Okay I know you are thinking: WHAT!!! It’s still summer, but in many parts of the country bulbs go in the garden in the fall from late September until frost so start perusing those catalogs now and get your orders in. If you have favorites, you’ll want to order them quickly in case those special bulbs get sold out!
If you are on Instagram you can’t miss all those lovely photos of fields upon fields of tulips just waiting to be sent to us 🙂
Here are just a few varieties and collections for you to consider when planning your spring garden. Combine Daffodils, Muscari, Alliums, Hyacinths, Tulips, and Camassia for a long lasting display!
Day Lily is just what it means! A new bud opens and then closes every day. There are daylilies that start early in the summer and others that open later so it is completely possible to have daylilies for months! They are reliable, simple to grow, require no fuss and I have to say a favorite of deer in some yards, thankfully not mine! I have had some deer damage this year but for the most part they have left them alone.
Olallie Rose Ring
Francis of Assisi
Daylilies are good companions to many perennials like Shasta daisies, Black-eyed susans, Phlox, Coneflowers, Liatris, Russian Sage, Bee Balm, Grasses, Catmint, Shrubs and annuals.
Daylilies are great flowers for beginner gardeners as they are not fussy plants in any way! There are literally thousands of varieties in every color and form. The actual name for a daylily is Hemerocallis from the Greek words dayand beauty. As I mentioned blooms last only one day but each scape has multiple buds!
If you are truly devoted you might consider becoming a member of The American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) They recognize seven main daylily types, including singles, doubles, spiders, sculpted, minis, multiform and others. New varieties are being hybridized daily by hundreds of gardeners who are truly passionate. There are nearly 90,000 varieties registered with The AHS.
Many gardeners start out as casual lovers but quickly get consumed with this lovely plant. Most can be grown in Zones 3 through 9 and vary in height, bloom size and basically prefer sunny locations.
A great benefit is that if you want more you can divide the clumps every 3-4 years either when they first come up or after bloom is finished.
Daylily with eyezone
Unknown Spider daylily
Have fun and trade with friends! There are many daylilies to try beyond the reblooming daylily- ‘Stella de Oro‘ seen everywhere.
In their effort to make the world a more beautiful place the owners of Lavender Pond Farm have created a little slice of heaven right here in Connecticut on 25 acres now filled with all sorts of lavender varieties.
Located in Killingworth, CT the Farm caters to lavender and garden lovers alike. Lavender typically blooms from June into August but can last later depending on the weather. With almost 10,000 plants in the fields there are 12 varieties including: Grosso, Munstead, Edelweiss, Hidcote Giant and Provence.
Children old and young enjoy walking thru the fields, taking their family photos and just enjoying the outdoors. Check out the Rooster and his harem or play some chess on the life size board.
To help with the necessary pollination they have honey bees which play an important role.
Recently they built an authentic covered bridge on the property and there is a lovely gazebo to sit and just surround yourself in this sea of lavender! Stay tuned as they are planning to open a bed and breakfast!
Want to take some home? No problem, they sell lavender plants and a variety of lavender based products in their on-site shop, including sachets, soaps, scrubs, linen sprays, oils and lavender lemonade to name a few.
The New York Botanical Garden was founded in 1891 and is a National Historic Landmark world renown for its plant research and conservation programs.
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.
Start your visit in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory:
The Visions of Hawai’iexhibit 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.
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.
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.
Pineapple Bud 1939
White Bird of Paradise 1939
Heliconia, Crab’s Claw Ginger 1939
White Lotus 1939
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
In my garden I have planted to encourage butterflies, bees and birds to enjoy and pollinate. At this time of the year it is important to keep food sources plentiful for these wonderful creatures. Black-eyed Susan’s start blooming in late July and continue all fall in my garden in Zone 5.
Most common of the Black Eyed Susan’s is Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’. If happy, I find it seems to reappear in new areas of my garden as if by design. Remember when your pollinators are busy plants appear where they are most happy. If you don’t want this you will need to pull them out. These look best when planted in masses or drifts. Leave the seed heads and the birds will love you! Hardy to Zone 4.
Rudbeckia hirta like most of the Rudbeckias are herbaceous perennials and is happy in Zone 3 to 7. It blooms from June to September with yellow or orange yellow rays and dark brown centers. The leaves are a little rough and hairy giving a nice contrast in the perennial border. It loves full sun and medium water. It will naturalize! That means spread!
