Friday, March 20, 2015

If Walls Could Talk: Garden Design in Ecuador's Hacienda Cusin

 The stone garden walls at Hacienda Cusin are not unlike powerful arteries that silently pulse -- coursing throughout the body of the jardin, giving life  – while at the same time, outlining the bones of the various “garden rooms.”

So it was with great reverence that we garden designers from The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Landscape Design Alumni Group  (LDSA) artfully removed the “over stimulated” Ecuadorean plants that were teetering in their version of “wall conquest.”
In this scenario, it might be said there IS too much of a good thing.

In our passion for good garden design and healthy plants, the Garden Team edited out plants, pruned back the “Hort Bullies” to reveal walls that nature has favored with her master brushstrokes. 
The gently aged look speaks volumes.  Not unlike the rambling stone  walls that grace the English countryside. The walls’ compositions could well make Pollack pea-green with envy; a dash of moss here, “drippings” of sea-foam green lichen streaked here and there, and colorful random plants perched in all manner of nooks and crannies hugging the walls and hanging on for hort companionship.

Post cleanup, er, garden makeover, the stone walls now can boast a bit more of their distinguished, sylvan yet “fuerte” heritage. 

How did we do it?
In the beds bordering or fronting the stone walls, we created plant compositions to highlight a “borrowed landscape” -- which is a natural garden design composition that captures the look that is just beyond, and usually more of Mother Nature – – known here as Pacha Mama.

With Amy as point person here - we employed the borrowed landscape garden design technique along part of the wall beginning nearest the Biblioteca and Salon, bringing the yellow of the canna plant to the corner access wall where more than a few paths meet.  
Amy editing out garden beds to create an artful borrowed landscape - & reveal the walls

It was agreed that the elegant calla lilly needed more of a presence so we transplanted enough for a few swaths of repeated plantings.  (We couldn’t help but “hear” Katherine Hepburn’s quintessential multi-syllabic cinema reference to this goddess of the plant world: “The Caaa-la-li-lil-lies aarre in bloo-um.”  
Peggy & Linda working to reveal Hacienda Cusin's artful garden walls
We later learned from Pablo, a favorite waiter and educated plantsman here at Hacienda Cusin, that calla lilies are ideal plants that do well in the Ecuadorian Sierra, despite not being a native. 
And just for the record – what hotel have you ever stayed in where a member of the wait staff is a knowledgeable, trained gardener and plantsman?  Yet another foot soldier for Pacha Mama – and a resource for the “green magic.”

We artfully edited some of the sweet looking and favorite, Forget Me Nots (Myosotis) whose periwinkle blue hue dot the borders’ front. 
See, plants have curious and powerful adaptations.  So despite it’s pretty blue blossoms, the Forget Me Not, too, is rather a hort bully – in that it sends out a kind of toxin to the other plants so that it can take over – even stealing nutrients from the soil…
One of our garden team members reacted to its toxicity on each of several days before we isolated the culprit plant and she subsequently walked to town to the pharmacie for relief.  It was truly a "forget me not – as in - unforgettable experience!

The red geraniums, that are almost as tall as me, were also revealed with the team’s plant editing – happy to be front and center.  These red stalwarts of the annual container and border gardens in the States, grow as tall as can be here – like a Jack in the Beanstalk curiosity. 
(Same for the impatiens!) 

We re-planted the multi-petaled eschevarria to show off her poised, Armani-like sculptured couture leaves in the front of the boarder where guests could surely appreciate the plant’s design.
Peg, Becca, and Linda cleaned the front of the wall area and put in calla lilies in the bed.
Left to right: Peggy, Linda, & Becca creating captivating garden art compositions from  the exuberant plant growth along the walls
Red and purple fuchsia, and well, fuchsia-colored orchids, and Datura and Bella Donna are the eye-popping seductive garden gems that adorn the borders and the handsome stone walls.
Plants soon learned they were no match for the "Plant Whisperer:" Becca!

Monet’s Water Garden in Ecuador

The piece-de-resistance of our garden work arguably is the water garden fronting number #10 casita (be sure to reserve this for your honeymoon suite  -- or second honeymoon, as we learned Mel and Peggy did a few years’ back!)
This is the first water garden one encounters after having descended the grand staircase from the Biblioteca and Salon Simon Bolivar.

