august-tour aftermath: any more incoming feet?

fat toadSOMEONE FELL ASLEEP IN A CHAIR LAST NIGHT AT 8, but this toad (loyal old tight-lipped friend that he is) is not saying who. In fact, he’s not saying much today other than good morning, before hopping away to hide behind the big pots in case carloads of people arrive at the gate for any more garden tours. We’re exhausted, as is the garden, but in case you weren’t here during or between storms yesterday for Copake Falls Day, we’ll give you a little look around.

Click on the first thumbnail to start the slideshow, then toggle from image to image using the arrows beside each caption. Enjoy.

  1. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Carol. It seems to be a really heavy feeder, and so you could use a timed-release fertilizer like Osmocote once or twice a season or something more natural like fish emulsion or seaweed extracts every time you water.

    Welcome, Barbara. Yes, that’s ‘Little Brother Montgomery,’ my favorite of all I think. Check at the Logee’s site and see if it looks like what you have. Great plant.

    @Susan: Crabapples by mail…hmmm…you could try ForestFarm (in my Sources on each page) but I think the better thing to do to get a decent-size plant is to ask your local nursery to order it for you for this fall or next spring. That’s what I do…I ask for the specific thing I am seeking and they add it to their wholesale orders and then resell it to me.

    @Brian: I have never noticed mosquitoes here before this sodden year, thankfully. Little frogs sit on the edge of the troughs and swim in them, so maybe that helps, I don’t know.

  2. Allison says:

    I was planning to come but the rain kept me away and I was feeling so bad to have missed it. So thanks for sharing the pictures and giving me a peek into your beautiful world. Please do it again next year?

  3. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Allison. There will definitely be spring tours next year, and perhaps later in the season…I will keep everyone posted. Sorry to miss saying hello, and glad you enjoyed the pics.

  4. tea_austen says:

    Oh, Margaret, it is so beautiful.

    I know this summer has been a trial (will you guys please return Seattle’s rain, we miss it!), but you create such beauty. To a novice, such as myself, it’s stunning.

  5. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    BARBARA H. I have had Miscanthus grasses since the early 90’s, when I first saw them at the Green Animals, in Newport, Ri. I have five that are planted on opposite sides of my pool. I have three that are planted, along with twenty seven different varieties of daylily on one side, and two that are planted just in the lawn at the other side. The Miscanthus grasses that I have are Morning Light, and Autumn Light.

    They have wonderful TROPICAL movements, when the wind blows. In the 15+ years that I have had them, I divide them ONCE. When you first plant an ornamental grass, you just have the plant. Over the years the clump gets bigger. Then all of a sudden the center dies out. It now becomes like a Christmas wreath, or doughnut, with a HOLE in the center. As the grass ages, the center keeps dying off, and the wreath keeps gets bigger. Over time, you will have a large, AND attractive ornamental grass, BUT it’s real growth, and what now makes up that grass, will come from the WREATH that is only about a foot, or so thick. The rest is all open center.

    When I divided the grasses, I did it in later winter-early spring, before any growth started. The root system of the grass, is ONLY about one inch out, from where it grows up from the ground. WHAT you really have is like a GIANT weighted base that is still under all of the NOW DEAD center of the grass, and under the part that is still growing. The base keeps it anchored, so it would not blow over. It is about ten inches to a foot thick. When I went to divide the grass, I FIRST, with a hatchet tried cutting a pie shaped slice out of the grass pie. I then lopped off all of the dead part, ONLY keeping the outer edge. You don’t have to be to nice to the grass! To the best of your ability, HACK it to any size you want, it is really a TOUGH plant. After I took off one PIE piece, I moved over, and took another piece. I did it in many bites. Eventually, I got all of the edge off, that I gave to friends, and discarded the dead center. The process took about a day to do each grass. If you have a chain saw, you could PROBABLY do the job a lot quicker.

    At the Green Animals, which is part of the Newport Preservation Society, they have now gotten rid of their grasses. I asked the head gardener there, and she told me they were TOO hard to divide, so they had to have a BACK HOE come in, and dig them up. I was on a garden tour, in Williamstown, Ma. years back, when I was contemplating the grass division. The head gardener of one of the estate there, told me to try dividing then, AND if I could not, KILL them with Round Up! If you plant the grasses, leave them up all winter, and then in EARLY spring, cut them down with electric hedge trimmers. That is the easiest way to do that job. Leave about three inches of stem, and break off the dead center straws, when the plant starts forming the wreath. Plant them with a LOT of space between plants, so they can grow TEN foot wide, or more, at the top. That will happen in five, or so years, if they are in FULL sun, and like the location.

