The Magic of Georgia O’Keeffe @ NYBG

The New York Botanical Garden was founded in 1891 and is a National Historic Landmark world renown for its plant research and conservation programs.

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Georgia O’Keeffe was an American artist known mostly for her paintings of oversized flowers from New Mexico and Hawaii.  She achieved worldwide acclaim for her innovative impressionist images.  She is widely considered the “Mother of American Modernism”.  Known for her paintings of Oriental Poppies, Cow’s Skull, Heliconia to name a few.

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Start your visit in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory:

Enid Haupt Conservatory

 

The Visions of Hawai’i exhibit reflects her depiction of the Islands of Hawaii while on commission for the Dole Pineapple Company in 1939 for their promotional campaign. Her works are a study in understanding the natural environment of the islands.

The exhibit highlights the flora of Hawaii both inside the Conservatory and outside in the Garden showcasing the flowers and fruit of Hawaii like pineapple, papaya and bananas. There are more than 300 varieties of plants including ti plants, frangipani, bougainvillea, heliconia, hibiscus, bird-of-paradise, ginger and other tropicals.

Hibiscus
Hibiscus
Red Ginger
Red-Ginger Alpina purpurata

In the Conservatory courtyard pool you will find aquatic plants like Water lilies and Lotuses.  The Lotus is a sacred plant symbolizing eternal life in Buddhism. Chose your color! You will see the lilies and lotus in yellow, pink, purple, and blue. Pineapple plants surround the pool.

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Lotus ‘Perry’s Giant Sunburst’

Water lily

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There is also an incredible collection of 17 paintings in the Mertz Library Gallery not seen together since 1940 highlighting the influence of Hawaii’s dramatic landscapes and exotic plants. The exhibit includes Heliconia, Crab’s Claw Ginger, Pineapple Bud, and Hibiscus with Plumeria to name a few. There is a short film featuring letters to her famous husband who was a photographer, Alfred Stieglitz. NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED! These are photos of her paintings only.

Native Plant Garden highlights plants native to the Northeast including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns and grasses. The pool is fed by recycled stormwater as it flows over stone weirs.

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Rock Garden

Rock Garden-1

Rosen Seasonal Walk showcases perennials, grasses and bulbs highlighting their shape, structure and color throughout the season as emphasized by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.

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Lily with Echinops

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Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden was just exploding with color and textures. The path winds through four themed garden rooms each with its own distinct personality. Here you will find daylilies, hydrangeas, black-eyed susans, nepeta, yarrow, begonias, caladiums, chives, salvia, crocosmia and amsonia to name just a few. Each garden room is devoted to a color scheme: The Fall Room: plants at their peak in autumn; the Bog Room: plants that love the moist and wet soil; the Hot Room: here bright flowers and foliage dominate like red, yellow and orange; and then the Cool Room: flowers and foliage in the silver, pink, blue and purple families.

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This garden changes seasonally so if you can try to visit during every season as you will never see the same exact landscape twice! I guarantee it!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Take time to smell the ROSES!

Roses are perhaps my favorite flower!  There are so many varieties, some with glorious fragrances, others with prickly thorns that always seem to get me through my garden gloves.  Roses are quite versatile in the garden as they can be used in mixed borders, as a hedge, in a Rose only border as climbers or container plants and of course they make wonderful cut flowers.  Planting in groups of three or more makes a big impact if that is what you are after. What is your favorite way to use Roses?

My favorite roses are David Austin English Roses www.davidaustinroses.com but there are many other types of Roses.  Knock-Out Roses are very useful in the landscape as well.  Roses are very adaptable plants and look great in a mixed border which is my preference. They continue to flower when many other plants are finished blooming providing color right through the end of the growing season here in CT.

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Over The Moon

One of my favorites is ‘Heritage’ which has a medium sized cup shaped bloom.  It is a soft, clear pink at its center and the the outer petals are almost white. Thankfully for me it has very few thorns and is a nicely shaped shrub.  The fragrance makes it one of my favorite for cut flower arrangements.

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David Austin Heritage Rose

I have finally gotten ‘Munstead Wood’ and Old Rose Hybrid that I have coveted for years. It is a very deep velvety crimson. Hopefully this will take hold and become a lovely bushy shrub.  They supposedly have good disease resistance so that is always a plus when it comes to Roses. The new leaves are a lovely reddish bronze and it has a very strong Old Rose fragrance that is a little on the fruity side. I am very excited for this to really take off.