There is no doubt the water garden and its center island – with its newly christened moniker, “Bellar Island” so named for Mel and Peggy -- is exquisite and eye-catching. 
It and the walking bridge were already captivating.  Here again, we were doing our “garden makeovers” – getting the garden rooms ready for their close-up – and in this case, specifically for the big wedding taking place on Saturday night.
Peggy & Planca!  The before "Bellar Island"

I daresay when we were finished, not only were we all thrilled, but the plants also seemed to be smiling back at us. The fish in the pond were literally jumping for joy; nabbing the newly-acquainted hordes of buzzing dragon flies who were all elated we netted out pond debris and lots of the asparagus fern growing below. 
Mel launched the pond skimming clean up

The cleaner clearer pond created a visual delight for them – and created a canvas for the nearby plants and trees.  

Now, the lantana (Lantana montevidensis) and fuchsia (Fuchsia triphylla) and California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica)  – to name a few – shimmer their mirrored double exposure in the pond’s now-glistening water.

Gus continues pond clean-up while Mel works the border & Becca contemplates next plant patient!                
See, Gus had moved silt and stuff “upstream” from the gravity-led rill powered by a recirculating pump so that it now bubbles and gurgles with renewed aplomb – adding to the garden art’s sensory sensations. 
Later, I cleaned out the garden bridge and got that element of the pond’s egress to counter-point the flow, allowing the water’s exit on to the contiguous pond beyond the bridge. 
That the bridge’s garden-side entrance is beribboned with jasmine is just too good to be true. 
I carefully pruned out the unwanted vine stems and “interlopers” (aka leaves, sticks, etc.). 
Me pruning the bridge jasmine

The heady scent of jasmine there will leave you swooning with rapture. 
Now a bride and her groom can waltz through the jasmine–festooned bridge entrance and pose on the arching bridge for wedding photo memories, while they and the bridge mirror their image in the pond.  Double the pleasure. (Take that, Dorian Grey!)

I further scraped off the built-up moss and weeded out the plants who’d set up residence on the bridge and stone.  No more plant squatters!
Now the presently-named Monet Bridge is clean and visible because its happy reflection conjures the French garden setting for Monet’s water lilies.
However, we are coming up with an appropriate moniker for Hacienda Cusin’s own garden art.  After all, local, homegrown inspiration has its unique cachet…
Any suggestions? 
I can’t stop taking photos of the beauty of this water garden.  I’m sure you will be equally smitten and inspired after one look.  Please let me know your thoughts about what we might call it…
I’m thinking the “Millhouse Mirada” in homage to Nik, Barbara, and their artist/illustrator sabrina, Bek to honor their passion for all things artful…  Their name is Millhouse and “mirada” in Spanish is “look.”  It works, no?

Nik con poncho on his reclaimed bridge in Millhouse Mirada Garden 

The beds bordering the pond were weeded and re-arranged.  Snip, snip; here.  Snip, Snip; there.  A few of the purple and pink Margaurite Daisy (Osteospermum fruticosum) plants were staked for the wedding so that their blossoms could be enjoyed now.  Others were pruned back for a more robust regrowth, as they were getting too leggy.   
Before pond beds
Not that we don’t love a plant’s “gams” it’s just that we want more blossoms – and pruning back is the way to get there.  Gus brought new, homegrown, composted soil to the beds to nourish she soil and feed the plants.  Plus that black gold looks so darn good and rich!
Mel (L) & Gus on plant debris removal duty; Compost!

New orange canna plants were planted to even out the stepping-stone walk across the border to the Bellar Island in the middle of the pond.  (It had been covered over with plant growth.)

Anchored by the tall yucca and too many” plant squatters” – the island had become more of a battlefield adventure than a focal point.  
So with Peggy at the helm, she and fellow garden pirates Linda and Mel, helped turn that ship around – weeding out the invasive hort bullies and those seeming to abandon the ship by dipping all the way into the water.   
Peggy & Linda weeding & editing Bellar Island 


The island got a complete clean-up, makeover.

The day at the spa for the Millhouse Mirada and Bellar Island Garden was a resounding success. 

Soon, guests too were beguiled.  They couldn't stop taking pictures or painting the garden composition -- inspired by Pacha Mama / Mother Nature -- and Hacienda Cusin - and LDSA "Gringo" gardeners...


