Friday, July 15, 2011

What's Blooming: July

It's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day! Here's what's growing and blooming in my garden this month.

What a difference a month can make! Everything has really taken off and is blooming and growing well, despite the heat and humidity we've had recently.

The Morning Glory vines have finally taken off. They started out very vigorous indoors and then when I put them outside, they seemed to take a while to climb and look healthy. But now, they are climbing everywhere and some pink and purple buds are starting to appear.

I honestly thought my flower boxes were going to have some more space this year. But my Impatiens and Geranium cuttings have really done well. I love the deep purple Salvia and the bright yellow Zinnia.

The white Angelonia augustifolia (Summer Snapdragon) looks great here next to the pink Verbena. I love that lone pansy still holding on, despite the heat and sun!

The pink Impatiens are my cutting plants I created this spring. I am so happy with how they have bloomed and flourished! The hot pink Geranium is also a cutting and I think it looks nice peeking out above the purple Pentas.

I overwintered this Geranium plant for the first time this past winter. Last month, I honestly didn't know if it was going to bloom at all. But look at it now! It is like a hot pink explosion of color!
Probably planted too many annual Dahlias in this container, but oh well. They still look good and are enjoying all the sun. The yellow chiffon Superbells are getting crowded out though.

Another plant I overwintered inside was my Croton. What started as a small little desk plant has morphed into this huge beauty outside my front door. Just two weeks ago the new growth appeared and now it looks so healthy and happy.

I repotted the Columbine seedlings to a bigger pot. I doubt they will bloom this year, but there is hope for next year. I see some traces of Columbine leaf miner on some of the leaves. Anyone have experience with those? Simple removal of the leaves should help, right?

I love the color of this trailing Geranium. I looks like its peering through the vines.

The Ferns and Hostas I planted last month seem to be doing well, with the exception of the  Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea) on the left. For some reason, it just flopped open and has been like that for the past few weeks. It's being well watered and fertilized. Anyone have any ideas what's wrong with it? I've seen a few new fronds, so I know its ok, but it just doesn't look great. The Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) on the right, by contrast, is looking very happy and lush.

The Lady-in-Red fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum) is also doing quite well and I like the stark contrast in color and leaf form of the Tradescantia zebrina.

In the backyard, the shade plants are also doing well. Under the maple tree, the Impatiens and Caladium are looking great. The Caladium on the right is not as large as the other two, but I think it's because it gets a little less dappled sun than the others.

This is the Impatiens' mother plant from which I took the cuttings. Blooming profusely.

These cute little pink begonias were in another box mixed with Coleus. But they were getting crowded out by the Coleus, so now they are in their own box and looking much better. I love the delicate pinkness of them.

The other two flower boxes filled with Impatiens and Lobelia have also come into their stride.

Hopefully everything will continue to do well despite the warm summer we are having here on Long Island. Next month I hope to see some Black-Eyed Susans I planted as well as more Morning Glory flowers.

Many thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the monthly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Garden Tour: House #4 Oyster Bay Cove

The fourth and final house on the Garden Tour along Long Island's Gold Coast was in Oyster Bay Cove, NY. The home on this property was originally built for Thomas F. Young, a colonial merchant in 1863. It was later owned by Charles Lewis Tiffany II, son of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Colonial Revival home is beautiful in its own right, but the five acres of property are stunning.

The pool garden is green and simple with lawn, a Japanese holly hedge and a natural stonewall dividing it from the cutting garden. Above, the view of the pool from the covered patio. 

Overlooking the pool, this patio is the perfect place to relax out of the sun and enjoy a glass of lemonade. Behind the couch and chairs is a small kitchenette, cabinet space and a small table.

To the left of the pool, the stonewall fence is planted with Nepeta (Catmint) and Rosa 'Carefree Wonder.' Behind it is the cutting garden.

The cutting garden (above) is planted with all sorts of beautiful flowers. Currently blooming were magnificent blooms of white Phlox.

Adjacent to the cutting garden is a bountiful vegetable garden. A black walnut tree shades the corner of this garden in the background.

Behind the pool and next to the covered patio was a glass greenhouse for potting and overwintering plants.

Wisteria grew along the sides and top of the pergola by the covered patio. Potted Hibiscus added color.

To the right of the pool, steps lead down to a grassy lower courtyard, framed by brick walls. One length of this garden is planted with heirloom lilacs, underplanted with perennial geraniums and bulbs. This area looked like a great place for some lawn games!

The shade garden is overhung by a large flowering cherry tree. Planted along the brick wall were various Ferns and Hostas. Beyond the wall is another 20 acres of preserved land which contains a stream, pond and wetlands with rare ferns and wild orchids.

Each house on this tour was different but each beautiful in it's own right. I hope you enjoyed coming along with me!

Be sure to check out the other homes on the Garden Tour:
House #1: Centre Island
House #2: Lattingtown
House #3: Bayville 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Garden Tour: House #3 Bayville

Located in Bayville, NY, this garden was the third house on the Garden Tour along Long Island's Gold Coast. In 1974, the homeowner purchased this house and has done much of the gardening herself.

I loved the beds around the trees in the front yard, surrounded by the stonework.

