Of my garden on the Garden Conservancy Open Day a few weeks ago ...the polar opposite of my intentions when this particular day was scheduled the year before. Sauntering and sweltering as the Famous Suffolk County Heat Wave kicked in, many expected a “garden” bursting with big colors, because let’s face it – when people tour a garden that’s what they envisage.
Oh well, too bad... on this day they had to settle for subtle fauvist colors like arrays of fabulous Pineapple Lilies
My endless combinations of darkest burgundy and rich greens
Or what I like to think of as the enigma of my Moss Garden
Coined by Apollinaire, orphism is an art term (new to me) that describes the facet of Cubism about moody color, which is the kind I really like. But maybe to say orphist is a little, you know, arty. So, instead of saying that the garden was experiencing a lull, I’d rather say it was in an orphic stage.
Of course, a few days later --- isn’t it always the way?--- the colors went wild and many fat summer buds burst open
This stand of Lilium Flore Pleno doubled, tripled in the last few years emerging famously through a crazy Cryptomeria cristata
Lilium ‘Black Beauty’ at the base of the Maple Monumentale (discussed in depth later on)
This Calla ‘Picasso’ would have elicited sighs...
And I don’t really like these gigantic thick-substanced white Oriental giants, but everyone else would have oohed and aahed over their 7, maybe 8 foot stature climbing into the massive Angelica tree
So, maybe next year the timing will be a little better...
THERE ARE 1000 REASONS TO GO TO RIVERHEAD
THIS FABULOUS furtive foresty art work is surely reason enough
Maria Elena Gonzalez, One of eight works in aluminum, size variable, 2013
If you live anywhere on Eastern Long Island, invariably you must go where all the car dealerships, big stores, courts and lots of lawyers are located. Accomplish these chores before August 25 and then you can visit an ingenious gallery called art sites.
Installed there right now is a very intriguing indoor and outdoor show called...SUMMER OF LOVE: FOUND & LOST. Organized by my friend, artist and social commentator Hope Sandrow, it includes pieces by 23 artists as well as her own poignant work. It’s an eye-opener and a mind-boggler. Artsitesgallery.com
Hope Sandrow, Caterpillar in Water
This show will pique your curiosity and make you think about stimulating connections you might have never even considered.
JACKS and VOODOOS
Unfurling of a voodoo, Sauromatum guttatum Look at those fabulous purple dots
Straight up in front of Mother Black Mambo is an Arisaema consanguinem Look at those sensational purple striations
And a Drancunculus
Hidden by a vine so it does not look quite so vulgar
DIANNE B’s DOs & DON'Ts
Absolutely DO mass vari-colored hydrangeas together in a blue glass vase.
The hydrangeas are from Ayse Kenmore’s garden. The vase is one that Lys magically produced from her stashes of heirlooms.
DO be particularly appreciative of the little things. I love this native species Clematis. I think it is vitacella 'Etiole Violet', but I could be wrong
DO watch for clever weeds parading as the plants around them. They are ingenious...the weeds
The weed is in the lower left
DON’T think you must have white flowers to give the impression of a white garden
And DON’T make sweeping categorical pronouncements like: Alocasia are all too stiff and skyward. It is what I thought, but I am mad about this one aptly named ‘Teacup’
And this is from one tuber!
A SUGAR MAPLE or A NORWAY MAPLE HOW INTERESTING CAN IT BE?
Ken Druse, with his estimable horticultural expertise, let me know several months ago that I may have been deceiving myself all these years and perhaps my prized Exclamation Point Tree is not a Sugar Maple after all, but a Norway Maple.
With all sorts of plantsman’s lore under his belt, he explained that distinguishing between a ‘Newton Sentry’ and my Acer monumentale (introduced as ‘Temple’s Upright’) is a “100-year-old gardening conundrum.” He didn’t leave me just dangling... but kindly provided a method of determination. With our mutual friend Geoffrey Ross as witness, I pulled off a leaf (in fact a whole woody stem) and it DID NOT BLEED WHITE SAP. So, I am sticking to Charlie Marder’s old nomenclature that ours is an Acer saccharum ‘Monumentale’, an Italian columnar sugar maple.
But Ken, thanks so much for the mind game and such good use of all that garden jargon.
And by the way, Ken Druse is coming to the Hamptons this weekend to give a talk on Saturday, August 10, for the Southampton Garden Club. Any of you who have availed themselves of his great cadre of books know right away that this is an event not to miss.
For more info call 631.283.2226.
