Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some of the Roses Growing in the Cutting Garden: Louis Odier, Dortmund, Complicata, Jacques Cartier, Felicite Parmentier, Crimson Glory

Louis Odier on the side fence

Dortmund on the arbor
Complicata on the lattice in front of the chimney
Jacques Cartier on the back fence
Felicite Parmentier (white) on the back fence and Crimson Glory (red) on a tutuer
I apologize that some of these pictures are not in better focus, as they were taken by hand at slow shutter speeds at dusk.
UPDATE: As per several requests, I have added the names of the roses next to the pictures.

"The Summer Palace" garden sculpture created by Patrick Dougherty for the Morris Arboretum

As a follow-up to my post about my visit to the Morris Arboretum, here is more information about the fabulous garden sculpture that was pictured in my post. It's one of the most creative and awesome (in the true sense of that word) structures I've ever seen in any garden. I wonder if I can get my husband to build something like that for my garden?

Download a Brochure about The Summer Palace

Some Statistics:

*Over 25 feet high
*Built in only 19 days (March 30 - April 17, 2009)
*Over 75 Volunteers helped to construct it
*Made mostly of willow, dogwood, maple and birch
*Materials were gathered locally
*No nails or other hardware were used
"On display in the Morris Arboretum’s Madeleine K. Butcher Sculpture Garden, the site-specific piece consists of three rounded “layers” with a top that resembles the quintessential onion-dome characteristic of Russian and Byzantine architecture."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Support Your Local Farmers: Chatham and Summit, New Jersey Farmers' Markets re-opening in June 2009

Summit Farmers' Market opens on Sundays starting on June 7th, 8AM-130PM:

Chatham Farmers' Market opens on Saturdays starting on June 27th, 8AM-1PM:

To find a farmers' market near you, type your zip code into the Local Harvest website:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden Tour in Philadelphia, Part IV: pictures from the beautiful Linden Hill Gardens retail nursery for rare plants

Can a retail plant nursery be beautiful? Yes. These pictures do not do justice to the beautiful display gardens, outbuildings, and farm animals that make this a truly delightful place.
"We scour our favorite plant sources for weird and wonderful perennials, shrubs, trees, and climbers to please even the pickiest plant geek, and we raise a wide variety of new and heirloom annuals and edibles from seed. We don’t do mail-order, so we invite you to visit our retail site in Ottsville, Pennsylvania (see About Us for information and directions)."

Related Posts: Garden Tour in Philadelphia, Part I: Chanticleer; Garden Tour in Philadelphia Part II: Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College; and Garden Tour in Philadelphia, Part III: Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Organic Dairies Watch the Good Times Turn Bad

Another reminder to support your local and organic farmers, many of which are now going out of business or are at risk of doing so, from Katie Zezima in The New York Times:

"When Ken Preston went organic on his dairy farm here in 2005, he figured that doing so would guarantee him what had long been elusive: a stable, high price for the milk from his cows.
Sure enough, his income soared 20 percent, and he could finally afford a Chevy Silverado pickup to help out. The dairy conglomerate that distributed his milk wanted everything Mr. Preston could supply. Supermarket orders were skyrocketing.
But soon the price of organic feed shot up. Then the recession hit, and families looking to save on groceries found organic milk easy to do without. Ultimately the conglomerate, with a glut of product, said it would not renew his contract next month, leaving him with nowhere to sell his milk, a victim of trends that are crippling many organic dairy farmers from coast to coast."
For the full article, click here:

Map of Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House

I found it interesting to look at a map of Michelle Obama's 1,100 square foot Kitchen Garden that was installed in March on the South Lawn of the White House:

I have not seen is any mention of or credit assigned to who actually designed the garden, assuming that the First Lady did not do this herself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Garden Tour in Philadelphia, Part II: the Scott Arboretum and Dean Bond Rose Garden at Swarthmore College

Gardening and the Joy of Manual Labor: a Thought-Provoking Article by Matthew B. Crawford

One of the many pleasures of gardening is the joy that comes from manual labor and literally getting your hands dirty. When non-gardeners look at my garden and ask, "Isn't that a lot of work?" this particular pleasure is something that is not easily communicated nor understood. This is something that is not widely valued by our modern culture and therefore missing from many lives among both adults and children.