After the LDSA team all left to return home, I began my solo work in the garden. I stayed the extra days because I LOVE it here – but also because I came later than the team due to me and my husband’s vacation in Aruba, as I think I mentioned in the first blog post from Hacienda Cusin.

Initially, I planned to start on that contiguous pond, working the same garden makeover magic as we achieved with the Millhouse Mirada.
Yet, looking back at the water garden – transfixed by its bewitching beauty, I couldn’t help feel my sensibilities were a bit off or offended – by the site of all that brown, spent stems and bulbs from the crocosmia border beds that led out from the rill’s fountainhead.
Why, you could hardly see the wise, moss-covered walls there, hidden beneath encroaching, unwanted plant growth.

Something had to be done.

So two days of hacking back at the sterile mounds of bulbs, roped in by the menacing roots of the cursed St. Augustine grass, ensued.  I’ve tangled with this hated beast back in the States.  I knew my enemy.  I looked fearlessly ahead and knew it would succumb. 

Gus started the rill - circulating water fountainhead

The 15” or so of brown mounds did not go down easy.
Half-way - or kinda -- cleaning up the rill area to reveal garden walls. Foot-high bulbs were muy fuerte!
But eventually – all was removed; creating garden beds around the stone walls and rill; creating garden beds. 
I redirected the water, adding in grey stone boulders to match the medieval-looking water walls.
I envisioned a piece of marvelous garden art from Nik and Barbara’s collection here.
What Nik brought from the Salon Boliver salon exceeded my garden fantasy.
It is a two-foot or so wooden statue of Santa Barbara! 
Nik explained it used to be a rooftop ornament. 
She looks best in the new garden, gazing reverentially at the water flowing at her feet.

I re-purposed ferns to surround Santa Barbara so that they radiate a lush, green backdrop for her “statuesque solemnity.”
Nik noted she needed color.  I observed and dreamed a bit, all the while looking around like a soldier on watch.
I spotted those weeping California Poppies beyond in the Bellar Island and I knew I had the color we needed, along with a continuing, repeated garden narrative.  That the leaves are a soft bluish-hue is the icing on the cake.  We had a yellow and blue and green color palette.
Now we needed some structure.
With shovel in tow, and the two llamas assistance (I will swear their eyes led me to the plant when I asked them for their suggestions) – I came upon the succulent of choice.  Plus the tall, “mother” plant needed pruning.
The low-growing architectural succulents worked gracefully to highlight the Santa Barbara composition.
Newly-designed Santa Barbara garden

I wanted the much-acclaimed calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) to front the new garden. Their pristine white flower is elegant (a nice nod to our Saint, even though it’s bold, stamen is a kind of in-your-face-sexual wahoo!) 
Plus the height of the calla lily helps better engage the guests.

It already looked good.  Moreover the guests, the staff, and especially Nik and Barbara were enthusiastic, having watched the garden room’s transformation.  Many offered suggestions for protecting Saint Barbara from both the elements – and sticky fingers…

The next day, Nik invited me and Bek to accompany him and Cesar to the nursery to buy plants. (More on that later.)
For the Santa Barbara garden, we got two kinds of ground cover plants: bluish-purple, fragrant alyssum and the white, daisy-like ground cover that is an annual by us. 
I also got two white gladioli-like beauties for either side of our Saintly gal. 
The white blooms of these new plants, along with the calla lilies suggest a purity that is so spot-on for a garden room watched over by a saint. 
Plus the white will “glow” in the evening dark.

Despite the heavy rains, I planted the newly-acquired plants, introducing them to their new plant companions. 
The entire plant composition is now a splendid hort community.
The integration of the elements: water, stone, plants, art; along with height, texture and color, combine to produce an enduring garden design.
Thank you, Hacienda Cusin – the perfect garden design inspiration and palette.

And about those garden walls conversation skills, here?
Well, they in fact do talk.  They are a bit of the gossip too. 
I have it on the best authority that none other than famed gardener, Penelope Hobhouse  preceded our team in doing garden work here. Wow.  This garden is a magnet for all garden lovers to be sure.
The Hacienda Cusin’s garden walls also whispered that the “Domestic Diva,” Martha Stewart, was a guest here, along with naturalist, David Rockefeller, and the Pulitzers.  I would swear too, that the walls told me famed garden art curator, Barbra Israel, also is a Cusin enthusiast.
Shhhh, pass it on.

