Friday, November 20, 2009

The Handyman Can

Have I got a guy for you....
This is a note especially for resident s of East Hampton Village. Our code has just been altered to allow for a particular kind of 8' deer protection fencing --- here is the best way to get one installed right away as the deer begin their rut: Call Nick, The Handyman that Can at 631.265.8613. He has just installed the new village-approved method for us and here it is.Instead of the ineffectual 6 foot fence that up-until-now was the only option, the village code now allows for a smooth, round, dark-color wire at 8 foot (you can keep, or still build, whatever you wish up to 6 foot). It is promised that this measure will deter the hungry beasts and so we immediately went about getting estimates from many of our local classic fence installers. The fast, honest and reliable Handyman Can won the bid by a mile.
So, even though having to have this fence at all is a drag, with this method there is still a sense of yard and community on our beautiful Davids Lane. And what is worse? - gnawed-on hydrangeas, chewed up Japanese maples, nibbled-to-the-nub heuchera and hosta - or this innocuous fencing that soon enough will be vine or leaf covered and fade into the periphery? Get the fence.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Black Tulips

Well, there is no such thing --- there is sanguine, pitch and deepest purple, also that shadowy color like the darkest part of a bruise and there is the profound color of aubergine, though it never seems to really translate beyond an eggplant. So, just stop searching for black tulips( blue too, like tree peonies just don't exist)and instead revel in the fantastic shapes and kinds of the near-blacks that you can have... Black Hero Black Parrot

Black Hero is a little more inky and a little taller than Black Parrot (more velvety and fringier). Queen of the Night is the standard bearer of all the sooty darks, also try some Cum Laude to appreciate the difference between 'the Queen' and a really good purple. Any of these tulips will enchance any floriferous bed in any color. Just think ...pale off pink/lavender (Oillioules is great) and black, orange(Annie Schilders)and black, white and black. Everything always looks better with black and you will be sorry if you skimp and don't plant enough. YSL has a divine new nail polish called Black Tulip that really captures the hue --- those of you who manicure might reward yourself when all the planting is done.
Queen of the Night Cum LaudeAll of these pictured tulips were still available from Van Engelen when last I checked.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Two More Fall Planting Tricks

# 1. It is easy to discern with most bulbs which end is up, but there are some that are genuinely Arum italicum, Anemone blanda and the lovely little Corydalis solida. Technically these are not bulbs and should be called corms and tubers; though when you are down on your knees and up to your elbows in the midst of the planting ~~ who cares about botanical technicalities... When in doubt, use this small rule: Do Not Fret or Waste Time, just Stick Them in on Their Side or Any Which Way --- the growing end has a very definitive mission and you will find that the growing tip will invariably made its way up to the top ...

These are Corydalis bulbs --- put them in any old way....

Trick # 2 . I use this next ploy all the make an accent of a few tall knock-out allium or a spray of muscari hyacinths where there is already a tight crowd of plants. It is not always necessary,or even possible, to wedge yourself (shovel in hand, of course) into just the right position to dig a hole. Instead - just take your shovel, lean into it and with gusto plunge it into the tight spot and then wriggle it back and forth to make a sort of slit. Once done --- just reach in and slide the bulb/corm or tuber with your gloved hand into the narrow passageway and tamp the earth back together. This really works....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Winds howl, rains deluge, the creepy chill of autumn encroaches while bulbs pile up overwhelmingly in their stashing place on the porch. Mark you, this porch is not of the all-weather-comfort-zone variety, but just a nice old screened-in one with a sizeable summer-evening dining table that does double duty as a staging platform for the placement of the spring garden. Enough room to create different groups - all the red/white streaked and striated tulips (Estella Rynveld and Carnaval de Nice from Scheepers, Semper Maxima from Colorblends) that are going to chromatically comingle with the purple allium (5 from Brent and Becky here, a mixture from New Holland Bulb there) -- things like that...
Waiting for all the bulb orders to arrive is a heady and frustrating exercise that can easily be remedied with advance planning. Early ordering works best but frantic last minute calls, thank God, work too. Our favorite suppliers are still shipping - usually till around November 10th or so... Time and effort-saving devices like layering different bulbs in the same hole (i.e. Spanish bluebells with Fritillaria meleagris and poeticus daffodils) work very well, but means you need them simultaneous
.ly. That goes for tulips too --- the only way to mix and match is the same system as putting together your outfit . It's important to have all your bulbs around you (just like the clothes in your closet)....and treat the muscari hyacinths and the little reticulata iris like accessories...

With Lys Marigold taking in the wonders of Philip Johnson's Glass House ----
accessories in place.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trees as God

I have heard forests described in many ways and seen magnificent landscapes from the ever-influential Capability Brown phenomena of Blenheim Palace to the exotic Arum-strewn entrance of the Oberoi Hotel in Bali in the 70's --- before there was an Aman - let alone a Hilton. Today I was no further away than Connecticut, but saw something there in New Canaan --- as exhilarating and visionary as anything anywhere in the world. Philip Johnson and David Whitney created such an extraordinarily lush layered landscape that describing it in hush and sacred terms seems appropriate. Hearing that the trees were illustratively dubbed 'Cathedraled' was a first and suited perfectly the conceptual advantage that had been taken with the 47 acres surrounding Philip Johnson's Glass House

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Coming Soon!


Get all of your ducks in a row.....
along with your perky
holiday presents...


Can't Resist

It's that fabulous Jack in the Pulpit again, Arisaema consanguinem, now the seed pod has turned RED - can you believe it?

Take Advantage of the TEN BEST

The first mail-order catalog was delivered in 1872. It was sent out by Aaron Montgomery Ward, and it was just one simple page and listed 162 items. By the mid-1880s, the catalog was more than 200 pages and sold 10,000 items. Thus began the exhausting burgeoning catalogue business. I find too many choices very confusing and that is why, in our hyped-up-too-many-products-age, the Ten Best remains only ten because these tools are really the best and the ones you actually do need. November is the ultimate bulb planting month and the 20% Fall Planting Special is in effect right now. Only a few more weeks...The discount calculates when you enter the word FALL into the Offer Box at the end of the order form...Don't miss it...