Monday, September 30, 2013

My New Tree Peony

I planted a new tree peony yesterday, one that I picked up a few weeks ago at Green Springs Gardens in Fairfax. I wouldn't say I am a collector of tree peonies, but they are probably my favorite plant in my garden, and I have three--two pink ones and one red one. Green Springs is a public garden and is a great place to walk around and get ideas. They have a wide variety of trees and shrubs, and perennial, herb, and vegetable gardens, and they also have a small garden shop where they sell plants they propagate from the gardens. So when I saw this potted yellow tree peony I had to have it. I had an area of daylilies that I was tired of (mine look good for about 10 minutes in July), so Walt dug them out this weekend, we picked out hundred of daylily roots,  and we added some compost to the area and it was ready for planting. The tree peony I purchased is a yellow one,  Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kinshi.'

Ready to plant
Newly planted tree peony
I think it has plenty of room to grow,  and this is what we have to look forward to. It might be a few years before it blooms, so I'll have to be patient.

Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kinshi'
I also have a new pile of rocks I need to spread around. I brought back a bunch from Lake Erie when we were in Cleveland in August, and I also brought back a few from Maine. I love my rocks.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Fleurs: Last of the Zinnias

I have been picking lots of zinnias this week, putting little bouquets all over the house, as I can tell their days are numbered. The leaves are pretty ratty and mildewed by now, but the blooms keep coming and I will keep picking until they stop. I just love my zinnias, so colorful and cheery. I had some great varieties this year, including a 3-foot tall scarlet zinnia with 4"-wide blooms.  So showy! I plant most of my zinnias from seed, and I wish I had kept that seed packet, because it's definitely a winner.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Flowers of Maine

This is the last of the Maine posts,  I promise. The flowers in Maine are so great, of course I had to do a post just on all the flowers I saw-- at restaurants, on street corners, in front of stores,  in harbors, in lovely home gardens. I especially love how restaurants would plant flowers and herbs in old cooking pots and pans. And my favorite was that little enamel saucepan planted with ornamental peppers, as we would pass that every morning when we walked into town.  Everything was so lush and exuberant at the end of the season, it was a great flower-filled vacay.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Asticou Terraces and Thuya Gardens, Maine

Hand-carved cedar entrance gates

One of my favorite places we visited last week in Maine on Mount Desert Island were the Asticou Terraces and the Thuya Gardens and Lodge. To get to the gardens, you have to climb the Asticou Terraces trail about a quarter mile up a hillside above Northeast Harbor.  The property belonged to renowned Boston landscape architect Joseph Henry Curtis who spent summers here from 1880-1928, and who designed the Asticou Terraces Trail and the scenic outlooks on the hillside. When Curtis died in 1928, he gave the property to Mount Desert Island residents for their 'quiet reflection and enjoyment.' The area got its name from the abundance of northern white cedar (Thuya occidentalis). After Mr Curtis's death, a local landscape architect and longtime Northeast Harbor resident,  Charles K. Savage (also innkeeper of the nearby Asticou Inn),  was appointed trustee and over the next 37 years he designed the English style herbaceous gardens on what was formerly an orchard, and renovated the lodge to house Curtis's collection of botanical and horticultural books. Mr. Savage designed the gardens in the style of the famed British gardener Gertrude Jekyll, and many of the plants in the garden are from the Bar Harbor garden of Beatrix Farrand (an American gardener inspired by Jekyll)  when her estate was dismantled in 1956.

There are more than 80 varieties of perennials and annuals in the herbaceous borders. The dahlias were especially beautiful when we visited.

If you look carefully you can see a hummingbird in the blue salvia below. I have never seen so many hummingbirds in a garden before. They were flying all around the gardens and all around us.  I kept trying to get a good photo, with little success. I was surprised there were still hummingbirds, I would have thought they would have migrated south by now. The only hummingbirds in Maine are the ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Patient husband

I really loved the rustic old lodge, it was so warm and cozy and especially loved the library upstairs which has an amazing collection of gardening books. I could have stayed there all afternoon looking at the books.

And this is the view as you climb the meandering path that goes up the hillside to the gardens,  with beautiful views of Northeast Harbor. The hillside is planted with azaleas, so it must be really spectacular in the spring.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Best of Maine


Today is our last day in Maine, and I thought I would post some random photos of some of my favorite places here on Mount Desert Island.  Somesville is just about the most picturesque town ever,  the next town past Southwest Harbor and we pass through it every time we go into Acadia. The little bridge and the library, on Somes Sound, are a photographer's dream. I wanted to stop and sit and stare at Somes Sound every time we drove through it. Trust me, Walt is sick of me saying 'stop'!  I really should be working in that library instead of busy Tysons Pimmit Library on horrible Leesburg Pike.

Gorgeous window boxes



Somes Sound

Somesville Library on Somes Sound

 We did a long hike today, well over 4 miles, on a trail around Little Long Pond in Acadia. The Little Long Pond Trail is part of the carriage roads,  and it goes around the pond and then up above it through woods and over a cool cobblestone bridge. The trail we were on connects with a bunch of other carriage roads that go to Jordan Pond and all over Acadia, but fortunately we found the right one down and made it back to our car.  Yesterday we went to Asticou Terraces and Thuya Gardens but I am saving the garden related photos for next week. Maine flowers and gardens are pretty spectacular and you can be sure I will be sharing lots of pictures.  It has been a wonderful week. It is so quiet and peaceful here and being surrounded by such beauty in nature is truly spirit-renewing. There's something about this Maine coastline of rocks and water...

Northeast Harbor

Bar Harbor

Sips Restaurant in Southwest Harbor--one of our favs

Clark Point Road, Southwest Harbor

Window boxes on the cottage where we are staying

Perfect Maine garden on Clark Point Road

Clark Point Road (the road where we are staying)

Echo Lake, Southwest Harbor
Little Long Pond, Acadia

Hiking in Acadia, cobblestone bridge
Little Long Pond Trail