NY Garden team post Bellar Island makeover: top row: L-R: Gus, Becca, Peggy, Mel, Nik - Cusin's owner & inspiration - Nik wanted an "American Gothic" photo memento;
Bottom: Me/Leeann, Amy, Linda
Nik, and Me/Leeann with happy, garden grins

Having fun "fanning" our leader, Nik, with Papyrus plant on the reclaimed, made-over bridge in "Millhouse Mirada"

Plants now are mirrored in the pond

We had a lot of fun in the garden too:
Linda, Gus, & Mel sporting fashions of the garden!

Some critters looked more "fun" from a distance:
Gus & a "cusin" the area's BIG beetle and the Hacienda Cusin's namesake!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Creating Garden Border Beds - in Ecuador - at Hacienda Cusin

Hacienda Cusin allele walk- just beyond the blue door

Today was a good day to be a gardener – at Hacienda Cusin, in Ecuador. 
The day started with the scintillating walk to breakfast from the El Monasterio where me -- and the Landscape Design Alumni group (LDSA) garden designers are living.  Here, there is carved wooden doors, antiques, “a baroque altar,” hand-painted murals and a secret door…
The spicy, sweet scents of jasmine and eucalyptus “blows me kisses” as I step through the gates to cross the bridge where I’m “handed off” to the beguiling honeysuckle – who it seems also reminds me to look up to the cloud-kissed Andean mountains standing sentry in the near distance.

The walk through the cobblestone allee was already like “moving meditation” accompanied by all manner of whizzing insects and buzzing birds, (oh those streaking emerald and sapphire hummingbirds!) to serenade the walk.

I always say, every great garden tells a story – and our goal here is to better tell the story of Hacienda Cusin through its ornamental gardens.  And what a story it has to tell.

But like all beauty queens, the garden beds were ready for their makeover.

We begin the day fueling up with coffee by the fire in the Casa Cusin’s well-appointed sitting area, before enjoying a full, delicious breakfast of local yogurt and omelets made with local cheese – the area bordering Hacienda Cusin is known for its dairies and its rose nurseries.  

Then it was out to the gardens to work.  The team of women worked on the allee border garden again today.  The men worked in another area, preparing the garden beds for the agapanthus that will soon be planted there. Gus also found a tarantella there!  He killed it inadvertently while working the beds (thank goodness, too.)

The allee walk leads from the main areas of Hacienda Cusin including the restaurant, biblioteca/library, and reception to the El Monasterio.  It also bifurcates the wider expanses of lawns there where receptions can be held. There is a big wedding this weekend!
From a garden design standpoint the borders are rather unique in this way because they are seen from both sides, not just the front, as is the case with most garden beds.  Therefor the design needs to be determined from both sides.  This means tall in the middle  - and leveling the plant heights down accordingly on each side of the bed. 
The allee has an overarching canopy of trees filled with bromeliads and orchids.  

In turn, the tree cathedral “ceiling” affects the amount of sunlight on each border bed that affects the amount of water and soil composition.  Taking all this under consideration was necessary to determine the beauty makeover of the border beds.

We garden mujeres designed the borders to feature more swaths or groupings of plants.  We did this to create drama, to draw the eye to a more calming sensation vs. a more unconscious jarring sensation created by different plant types laid out staccato-like.

We removed the big ferns that were hiding the lovely stone, Asian-inspired lantern at the end of an allee artery; pruning the tall aloe that stand at attention on either side. 
Before the makeover

The jade plants that were there seemed to cry out for more of a presence; therefore we created a semi-circle out from the lantern with more jade plants – repurposed from other garden spots. 
After makeover - clean view of sculpture - more jade plant grouping
Linda clearing out the lantern garden
Linda also planted Forget-Me-Not behind the lantern in a pretty, clean exposure. 

I removed five St. John's Wort plants that were misplaced and really just didn’t look like they belonged amidst all the other more tropical and semi tropical plants.  Out they came, roots and all.
Me, & my St. John Wort "trophy"

Gus and his St. John Wort "trophy!"

Becca – our “bold border guru,” was superb at envisioning the mass plantings that needed to be created and at locating plants from other parts of the garden to be transplanted. Thus we pruned and cleaned one area – such as opening up the specimen windmill palm that was being crowded with aloe – all while designing and filling in another area.  Smart gardening design - -and smart horticulture, too.