Rudbeckia fulgida var. ‘Deam’s coneflower’ has large daisy like flower heads in yellow or orange petals (rays) with a dark center. It tolerates either full sun to partial shade. Have clay soil, you’re good to go with this variety and for the most part all in this category.
Problems with deer? Then Black-eyed Susan’s are for you as deer typically don’t touch them. BUT!!!! when hungry deer will eat anything! Forewarned!
Indian Summer is drought tolerant but don’t think the bunnies aren’t interested! This summer I have been battling with these determined guys. Winter hardy to Zones 3-7. All Black-eyed Susan’s need full sun and well-drained soils. I find that deadheading spent flowers helps prolong bloom time and encourage additional blooms. Given a spot they love they will self-seed. They have daisy like flower heads that appeal to butterflies. The flower heads are huge and add bold, stunning color to borders.
Black-eyed Susan’s are sometimes called Gloriosa Daisy.
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ is a tall beauty and one of my favorites and this summer a favorite of my local bunnies! It can grow up to 7′ tall so I use it in the back of the border and support it. It starts blooming in June and goes all summer. It loves well drained soil in full sun. The large daisy like flowers having drooping petals (rays) with bright green center cones.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ prefers medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Deadheading here also helps encourage additional blooms. It typically grows 3-5′ tall so I use it in the back of the border to showcase smaller plants. It has stiff, upright leafy stems that hold these blooms straight and tall. I prefer to support all of my very tall plants with decorative supports. The rays are rolled unlike the typical Black-eyed Susan’s so it has a quilled effect. The flowers bloom in clusters starting in July and lastly all the way thru September.
What pairs with these late summer gems? Well I love purples so in my garden I have Agastache Blue Boa, Russian Sage, Liatris, Daylilies, Phlox, Nepeta and Dahlias. In one bed I have paired it with “hot” colors like red and orange daylilies and Dahlias as well as Red Persicaria.
What combinations do you love with Black-Eyed Susan’s?
Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Chanticleer is one of the great gardens in this area. Once the Rosengarten estate, today Chanticleer is a contemporary garden situated in a historic setting. Garden Design magazine has dubbed this “America’s most inspiring garden.”
“The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck in the 1920s.”
They purchased a neighboring property in 1933. It is now the site of the Minder Ruin Garden composed of three “rooms”. The Great Hall; The Library; and The Pool Room
As you leave the Ruins you enter the Gravel Garden filled with orange butterfly weed, grasses, Alliums and a variety of other plants including Yuccas.
Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms. Here is another house on the property.
The heirs left the entire property for the enjoyment of the public The garden opened to the public in 1993. If you are in the area and are visiting gardens be sure to check out both Chanticleer and Longwood Gardens.
Thankfully the weather held out for the Sunday Garden tours this year unlike Saturday’s Garden and Rare Plant Sale at Lion Rock Farm. Wethersfield Garden in Amenia, NY is a beautifully manicured ten acre garden surrounding the home of the late Chauncey D. Stillman. The gardens were created in a classical style similar to the Italian villas found in the 17th century.
In every direction the Garden takes full advantage of the views and creates rooms and spaces with statues, steps, water features and plant materials. It was created on a north-south and east-west axis by Landscape Architect Bryan J. Lynch and then Evelyn N. Poehler.
The Garden relies on the architecture of varying shades and textures of plant material that marry themselves into the natural landscape starting immediately upon arrival in the East Garden. Besides the sculpted yews there are Korean dogwoods, azaleas, lilacs, rhododendrons and magnolias. The four corners of this garden feature the most magnificent European Weeping Beech trees trimmed into cylindrical shape. Sorry the Garden geek in me was drooling!
The north wall in the East Garden features the Cupid Fountain surrounded by a fieldstone retaining wall that supports Sedum, Campanula and Ivy.
When you look to the south through the Arborvitae Arch which is flanked by two figurines playing pipes the views of the countryside unfold. These statues are called the “Pan Pipers”. This area features Witch Hazel, Hawthorne, Elderberry and Gray Dogwood.
The reflecting pool has a black interior that allows the surrounding shrubs to reflect onto the water’s surface. The surrounding yews are shaped into globes and cones.
The Inner Garden was originally designed when the house was built.
In the Knot Garden the flower tubs on either sides of the steps supposedly were designed by the architect Stanford White so they plant them with white petunias in his honor.
