar’ bin.
This is the house at Old Westbury Gardens.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Unusual Flowers from Long Island
I understand that some of the flowers are not as unusual for some people but it shows a couple of the botanical oddities I saw on Long Island last weekend. The first is Cymbidium finlaysonianum and I saw this at Planting Fields. It was strange because of the long pendulous flower spike. I hadn’t seen it before and I couldn’t find a lot of information on it except that it is an epiphyte that occurs in Southeast Asia.
This next one is a Double Shasta Daisy. You don’t see it too often but it is becoming a bit more popular. They are cool because there are all sorts of variations of the doubles available.
This Yellow Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia flava) was growing in a whole group of different Pitcher Plants that were crammed together in a cold frame with about an inch of water in the bottom. I hadn’t seen that before. I actually grew some Pitcher Plants here in Connecticut for several years but then we had a couple of bad winters and I lost them.
I wish I had sited them in a warmer part of the garden. *Sigh* Another lesson learned on micro climate gardening.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Rose Arbors at Planting Fields
Oyster Bay, New York
On Saturday I also visited Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY. I have been there many times before usually when I am visiting the wholesale nurseries on Long Island. It is quite a collection of plants and history and I think just about anybody could find something of botanical interest amongst the gardens. Although I have noticed that the maintenance and planting schemes seem to have fallen off a bit in the last couple of years. Please don’t take this wrong it is still beautiful place and well worth visiting. I was just looking at it with a very critical eye and comparing it to previous tours.
One of the highlights of my visit on Saturday was seeing the Rose Arbors in full bloom. Now that was a world-class display and probably one of the best rose plantings I have seen (and I have seen a couple of good ones). I tried to figure out a way to photograph the roses but only came up with these meager shots, none of which show the true beauty and scale of the display. It was utterly amazing and breathtaking. The rose is ‘Dorothy Perkins’. At the other end the last few arbors had a red climbing rose and a whitish/pink one.
‘Dorothy Perkins’ was introduced by Jackson & Perkins (figure that one) in 1901. It is very fragrant and was once the most popular rambling rose in the United States.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
As I said yesterday Old Westbury Gardens had some interesting David Austin Roses. This was one of them. It doesn’t really show it in this picture but ‘Benjamin Britten’ is a real deep red with a touch of orange as the flower ages. It shows the red but not really the orange highlights. This rose has a great fragrance and a flower that has a deep cup. The plants had nice foliage and were in heavy bloom. Introduced in 2001 by David Austin with a varietal name of AUSencart. Named after the famous English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten.
This one is Graham Thomas. Named after the British hortculturist Graham Stuart Thomas. It is one of the nicest yellow roses I have ever seen. It has such a deep and warm color when in bud. It can be used as a climber but these were being grown as a shrub rose. Again the plant was loaded with blooms and the flowers had a strong tea fragrance. It appeared to be a vigorous plant with deep green foliage. It was bred by David Austin from Charles Austin X Iceberg seedling and was introduced in 1983.
Varietal name: 'Ausmas'
Monday, June 25, 2007
Old Westbury Gardens
71 Old Westbury Rd
Old Westbury, NY 11568
On Saturday I went over to Long Island and visited a two gardens. Now I remember why I usually take the Bridgeport to Port Jefferson Ferry as the traffic was a nightmare. I must have been in 10 different slowdowns and 2 or 3 major jams. When I finally got onto the island and made to Old Westbury Gardens all was forgotten. From the moment I pulled off the road I was amazed at the huge Linden Tree allée (it is the driveway, which is slightly curved to give an infinite look) and things just got better after that. I spent most of the afternoon wandering around shooting pictures and enjoying the beautiful day. I would have to give this place a 9 on a scale of 10. The only reason I wouldn’t give it a 10 was it was a little lacking in the shrub and perennial collection. The other thing is I don’t think it had an irrigation system (I might be wrong about that) and it lacked a certain lushness that I like. Overall it was nicely set up and the allées in the back and front of the house were amazing. You just don’t see that too often in the U.S. Please don’t get me wrong on the rating, it is a wonderful garden that is well taken care of.
I think the walled garden was my favorite as this is probably the most intensely gardened spot. There was a nice collection of David Austin Roses, probably more than I had seen in one place before and a good mixture of perennials and a couple of nice annuals. The water garden at the end was simple but elegant. The rose garden was small but had a good selection of shrub and climbing roses. The lakeside trail was interesting and had some nice features and trees and a nice bridge. The lake itself was the strangest color I have ever seen. At first it was a turn off but later I thought it looked pretty unusual. I didn’t go inside the house but it looked really big and well maintained.
