The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Best of English Gardens 2012

I am pleased to report that I  will be assisting my good friend, Mick Induni, on a tour of English gardens from May 15-24. I am delighted to return to Britain to visit some of my favorite gardens including Great Dixter, Hidcote, Sissinghurst, Stourhead and Wilsey to name a few.We will also be attending the Chelsea Flower Show in London.

My role will be, as Mick puts it, a sort of “horticultural expert'' to compliment the exceptional British tour guides who will be leading the tours. My mission will be to give an American perspective on how to incorporate ideas from the English gardening tradition into the participants' own gardens back in the states. For a complete itinerary, see Mick's website at The Best of English Gardens.

Mick has a wide range of extraordinary tours on the other side of the pond. For more information, check out his website, Discover Europe.

The Glasshouse at Wisley



Great Dixter

The Chelsea Flower Show

Hidcote Manor

Kiftsgate Court

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bridges Bulbs in Bloom

A flower box on the bridge on Grove Street by Putnam Park as seen from a car

A better look at the bulbs

The close up view of the pedestrian

The bulbs that the Community Garden Project planted in the ground at Francie Von Mertens' farm last October and then moved to the bridges in Peterborough on April 7 are blooming. The show works both for a person traveling in a car or the pedestrian passing them on the sidewalk. The large yellow daffodil is Narcissus 'Fortissimo'. The smaller daffodil is N. 'Thalia' and the grape hyacinth is Muscari armeniacum. All should be long-lived perennials when replanted in the new garden at Putnam Park in May. Then the process will be complete and the bulbs will get a new lease on the life in the garden.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Joanie's plum tree

 My friend Joan's plum tree

Looking up from below

Trying to photograph the bees with no luck

My friend Joan invited me to see her plum tree this morning in all its glory. It was an especially good year but, because it has been so hot this week, the show will be more fleeting than usual. It is loaded with blossoms and teeming with bees. You can literally hear them swarming and smell the intoxicating perfume wafting throughout her yard. Joan's husband, Jon, was napping under the tree yesterday and several bees fell on him. Joan thinks they were so heavy with nectar that they couldn't keep themselves in the air. I have to think, judging from the abundance of flowers, she is probably right.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Planting the Bulbs on the Bridges

Last October, the Community Garden Project, headed by Francie VonMertens, planted bulbs in the ground at her small farm for the bridges in downtown Peterborough. Now it is time to take the bulbs out of the ground and transplant them into the flower boxes on the bridges. The bulbs would not survive the fluctuating temperatures on the bridge and need to be planted in pots in the ground for the winter. This year, we have two types of daffodils and grape hyacinths to plant in the flower boxes. In a week or two, the bridges will be vibrant with color. 

At the end of May, the bulbs will be transplanted into the ground at Putnam Park to be enjoyed for many years to come. That way, they preform double duty: annual bulbs on the bridges in 2012 and perennial bulbs in Putnam Park.

Bulbs in the ground at Francie's house

Loaded in Carl VonMertens' old vintage truck, nicked named "Bob"

Unloading "Bob" at the parking lot by the bridge on Main Street

Francie planting bulbs on the Main Street Bridge

Anne planting another flower box

Maggi plating a flower box on the Grove Street Bridge

A flower box completed waiting to bloom on Grove Street

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cornus Officinalis and Hellebores in Early April

Hope near the High Line

One morning while we were in New York, we got off the High Line to have breakfast at a favorite French bakery called La Bergamote Patisserie on Ninth Avenue. As we returned to the High Line entrance on 20th Street, Mary, my optician, noticed a makeshift art installation attached to a street sign.  When we looked closer, we realized that the passerby was invited to write one of their hopes on the tags provided. I thought it was a wonderful idea. Maybe one day we will our own version in the parks in Peterborough.

The Hope tags

Someone's Hope for the future

Another Hopeful Wish

Ellen makes a wish



My turn


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