join me sept. 21 at the beekman boys’ town

Sharon Springs Harvest Festival

ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER, and besides, they have goats! I’m going over the river and through the woods Saturday, September 21, to the hometown of Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, the Beekman 1802 Boys, to give a talk and help raise money for the restoration of Sharon Springs, New York’s, historic Chalybeate Park.  (They did the same here Aug. 17, benefiting my rural hamlet of Copake Falls.) Join me at the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival the duo helps put on each year: Get all the festival details (or just buy a $5 ticket for my 11:30 AM slide lecture).

  1. Craig Levy says:

    Do you want an Arisaema?

    Margaret, I signed up for your talk in Sharon Springs on 9/21 and wondered if you would like some plants of Arisaema ciliatum var. liubaense. Let me know and I’ll bring some for you. These are 4-year old seedlings in pots that haven’t flowered yet but are showing the adult foliage form. Plants are dormant now but the pots are full. Mature plants will be 3’ high and the leaves consist of a leaf stem topped with many leaflets radiating from a single point. The flower spathe will be striped with dark purple, culminating in a long tip that hangs down past the base of the flower. Best in bright shade, my plants get ¾ sun, and medium moisture. Initial planting depth is about 4” and then the plants will eventually grow down to their ideal depth. Mine are growing in a limestone soil but I do not know if they require it. My plants are zone 4b hardy (-25), despite what you may read otherwise. This Arisaema has one last trick up its sleeve, er roots. It’s in a very small subgroup of Arisaemas that have a stoloniferous growth habit. Even very small tubers will produce them.

    This is my favorite of the exotic Arisaemas and is the best for growing in cold climates. The weather lately has had stretches of warm days and nights too early in the year. This causes many plants, native and exotic, to break dormancy and begin growing too soon. The problem with most of the exotic Arisaemas, and lately with A. triphyllum, is they begin growing while we’re still in a period where frost can come any night. My garden’s elevation is approximately 1500’ and is west and one town over from Sharon Springs. The last frost date is Memorial Day and the first is Labor Day but we’ve had frosts in June and August some years. A. ciliatum v. liubaense neatly avoids all these problems by never emerging until well into June and it will be in full flower by July 4th. These dates may vary for you lucky gardeners growing in the “banana belt” of the Hudson Valley.

    I also have a spare pot of Iliamna remota, the Kankakee Mallow. Let me know if you want one and I’ll bring it along, too. Flower color typically varies from white to light pink and this one will be almost white with the faintest suggestion of pink. Plants are divisions from mine, so I know they’ll be true to type.

    Garden plants are 3’ high, very full-foliaged and flowers are liberally produced. It’s an Illinois native that was found growing in gravelly soils in a river and is at its best in the garden with ample moisture but not wet and never dry. I didn’t find this when I did a cursory search for information but plants may run when they’re settled and happy and makes sense when think about where it natively grows. Although a spouse might revile them when they run into her vegetable garden, I think all of them are to be treasured. This plant is the perfect pick-me-up for the midsummer blahs.

    Lastly, I also have Pinellia pedatisecta. This can easily become a garden pest/menace without proper management, so read up on it and consider carefully before saying yes. Let me know if I should bring it, too.

    My email address is for work, so if you’re interested please contact me before 4:00 pm on Friday. Thanks!

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