The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nice Combinations at the Office

The foliage of Coleus 'Copper Splash' picks up the orange-yellow flowers of Impatiens 'Jungle Gold'

The velvety wine-edged-with-chartreuse foliage of Coleus "Compact Red' is indispensable in planters

The Blue Bench is a nice contrast to the chartreuse foliage of Phygelius 'Sunshine'

Monday, September 26, 2011

Magnolia sieboldii in Fruit

Magnolia sieboldii in late September is a thing of great beauty. I think the fruit rivals the flowers as a feature in the garden. The ornamental 3-inch-long carmine fruit dangles off the tree and eventually busts open to reveal orange seeds. The fruit are oval in shape and have a little spine-like points that create an interesting texture.

A native of Korea, Japan and China, Magnolia sieboldii is a lovely small tree that has prospered beautifully on the north side of our house located in Zone 5. It gets plenty of sun in the morning but seems to appreciate the protection the house provides.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holy Cuphea Going Gangbusters, Batman

One of my favorite annuals, Cuphea 'Bat Face', is taking center stage in my garden right now. Cupheas are a genus of over 250 annuals and short-lived perennials that originate mostly from Mexico and Guatemala. My first experience with these floriferous plants was Cuphea 'David Verity' in the Conservatory Garden in Central Park about 15 years ago. C. 'David Verity' is one of the most vigorous of the so-called cigar plants. They got their common name because the 1 inch tubular orange flowers resemble cigars. C. 'David Verity grows about two fee tall. C. 'Bat Face' is a stockier plant growing about 18" tall. The curious flowers are purple and bright carmine and on close examination look like little bat faces.

Cuphea 'Bat Face' is an excellent front-of -the border plant and flowers all summer without dead-heading. This year, I also tried it in a planter which worked extremely well. An added bonus is that cupheas are hummingbirds magnets and it is always a delight to see them hovering over a sea of miniature bats.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Garden in Early September

Setaria rubra and Coleus 'Compact Red' in the Indian Pot

The Lower Garden

The Upper Garden

No flowers on Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious' behind the boxwood but its foliage is enough.
The late orange daylily is 'Late Embers'

The golden variegated privet contrasts well with Euphorbia cotinifolia in the foreground

The fruit of Magnolia sieboldii is about to turn red and looks like dangling earrings

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Puppets in Paradise in Putney, VT

An announcement from Gordon Hayward for folks living in New England

On Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 from 10am-4pm, Sandglass Theater announces the return of local favorite, Puppets in Paradise, a two-day extravaganza of performance, food, and community. The Paradise is the enchanted setting of landscape architects Gordon and Mary Hayward’s gardens. Walk the gardens and take in the colors and smells of lush herbs, flowers, and other beautiful flora as you meet puppets, theater artists and musicians around each corner and behind every bush. The Puppets are 10 spectacular and entertaining short performances presented throughout the day among the flora. Food and refreshments add to the delight of a beautiful day.

This year’s roster of performers includes some known favorites as well as some exciting new faces... and hands. Irish puppeteer, Fergus Walsh, will be performing “Bu Dai Xi – Wu Da (Irish Style)”. Fergus’ unique and hilarious take on a traditional Taiwanese hand puppet style, synthesizes dry Irish humor with true Kung-Fu action. Another newcomer to the line-up is Lorraine Gilman, bringing her “misinterpretation” of Eric Carle’s most beloved story. “The Hungry Caterpillar vs. The Big Apple” blends toy theater, hand puppetry, and comic mayhem in a hilarious story of the life cycle of a caterpillar. Also new on the bill is Tom Getschell, an up and coming American marionette performer. With precision and delicacy, Tom’s beautiful puppets explore themes of faith, hope, and love, inspired by the poetry of one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson.

Along with several newcomers, this year’s roster of performers includes an exciting multi-disciplined collaboration. Calling themselves The Stalagmites, Zak Grace, Jana Zeller, Shoshana Bass and Darden Longenecker use puppetry, dance, stilt walking and circus arts to weave together a story inspired by the gardens where they’ll be performing throughout the weekend. Jana says “It seems that during rehearsal each of us has had the opportunity to reach beyond our familiar skills, we hope the audience will feel transported to a world that we too are discovering.”

The gardens, a thoughtful combination of informal New England landscaping and the more traditional English garden, provide the backdrop for the scenes being presented. Using specific locations such as the Hayward’s barn, the Woodland, Herb, and “Vermont Ruin” gardens as their stages, the artists will perform short pieces throughout the day.

Delicious gourmet lunches, elaborate salads, desserts, beverages and ice cream will be available for purchase. All proceeds from tickets and concessions benefit Sandglass Theater’s projects and programs. Sandglass Theater is a non-profit theater company located in Putney, Vermont, which specializes in the art of puppet theater and performance work.

Sandglass Theater is unique in many ways. Its 24-year connection to the community and dependence on volunteers for its successful presentation of multi-venue events is particularly outstanding. Volunteers help make Sandglass productions one of the most affordable family entertainment options in Windham County. Puppets in Paradise is a celebration of community, art, and the beauty of our New England environment. To volunteer or for more information, contact Sandglass Theater at 802 387-4051 or visit our website,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Boccelli Garden in Early September

The Boccelli Garden is holding up well on Labor Day Weekend. The stars, for me, are the biennial Angelica gigas and the fruit of Rosa glauca.


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