Monday, April 30, 2012

THIS  IS  EAST  HAMPTON, after all

God knows, we needed some rain, but monsoons….this is what
they were saying anyway about what to  expect last weekend.
So, in the pouring rain – fearing that my gorgeous tulips will go the
way of all monsoon-ridden flowers – I ran out to retrieve
a bunch before the deluge.  If I must say so myself, on the Sunday evening of 22 April, my color combinations are to die for.

All musky and muted and purply – dusk-tinted shades of salmon
and brick and chestnutty-maroon.  Too rainy to gather too many,
but this is an idea…

Take that, you stinky old dandelion!


Everyone is baffled by the early spring.

I have to do something because any poor garden tourer that is
visiting my garden on May 12 will have absolutely nothing to see.

This is what they will have missed:

My darkest hellebore kissed by the beautiful white daffodil
Thalia with Muscari botryoides 'Superstar' in front
(although I'm not sure this one lives up to its name,
might stick with classic M. armeniacum,
though I love the pale blue 'Valerie Finnis'
and the bushy M. comosum).

More of that adored Thalia peeping out from under the Sargent’s Weeping Hemlock – which proves 2 things:  it has great tenacity (this is the 4th or 5th year for this clump which started out on the edge of the treeline and is now completetly engulfed in its shade) AND  that the Weeping Hemlock has totally outgrown its spot.

Variegated Petasites at their freshest.

The unfolding of this circular-leafed Podophyllum (or mayapple)
Scored from
Calista Washburn’s great garden at the
Garden Club of East Hampton’s posh Memorial Day flower sale.

The unfurling of the especially fuzzy brown fiddleheads of
Polystichum polyblepharum  (or Tassel Fern)
nestled among the spotted leaves of an
Erythronium (dog’s tooth violet) that has
yet to bloom…but I have faith in it.

An Erythronium that finally did bloom!  It’s called ‘White Splendor’
and took 3 years to produce this fine little flower.

Japanese maple ‘Orange Dream’ showing off its irrepressible
color behind the twisted Larch just popping into puffs of new
growth – like a myriad of little paintbrushes.

Fiery new growth of Acer 'Goshiki Kotohine' against the blue needles of Cupressus glabra 'Blue Ice', a charming Arizona cypress.

The clash of the Burnt Sienna Fritillaria imperialis against the
astounding Magnolia.

So, the appreciating and appreciative that come to see my garden on
May 12

86 Davids Lane
East Hampton, New York
10 - 2

will have missed all of these spring lovelies,
but there will be other delights.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It is time to start marking your calendars 
for all of the wonderful seasonal 
events on the East End. 
For starters, may we suggest the following:
The Garden Conservancy Open Days schedule is full of wonderful gardens  for you to visit. 
My garden will be open on May 12th--you 
can view details HERE!

Saturday, June 16th is the 
Garden Fair @ Madoo in Sagaponack.
Over the last forty years, artist and writer Robert Dash has established a green, organic encyclopedia of gardening  on two acres of land in Sagaponack, featuring Tudor, 
High Renaissance, early Greek, as well as Oriental garden influences. 
You must visit! 
Check out the Madoo website for details 
on the Events page. 


But something caught my eye…and what to my wonder did appear but a 
Dogtooth’s Violet, Erythronium dens-canis.

The first fully-formed Fritillaria 
michailovskyi ‘Multiflora’

What is spring anyway without a Peeping Stick?


For me, this is to die – planted on blind faith from 
an innocuous tuber from Plant Delights about ten 
months ago – it was worth everyone of the $26 to see it emerge in all of its subtle mottled glory this spring. 
Trillium ludovicianum to be exact.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Well, just climb inside those rangy bushes and cut those long
twangy branches off – bring them inside –
and plop them into a big sturdy vase and put them in
a room with high ceilings.

The  matching  fuschia/magenta of the tips of 
Euphorbia robbiae hovering over the double Hellebore.

The tender blue-white mottling of the treasured Iris histrioides ‘Katherine Hodgkin’ 

growing canopied by a prostrate yew and these big old Allium
leaves -  just think – big Allium leaves in March!
Look at these three variartiions on gold/yellow/amber/chartreuse/and
best-of-all spring green:  the Euphorbia Ascot’s Rainbow, a charming small-cupped daffodil with just a little orange and the new-growth green of a highly-pruned Hinoki cypress

And this other double Hellebore -  kicking up 
through the Lamium.

The lush green moss caresses the dwarf charming Muscari  ‘Azureum’, eyed closely enough you can detect small blue stripes on each pale under-petal…absolutely dreamy.

An exceptionally spring green grass field around the corner
strewn with 100’s of daffodils.