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David Austin ‘Munstead Wood’

Another new Rose for me is ‘Princess Anne’.  This rose is a deep pink and blooms for a long period.  An added benefit for sure! The blooms are in large clusters and this Rose has a medium Tea Rose fragrance.  This too should become a lovely compact, bushy, upright shrub.

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David Austin ‘Princess Anne’

I couldn’t talk about Roses without showing you one of my all time stars – ‘Winchester Cathedral’.  I have a few of these and have moved them with me from property to property since I can’t bear to leave them behind.  This is an Old Rose Hybrid with a lovely fragrance of honey and almond and is a pure white Rose with just a touch of pink at the center. There are masses of flowers on this shrub and it blooms at different intervals during the season. It would be a superb selection for anywhere in your garden whether in mixed borders, hedges or flower beds. I can’t get enough of this Rose!

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David Austin ‘Winchester Cathedral’
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David Austin ‘Winchester Cathedral’

Another of my favorites is David Austin ‘Graham Thomas’ but it did not bloom this past year as I have transplanted it now so many times.  This year I hope to see that lovely pure yellow bloom once more. This is one of the best known of the English Roses and is usually very vigorous and fragrant.

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David Austin Graham Thomas

There are other varieties of Roses as I mentioned earlier, Climbing Roses, Knock-Out Roses, Shrub Roses.  Here are some more photos to entice you into planting at least one rose bush this year whatever type suits your fancy!

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Pink Knock Out Roses

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Noble Anthony Rose

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Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, IT Rose

More from the home of Linda Allard. Sorry I don’t know the varieties.

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare

Spring Arrangements & Flowering Plants

After a long winter I love to bring color back into my home as soon as possible. The houseplants have done their duty and brightened the gray days as best they can but now we all want some color!

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When planning your garden or rejuvenating it remember to plan for a variety of sizes, colors, sounds, shapes and textures to provide movement for the eye and a wide variety for bouquets and of course, to support pollinators.

Here are some early spring stars for bouquets that can be used to create the base or backbone of your floral arrangements:

Purple tulip
Tulips

Trees and shrubs – use the branches and flowers: Magnolia, Lilacs, Viburnum, Quince, Andromeda, Forsythia, Fothergilla, Ninebarks ( Physocarpus), Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Spirea, Deutzia, Azalea and Rhododendrons, Redbuds, Mock Orange, Red or Yellow Twig Dogwoods, Corylopsis (Winterhazel), Crabapples, Cherry and Apricot trees.

Magnolia NYBG
Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’ saucer magnolia
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Flowering Cherry
Lilacs Robert Courturier
A Lilac allee’

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Forsythia
Forsythia on the Hudson River at NYBG

Spring flowers that are ideal for arrangements: Peonies, Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils, Lilacs, Alliums, Muscari, Pasque Flowers, Frittilaria, Roses, and Ranunculus to name a few!

Muscari
Muscari
Allium
Alliums
Daffodil field- Laurel Ridge
Daffodils as far as the eye can see!
Pasque flower
Pasque flower

Here are my top picks for more spring flowering perennials and bulbs.

Hellebores, Siberian Iris, Primrose, Feverfew, Alliums, Wisteria, Amsonia, Baptisa, Bleeding Hearts, Lady’s Mantle, Epimedium, Roses, Hypericum, Solomon’s Seal, Hosta leaves and Lobelias

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Bleeding Hearts – Dicentra spectabilis
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Siberian Iris

Also, don’t forget veggies when making arrangements.  Think about baby carrots, artichokes and curly kale and parsley.

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I love to pair Siberian Iris, Nepeta, Sage, Allium Globemaster or Gladiator, Amsonia and Baptisa and I mix them with Daylilies, Heuchera and Grasses for all season bloom after the spring flush is done.

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My spring garden

If you want to have flowers for cutting be sure to plant in large drifts not one here and one there. Planning for the next season now will yield you beautiful arrangements all year!

