1 During my last visit to Skylands, my home in Maine, I hosted a garden tour for the Garden Conservancy Society of Fellows. The group was on a one week garden-study tour of Mount Desert Island, and Skylands was the first of several gardens they were scheduled to see. Here is my terrace now - remember what it looked like the weekend I came up to plant all these urns in May?
2 The terrace was a bit bare, and in need of attention.
3 And, here was the terrace just a couple weeks ago, before the garden tour. All the plants grew in and looked so very lush and beautiful.
4 Back in May, this was the sitting area shortly after we planted these urns.
5 And here it was on the day of the tour - all the plantings in the the Gertrude Jekyll style pots were overflowing.
6 The succulents in this ancient English stone trough also grew in. Many Echeveria species are popular as ornamental garden plants.
7 The blue-green agave and the purple Echeveria succulents looked so dramatic.
8 This urn Ryan planted back in May with ferns, begonias and plectranthus, also grew in so nicely.
9 This planter was filled with Helichrysum petiolare, and Alocasia, also known as elephant ear because of the huge green leaves that closely resemble the ears of an elephant.
10 And look at all the beautiful lilies - they grew so tall.
11 The plants we originally placed in this trough back in May burned out, so I replaced them with succulents - they are thriving.
12 Fernando did some last minute outdoor work just before guests arrived.
13 It was all hands on deck... pulling weeds that grew in between the pavers, and making sure all the chairs, tables and umbrellas were set up properly.
14 Wendy, Mike and Gretchen stopped for a quick photo.
15 Kevin used thin, clear floral tape and made a grid on the top of this vessel - this helped keep the cut flower stems upright.
16 He was working on a beautiful delphinium arrangement. Wait until you see it! Kevin worked on all the cut flower arrangements for this event.
17 Isn't it gorgeous? We placed it on this arts and crafts table I bought a long time ago.
18 The mini danishes and muffins looked so inviting on my table.
19 Refreshments included iced coffee and pomegranate juice made from POM Wonderful concentrate and slices of fresh orange. http://www.pomwonderful.com/
20 These glasses looked so pretty sitting on the stone ledge with the beautiful background of greens.
21 Inside the house we added simple arrangements in small vases.
23 We used frozen dough from a taping of "Martha Bakes" to make these mini danishes.
24 They came out so well and were absolutely delicious.
25 I used many of my brass platters to display and serve the foods. These were the pistachio shortbread cookies.
26 Doesn't the chocolate biscotti look great on this platter?
28 The Lost Pool at Skylands. At one point, it was filled in with dirt to prevent children from accidentally getting hurt. When I bought the property, I restored it. My grandchildren love playing in The Lost Pool - always while supervised, of course.
29 The Society of Fellows members are the Garden Conservancy's most dedicated annual supporters and mainstays of the preservation and education efforts - they come from all across the United States. It was a pleasure to have them touring my gardens at Skylands.
30 Here I was talking about the history of Skylands. I was asked awhile back to give this tour. These members are very serious and passionate gardeners - we had a wonderful time talking about our gardens with each other.
31 Here I am with Maureen Donnell. Maureen has lovely gardens in Palm Beach and Newport, Rhode Island.
32 Here I am with Sandra J. Swanson. Sandra is a member of the Garden Conservancy and Marin Open Days. She has a beautiful garden in Tiburon, California.
33 Rod Ward and Patricia Applegate, were deep in conversation about gardening techniques.
34 Trevor Potter from Virginia, with Robbie and Jeanne Anderson from Beverly Hills, California. Trevor's home and garden was once featured in our magazine, Living.
35 Here I was talking with the Society of Fellows just as the tour was starting.
36 Of course, lying beneath the western terrace is the lady - La Riviere by Aristide Maillol.
37 This is Phil Belling. He accompanied his wife, Shelley, a board member of the Garden Conservancy, to the event. He enjoyed touring the garden immensely.
38 Janice Barger and Laura Perry are avid garden enthusiasts.
39 Here was the group surrounding The Lost Pool.
40 A lovely photograph of me with the entire group. What an enjoyable morning and tour.