The Lucky Gardener

The Early Spring Garden, part 2
April 16, 2011, 17:10
Filed under: BloodRoot, garden design, Sanguinaria, spring flowers

The appearance of the native perennial plant, Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), is a greatly anticipated event in my Spring garden. A single white flower emerges from each unfurling leaf. The leaf’s size and shape are distinctive, and the blossom seems somewhere between a Buttercup and Anenome. Each year, the spreading plants fill more and more of the garden floor.

Flowering lasts for a week or so and the leaves remain visible for a few months after that. The plants then go dormant (mid-summer here in the US northeast) and disappear underground until the following Spring.

These shots, taken over a span of only 4 days, show the brief flowering cycle.

Oh yeah, can you tell why its called ‘Bloodroot?

The Early Spring Garden, part 1
April 15, 2011, 10:28
Filed under: garden design, hellebore, spring flowers | Tags:

Though delayed by a few weeks of lousy weather, our gardens are abloom with the long-anticipated first color waves. Snow drops and crocus provided short lived but welcomed release from winter’s grip. Now we are fully into the flowering season. Daffodils are bursting all over, but the biggest and best are the Hellebores, – also known as The Lenten Rose, because of their appearance during the time of that holiday. These low growing perennials can easily be overlooked if growing out of view, but when they can be seen, what a show!

Below are 2 pictures of Hellebores in bloom, one close up of the pink flowers. The other showing the growth habit with last year’s leaves surrounding the new blooms.

Hellebore – The Lenten Rose showing flowers over last years foliage

Hellebore - The Lenten Rose showing last years foliage

April 7, 2011, 08:15
Filed under: Uncategorized

A few posts ago, I shared a sunrise in Los Cabos, Mexico. Realizing how spectacular my home town of Nyack, NY can be, I took these sunrise photos last week.

Though it continues to pour nearly every day, the following treat greeted my family during a morning break from the gloom.

HGTV Series, ‘Urban Outsiders’, pt. 3
April 6, 2011, 09:59
Filed under: Uncategorized

This, the third of the six gardens we installed for the HGTV series, Urban Outsiders, was the smallest space we’d encountered.  A mere 8′ x 20′ , surrounded by brick walls and solidly covered in soot and detritus, it was more alleyway than backyard.

We had six days to build the garden as designed. How we found room for 4 workers, 3 film crew members and a director, plus piles of demo’d concrete, new tile, mortar, bricks, and top soil is still a mystery. Three days of soaking rain added to an already tense atmosphere for claiming rights to the limited indoor staging areas located amidst the laundry room/storage space used by the building’s tenants.

Typical of NYC backyards, access from the street to site meant negotiating a series of up and down stairs, back-twisting turns, head-whacking steel I-beams, skin-tight hallways and the occasional head-scratching of how to maneuver materials spec’d by the designer which didn’t fit through door jambs.

We were all new to our forced relationship of builders and chroniclers sharing intimate spaces to create incredible gardens and TV shows. This project tested the resolve of us all. My crews worked on auto-pilot, doing great construction as they always did. I was in charge of continuity, keeping everyone on the set happy and productive.

The new design fit the site perfectly and maximized the owner’s living space. In addition to the new construction, power-washing the brick, re-pointing masonry and changing the deck railing brought the new and old elements into modern harmony. These changes are evident in the photos below.

And This Just In…
April 1, 2011, 13:16
Filed under: April Fool's, Uncategorized

Baseball Practice Canceled…Bicycles Back In The Garage…Firewood Returned to Porch.

On this foolish first day of April,  it is absolutely no joke that snow is falling once again outside my window.

My early Spring plans have been put on hold – for a second consecutive week.

I’m not sure if it makes me feel better or worse, but these luscious pictures I took just weeks ago at sunrise in Los Cabos, Mexico – are just a happy memory. They do remind me that I am, indeed, The Lucky Gardener for having been able to witness such a stirring sight.