The Pine Terrace so named for the White Pine in the center of the stone terrace. A goldfish pond with its frogs and Iris and Agapanthas and Clivia that attract hummingbirds.
The Allee is flanked with Cupid urns that encourage “silence” in the garden. This area features a 12′ wide lawn and a bronze statute “Naiad” by a Swedish sculptor Carl Milles.
The Trade Secrets Garden tours are always a wonderful opportunity to tour private gardens that we can get ideas from for our own gardens even if only in our dreams.
Pollinators are crucial to the production of most fruits, nuts and berries including apples, oranges, tomatoes and blueberries. There are many plants that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees to your property. In order to attract these pollinators plant a succession of blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs so pollen is available throughout the growing season. Planting flowers in large drifts and different shapes will also help attract pollinators. Just as we can’t find a ‘needle in a haystack’ neither can they. One plant will not say ‘COME HERE’ to my yard! Be Bold!
Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, and purple blossoms that are flat topped or clustered and have short flower tubes and they prefer to feed only in the sun. Sunflowers, Zinnias, Lupines, Red-osier Dogwood, Chokecherry and Asters are a few. Female butterflies select specific plants on which to lay their eggs. The Monarch butterfly relies on Ascelpias – Butterfly weed as it serves as a Host and Nectar plant.
Hummingbirds are attracted to scarlet, orange, red or white tubular flowers sipping nectar from long tubular honeysuckle flowers as well as Verbena, Zinnias and Penstemon.
Bees are attracted to bright white, yellow or blue and purple flowers so plant several colors in your yard to attract a variety of pollinators such as Black-eyed Susan’s and Sunflowers. Bees, unlike Hummingbirds and Butterflies feed only on flowers gathering nectar and pollen.
You will get hours of enjoyment watching the hummingbirds and butterflies dance around your garden and think of all the cut flowers you will have for bouquets!
Some Plants that attract polliantors:
Salvia guaranitica; Asceplias; Agastache; Asters; Verbena bonariensis; Rudbeckia – Black-eyed Susans; Lavender; Lespedeza; Leucanthemum- Daisy; Ligularia, Coreposis, Helianthus annus- Sunflowers; Baptisa, Catmint, Solidago – Goldenrod, (not to be confused with Ragweed); Lilacs, Antirrhinum – Snapdragons; Buddleia – Butterfly Bush; Zinnias, Penstemon; Phlox; Allium, Cosmos, Monarda- Bee balm- Eupatorium- Joe Pye weed; Columbine; Echinacea- Coneflower; Achillea millefolium – Yarrow to name just a few.
A great source for plants to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden is White Flower Farm. They can help you select a variety of plants to keep a steady supply of pollen and nectar available all throughout the growing season. You can find them at White Flower Farm
With Trade Secrets being this weekend in CT I thought you might be interested in this blog I wrote several years ago on the Saturday event which is always a widely anticipated event by plant geeks everywhere. People come from far and wide to attend, booking their hotel rooms a year in advance! Many of the vendors come every year so although this blog is from several years ago the information is very relevant to this weekends show in Sharon!
Trade Secrets is a two-day event which started 18 years ago in Bunny Williams backyard. This event is the foremost fundraiser for Women’s Support Services which offers crisis intervention, counseling and education, as well as legal, medical, and housing assistance to fulfill its mission of creating a community free of domestic violence. Women’s Support Services is a nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential aid to victims of domestic violence and abuse. WSS provides a 24 hour hotline, (860) 364.1900 short-term emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, education and emergency support for those in need.
The proceeds from Trade Secrets 2018 will help WSS fund programs that teach children about healthy relationships and conflict resolution and will help fund operation of their 24-hour hotline. If you missed it this year mark your calendar for next year like Martha Stewart.
“Sadly 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lives” (National Violence Against Women Survey, 2000)
The mission of WSS is to create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education.
Trade Secrets is the premiere Rare Plant & Garden Antique Sale of the season on Saturday with Private Garden tours on Sunday! Today I will take you on a tour of the Rare Plant & Garden Antique Sale.
The plant and antique sale is held yearly at Lion Rock Farm in Sharon, CT. This is a stunning property overlooking Amenia, NY located in one of the most scenic areas in northwest CT. There were antiques of every variety, rare plants that you can only find here as well as perennials, vegetables and annuals for sale. There are trees and shrubs, containers and planters, statuary and towers, peonies, roses, and lavender. You name it and I am sure you can find it here.