:lol; Since I was carrying both my D70s and Karen’s D80 people kept asking me if I was a professional photographer. I guess I did look geared up. It was fun because it was a way to open a conversation with people. I had the Sigma 17-70mm on the D70 and the 60mm macro on the D80 so it was the best of both worlds for me. I wanted to try some more landscape shots so I was using the D70 a lot. Having the two cameras solved the problem of switching lenses and getting dust inside the camera. The Sigma has a Circular Polarizer on it and that was good as it was really sunny out. So when I was asked if I was a pro photographer I would answer no that I was a professional gardener and that of course invited more conversation. I had a lot of people asking me if I would take their picture with their camera and I am always happy to oblige. Does this happen to anyone else? I must have used 5 different cameras, including a couple of, gulp, gasp, ……. Canons (just kidding). I usually try and set the people up with the best chance of getting a nice shot for their memories. One person said “This is going to be the best picture of us ever” and that just cracked me up laughing. I just shot the picture on ‘auto’ and moved on chuckling to myself.
Back to the coal mine today. It is going to be a hot week after a few very cool nights (I think last night was a record).
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Nikon D80 Flower Shots
A couple of Sundays ago I borrowed my wife’s D80 and stopped by work to shoot a few pictures. It was a dreary day and the light wasn’t great but the camera did pretty well with the color. I usually use a D70s and I know what that camera is going do in a given situation so this was a little bit of adventure getting use to the color and auto focus system. This first picture is a small pocket of White Primula that is growing near one of the ponds. Out of several thousand Primrose there were only about 12 white ones and only in this area.
The second picture is Wine and Roses Weigela (Weigela florida 'Alexandra'). It is a nice plant that adds beauty not only with its dark reddish/brown foliage but also with its pink flowers. The foliage almost as a metallic appearance when it is new. I use this plant a lot and found it to reliable and interesting. I forget which Japanese Maple that is in the background but it is a beauty and adds a bit a contrast to this photo.
This photo is of ‘Abraham Darby’ a David Austin Rose. I am posting it because it was just so super spectacular this season. I read that this rose is suppose to apricot but can be pink with yellow highlights. Mine certainly falls into the latter category. At one time it had about 50 or 60 flowers on it. After that it bounced back nicely and rebloomed quickly. It has a nice scent and the bush appears to be disease resistant.
Today is my first Saturday off in a long time and of course I am going out for a few pictures. I guess I will wander towards New York but don’t have a set agenda in mind.
To sum it up briefly the D80 appears to be a very nice camera that shoots a nice big picture. I really need to use it more before I can say more. I really have my eye on a D200 but it will be a while before I upgrade. These pictures were shot with the 60mm Nikkor-Micro lens.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Fuzzy Pride of Rochester
Deutzia scabra ‘Pride of Rochester’
Here I was thinking I would use this picture of a plant that I saw blooming at the nursery to make a quick post and move onto to some paperwork and email. But oh no, I found that it is a confusing and often misidentified plant. No matter exactly what it is called this plant was blooming beautifully and I saw it from quite a distance. When I checked the tag I saw it said D. scabra ‘Pride of Rochester’.
“Identification can be difficult, and in particular, many of the plants in cultivation sold as D. scabra are actually D. crenata (Huxley 1992). Some species are sometimes known as "Pride-of-Rochester" in cultivation.”
“Identification of the species is very difficult, requiring often microscopic detail of the leaf hairs and seed capsule structure.”
So I give up. Most of the pictures I saw on the net didn’t have that nice pink stripe on the buds. Some sites even classified it as an invasive weed. So I am more confused than ever. If anyone knows anything else feel free to chime in.
I planted this tree yesterday.
It is Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’ in a 65-gallon pot. It went into a beautiful garden in Ridgefield. I had done a big planting job there last year and a Dwarf White Pine died so I replaced it with this. It was the customer’s idea to use the Maple and it looked really good after it was in. Another company cares for the plantings and grounds. That was quite a spiral Juniper growing behind it.
