June 6, 2011
Planting the Terrace at Skylands
Skylands, my home in Seal Harbor, Maine, is a magnificent place and one of my favorite areas is the grand terrace with its fabulous views. This commanding space deserves amazing plantings and every spring, one day is devoted to filling the many urns I have collected over the years. You may recall from a recent blog, that many plants were taken to Maine by trailer, from my greenhouses in Bedford. Skylands also has a greenhouse where many other tender tropical specimens are protected throughout the long and frigid winter. Planting the terrace is satisfying work and my Memorial Day guests were very happy to pitch in.
1 Here I am planting kalanchoe beharensis - Velvet Elephant Ear - a slow growing succulent tree-like shrub with large, undulating leaves which have a soft, velvety texture.
2 A native of Madagascar, kalanchoe beharensis is frost tender and spends the winter in the greenhouse at Skylands.
3 Jensen and Mike, part of the Skylands crew, carrying a kalanchoe onto the terrace.
4 To save on potting soil, in large urns, fill the bottom space with upside down empty plastic pots and set your plant material on top of them.
5 Here's the finished pot accentuated with bright alocasia - elephant ear plants.
6 I then got busy and planted a long cement trough planter.
7 These are some of the succulents that Shaun grew this past winter in the Bedford greenhouse.
8 It takes many plants to fill this a trough this size.
9 I think this will fill in very nicely.
10 Hannah planted dracena in a couple of urns which are a reproduction of one of several designed by British garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.
11 Kevin walking to the terrace with some pots of scented geranium.
12 After finding Francesca nibbling on a kiwi vine, I explained to Kate how Francesca blogged about eating medicinal styrex bark last week.
13 This is one of a pair of glazed terra-cotta sphinxes designed by Emile Muller, which guard the entrance to the house.
14 Kate choosing her plant material
15 Hannah and Kate working on another planting
16 Nicely done!
17 Planting another Gertrude Jekyll reproduction urn. Gertrude Jekyll was one of the twentieth century's most important British landscape designers and writers.
18 Kevin planting a tropical called cordyline.
19 Ian was busy with this palm surrounded by scented geranium.
20 To protect these rather porous and fragile pots, I lined them with garbage bag liners so they wouldn't soak up too much water.
21 The garbage bags have drain holes at the bottom and are neatly tucked inside the pot and after planting, are no longer visible.
22 Ryan helped me plant this large urn, a creation of sculptor and potter Eric Soderholtz, with alocasia.
23 Scented geraniums made a nice contrast with the purple cordyline.
24 Here I am planting a couple of other great urns, at the entrance to the terrace pergola.
25 Ian working hard
26 This fun sedge is called fiber optic grass.
27 This grass has long, slender green stems and tiny, round silver blooms at the very end.
28 I love the purple veins and stems of this alocasia.
29 A perfect pot for this bromeliad
30 With many hands and lots of work, the terrace is really looking great!
31 Another view
32 And another
33 And another view
34 If only you could see the view!