And, If you missed this unprecedented event at Cornell, you might like to know that even though this once-every-140 years-in-captivity is hard to compete with,
the Drancunculus here on David's Lane are
already at least a foot tall and who knows, just might be open for the 
Garden Conservancy Open Day on May 12.
Not as gigantic ...but also extremely exotic and stinky.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

For Anglophiles
And What Gardener Isn't?

Queen Elizabeth in the Garden.  No, not our endearing
contemporary Queen Elizabeth, but the grand Elizabeth I.
As much about gossip and grand gestures as it is about
gardening…this tale of the competition between Earl of Leicester
and Baron Burghley recreates the gardening sizzle of the time…


Thankfully and happily, I can report  seeing signs of life in
2 of the 4 Chinese peonies that I planted in the great rush of
Chinese peony enthusiasm last spring .
Admittedly, the signs of life are still slight,

but they are unmistakeable.
and this is just the beginning…
tree peonies are meant to outlive us, so of course, 
they take their time getting started.
Look at my precious tree peonies that have been dug up and 
replanted more than once
(a thing “they” say never to do, disturb their roots)
  Thriving, my dear…simply thriving
And don’t forget – it is only March…

And another thing to look for:  the new growth might not occur on the obvious crevices of the branches, but at the base coming up from the roots… I just spotted this sign of life.

Have Faith in your Tree Peonies.


Oh isn’t it often the way.  Well, I am crazy for Sanguinaria…
'bloodroot' as it's known for its maroon gelatinous sap…

 I’m hooked on its caressing celadon leaves and
its charming sort-of shy behavior.   Well, anyway, I have several 
beloved clumps and was lured into buying these--
--because of the beguiling description as a Rare Pink-Form.
Now I am not usually smitten by pink flowers of any kind but the
idea of a pink Sanguinaria somehow got to me and I spent $40.
Yes, forty.  And as you can see, they are not pink at all

Well, actually there is a pink blush and it even gets a bit pinker when the demure petals close and it goes to sleep in the afternoon,
but I would have spent my $40
elsewhere had I known  it was this subtle...…

Excerpeted from Volume 34 of DIRTIER, Dianne B's 
newsletter for the Savvy Gardener. 
You can read the entire newsletter HERE!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It’s still March, for God’s sake…
or at least it was a few days ago.

We've had a normal weather respite for the last week
Thank God
(and I say this sincerely on Palm Sunday)
and the garden has slowed down a bit
Even  some hellebores are beginning to fade…that usually doesn’t happen until May!

And  of  course

I am not going to show you a picture of weeds because 
this is one thing  you all have, and for which 
you need  a  Dig Deep Weeder.

The warmth also signaled a very early end to the
Dwarf Reticulate and histrioides Iris and a quick end to the snowdrops…suddenly shriveled and sad …also a reminder….
now is the time to divide them -
when you can remember where they were and where you want more.

Oh yes, and speaking of snowdrops, ‘S. Arnott’ is really the biggest
and showiest.  It’s a shame that you cannot appreciate the size
in these rather shaky pictures,

but trust me, flailing open like this –  at least 2 inches across –
and when drooping it is the size of the famous 
pearl earring of Vermeer.

So right now is the time, if there ever was one, to get your snowdrop
orders into the most gallant and graceful bulb supplier of all time,
The Temple Nursery of Mr. H. Lyman.  
Mr. Lyman  is a real specialist and corresponds with you in calligraphy.  Yes, I swear this to be true.  And there is no 
web site, (which is a relief really)
but you may request a catalogue at 
Box 591, Trumansburg, New York  14886.  
Please tell him I sent you.

You can read the entire edition of DIRTIER, Volume 34 HERE!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Oh no - there are those who are still awe-struck by climate change…
Come on….
Can there still be those so  blind and sense-deprived,
Even if one is a Red Stater??
If so, then let my own garden combine with the credible experts
as testimony that

The Times They Have Changed

Let’s take the memborable day March 14 just past, vivid not only because it was my Mother’s birthday, but it was a gorgeous
65 degree day ….

look what happened…
Amazing... A Tulip
Species Tulip humilis

An anemone coronaria….then two…soon five…. can you believe it?

The gentle single petalled one is Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and the denser purplier is ‘Lord Lieutenant’, both from Brent and Becky.

They are funny little bulbs that look like claws and must be soaked overnight before planting.  And... they are not expensive……
this is the result of a few bulbs…
you can believe my next order
will be dozens…

They go dormant in early summer but sprout forth their
lacy perky startling green leaves in autumn
(another one of those things for which you need your
Plant Markers)

…and look at these  peonies bursting up and screaming
Let Me Out of Here

For the rest of Volume 34 of DIRTIER by the Dianne B,