I wanted to add some stones to a new fern and aloe composition and it worked so much that it looked like it had always been there.  Nice.  

We also massed aloe in another opposite part of the border allee to create an ornamental sweep as well as to place plants that didn’t need much water on the “hot” side of the bed.

Peg pruned up a giant Euryops chrysanthemoides species – a yellow daisy-like tall shrub. 
Further down, Linda cleaned up the low-growing sedum, taking out the vinca that threated to clutter the look (and worse to take over) and then cleaned up the plants hanging over the cobble border edge.  She was sitting on the path doing this.  
Before sedum bed

Linda cleaning sedum border

After - Sedum border
Not so long after, we saw a scorpion there!  We have learned from Gus, that the scorpions like the walls and stone borders because it’s cool; the minerals there bring the insects and food they eat.  But Yikes! 
So we also learned – no sitting on the ground to weed and prune.  One must have agility to move quickly in case danger rears it’s lobster-like claws!

Becca moved some Kniphofia – Red Hot Pokers - to add color and height. Don’t you just love their impressive color and sassy look?   Those fluted bottlebrush tops remind me of a Beefeater hat – but maybe a Beefeater from Jamaica!  

We are almost finished with this allee border. The day before the team worked the first part – exposing the beautifully crafted stone wall by pruning plants and removing some plants altogether and creating low-growing plant compositions.  I cleaned and pruned the Crocosmia bed – but I pushed my health too far.  I had yet recovered enough from the altitude illness aka “Soroche.”  

But not before seeing the gigantic beetle Amy discovered in her garden bed area!  Wowsy.  We’re not in Kansas any more!  
Mel and the Beetle!

I love, love, love the panko – blue agave bed composition Amy created there. 
Amy and the Blue Agave composition

 Mel cleaned up the geraniums and impatiens beds.  The impatiens here grows taller than me!
I also received a tour of the incredible vegetable garden at Hacienda Cusin that helps to contribute to the menu’s delicious homegrown dishes.  (More on this garden coming up. It deserves its own feature – trust me.)  
Teaser image from the Edible Garden at Casa Cusin

We enjoyed a fabulous comida and later – a fiesta at the gorgeous home of one of the Hacienda Cusin’s management family.   

Today, more garden bed work in preparation for the wedding this weekend. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Artful Garden Design in Ecuador

Just after stepping out of the airport terminal at Quito, Ecuador, the majestic mountains greeted me, thus rendering the horror of travel due to the ineptitude of two, supposedly top-tier US airlines – a passing memory that will be dealt with another time.

Now, it was the time to be awestruck.

After our driver from Hacienda Cusin, Angel, had us swept up - baggage in the car in no time – he pointed out our first Q-Tip-topped volcano in the distance: Cotopaxi. 
Angel was the unofficial tour guide for the approximately one-hour drive through the Pichincha Province to the breathtaking sierra of Imbabura Province where the hotel cum Garden of Eden is located. Angel really earned his wings, though, driving like something out of “The French Connection” – passing groups of cars, taking on the hairpin turns that course the highway – all while playing a sophisticated guide. 
We – our driving companion was a delightful woman, Lorna Traube from San Francisco, who came to enjoy the gardens and horse-back riding here for the first time while visiting her son who is teaching English in nearby Quito. 

The drive up to Hacienda Cusin was precarious given all the switchbacks and steep mountain roads (and passing).  Think Alps – but green.
Angel pointed out another volcano in the distance – and the surrounding area’s landscapes that drive their unique enterprises: growing roses, dairy, and so on while I hopped from window to window.
The highway is a feat of engineering – with this strip just eight month’s old – the road is cut onto/into the mountain as part of the Pan American Highway – the one traversed by Che Guevara’s transforming adventure. So too, it is for me and other visitors to Ecuador. 

This is my first to Ecuador’s sierra but already I can say that it will not be my last.  Here it’s an explosion of things to do. Or not do.
Poised at the crossroads of the Equator and 8,500 feet nearer to the sky, the hacienda resort and hotel is an artful retreat.

It’s a sensory immersion at Hacienda Cusin and its 30 acres of bliss. 
What do I mean?
For starters, there is the boundary-less flow of indoors and out that is indulgent and calming at the same time.  You are part of the silky-smooth air and cinema-worthy landscapes – inside and out.