Someone emailed me asking why I didn’t post more ‘garden’ type pictures of the Estate. I wrote back saying that since it is a private garden I felt that wasn’t appropriate. Even though in way it is kind of my garden since I spend the most time in it I feel that it is someone else house and I know they like to be kept out of the public view. So I just respect that point of view and their privacy. I am sure I could get permission after 20 years but I don’t feel like asking. All that and I am not a great landscape photographer instead choosing to focus more on the macro view of flowers.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Variegated Rock Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster horizontalis 'Variegatus'
There are only certain types of Cotoneaster that I like and this is one of them. Its delicate habit and colorful leaves are a pleasure to have in the garden. I find a lot of Cotoneasters coarse, prone to insects and maintenance intensive. This one is the complete opposite. Here it is growing with a ground cover I have been using a lot, Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea'). I like it but some gardeners could find it a little invasive. I planted some with a red Weeping Japanese Maple and it looks nice but then I am a glutton for color. My Golden Creeping Jenny (aka Golden Moneywort) has a lot of flowers on it this year and that has just added a blast of more color. If you haven’t realized it yet I have an affinity for golden and yellow plants. I have also come to love yellow flowers, which took awhile as they were probably my least favorite when I started out.
This is an abstract view of ‘Rainbow’s End’ Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Rainbow's End'). This is a gold plant I could skip in my garden but it is odd and gives a little juice to a plain old Alberta. I would love to keep pontificating about these plants but I have a big day. I ended up not getting the big Japanese Maple because it had a big hole in it when they pulled out of the nursery row and they had quoted me the wrong price. I am getting a 65 gallon (3.5 feet x 4 feet) ‘Orange Dream’ Japanese Maple instead from a different nursery. That other place p!ssed me off but I have moved on.
If you haven't visited my online photo exhibit click here:
New Paradigm Journal
and enter the Art Gallery
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Golden St. John's Wort
Hypericum calycinum 'Brigadoon'
I haven’t grown this one before but have seen it a lot lately. It does have wonderful foliage color and I think it would good combined with some darker foliage plants. It is recommended for containers and as a groundcover. I will have to try some in the garden. It grows up to 16 inches tall and 2 feet wide, so the size is manageable. It really has a funky multicolored appearance. I have found my other adventures in to Hypericum cultivation to be satisfying and rewarding. A lot of bang for not too much maintenance.
Here is a plant that I don’t know anything about. It was for sale at a retail nursery and although the tag said hardy to 0 to -10 degrees F, I am not so sure. It is Korean Choice Evergreen Privet (aka the Wax or Japanese Privet). It really has a tropical or at least warmer climate look to it. I would have tried one except of the exorbitant price they were asking. I have been growing a variegated version of Japanese Privet (Ligustrum japonicum) and it has been hardy on the cusp of Zones 6 and 7 but it is in a sheltered location.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Dwarf Common Privet
Ligustrum vulgare 'Lodense'
This shrub has been a good performer for me. It is listed as growing 4 feet but mine are at least 6 feet tall and have been sheared every other year. I like Ligustrum as a genus and this one is nice because of its dense branching and smaller stature. Privet turns into such a nice shrub when let to its own devices and not continually hacked into odd shapes and squares. There are a couple of huge Privet shrubs on the Estate and they are such a joy when they bloom. You might not recognize them as Privet as they are about 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. The ‘Lodense’ cultivar is just as fragrant and is a nice alternative to other shrubs. I have had difficulty finding it at wholesale nurseries or I would use it more.
There was a hail storm at the estate on Saturday. See what happens when you turn your back on a large garden for a couple of days? :lol: I have to check the damage out later today.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud’
Here are a couple of orange roses from the garden. I haven’t seen ‘Cary Grant’ or ‘Playboy’ this year but these two were blooming. ‘Fragrant Cloud’ is a hybrid tea rose with outstanding color and a strong fragrance. Mathias Tantau bred this rose in Germany in 1963. I didn’t think it was that old. The large blossoms are a real treat and can perfume a whole room when cut for the house. This rose has gotten black spot and mildew in my garden.
Parentage: Seedling × Prima Ballerina
Petal Count: 30
Synonyms: Duftwolke, Fragrant Cloud '84, Nuage Parfumé, TANellis
There is only one climbing rose on the entire estate, ‘Joseph’s Coat’. It has fantastic color on the flowers but it does have a lot of disease problems. It is also one of the thorniest roses I know of. It is not as vigorous as some climbers I have seen and seems to need a little more pruning than most. It is slightly fragrant and has a petal count of around 25. Bred by Armstrong & Swim in 1969 from the parents Buccaneer × Circus.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Impatiens walleriana ‘Fiesta White’
I bought a couple of hanging baskets of this flower. It seems lovely so far. It has just a hint of pink inside the flowers. I have been seeing more and more Double Impatients. More and more varieties of Impatients in general, and as with most types there is a whole series of colors named ‘Fiesta’. While looking up this flower I found this site:
which was interesting to me as they provide performance data for a lot of different cultivars over the entire season. I figure if a plant can perform well in Georgia’s summer than it can certainly make in Connecticut’s.
