1 My garden in Maine is growing very nicely this season. The soil is comprised of lots of red granite, and loam. It is also very well-drained and very fertile.
2 At Skylands, the vegetable garden and the flower cutting garden are in the same location, all protected by this good, strong fence.
3 This is my gardener, Wendy, planting sunflowers. An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisy like flower faces of bright yellow petals and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with sunflower seeds. They grow best in full sun, and prefer long, hot, summers.
4 The lilies, Lilium, are growing strong both here in Maine and in Bedford. Lilies are valued for their showy, often fragrant flowers. The six plain, or strikingly marked, tepals, or petals, are often trumpet shaped and sit atop the tall, erect stems. They make some of the most beautiful cut flowers.
5 The garden's early color came from these two poppy blooms growing right in the middle of the space. It was so pretty, we let it grow. A poppy is a flowering plant in the subfamily Papaveroideae. They're herbaceous and are often grown for their beautiful blossoms.
6 The radish, Raphanus sativus, is among the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow. The edible root vegetable is grown for its swollen tap-roots which can be globular, tapering or cylindrical. Here, you can see the red of the radishes already.
7 Next to the radishes are the peas. There are many different varieties of peas, but all fall under one of two categories: shelling peas or edible pods. Shelling peas are those that need to be removed from their pods before eating. Edible pods are those that can be eaten whole.
8 The pea is among the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world. Peas were found in excavations in Switzerland dating back to the Bronze Age. Peas were also very popular foods with the ancient Greeks and Romans.
9 These are the tomatoes - one of America's favorite garden vegetables. Tomato plants typically require stakes or cages to keep the plants upright. It also helps keep the developing fruit off the ground, where they can rot.
12 The broccoli is looking good - broccoli requires full sun and lost, fertile soil that's slightly acidic. It prefers consistent soil moisture, so it will need regular watering, especially during drought conditions.
13 My gardener at Skylands, Mike, tidying up the beds.
14 The peonies in the cutting bed are much further behind than in Bedford - they tend to bloom in June, instead of May.
15 At Skylands, these peonies are just about to burst open with great color. At Bedford, all the peony plants were just deadheaded last week. Deadheading to remove the spent blooms improves the appearance of the foliage and directs the plant's energy to healthy root grown instead of seed production.
16 Established peonies need little care. In general, let the rain water the peonies. They prefer heavy yet infrequent soakings, but do not like wet feet or overwatering.
17 This is my crop of grapes. Grapevines need to be supported and trained to some kind of support in order to grow upward. I use these granite posts - they are part of the same shipment of antique granite posts from China. I use them as uprights to support many plants.
18 Grapes are the most widely grown fruit in the world and unlike most other fruit crops, grapes are native to North America. Grapes require full sun, and deep, well-drained, loose, well-circulating soil.
19 My Skylands gardeners, Mike and Wendy, take excellent care of the gardens.
20 The greenhouse is empty - everything is now outdoors for the summer season. It's a good time to clean out the greenhouse - and do any necessary maintenance. This greenhouse is in great shape.
21 We are always looking for more storage space in the greenhouse. My gardener, Mike, made a couple handsome shelves. Here is one over the greenhouse table in the back. It is simple in design, but very useful.
22 Mike also put another on top of the doorway. This one is longer and is supported by four brackets.
23 Meanwhile, the pink gravel driveways at Skylands require a lot of maintenance - the pink gravel is picked up every fall, and stored for the winter, and then relaid in the spring. Before it is put down on all the roads, it is poured through a screen to remove any debris.
24 The wood slats are screwed onto the screens to help deflect the gravel as it is sifted and strained on the screener.
25 Pink granite and the crushed gravel stone are unique to Mount Desert Island in Maine.
26 Once it is relaid onto the roads, the pink granite gravel is washed down to remove all the dust. It is a tedious process, but also a very important one.
27 Soon, all the roads at Skylands will again be covered in this distinct shade of pink.