Are you interested in how I created my garden from scratch in just a few months? Here is a link to: Anatomy of a New Garden

SPRING FLING – a tour around the NY Botanical Garden

An explosion of perfume was in the air on Saturday at the NY Botanical Gardens!  The sights and smells were overload to this devoted gardener.  Even my husband was ooohing and aaahing!  The Cherry trees, Magnolias, Spireas and of course all those gorgeous bulbs and spring flowering perennials combined with the fabulous 80 degrees made for a spectacular adventure.  If you are looking for inspiration for your garden to add a new spring flowering tree, shrub or flowering perennial this will inspire and delight you!  I was so in awe I took almost 900 pictures!  Here are just a few! Do you have a garden you would love me to photograph? As I say, I am obsessed with gardening! So I will say no more but take you on a visual tour of the garden.  I hope you can get there yourself!

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Prunus ‘Accolade’ Flowering Cherry

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Corylopsis sinensis Chinese winter-hazel
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Hyacinth orientalis ‘Delft Blue’
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Spirea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ one of my all time favorites
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Spirea japonica ‘Goldflame’
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Narcissus ‘Monal’ large-cupped daffodil
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Monet would be proud
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Native Plant Garden
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Prunus mume ‘Peggy Clarke’ Japanese Apricot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designing with Color

When planning your garden basic design color principles apply both inside and outside.  Color schemes can be used in several different ways depending on the mood you wish to create.  When talking about color the conversation automatically goes to the basic color wheel. (Color Wheel courtesy of Sessions College)

There are primary colors: Red, Blue and Yellow; then the Secondary colors of Violet, Orange and Green and Tertiary colors which are colors made by mixing a primary color and an adjacent secondary color.  An example would be orange-red; yellow-orange or lime green which is a mixture of green and yellow.

color-wheel

So first let’s look at Complementary colors.  These are opposite each other on the color wheel like red and green, yellow and purple and orange and blue. These combinations offer the most contrast and provide visual stimulation.  Typically you will want to use more of the cooler color which recedes visually and that is balanced by less of the other color which will advance towards you.  The ‘Pop”!  But beware don’t pop”onesies” here and there.  It will cause the eye to jump all over.  Try to buy at least 3 of any plant.  You will be more successful if you plant in drifts of color and plants vs. trying to bring home one of every little goody you find.  I must say that I am also guilty of doing this.  Sometimes I just can’t resist and I will then use that one plant and test it out for a season and see if my soil, sun and climate will work for that newbie before buying more of them.  Experiment!  It is really hard to go wrong when planting since you can always move the plant if you don’t like where you placed it.

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Purple and yellow

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Red and Green
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Purple and Yellow
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Orange and Blue

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Analogous color schemes utilize neighboring hues on the color wheel.  They are typically warm or cool when most successfully used. Analogous colors lie between two primary colors like crimson. violet and violet-blue. These combinations are easy on the eye and the colors just seem to go together.  They are adjacent on the color wheel.

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Mohonk Mountain Hotel
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Yellow-Yellow Orange – Orange – Red Orange – Red
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Red Violet – Purple

When discussing color you will hear people refer to hue, value or chroma of a color.  The Hue is the name of the color such as red or blue. The Value of a color refers to its lightness or darkness and the Chroma is the strength of the color. Again, repetition is key in garden design.

Monochromatic schemes have one color used throughout.  In the case of the garden, green is a neutral color but even a garden can have too much green.  Look for different textures, heights and a variety of colors like, green, lime, yellow-green, blue-green so the view isn’t boring.  Hostas are a great example of the tremendous range of color available in a single plant species.  Heuchera is another! I bet you can find Heuchera in every color under the sun these days!  Always provide some darker and lighter plants for interest.  Relief in every color scheme can be added by sprinkling in whites.  This will break up the palette and keep the energy and the eye moving.  Remember that colors can be warm or cool.  Yellows can lean towards green or towards orange and this will guide you to the companion plants you might plant nearby.

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Verbena bonariensis
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (35)
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – Monochromatic
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Nepeta

 

Whatever your color scheme if you have a garden that you would like photographed call me!  I understand when the light is right, the bloom time is perfect and as a gardener I love my gardens and always want to preserve the moments that come and go and change almost daily.

You can find me at www.lensidesigns.com where you can link to my Flickr page that will showcase many of my photographs.  Need a gift?  I can help with that too.  I can have a print made for you to give as a gift, ready to hang on archival paper, no frame necessary.  Maybe treat yourself!!!

Happy Gardening!!!

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