The homeowner always had a soft spot for lilies and over the years has added to her collection. Today, she is a member of the American Day Lily Society and has well over 1,000 varieties of lilies in her garden, each labeled with the name of the lily as well as the year it was hybridized.

The house has the distinction of being an official "Display Garden of the American Hemerocallis Society."

Unfortunately, on the day of the tour, the gardens were not in bloom. She had a large photograph on display for visitors to see her garden in all its glory.

The homeowner invited everyone from the tour back to her house this week to view her lilies in full bloom. And it was worth the wait!

Here is the front garden in full bloom.

 Her display of Daylilies and Hydrangeas were truly spectacular.

 The backyard was a pie-shape and her lilies filled in every spot.

So many different colors and varieties. It was easy to spend over an hour just wandering through the gardens, looking at the different shapes and petals and also learning the names.

Here were three of my favorites:

It was so wonderful for the homeowner to invite us all back to her house to see the lilies in bloom. It's amazing what a difference few weeks can make!

Do you have any daylilies? Which are your favorite?

Be sure to check out the other homes on the Garden Tour:
House #1: Centre Island
House #2: Lattingtown
House #4: Oyster Bay Cove

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Garden Tour: House #2 Lattingtown

The second house on the Garden Tour along Long Island's Gold Coast was in Lattingtown, NY. The four acres of property at this house allowed for various types of gardens, from full sun to full shade.

The real unique feature of this property was the water view. As soon as we entered the backyard, that was the first place my eye went to - sweeping green lawn, cascading downward to the bay in the distance.

The owners kept most of the gardens off to the side with an occasional accent in the lawn like the water fountain, the rose buses or even the artificial sheep grazing on grass.

This garden was in full sun and ran along the side of the lawn. It was filled with foxglove, lilies and purple loosestrife.

The meandering path leading down to the pool was as delightful as the accompanying garden. The garden was filled with lots of lilies, catmint, and coreopsis (just to name a few). They apparently have some rabbits who like to nibble on the plants, hence the wire fencing along the plant bases. Along the pool were various rose bushes in mostly pinks and whites.

The gardens were pretty but it was the water view that made this property so spectacular!

Be sure to check out the other homes on the Garden Tour:
House #1: Centre Island
House #3: Bayville 
House # 4: Oyster Bay Cove

Friday, July 1, 2011

Garden Tour: House #1 Centre Island

A few weeks ago, I attended a garden tour through four homes in the Oyster Bay area. Oyster Bay is located along Long Island's northern shore, bordering the Long Island Sound.  Traditionally, this region has been the most affluent on Long Island, which has earned it the nickname "the Gold Coast." My two year old daughter and I saw many beautiful gardens, manicured lawns and breathtaking views on this tour.

The first home was located in Centre Island, NY.  Centre Island is a 605 acre peninsula with over four miles of coast line. The house sits on a six-acre plot of land with spectacular views of the harbor. The owner has lived there for 30 years and as such, her gardens are extensive and stunning. She is passionate about flower gardening and flower arranging and has planned her garden so she can have things to work with all year round.

Upon entering the backyard, we were greeted with a delightful table setting. A gorgeous flower arrangement hung from a tree limb above, inviting the visitor to sit and enjoy the peacefulness in the shade.

The back of the house, facing the water.

The view of the harbor and personal dock from the backyard.

A covered but open outdoor patio was filled furniture suitable for dining or simply relaxing. The ceiling was covered with Ivy and the outer walls were draped with Wisteria.

Behind the guest house on the right, she had a workshop room, complete with a counter, refrigerator and various tools for flower arranging and potting.

Outside the guest house was the kitchen garden filled with all sorts of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.

Following the path leading away from the kitchen garden, I walked through a rose-covered archway. The scent was heavenly!

The path led to the pool, where the owner had filled gardens on either sides of the pool with a gorgeous mix of perennials.

Behind the pool, nestled among the trees in the yard was this fantastic tree house. It had a winding staircase up to the "house" where one could look at the main house on one side and the harbor on the other.

For those less inclined to have lunch in the tree house, there was a beautiful gazebo at the edge of the property, overlooking the water. The property sloped down just beyond the gazebo to a small beach below.

The pond was indeed a highlight. The owner had created a small "stream" that ran down into it, providing a hypnotic trickling sound. The owner told me she had a Blue Heron visit that morning, but usually only enjoys watching the koi swimming below the water and the frogs sunning themselves on the rocks.

Beyond the pond was a woodland walk filled with Ferns, Hostas and other shade loving plants. She had bird baths and bird houses placed all along the path.

Looping back to the main house from the woodland walk, there was a small glass house that fit only a few sitting chairs, a table with chairs and a hot tub. I could imagine sitting in here in the winter, admiring the snow covered trees and grounds, but being warmed by the sun (of the hot tub!).

Along the back of the house was another covered outdoor patio, again beautifully and naturally decorated with ivy on the ceiling.

View of the backyard from the glass house.
A truly stunning spot to visit. We spent well over an hour there looking through each nook and cranny of the yard and its gardens. What a treasure to be able to visit!

Check out the other gardens on the tour:
House #2: Lattingtown
House #3: Bayville
House #4: Oyster Bay Cove