2 The garden tour began with a quick look at the cutting garden, where lots of growth and color are emerging. Right away, the guests saw the bright orange poppies in the distance.
3 Symphytum is a genus of flowering plants in the Boraginaceae family. You may know it by its common name, comfrey. It is a dynamic accumulator in the garden - drawing minerals out of the soil and into the roots and leaves. It is also a wonderful compost accelerator, and weed suppressant.
4 If you look closely, you can see hundreds of growing gooseberries on the bushes. The gooseberry is a species of Ribes, which also includes currants. Gooseberries are usually green, but they are also seen in red, yellow and white.
5 Astilbes creates immense drama and contrast in the garden. Its magnificent leaves can mature to nearly three feet wide, but it also has these small panicles of creamy white flowers, which appear on tall stems.
6 The climbing hydrangeas, Hydrangea petiolaris, are growing so vibrantly on the farm - they feature large, fragrant clusters of white flowers that bloom in late spring and summer. I am fond of climbing hydrangea on trees, but they can easily climb any support structures.
7 Its common names are Granny's Bonnet or Columbine, but scientifically, it is known as Aquilegia - a genus of about 60 to 70 species of perennial plants that are found in meadows, woodlands and at higher altitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. They bloom in late spring to early summer, with their exquisite shaped flowers and trademark "spurs".
8 The group was taken down the Pin Oak Allee. Pin oak, Quercus palustris, is a straight, slender and graceful tree, with distinctive leaves. It is a fast grower and easy-to-maintain. It can reach 100-feet, but usually stays below 70-feet in the wild. I love the canopy it produces in the allee.
9 My gardener, Ryan, walked them up the Boxwood Allee next, and talked about our extensive process for protecting them in winter with burlap and netting.
10 Our winter boxwood care system serves us very well - look how lush and green they are! This allee path to the stable is always a favorite among visitors.
11 Located near the stable is my Linden Tree Allee. Lindens are so attractive when planted in roomy landscapes. These trees tolerate a wide range of conditions, including pollution.
12 The grove of Paulownia trees captured our guests' attention. Native to China, these are deciduous trees, which means they drop their leaves in the fall and grow new ones for the spring. Paulownias are easy to grow and can grow more than two feet each year.
13 The Boxwood and Ginkgo Garden behind the Summer House is growing fuller each week - and soon, these lilies will be full of flowers.
14 Guests asked about my Pea shrubs, Caragana arborescens, planted in the garden behind the Summer House. These pea shrubs are upright and deciduous, and can be trained to grow as small trees. It grows best in well drained soil and full sun. It requires little maintenance and is tolerant of drought and cold, which is a 'good thing' in this area.
15 My tree peonies are still producing a few more flowers. Here is a bright cream-yellow blossom - it's so pretty. They make exquisite cut flower arrangements.
16 Here is a bright pink tree peony flower. Its color is so bold and beautiful.
17 And, just down a few feet was my blooming herbaceous peony bed. There were so many brilliantly colored white and pink flowers. I planted 11-rows of peonies in this bed, with two varieties in each row. Peonies are undemanding, but they do need a winter dormant period in order to flourish in spring.
19 Colocasia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. Common names include Elephant-ear, Taro, Cocoyam, and Dasheen. These are herbaceous perennial plants with large to very large leaves. As you can see, the ears resemble those of an elephant.
20 A refreshing drink of pomegranate juice made from concentrate that I get from Pom Wonderful. All the guests loved it. http://www.pomwonderful.com/
21 Laura, my longtime housekeeper, makes the tasty juice shortly before the guests arrive.
22 A beautiful table of cookies, biscotti, pomegranate juice, and cut peony flowers - a very nice spring refreshments table.
23 My housekeeper, Sanu, served the juice to our guests.
24 Bald cypress, or Taxodium distichum. These trees are deciduous conifers that shed their needle-like leaves in the fall. In fact, they got their name "bald" cypress because they lose their leaves so early in the winter season.
25 Clematis is a genus of about 300-species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Most species are known as clematis, but it has also been called traveller's joy, virgin's bower, old man's beard, leather flower, or vase vine. All along the clematis pergola I have these beautiful climbing vines on each post. I also have them climbing on various trees, as you see here.
26 The timing and location of the flowers varies - spring blooming clematis flower on side shoots of the old season's stems. Summer and fall blooming vines flower on the ends of only new stems.
27 The group posed for one last photo at the gate.