1 I wanted to show you what I've been busy doing this week at Skylands, my home in Maine.
2 When we arrived to do the planting, the pots had already been positioned, lined with plastic, and partially filled with rich compost and potting medium. Some of the plants I had sent up from Bedford were already on the terrace.
3 Not all of the pots were in the correct places. I try to vary the look and assortment of plants every year, just to try new things and adhere to the old adage, 'variety is the spice of life.'
4 Many alocasias, succulents, and agaves had grown nicely over the winter in my greenhouses in Bedford.
5 The terrace will be transformed from kind of empty, to full and luscious, in a few weeks.
6 Break time! A cafe au lait to keep us all going on this chilly, rainy day
7 Looking out the dining room windows to the big terrace - It was kind of bleak and dreary, but great planting weather!
8 I love this new plant medinilla magnifica, native to the Philippines. I have quite a few, which we will use on the terrace as a focal point this year.
9 Two giant Soderholtz pots are planted with alocasias - one green and one purple. Eric Ellis Soderholtz was a pioneer in American garden pottery at the turn of the last century, turning concrete into magic.
10 Ryan, my Bedford gardener and Peter helped move and plant so many things.
11 Peter is the new manager at Skylands and has never planted with me before. He did a spectacular job!
12 We planted one of the largest pots with purple, or black-leafed alocasias.
13 And I planted the other with green and chartreuse elephant ears.
14 I divided some of the elephant ears so I would have smaller plants to insert around the larger ones.
15 Mike, another Skylands employee, and Peter were wetting down some bagged potting medium. It's best to moisten this soil, which is rich in peat moss, before putting it into pots.
16 Mike shoveled the soil into tubs for moistening. It's incredible how much soil is required for the several dozen planters on the terrace.
17 Here I am preparing one of a couple Lunaform planters for the giant agaves, which will grace the terrace walls. Lunaform is a coastal Maine studio producing handmade, all weather garden containers. http://www.lunaform.com/
18 The terrace began to look a bit better with plants in place. The stone trough against the windows looks great with the pink medinilla magnificas.
19 Lunch break! It was delicious! We all sat in the kitchen and ate one of the roasts I had prepared the day before in a 'Cooking School' segment - standing ribs of beef.
20 A closeup of the delicious meat, which came from Pat LaFrieda in New York City - The recipe to come this fall on 'Martha's Cooking School' on PBS!
21 All the Orienpet lilies from B&D Lilies http://www.bdlilies.com/ are staked with thin green bamboo. These lilies grow more than seven-feet in height!
22 The two French glazed terracotta sphinxes live on the terrace steps during the summer.
23 More agaves planted in Soderholtz
24 The western terrace is planted with hanging ferns, and a variety of begonias, cycads, and other specimens, all in Soderholtz bowls. We changed the tops of the tables from zinc to glass this year and that looks very good.
25 Even more plants for the pots
26 The Council Circle garden - This was part of Jens Jensen's original plan for Skylands, which I actually had constructed. The gardens are verdant and blooming.
27 More than twenty lady slipper orchids were blooming there!
28 A closeup of these extraordinary blooms
29 The Meconopsis, or blue Himalayan poppies, are beginning to open. This is the first one to bloom.
30 A side view
31 And a front view
32 Fog rolling in over the 'Rockefeller teeth' - These are stones, which were placed along the garden drop off.
33 Another view - The pathways at Skylands are all lined with pine needles.
34 And another view
35 More fog
36 The back yard of the house in the fog - All of the drives at Skylands are covered with pink granite gravel.