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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label garden scene. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label garden scene. Show all posts

      Friday, June 1, 2012


      You've already admired the classic Italian Water Gardens, the playful dancing waters, and the stunning, ever-changing perennial beds. You've garnered ideas from the family gardens,  the veggie plots, the combinations of colorful annuals and the children's garden. It's time for a brief respite in the conservatory.
      You no longer have to schlep downstairs to use the rest rooms.
      Even if you have no pressing need, find the new east wing to view the living wall, no more comforting, accessible way to use the facilities. The wall is beautifully maintained, as you would expect of the Longwood  gardeners, but there are one or two places that you can peek at the structure. Unlike your living room, the wall has drainage grates beneath the plants to catch and recycle runoff. Two visitors were so enthralled with the views in the conservatory that they decided to spend their vacation there.
      Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square PA

      Friday, June 4, 2010


      (double click to enlarge any image)
      Regular readers of this blog know that I garden on the rooftop for my condo building in Manhattan. Last summer this roof was totally resurfaced: all vines and climbers cut down from fences, all containers moved to one end, all pavers stacked up, then everything moved to the other end of the space. There was no garden.
      In January with the re-roofing accomplished, I ordered all new fiberglass containers. By early April, with three men from the building, I had transplanted every plant into the new containers. (The bachelor buttons in the foreground volunteered for the new garden, coming in with some old soil).
      As usual, the rose 'Harison's Yellow' was the first to bloom, though I had to cut it to half it's size for the move.

      I'm not a big fan of ever-
      greens for this garden,
      because almost no one
      uses the space from
      December to March,
      and no one views the
      garden up close from
      behind a window.
      I want plants shouting
      COLOR with flower or
      foliage. Here, an Encore
      azalea though I'm not
      sure it will repeat bloom
      in NYC.

      The second rose to
      bloom was the David
      Austin English rose
      'Graham Thomas', a
      delightful choice with
      absolutely no black
      spot or mildew in this
      site. Note in front of the roses the fern-like foliage of California poppies. I sprinkled the seeds in situ in mid-March, just the way they like. My first poppy blooms were last week. The roses were all early, responding to April heat. As the first flush of blooms departed the poppies popped out.Next came the 'New Dawn' climber with perennial salvia and another sprinkle of poppy foliage in front. Poor 'New Dawn' only half the size of her '09 self.
      I love Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' because it flowers on new wood starting in May and going all summer, and doesn't have a problem with late spring frost. On the left, another variety of mop-head hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' forms buds the previous year, and frequently fails to bloom at all.
      By mid-May the annuals I've planted from seed have yet to bloom, so I buy three trays for immediate color. A new favorite is Calibrachoa, orange flowers, right front.
      By the end of May, the lavender joined the hydrangea in full bloom. This combo is actually a no-no: water loving plant in the same container with one that likes drier soil, but I force my will on them by varying the drip feeds.
      As you can see, I favor floriferous plants.

      Below, the foliage of sumac 'Tiger Eyes' is enhanced by the color of the Calibrachoa.
      Let those in the building who complained in March that the lead gray color of the containers was too dull, eat their words. It's the perfect foil for the plants.Most of the plants I started from seed have yet to bloom; the zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers cerinthe, and hollyhock will be out by the end of June. The basil, dill, and cilantro are still too small to pick. Since I have only limited windowsill space to start seeds indoors, I put some cosmos seeds in the outer row of my tomato container. Yesterday I transplanted the 6" high seedlings, scattering them around the garden.

      Wednesday, October 7, 2009

      photo contest: great garden animals

      Kyra's favorite spot in the garden is the bird bath (I wonder why!) next to the Hackonechloa, which she prefers to cat nip. (Photo by Adam Mastoon, from Down & Dirty, by Ellen Zachos)

      Hello loyal readers, it's time for another photo contest! We've tinkered with the rules to allow our non-blogging readers to enter, so things are a little different this time.

      Our theme? GREAT GARDEN ANIMALS... show us your pets!

      THE RULES:

      1) Enter your best photo of an animal in the garden. The animal may be PET or PEST, and the garden (or plants) should be essential to the image, not just background. No birds or butterflies this time, please.
      2) Include a brief caption (1 or 2 sentences).
      3) Email your entry to esp@ellenspectorplatt.com. If you have a blog, include the URL so we can link back. We'll add all entries to the bottom of this post.
      4) Images should be jpegs, no larger than ONE megabyte.
      5) Photos can be indoors or out.
      6) Points given for light, composition, and originality. We're not looking for closeups; we want to see how the animal and garden relate to each other.
      7) The contest ends at midnight on October 28, 2009. Winners will be announced by November 4.

      Here are a few examples, to clarify:

      Sisko anticipates the flavor of wheat grass grown indoors from seed on a south-facing windowsill.

      Andy K. on his New York terrace: as his hips grew more arthritic, the red wagon became his preferred method of roaming the streets of NYC.

      Our talented and entirely impartial judge is once again Joe De Sciose. Joe is an award-winning photographer whose photographs have appeared in numerous Condé Nast, Hearst and Meredith magazines and books, as well as in print media for the New York Botanical Garden and The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. From 2003 to 2008, Joe was a Senior Staff Photographer at Southern Living Magazine. He was the sole photographer for Garden Guide: New York City (The Little Bookroom, 2002) and The Flower Gardener’s Bible (Storey Books, 2003), which was awarded a Garden Globe Award in 2004 by the Garden Writers Association for Best Photography for a Garden Book.

      The prizes? A folding garden saw (most excellent tool!), a box of seed packet note cards, and a sock of songbird seed in a gift pack...all in a handsome tote bag.

      So show us your best combo of flora and fauna. We can't wait to see what you've got.


      "Get the steak. can't you see we're starving!?!?" Tracy Waaka, Brooklyn NY

      Fefe channels his inner feline in a Brooklyn windowsill "jungle"
      Laurent Lambert, Brooklyn, NY

      The frost is on the pumpkin. Time to get the harvest in!
      Sarah James, Exeter NH

      This is Titus with our pumpkin harvest. My mom adopted him from our local grocery store with his sister. They were very young, and think my mother is their mother. They follow her everywhere and are always with us in the garden. So cute!
      Ulla Kjarval, NYC & the Catskills

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