IN MAY, when the days are warm, the air is fragrant, and the phlox subulata (above) is in bloom, I like to take Lily the Beagle on leisurely walks. Would you like to see what we see when we tour the gardens here? Join us.
Because it’s such a sparkling day, perhaps we should sip something bubbly as we walk.
The boxwood I grew mostly from cuttings is certainly healthy. But it needs a haircut. I’ve scheduled the barber for Saturday. Let’s hope he appears.
Meanwhile, I’ve given the rose beds their annual covering of newspaper and shredded leaves. The arrangement has worked wonders for this garden that was previously paved with asphalt. The paper and leaves smother weeds for an entire season, while providing food for worms and other soil-building organisms. You can read all about “newspaper-mulching” here.
Mind holding Lily’s leash for a moment? I’d like to take a photograph from the attic window.
And speaking of high…can I offer you more Prosecco?
Did I mention that my partner is a polar bear?
I hope you are paying attention. There will be a quiz at the end of this tour.
And please note: these statues may look old to you, but they are in fact quite new. My friend Michael Laudati gave them an an old-world patina by applying a special “wash.” You can read about his easy statue-aging technique in this post.
Opposite the pool is the Kitchen Garden. The pair of Viburnum ‘Cayuga’ at each end of the garden’s front fence are now in bloom. If you are looking for a viburnum that offers a strong, intoxicating scent, by all means seek out this variety. It blooms twice a year — once in spring, once in autumn.
I’d love to tell you that in summer, the vines produce abundant fruit. But mine have not, even though I planted one male and one female plant, as directed. Probably the plants were mislabeled, which means I have a same-sex kiwi couple.
What’s that you say?
Yes, you may pour yourself another glass of Prosecco.
As you can see, the garlic I planted last autumn is growing with gusto. If you have garlic in your garden, be sure to feed the bulbs regularly in spring. Give them plentiful moisture, too.
The leeks are growing with rocket-speed, too. I set these seedlings in deep holes in order to achieve white, or “blanched” shanks. You can read more about this planting-method in my leek-planting tutorial.
Well, we could spend an entire hour looking at the plants in the Woodland Garden. So let’s save the rest of this shady oasis for another, separate tour, okay?
We can work our way back to the house via the Serpentine Garden. I designed this garden out of sheer necessity.
As we enter the garden, we encounter a group of species tulips. Species tulips are the tiny ancestors of the tall, familiar “Dutch” tulips. Pictured above is pink ‘Lilac Wonder,’ and crimson ‘Batalini Red Gem.’ Consider these doll-house plants for the front of a border, or for a rock garden. You can easily force them for indoor winter-bloom, too, just as I do.
Here is our view from the bench, looking up at the third terrace. On the right are cascading mounds of pink and blue Phlox subulata. Behind the phlox is a hedge of dwarf lilacs. On the left is the steep second terrace. We are headed to that terrace now.
Whoops! Before descending the hill, I forgot to show you Malus ‘Royalty.’ What a colorful tree! It’s purple blossoms are followed by purple foliage. If you need a crab-apple that stands out in a crowd, this tree is for you.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of the mid-May grounds here. How’s you own garden coming along?
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