1 Here is Ryan reading what I had prepared for the ladies of the Bedford Garden Club.
2 Everyone smiled for the camera.
3 Ryan walked the group past this hoop house, which was still loaded with my collection of tropical plants. These plants spend 8 months of the year in this heated structure, keeping them alive through freezing temperatures.
4 Ryan led the group to the vegetable garden.
5 The brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) were planted several weeks ago and are growing very nicely.
6 The left side of the garden is also planted with onions, leeks, and other root vegetables. The beds on the right side are being prepared for tomatoes, lettuce, and eggplants and peppers.
7 The ladies were curious about this grove of metasequoia or dawn redwood. These deciduous conifers were thought to be extinct until 1944, when a small stand of trees was rediscovered in China. Today, these popular fast-growing trees can be found throughout the world.
8 After such a harsh winter, many people complained about winter kill. We lost some trees, and the needles on all of the Atlas cedar turned brown, but thankfully, it looks like they are making a recovery.
9 Next the group was led through the linden allee on the way to the stable.
10 Betsy Perreten, my stable manager, was on hand to answer any questions about my Friesians, Ramon, Rinze, Rutger, Meindert, and Sasa.
11 The next location was the stable courtyard, where the group gathered to make their way towards the boxwood allee.
12 I'm so worried about boxwood blight, a difficult disease that can decimate entire hedges. We take great care in keeping these boxwood healthy. Several ladies said they have boxwood afflicted with blight.
13 People wanted to know what the flowering trees were.
14 These very pretty trees are red horse chestnuts.
15 Walking through the allee - It takes about 2 months to build the bamboo frames around these shrubs for their winter burlap covers, but it's so, so worth the time and effort. These hedges are all pruned by hand, with pruners that are first sterilized in alcohol.
16 Standing at a crossroad, Ryan explained about the large part of the farm they would not be seeing - the hayfields and the woods. There are 5 miles of trails on the farm that meander through those areas.
17 Approaching the pin oak allee
18 The winter-kill in the pinetum has finally grown out, except for the browned specimen on the right, which will soon drop its dead needles as new growth emerges.
19 More of the pinetum, which is planted with a various collection of evergreens.
20 There was a discussion about what is stored in the equipment barn.
21 Approaching the cutting garden with its perennial entrance border with alliums blooming.
22 Various shades of allium
23 The blueberry pergola will be covered in netting in a few weeks before the berries turn blue.
24 The cutting garden entrance
25 These are foxglove and delphinium that have wintered over.
26 Discussing what winter-grown seedlings will be planted in the beds
27 The coldframe is used to harden off seedlings grown in the greenhouse.
28 The group walked passed the gooseberries and black raspberries, which were freshly pruned this season.
29 The greenhouse is always pleasing to the eye.
30 There was a demonstration on how easily the tables slide, making for a pass through.
31 Questions were asked about how this hornbeam hedge was pruned, resembling a crenelated castle wall.
32 These are the remaining trunks of 5 white pine trees ruined by Hurricane Sandy. Because they were covered with climbing hydrangea, I decided to leave the trunks to save the hydrangea. I also planted 5 tall arborvitae in between the trunks.
33 They walked past the long pergola with its climbing clematis.
34 The ladies were told about the bald cypress trees and the fern and lily beds.
35 There was a lot of interest in the apple trees, including this espalier of Gravenstein apple trees.
36 The ladies were led to my terrace.
37 Where another group shot was taken.
38 Questions were asked about the staghorn ferns hanging on the porch.
39 In a shady spot on the terrace, my housekeepers were serving punch and cookies.
40 The punch is made using a pomegranate concentrate.
41 The cookies are from my book, Martha Stewart Cookies. They are so yummy!
42 A little rest and refreshment after a lengthy walk
43 After the terrace, the group was taken to the new garden behind the Summer House - a work in progress.
44 Next, they walked past the azaleas, looping back towards the stable and the gate in which they came in.