From The New York Times, "The Case for Working with Your Hands" by Matthew B. Crawford, adapted from his upcoming book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work:

"A gifted young person who chooses to become a mechanic rather than to accumulate academic credentials is viewed as eccentric, if not self-destructive. There is a pervasive anxiety among parents that there is only one track to success for their children. It runs through a series of gates controlled by prestigious institutions. Further, there is wide use of drugs to medicate boys, especially, against their natural tendency toward action, the better to “keep things on track.” I taught briefly in a public high school and would have loved to have set up a Ritalin fogger in my classroom. It is a rare person, male or female, who is naturally inclined to sit still for 17 years in school, and then indefinitely at work."

Related Post: Last Child in the Woods - Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

View from Federal Twist: Thinking about Gardens: The ThinkinGardens website

View from Federal Twist: Thinking about Gardens: The ThinkinGardens website from the U.K.:

"The ThinkinGardens website is one source of extremely varied, highly opinionated, well written, and knowledgeable writing on gardens. It treats gardens seriously, and as worthy of the same kind of critical analysis as literature, music, and art."

Garden Tour in Philadelphia, Part I: A Few Pictures from the Always Inspiring Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Surprise Visitor: Orange, Black and White Mystery Snake, perhaps the "Coastal Plain" Milk Snake Integrade

My nine year-old son spotted this small, handsome snake hiding next to the brunnera in the Front Border. I've never even seen a snake in my garden before, and this one was quite a sight: prominent orange spots outlined in black on a white background.
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's website on snakes, it looks like either (i) the "Coastal Plain" Milk Snake integrade, which is a rare cross between the Eastern Milksnake and the Scarlet Kingsnake, (ii) the Scarlet Kingsnake, or the (iii) Northern Scarlet Snake. According to the website, none of them live in Morris County, but then my identification may be off. It looked like a baby, a little thicker than a pencil and no more than one foot long. If there are any ophiophiles out there who can identify it, let me know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weigela: pink and white spring flowering shrub on Goldberry Hill

Here are some pictures of the Weigela shrub in full bloom. Each cane is covered with pink and white flowers. As I wrote in a previous post, I used some of these flexible, flowering canes to make a crown of fresh flowers for my daughter's First Communion.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winter Aconite Seedheads: how Winter Aconite self-seeds

As a follow-up to my several posts from March about winter aconite in bloom and spreading, they have now formed their seedheads (pictured) by which they will self-seed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day May 2009: the end of the daffodils and tulips; and the beginning of the lilacs, irises, peonies and roses (REVISED)

Jacques Cartier in the Rose Garden

Peach and White Daffodil on Lilac Hill
Iris Pallida Dalmatica in the Triangle Garden
Peach Tulip in the Rose Garden
Necrosardim Siculum in the Cutting Garden
Camassia in the Egg Garden
Little Leaf Lilac in the Egg Garden
Orange Favorite Tulip in the Front Border
Narcissus Peasant's Eye on Goldberry Hill
Another Yellow Daffodil on Goldberry Hill
Pink Tree Peony on Goldberry Hill
Pink Azalea in the Front Border
Summer Snowflake in the Bird Garden
Purple Lilac on Lilac Hill
Pink Bleeding Heart in the Walled Garden
Brunnera in the Front Border
Pulmonaria in the Front Border
A family emergency kept me away from home for a few days during Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but in the spirit of better late than never, here are some pictures of what's blooming in mid-May in my New Jersey garden (zone 6b). Check out all of the bloom day posts from around the world over at May Dreams Garden.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In my husband's haste, he uploaded some pictures for bloom day of flowers that were no longer in bloom on the fifteenth (some daffodils, daphne, pasque flower, fritillaria negre, crown fritillaria), so those pictures have been removed.

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