1 My gardens are looking quite good and I agreed to open them to a couple of garden tours last week.
2 This group of ladies are members of the Briar Cliff Manor Garden Club and they arrived at the farm last Thursday morning.
3 Ryan McCallister, my gardener, led the tour.
4 He walked the group past the heated hoop house where my sizable collection of tropical plants spend the cold winter months. The crew had started removing them and trimming them up for placement around the farm.
5 This lady marveled at this pair of Duranta, Brazillian Sky Flower.
6 He then walked towards the chicken coops and the new vegetable garden.
7 Ryan told the group that the reason we changed the location of the vegetable garden is because of a terrible mole cricket problem in the old garden.
8 The mole crickets ate many vegetable plants and none have been detected in this area. In fact, the vegetables in the ground are growing beautifully and we are hopeful things will stay that way.
9 There was keen interest in my chickens and guinea fowl. Ryan explained that guinea eggs are slightly smaller than chicken eggs and more pointy.
10 He pointed to the lilac allee beyond and told them about digging up all the roses at my home in East Hampton and replanting them at the farm. Many of those roses are planted next to the lilacs.
11 With temperatures soaring, it was a pleasant walk through the shaded maple grove.
12 This is where we planted more than 100 Japanese maples back in the autumn of 2009. They're doing very nicely.
13 Susan Zetkov-Lubin was taking notes and photos for the Briarcliff Manor Garden Club's Blog.
14 Ryan paused beneath the allee of linden, another cool spot.
15 He explained that the linden trees had an unusual recent growth spurt and will need a vigorous pruning.
16 Another nice shot of the group
17 The stable is always part of a garden tour.
18 Betsy Perreten, my stable manager, was present to explain about the 5 Friesian horses and to answer questions.
19 From the stable, Ryan took the group down the undulating boxwood allee. He told them how the boxwood is protected beneath burlap all winter and how the shrubs are pruned entirely by hand.
20 A group shot with my home in the distance
21 From there, they walked towards the old vegetable garden, which has become the new cutting garden.
22 Ryan showed them all the flowering plants that were dug up from the new vegetable garden and transplanted here. So far, the mole crickets haven't eaten anything.
23 They wandered through the greenhouse.
24 My collection of cacti and succulents was admired.
25 Ryan told the group how we lost 4 white pines during Hurricane Sandy and how we left the trunks because they are covered with climbing hydrangea and how we planted tall arborvitae in between.
26 These ladies were very interested in my many varieties of hosta.
27 The ladies were admiring the flowers blooming in the long pergola border.
28 A fantastic papery Papaver rhoeas, or corn poppy
29 And a giant blue clematis blossom
30 More pictures for the blog
31 A cool and refreshing fruit punch was served on the terrace. This is Laura Acuna, my long-time housekeeper ladling the punch.
32 Homemade cookies were also served.
33 Peonies from the peony garden graced the tables.
34 Viewing the peony garden
35 Later in the day when things really heated up, another group, Mad Gardeners, from Northwest Connecticut, also came for a garden tour.