November 24, 2014
The other day we transplanted many of the succulents in the greenhouse. Transplanting agaves is a relatively simple process, but since we have so many at my farm, it can take a couple of months to complete the job. We start in October as we bring the cold-sensitive agaves indoors. The process continues on days of inclement weather throughout the autumn and early winter.
1 Here is a variety of agave called 'Sharkskin' - a cutting of of one of my larger plants that was rooted two years ago.
2 You can see how large the root mass has grown - definitely time to transplant it.
3 After pulling the root mass out of the container . . .
4 . . . you gently separate the roots . . .
5 Fill a new pot with a mount of soil . . .
6 Gently spread the roots over the soil . . .
7 Make sure the plant is centered in the pot, level, and most importantly, not too deep.
8 You add more soil to fill the pot to about half an inch from the top.
9 Here is one of my gardeners, Wilmer, as he takes the final steps. What a beautiful agave!
November 20, 2014
Of all the trees that shed their leaves in autumn, the Japanese maples are among the last, which makes their colors stand out more vividly against the muted background.
During the planting of this Japanese maple grove last August, my dear sister Laura Plimpton passed away. Because she was especially fond of maples, I decided to name the grove in honor of her. It's called "The Laura Plimpton Japanese Maple Grove."
In a previous blog, I showed you all the steps involved in planting the grove. With these photos, you can see the trees in their full autumn splendor. Most of them are still small. As the years go by and they grow larger, the display of colors will intensify and become even more beautiful. I know my sister would be pleased.
1 At the beginning of the grove stands this brilliant specimen.
2 I love the contrast between the scarlet leaves and the Bedford Gray color of the stable barn.
3 Here's a shot of the road curving gently through the maple grove.
4 The colors take my breath away.
5 Because they prefer sun-dappled, part shade, I planted many of the maples beneath larger trees.
6 Here's the view facing Maple Avenue.
7 Another shot showing the expanse of the grove.
8 And here you see deeper into the grove.
9 Japanese maples are native to China, Korea and Japan.
10 They are hardy and can withstand very cold temperatures.
11 Young trees should be kept moist to prevent their shallow root structure from drying out and weakening, particularly during the hot summer months.
12 The heavy leaf cover on the ground enriches the soil.
13 The leaves of Japanese maples can be red, green or variegated.
14 I love the way they are shaped like stars.
15 Or like the palm of a hand with splayed fingers.
16 Few trees are as beautiful as the Japanese maple in autumn.