A NON-GARDENING CHALLENGE
This household is abuzz because Skye is about to depart for Connecticut College... I noticed on Orientation Day that a course is offered... simply called Bob Dylan
I love Bob Dylan and I bring this up because as soon as I finish this issue of DIRTIER, my next deadline is choosing ten - only ten - songs from the great pantheon of music that has enriched my happy lengthy life.
So, how do you choose just one Bob Dylan?
Our local Radio Star Bonnie Grice has invited me to join her weekly program The Song Is You. For this, I must choose my ten favorite songs. Let me say that this is A Very HARD exercise because I love music and sing my heart out all the time... something I must do in my heart and not out loud, because my voice is terrible.
Anyway, you can listen to me and Bonnie on The Song Is You on Peconic Public Broadcasting WPPB, channel 88.3 on Friday evening, August 16 at 7PM or the next day, Saturday the 17th at noon OR as a podcast on PRX the Public Radio Exchange
JIM JEFFREY Rest In Peace in a Heavenly Garden
There have been many tributes and remembrances written locally and nationally about the extremely well-loved Reverend Jim Jeffrey.
A most touching thing for me to share was seeing my Dianne B Yard Bag and Trowel in his gregariously bursting-with-passion greenhouse the day after he passed on.
I had given those to him after our very first (rainy) St. Luke’s Garden Day in 2012
We were the co-chairs of this first-ever Church Garden Clean Up Day and he was so proud of all the work that was done.
These are a few of the flowers that we cut from his garden on the morning of his Funeral Service at St. Luke’s. All the flowers in Hoie Hall for the Reception were from his bountiful garden. He would have loved that.
Sorry this picture doesn’t do them any justice.
YOU CAN'T DO EVERYTHING
While Lys and Skye went on an eye-opening trip to The Galapagos and encountered all sorts of ethereal creatures like The famous Blue Footed Booby (notice that it is hovering over eggs)
a fabulous little booby chick – can you believe the black wings? Looks like some Bob Wilson fantasy
and this is what a Magnificent Frigate Bird looks like when it is a grown male and puffs out its gular like a red balloon to attract the female flying overhead
Another fascinating evolutionary tidbit: because it can't dive for its own food it steals from other, which is known as 'kleptoparasitism'
– These beautiful Flightless Cormorants are wooing and courting and exist only on 2 tiny islands
Obviously my girls were there during the height of the mating season. I am glad to have them home with all of these romantic reminisences
But I stayed behind and also saw all sorts of other otherworldly phenomena, though not from the natural world. The creatures at The Watermill Center Benefit, Devil’s Heaven were also astonishing; but of course, without the Darwinian pedigree.
SEE FOR YOURSELF WHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT...
You have probably seen and heard about The Watermill Center ‘Devil’s Heaven’ Benefit because it was covered by every Important newspaper, broadcast or blog that deals with Culture Art Fashion Or Anything interesting
On this day, and only this day,The Watermill Center is open FREE to the public and most of what was on display will be reinstalled.
This is a rare treat and something not to miss....even though Lady Gaga probably won’t be there for this day, I will be and hope to greet many of you.
A sampling of what you will see:
And in case you were horticulturally puzzled by any pix of me at the great LongHouse White Night Benefit the week before...the flower on my head is a fabulous fake Night-Blooming Cereus... it was a spontaneous added touch from Lys as the wrapping on a birthday present. Isn’t it great? The guy is our friend, Dr. Andre Goy. Earlier in the evening, he had on a hat too.
And speaking of LongHouse... There is much to see right now
Do not miss the fantastic art on the grounds by Alice Aycock
And the Ai Weiwei Circle of the Zodiac – all 12 of them in GOLD
Just spectacular... LongHouse is open 4 afternoons each week Wednesday thru Saturday 2-5
There is so much to do, isn’t there?
So, I don’t expect you will be doing that much gardening this month, except for keeping up with pruning. If your garden is anything like mine, clipping and shaping is constant or the picture would jump completely out of proportion.
Usually this is the portion of DIRTIER where I try to make an offer you can't refuse to buy something on The Best @ Dianne B. But, sorry, I hardly make a dime as it is on the Japanese Clippers and the Felco, although I do have both in stock.
In the world of The Best @ Dianne B... Be prepared for the NEW AUTUMN OFFERING of THE ULTIMATE GARDENING GLOVE
You will love them....
Oh yes, and look for the Labor Day issue of HC+G...it will be here before you know it and contain a Great Photo Essay of Craig Socia’s latest, A Petite Castle, no less. I wrote the story, but you might not even know it because those magazine people do have a way with the editing knife...