1 Jill Polos (NYBG gardener), Nick Sioufas (Thain Family Forest intern), Diana Babbitt (NYBG gardener), Erik Pioselli (NYBG foreman of turf), Danielle Park (Thain intern), Bernie Conway (NYBG gardener), Myung Pagliaro (NYBG gardener), John Paul McDonnell (Thain intern), Jonathon Fargion (SOPH student), Jeanne Lapsker (Thain intern), Rebecca Dragonetti (SOPH student), Zack Eannuzzi (Thain intern), Chris Ruiz (SOPH student), Wade Wheatley (SOPH student), Marc Wolf (SOPH student), Charles Yurgalevitch, Director, SOPH
2 After walking through the main greenhouse and the cutting garden, the group proceeded through the allee of boxwood towards the stable.
3 With recent rains, the farm looked very green and the paddocks neatly mowed.
4 Ryan explained the importance of covering the boxwood with burlap for winter protection, a process that takes about two months to complete, since I have planted so many boxwood hedges around the farm.
5 A visit to the stable is part of all garden tours. The gardeners were led across the cobblestone courtyard and into the main entrance.
6 My five Friesians love when visitors come.
7 Betsy Perreten, (on the left) my stable manager, was on hand to answer any questions.
8 The group was very curious about the stable kitchen with its soapstone sink and countertops. This is where I display much of my copper collection.
9 The stable kitchen also has an Aga Cooker, which works on the principle that a heavy frame made from cast iron components can absorb heat from a relatively low-intensity but continuously-burning source, and the accumulated heat can then be used when needed for cooking. This Aga is presently turned off.
10 Another group shot beneath the linden allee
11 The group walked on towards the vegetable garden.
12 The entrance to the vegetable garden is flanked by two weeping red bud trees. In early spring, the leafless branches are covered with lovely lavender blossoms. The umbrella of heart-shaped leaves grow after the flowers fade.
13 The soil in the vegetable garden has been amended with compost and other organic nutrients. The vegetables are growing in raised beds with paths in between for easy access.
14 The eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes were planted on raised beds that were first covered with black plastic mulch, which is quite effective at weed control. The plastic also keeps the soil moist and warm, conditions beneficial to these vegetables.
15 This half of the garden is planted with broccoli, cabbages, kale, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, beets, turnips, onions, leeks, celery, and potatoes. All of the vegetables grown are put to good use by me, my family, friends, and employees.
16 The chickens also benefit from having fresh produce to eat. My test kitchen recently squeezed a lot of lemons, which I brought home to the chickens.
17 These gardeners were very curious about the hens and the hen houses.
18 What a beauty!
19 The coop is also home to 13 Guinea fowl and 2 Pomeranian geese.
20 The tour continued through the maple grove.
21 And then back through the linden allee
22 A visit with the miniature Sicilian donkeys is always fun. Rufus and Clive are quite friendly, where Billie, the spotted donkey is shy and keeps her distance.
23 The next area of the farm was the garden behind the Summer House, planted within a wall of tall American boxwood.
24 This garden is a work in progress. Granite pathways are bordered with low boxwood. The beds are planted with cone-shaped boxwood, ginkgo trees, tree peonies, lilies, and allium. More flowering perennials will be planted in the empty spaces.
25 Unfortunately, the peony garden was long past its prime. The rows and rows of spent blooms now need to be dead-headed.
26 Walking past my house with a large potted alocasia on display - This is one of many tropical plants in my collection.
27 Many other tropical plants are located in the courtyard located on the road side of my house. These include cycads, giant ferns, agaves, Bismarkia palms, and fig trees.
28 The gardeners were quite interested with this collection.
29 This fellow took a picture of a large ripening fig.
30 My housekeepers laid out the fixings for delicious sandwiches. There were assorted breads, sliced leg of lamb, meatloaf, tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh hard boiled eggs, and a green salad.
31 The group was very appreciative of the food.
32 They sat on the terrace and enjoyed their lunch.
33 Here's a photo from the archives. It was taken on Friday, June 29, 2007 when members of SOPH's class of 2009 visited the farm. Interestingly, Erika Hanson (on right) was my intern that summer, and later worked full-time for me. George Pisegna, (fifth from the right) interned for me in 2008 at the farm and in the city prepping plants for my show.