  6. Gregory says:

    I just wanted to leave a note telling you how much I enjoy visiting your site. Also, your hyacinth bean looks way better than the ones I’m growing here in Philadelphia – mine have barely begun to climb the arbor after months in the ground. The weather has been very different from what I’m used to in my native state of Alabama – zinnia’s? Forget it. Anyway, I’m learning lots about my new garden this first year and have been very inspired by what you’ve been doing in yours. One question – what’s the tall, pale blue plume-shaped bloom in photo #2, back behind the brugmansia? I’m thinking I’d need that plant in my garden… if I were ordering any plants. Thanks.

  7. Carole C. says:

    So glad I was also one of the lucky ones to visit your garden Saturday inbetween the “raindrops”. It’s easy to see why someone might fall asleep at 8pm in a chair! Just seeing even a small part of your incredible garden one realizes how much time it must take to maintain it. I have just revised my “to do” list after purchasing a few more plants to replace the eaten ones-I have new energy and inspiration! Thank you so much for giving so many of us the opportunity to share your talent and learn from your knowledge and experience.

  8. Linda @ Lime in the Coconut says:

    Just found you…and took the virtual tour! How gorgeous…all of that texture and color! The pondweed is such a great idea…who knew?!

    We may be on a tour next spring…I dunno if I have the stamina. Anything you would you recommend…?

  9. Jane says:

    Margaret: I hope to make your tour next year; schedule conflicts this time around. The photos are wonderful and I’m intrigued by the Angelica gigas! Will have to look that plant up. Also, loved the pots with duckweed in them, but like another poster I wonder about mosquitoes.

  10. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Tea_Austen. Happy to return about half the rain, yes. I do wish we could all just get a share of it, instead of feast or famine.

    Welcome, Teresa. Do plan to hitch a ride next time, yes. And if it’s another year like this one, bring your rain suit. :)

    Welcome, Linda. I find the spring tours easier than the later ones, as things (including me) are fresher then. Whenever you do it, it’s nervous-making…worries of weather and such. But people always have fun, and appreciate being invited, and you will have fun, too.

    Welcome, Gregory. That’s a naughty plant, the plume poppy or Macleaya cordata, a throwback to a time 15-plus years ago when that area was perennials…and before I knew how much of a thug plume poppy was. I leave some and love the blooms, but what a terror it is.

    See you all soon again, I hope.

  11. chigal says:

    Wow, those pondweed containers are fun. Do the plants keep the water from going stagnant and nasty, or do you just have to freshen it up occasionally? Maybe the frogs don’t need real clean water? (not that your algae would be any of my business — just curious)

  12. CovingtonKat says:

    Thanks so much, Margaret, for the slideshow of pics…they were definitely worth waiting for. I document my garden through frequent pictures – every other month or so…and save them all to a folder to use as a screensaver slide show on both my work and home computers…it’s cool to see how the different garden spaces have evolved over the years…when I planted what…how big THAT has gotten(!)…how much less grass there is now – a GOOD thing! I was watching the weather in your area and doing a sun dance for you – sorry – guess I should have danced harder!!!

  13. deb says:

    These pictures rejuvenated my pruning weary self. I had a fulfilling day of cutting off hosta flowers on a client’s property, but my wrist is going to stiffen up soon:) So I had to comment quickly, and thank you for sharing your talent and inspiring garden.

  14. This virtual tour is such a visual treat. I was up in Cooperstown in the garden all last week and am loving how lush everything is right now. I love your Asian Pear tree and wish it would survive in the harsh upstate NY climate! Luckily the farmers’ market yields many delicious fruits from southern counties and I was able to make loads of apricot jam. I hope to come to your tour next year!

  15. Wendy says:

    Margaret, I always love your slideshows. You are great at getting unique perspectives and close-ups…..and, of course, the frogs and toads make me smile every time!

    (ps: regarding your quote at the bottom of the page: plant lust is a bad thing? who knew! ;-)

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