Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In The Garden

The past two days of glorious cool June weather almost makes up for the weekend’s crushing, blistering heat and tornado-like winds (the last came with a warning at least.)

Back to seasonal garden highlights.  
Here’s what I’ve been up to in the garden and you can borrow a tip if you’ve not done so already in your garden….

I sheared the ever-blooming red roses along the Arbor Rouge in order to stimulate the blossoms for a repeat display later this month. The arbor composition has Coral Bark trees as the mainstay draping languidly around the arbor’s “model-svelte” frame that is subtly sparkly at night- lit from within by solar powered soft white lights, and is fronted by red-twigged dogwoods.  It’s so vivid in the winter with the white snow striking a contrast with the red barks of trees and shrubs.
In the summer, the Lady in Red Hydrangea and Red Knock Out ever-blooming Roses makes for borders that are rich and colorful. 

It’s very romantic to walk the arbor – day or night – in any season and it concludes just as you step into the herb garden terrace area with the dramatic backdrop of the New York City skyline like a string of diamonds, just beyond the blue, blue bay.

I am hoping the blooms will be dressed out in time for a sweet engagement party at the end of this month and the Independence Day party that we host to celebrate the spectacular fireworks display the town sets off from the marina right in front of our eyes!  As an added gift this year, we are hosting my wonderful cousins, Missy and Teri and her daughter – the gorgeous, Margo. Well, all three of the girls are all pretty gorgeous, actually!

*  Yikes, as I was writing this, the bloody groundhog practically joined me for coffee here on the garden terrace!  Shoosh!  I do not find him attractive at all - and a bit too zaftig for eating plants I think...
He likes my herbs too.  But I can assure you - not on my watch...

We planted the rest of the tomatoes started from seed in the lower garden – or as we’ve come to call it the “Back Forty” or simply “The Farm.”

The Black Krim tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes I received from Hort Couture (www.hortcoutureplants.com) have done splendid from day one! 

 See the yellow blossoms popping out all over the plant. 

The Hemigraphis ‘Blackberry Waffle’ tri-colored ivy has had mixed results. 
You can see here that several of them are fantastic – dripping from the urns. But two others haven't grown at all.  I'm hopeful though. (Aren't all gardeners blessed with too much hope?!)

Quick aside as I read some of my fellow bloggers writing about other breeders and how their lack of attention to packing plants for shipment resulted in DOA plants.

Hort Couture’s test plants came to the door in top shape, being carefully wrapped and packaged. 
They also provided comprehensive background information for the test plants and their full line. 
Great attention to detail.

In what Hort Couture - who offers self-described "... High Fashion Plants" includes whimsical yet helpful plant care labels with every plant.  So glamorous...

The plant label for the ‘Blackberry Waffle“ notes
“Why: Awesome cupped purple leaves with cream and pink highlights”
I placed them with purple heliotrope and dracena and next to pink guara or Dancing Butterflies and it’s pure poetry J
“Where: Likes full to part sun & great for mixed containers.
  This all so true and it’s in a perfect environment – setting off the containers and their companion plants brilliantly.
“With:  Super with flowers of pale and hot pink and silver foliage.” 
See above – and oh, they are next to silver lyschimia too and also set off the grey of the blue stone and terrace. 
These waffles are a very glamorous addition to the ornamental herb garden.

In addition to general decorative guidelines, the Hort Couture team puts care icons on the plant label so you can see at a glance where to site the plant, how tall and wide it gets, how much water and fertilizer and what zone. 

If only all relationships came with such care tips!

We keep eating the incredible, sweet, crisp peas – cooked or in salads -- remarkably, this also helps to keep them around longer.  
Talk about a win/win!  
Same is true for the lettuces and the arugula (although that’s almost all gone – too hot – plus we enjoyed eating it and sharing almost too much.)

My hollyhocks have re-bloomed from their original early spring fashion display in front of the Compost Cabana.
I will stake up shortly to help these top models sustain their glamorous posture.


And of course, all the beds got a “Basic Black” top dressing of shredded mulch. 
Can never have too much of that little black outfit!

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