Here is a link to the 2005 data on ‘Fiesta White’:
I didn’t get all the plants in yesterday all though I really tried so it is back to Westport on Monday. I have to pick up my Japanese Maple also. Today I was going to New York but I have a lot of paperwork to do. I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping to 6:30 and need to start the paper chase soon. I am going to the private garden in Greenwich as that is too good to miss.
This a shrub rose spray that I saw at the nursery.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke'
This is one of those plants that I have tried photographing a 100 times (kind of like those Lily-of-the Valley flowers). I am going to call this the best I can do and move on. It is a unique and fun tree to have in your garden. References say that it gets to 20 feet but mine are 15 and 20 years old respectively and are less than 5 feet tall. I do take the occasional stray growth off it but it is not too often. On one tree I had a regular Fir shoot coming from the bottom that was all green and I just removed it. This photo isn’t of my trees but of one at the nursery. It shows the bonus full-size cones. Fir cones are always fascinating to me. The real story is the white new growth and the way it curls. Later the needles flatten out a little more and it is still dramatic but a little less so. I would highly recommend this tree as a nice accent.
Today I am finishing that big planting job in Westport. I am just the guy putting the plants in as someone else designed, bid and purchased the plants. I have about 180 plants to put in with 5 helpers. Lucky for me they are all experienced. I have been using a 3 man crew during the week and I decided to call for some reinforcements. It is quite a diverse group of plants everything from 2 gallon Hosta to three 7-8 foot Blue Spruce. There is a 16 plant Common Boxwood hedge in there too. I love Blue Spruce but they are no fun to plant. The needles are really sharp. Since this place is within walking distance of the beach I think I will take my camera.
I am taking this home on Monday for a job in Ridgefield. Yeah! I love planting boxed trees. I have never had a failure yet. The only thing is they get a little root bound. Maybe I like you have to dig a square hole.
Friday, June 15, 2007
In many ways this rose has underwhelmed me in the garden. That was until today when I was pruning what was left of the rose garden after the deer had come through and decimated it. I found this rose growing very low on the bush and it really stopped me in my tracks. Maybe because it was about the last flower left standing but I think it was because it was so perfect. It was actually growing upside down and when I turned it over it captured my heart. Since the owner is away for awhile I cut it and gave it to my wife. It was lost anyway and if I hadn’t had to prune all the roses I might not even have seen it. The roses have been growing fantastically in this area in general. I went to a friend’s house the other night and he doesn’t have much of a garden (putting it nicely) and there were these two shrub roses that were covered with nice peach colored flowers. Not a hint of black spot, either. Today I went and picked up a few plants at the wholesale nursery, which is really off the beaten path. Actually it is in the closest thing we have to farm country around here. The wild roses were blooming profusely on both sides of the road and the scent filled the cab of the truck. Before that I was thinking that Connecticut didn't have many wildflowers.
I was torn between posting that first shot and this second one. Then I remembered I am allowed to post what I want here and the visitors can decide whether or not they like it. I have been staying up late working on a secret project so each day I am tired but know that eventually the work may pay off. Just two more days of work and I am going out to take some pictures. I think I will go to the NYBG and then I am going to visit a fabulous private garden in Greenwich. It has the most tropicals planted outside of any garden that I know of around here. I just have to get through the next two days.
A couple of notes on Tchaikovsky (the rose not the composer). It was bred in France by Meilland International in 2003. From the parents Anthony Meilland and Landora. It has a petal count of 41(+) and has a mild fragrance. I found the fragrance to be very attractive when you shoved your nose into the flower. I couldn’t find out exactly what type of rose it is. I saw it listed as a shrub (doesn’t look that way in my garden), Grandiflora, Floribunda and Hybrid Tea. Whatever the type, it does have a slight ‘old-fashioned’ rose look to the flower.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I am not sure which variety of miniature rose this is. About 15 years ago I bought about 50 mini roses and the tags have long since gone missing, as did some of the roses. Quite a few have survived and even thrived. I had my camera at work yesterday but only managed to take this picture, as the light wasn’t great. As a matter of fact it rained most of the day and was a like a typical English summer day. This rose was only 6 inches tall so rather than get down of the wet ground to take its picture I plucked a few flowers and set them on the stone.
