Don’t miss this year’s Garden Fair, which will feature unusual plants from members’ gardens and perennials, annuals and herbs grown in the Lyndhurst Propagation Sheds by GCI members and by Mobius Fields—all at very good prices. As always, we’re hosting a free children’s planting workshop. And there will be even more to see and do this year. The Hudson Valley Rock Garden Society will be selling a fabulous selection of alpines, including gorgeous pre-planted troughs. They’ll be tables of beautiful plants grown by the kids at Children’s Village. And you’ll be able to get information from the folks Care of Trees. It’s always a great event. Get there early for best selection!
Celebrity gardener Kent Russell recently educated and entertained Garden Club members with ideas and inspiration to create eye-catching drama in any garden setting.
“The perfect garden has a little bit of everything in it,” said Kent. He served up his “Candy in the Garden” presentation with verve and humor and illustrated his points and anecdotes with a wide assortment of live plant materials (available for sale afterwards). He re-introduced Garden Club members to fancy leaved geraniums, including “Vancouver Centennial” and “Crystal Palace.” Don’t water them and pinch for beautiful new growth, he admonished. “Geraniums hate moisture!” And he got everyone to fall in love with Abuliton, a type of flowering maple, especially “Biltmore Ball Garden.” He advised, “Treat it as an annual, out on the patio or porch. It blooms all summer and it’s easy to make cuttings. Then bring it in at it will flower all winter on a sunny windowsill.”
Kent was “The Garden Guru” on PBS and is listed as a preferred speaker by the Garden Club of America. “I was born with a silver trowel in his hand,” he says, beginning his life in horticulture at his family’s nursery, Russell Gardens, in Bucks County, PA, where he is still based. Kent designs gardens and container plantings for clients throughout the East Coast.
Due to inclement weather 0n the 19th, our annual rose pruning demonstration has been rescheduled for 10:45 am on Tuesday, March 26 in the Lyndhurst Rose Garden, 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY. Michael Ruggiero, expert rosarian and horticulturist, formerly of the New York Botanical Garden and Matterhorn Nursery, will give a hands-on demonstration on planting, maintaining and pruning roses. This program is free and open to the public.
Famed landscape designer Larry Weaner gave Garden Club members and guests an excellent presentation on gardening with native plants of the Northeast. Here are some of the the main points of his illustrated talk that may be helpful in planting your garden:
• HABITAT: Look at plants, how they grow, and “who” they grow with.
• The same plant combinations that grow successfully in the wild can be planted successfully in a garden with the same temperature, water and soil conditions.
• Match each plant to its ideal habitat. For example, as shown in the photo below, perennial lupines typically grow at the forest edge in well-drained, sandy soil with slightly acidic pH. Scatter seeds of Lupinus perennis in the spring in a partly-shaded spot that has well-drained, sandy, slightly acidic soil, and within two years you may have a beautifully flowering stand.
• DISTURBANCE: Many seeds lie dormant, and when an event happens, like a fallen tree branch, it creates a disturbance that causes the seeds to germinate.
• Scatter seeds after disturbing an area to encourage growth. Monitor area for weed growth, most intensively during the establishment phase.
• SUCCESSION: Use shorter-lived plants (you may start from seed) as “place holders” until longer-lived perennials develop.
• Choose plants that grow and mature at different time frames.
• Use plants that spread seed and roots to fill gaps naturally.
• Structure your garden in layers (tall, medium and low) as they would grow in a woodland setting or meadow.
• Use logs and stumps in the garden as a habitat for plants and wildlife.
• “Meadows” can get weedy if not properly managed. But once established and if managed appropriately, a meadow’s dense vegetative growth can inhibit weed seed germination. Weed to favor desired species and discourage undesirables, especially during the critical establishment phase.
• Cut weeds instead of pulling. Pulling disturbs the soil, encouraging more weeds. If you must pull, plant in the gap. To get rid of vines or larger weeds, cut and paint with a herbicide rather than digging.
• If you consider views and vantage points — like viewing the garden from a distance looking up to the house — and plant using natives imitating the patterns of plant communities in nature, the results could be as rewarding as the two properties above.
“And now at last we have a chance to catch our breath, and really stop and smell the roses at the annual Rose Day at Lyndhurst, home to one of our very favorite rose gardens in the whole Hudson Valley,” wrote Bill Cary in an article in The Journal News last Friday, in which he named the Rose Garden at Lyndhurst “one of the ten gardens not to be missed this summer.”
Sunday was an almost-perfect early summer day, and a record crowd of hundreds of people enjoyed an afternoon of observing, learning about, and photographing roses while they listened to live chamber and choral music, sipped punch, munched on cookies, and just relaxed. Rose experts from the Garden Club explained the finer points of planting, caring for and pruning many varieties of roses.
The Rose Garden, tended by members of the Garden Club, is on the grounds of Lyndhurst, a 67-acre National Trust for Historic Preservation property on the Hudson River. It is open to the public, free of charge, daily from dawn to dusk. Rose Day is an annual event, the first Sunday in June.