It’s the details here that whisper to you… Taken together it’s an experience that needs to be savored...
A faint fragrance that conjures licorice wafts the rooms and salons, punctuated by the spicy incense of the wood-burning fireplaces that are in every room, including the bedroom casitas.  Forget or never knew how comforting it is to fall asleep with nothing but a crackling fire and a hot water bottle as a lullaby?  (And no TV in the rooms :). This is the place to rejuvenate your sleeping circadian rhythms.  Take notice, Arianna Huffington  ("Thrive" better ways to sleeping to success)    

Here at Hacienda Cusin, the sounds of the wind rustling, sweeping --almost assertively roaring -- through the trees is a symphony of sounds. Speaking of music -- joyful,
classical music plays throughout the hacienda and grounds, lending an element of heightened sensory happiness.  

The d├ęcor and furnishings could be a movie set design.  They could also serve as a living museum of the decorative arts’ furnishing and design – where Spanish colonialism, religious artifact, and Ralph Lauren got tumbled together and created this intriguing elixir. 
More on the incredibly sculpted wood doors,

(and keys!)
wood banisters and railings that hug the steps, stairs, and balconies.

I’ll also be sharing the glorious fountains, vistas, and did I mention there are llamas on the grounds!  Calling Dr. Doolittle to this patch of sylvan folly!

And of course, the most beautiful sensory experience is the garden art that embraces the visitor with dazzling color, fragrance, and texture while playing the good host to all sorts of buzzing, creeping, whizzing, and flying creatures.  Oh, the birds!  

Nothing, nothing – can replace the sensation of having sparrow-sized, emerald-green, glamorous hummingbirds greet you while sitting; chirp-chirping as they zig and zag.  So flirty and fast. 
Why are they so shy?
Then I looked up and saw the green beauty had landed in her equally chic abode/hacienda, perched on the side of a wrought iron lantern, looking for all the world like a Victorian hat ornament of the most fanciful style.
Guess I know where I’ll be writing from over the course of this garden adventure – right under the hummingbird nest filled with two thimble sized heads and their tiny as a sewing needle beaks, awaiting their next feeding.  All while being serenaded by songbirds.  What a show.  

Look closely - you can see the baby birds in the nest - beaks aloft

Welcome to Paradise.

Nik, the owner and our host, reminds me we are right on the equator – despite the mild 77-degree temperatures. The sun is hot. 
He has offered some sound advice helping me to overcome my first-day altitude issues, which he assures me, is a very rare occurrence.   
Having gone to school in Switzerland and being in good garden or “fighting” shape, I am dismayed my body is betraying me. 
He kindly explained that at 8,500 feet, the air is thinner.  And learning I’d just come from sea level Aruba  (and the Garden State’s shore for a mere few hours before hopping back on an airplane)  – compounded by the foul, artificial air of all that plane travel, too little sleep – the body is stressed.  The blood needs to thin.  He recommended lots of water, no alcohol, staying warm, and rest.  Eat modestly.  The brain should not be in competition with the body so avoid the need for heavy digestion.  Interesting…
So my running will have to wait, as does my garden work with the team today. They are so understanding.

See, I’m here to work on garden design and plant care with my fellow gardeners from The New York Botanical Gardens’ (NYBG) Landscape Design Alumni (LDSA) group. 
LDSA is a terrific group of landscape design professionals.  During the winter months, we have monthly meetings, followed by lectures – all geared to improve our work and to support one another, in the same way. 

Mel Bellar, owner Zone 4 Landscapes and fellow LDSA garden designer, has been working and visiting Hacienda Cusin, along with his talented and beautiful wife (and blogger), Peggy. 

This is the first year that he is leading a team of us working together in Paradise, er, Hacienda Cusin. 
It’s a terrific group.  I’ll provide more background on these talented artists but for now, let me introduce these irrepressible gardeners: Amy, Linda, Becca, and Agustin aka Gus – who is Mel's business partner  at Zone 4 Landscapes, and Peggy.  
Becca works her pruning mojo on the wild honeysuckle!

Peggy - deadheading a canna composition she & Mel created last year

Left to Right - Linda, Amy & Becca

Left to Right: Amy, Becca, Nik - owner of Hacienda Cusin - me, Mel, Peggy & Gus

I am so looking forward to sharing our glamorous garden adventure with you. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful here. I think I’ve already taken a bazillion images…