I was hoping things at work would calm down but it doesn’t look that way now. Everything is getting an extra spurt of growth with this rain and cool temperatures so I have had to run around and do some pruning to keep the walks and paths open. I went to another garden I take care of and it needs a lot of work, as things have again gotten overgrown. The more you prune things the more that encourages them to grow.
Here is another one from the Estate's extensive Viburnum collection.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Viburnum plicatum 'Newport'
This is one of my favorite Viburnum. A dwarf form of the Doublefile Viburnum it has attained about a 4 foot by 4 foot size after 10 years. It is a reliable bloomer that has great fall color. It takes one of the most annoying characteristics of Doublefile Viburnum out of play, which is they often get way too big for where they are planted. When a Doublefile is planted in the wrong place it requires a lot of pruning, which ruins the arching graceful shape of the branches. I am on a big planting job in Westport (I’m actually a sub-contractor on this job) and they planted 7 or 8 huge Doublefiles along the road two years ago. Of course they were too close to the road and had to be pruned. Tomorrow I have to rip them out because they had completely lost their shape. I have my eye on two of them for my house but it is a story that I have had to deal with many times.
Here are a couple of Primula shots. I grow a way better Primula then I take a picture of a Primula. There were several thousand at the estate this year. Some of them are still going and I had some interesting color variations. I find them very frustrating to photograph.
Of course the almost requisite abstract view.
This was taken with the 60mm at the minimum focusing distance.
Blogger doesn't seem to want to let me upload photos. It is the first bug I have had in a while. I had to use Photobucket and that is why these pictures are a little off size-wise.
Newport Viburnum has several synonyms:
Nanum Newport, Newzam, Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 'Newport'
Monday, June 11, 2007
Black Hills Spruce
Picea glauca 'Densata'
This is a nice little tree that is growing in Pound Ridge, New York. I have to confess to not knowing a thing about it when I purchased it several years ago. It is a type of White Spruce that is native to South Dakota. The final height is listed anywhere from 20 to 100 feet but if it is ever going to get there it better start growing a little faster. It has grown maybe 2 feet in the 5 to 7 years it has been in the garden. It is a handsome tree with a nice bluish-green color and interesting branching structure. I would recommend it as something a little different in the evergreen department.
Here is a link for more information on this plant
Monrovia.com is a good site as it has a lot of information about each plant.
The Garden Party went off without a hitch. I saw some old friends and met a few new ones. I did enjoy myself and answered a lot of questions about the gardens.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Rosa gallica var. officinalis 'Apothecary's Rose'
This rose was blooming at the nursery when I bought my roses. I had seen and heard of it before but was unaware of it’s history. Here is an article the explains it more eloquently then I could:
One thing that I didn’t realize was that this rose can grow in part shade. That certainly is something that I will remember. I guess it has been collecting names through the centuries.
Common Provins Rose
Old Red Damask
Red Rose of Lancaster
Rosa gallica duplex
Rosa gallica maxima
Rosa gallica var. officinalis Ser.
Rosier de Provins ordinaire
Rosa gallica var. duplex
Rosa gallica var. maxima
At the nursery they had another Old Garden Rose called Rosa Mundi which is the same species as the Apothecary's Rose. It is a striped rose which at first glance I didn’t like but after looking at it for awhile thought that it was pleasant to the eye. While I was intrigued by these old roses I don’t think I will give up my modern types anytime soon. I do have respect for any plant that has lasted that long in cultivation.
I wasn't happy with the way my close ups came out of Rosa Mundi but this shot gives you an idea of what the flower looks like.
This one also has a long list of synonyms:
Fair Rosamond's Rose
Garnet Striped Rose
La Villageoise (syn. 'Rosa Mundi')
Panaché (gallica, Unknown, before 1581)
Rosa gallica 'Rosa Mundi'
Rosa gallica var. variegata hort. ex Andrews
Rosa gallica var. versicolor L.
Rosemonde (syn. 'Rosa Mundi')
Rosier de France a fleurs panachées
Striped Rose of France
Versicolor (syn. 'Rosa Mundi')
Today is the big Garden Party. It is a relief for June 10th to finally be here. It is cloudy and cool with a few showers, which I hope clear up before 1 pm. It is better than being blazing hot I suppose. I always get a bit of a knot in my stomach when a lot of people visit the garden. Invariably everyone enjoys it and is complimentary. I am leading a tour at 2 o’clock and that should be fun as I can espouse on some of my favorite plants and some of the war stories it took to get the garden to this point.