August 1, 2016
Tropical Plants Around the Farm
I love large urns filled with tropical plants. As many of you know, I have a rather sizable collection of tropical specimens at my Bedford, New York farm. During the winter, they are all stored in a special greenhouse. And, once warm weather arrives, they are brought out for display - some go to my home in Maine, some go to my home in East Hampton, and the the rest are placed in various locations here at my farm.
It is a big undertaking to move all these plants at the beginning and end of the warm season. Thankfully, I have the help of a strong grounds crew, and some heavy duty farm equipment to get the job done - enjoy these photos.
1 Every year, all my tropical plants are taken out of storage and moved to their warm weather locations.
2 This is the plastic greenhouse where many of my tropical plants are stored during cold weather. They actually spend about seven months of the year in this heated shelter.
3 Moving these tropical specimens is a tedious task - some of the larger potted plants weigh hundreds of pounds.
4 My outdoor grounds crew foreman, Chhiring Sherpa, uses this John Deere tractor to move many of them.
5 Because I have such a large collection of tropical plants, it takes many trips to the tropical greenhouse. Phurba rides along with each specimen to make sure it travels safely.
6 Here is a large potted tree fern on the loader of the John Deere.
7 I love displaying a group of tropical plants in my courtyard just outside my Winter House kitchen.
8 Agaves are exotic, deer-resistant, drought-tolerant plants that can live happily in containers.
9 The sago palm, Cycas revoluta, is a popular houseplant known for its feathery foliage and ease of care. Sago palms prefer to be situated in well-drained soil, and like other cycad plants, do not respond well to overwatering.
10 This large and heavy pot is unloaded from the John Deere tractor. A thick belt was used to keep the urn secure during the ride up to my courtyard.
11 I love how the sago palms look among the other tropical specimens in this space.
12 These are blue agaves - also in my courtyard. Blue agave plants lend themselves well to container growing since their roots do not mind being crowded.
13 Another trip to the tropical greenhouse for more potted agaves.
14 Agaves flank the inside of the entrance to the courtyard. The courtyard receives sunlight most of the day and is a really great spot to grow heat-loving plants.
15 I have agaves on the opposite side of the courtyard also - on this ledge by my sunken garden.
16 Another trip to the tropical greenhouse - this time to pick up a pair of fan palms.
17 Fan palm refers to any of several different kinds of palms with leaves that are palmately lobed, and resembling a fan.
18 The plants are all arranged with enough space in between them, so they don't touch each other.
19 This is a Bismarkia palm, Bismarckia nobilis, which grows from a solitary trunk, gray to tan in color, and slightly bulging at the base.
20 I placed one on each side of my front door.
21 Two Phoenix roebelenii, also known as pygmy date palms, were placed at the front entrance of the Summer House. Phoenix roebelenii is a small to medium-sized, slow-growing slender tree growing up to 10-feet tall.
22 Phoenix roebelenii is a popular ornamental plant and needs little pruning to develop a strong structure. It is also resistant to pests, and is moderately drought tolerant.
23 In the back of my Summer House, I have a pair of these bay trees underplanted with sedum.
24 Next to my carport, several potted bird's nest ferns under a catalpa tree. Bird's-nest fern is a common name for several related species of epiphytic ferns in the genus Asplenium. They grow in a tight, nest-like clump with a lingulate leaf rosettes.
25 I also placed a couple agaves by the front gate. The urns are antique, and made of lead.
26 And down by the stable, a selection of large potted tree ferns - so beautiful.
27 The hoop house is empty - now, every plant is enjoying the season outdoors until it's time to put them all back in for storage again.