Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Beech Tree Abode

A world within a world within ...
There is no darkness quite like the barely-thereness of the environs beneath a tree. In this case - two trees - two magnificent old European beeches growing for centuries on Middle Lane in the yard a very fine gentleman.
These have been shapely pruned to create a canopy...or a sort of procenium...to show off elegant urns and a comely goddess.
It might just as easily be the perfect setting for a lifesize doll's house or a reimagination of a Balinese temple.
Either way - one could absolutely move in and what a woodland could be created there. Heaven for my Arisaemas...they love the dark

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Deer & Destruction

Even I, an eternal optimist, am occasionally bedraggled by the forces of nature. End-July raging winds and rainstorms have toppled stately trees and collapsed my prized Aralia elata 'Variegata, the silver one that is so hard to find. And if that is not bad enough, while it was down the damned deer came and ate the op that they normally couldn't reach. Woe are we.

Just look at this picture. See how they push aside the things that they don't like (in this case Petasites variegata and Trillium or is it Pinella?) to get to things they do like -- that delicious Hosta. What is the ingredient they so crave?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Consanguinem Conundrum

On the other hand - who ever knows? This beauty is a 'jack' with no drip tips but heavenly circular leaves, a smaller and more compact form with a slouchier posture. It appears moodier because of its deeper, more iridescent color. Because it flowered later, I took an-eve-more-than usual interest in the info on its marker and was hardly prepared for the surprising news that it also came to me as Arisaema consanguinem but from the Lazy S'S Farm Nursery (http://www.lazyssfarm.com/) in Barboursville, Virginia. I have been waiting two years for it to come to life. It is the cultivar 'Silver Center' though why it is named so is not apparent to me. But anyway they are all marvelous and a garden can never have too many jacks - no matter what they are called.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Astounding Garden Tip - Astonishing Arisaema

In the July issue of Dirtier you saw the fantastic hooded spathe or flower,if you will of the glorious Jack-in-the-Pulpit Arisaema consanguinem with its dramatic drip tips and matching lickety-lick tongue. Now feast your eyes on the seed pod which has appeared in all its glory only one month later. one more reason to get on the Big Dipper Farm waiting list (http://www.bigdipperfarm.com/).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Simplest Is Often The Best

At Longhouse Reserve in East Hampton, in an endeavor to show off the beauty of the place and keep instep with the rhythm of the times, it was decided to keep the decor of the annual Summer Benefit to the barest minimum. We requested that everyone wrap themselves in ikats, batiks and silks and hoisted Chinatown-priced colored paper parasols on various heights of poles cut from the grand stands of bamboo that populate Longhouse. It was absolutely divine -- Bill Cunningham ran more than 20 pictures in the NY Times and everyone raved like never before. Next years' Longhouse Benefit is July 17th. mark your 2010 calendar now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Sought After White Garden

Feast your eyes on this carpet of white.

Feebly following in the footsteps of my favorite Vita and her deified white garden at Sissinghurst, one of my first stabs at gardening was a plodding silly attempt at a glowing white garden resembling hers and using obvious white flowering plants (even annuals). Having learned that the best white gardens are made up of whitened leaves, marginated plants, pale barks and every other sort of whiteness including fallen petals - it's now clear that white flowers are merely the accent, not the point. Read more in my latest dirt column in the August issue of Hampton's Cottages and Gardens (http://www.hc&g.com/).