March 6, 2015

Garden Tour Preparations

If you’re in the northeast this week, I know what you’re saying, because I’m saying it too… enough winter already! We’ve had quite a bit of snow and below freezing temperatures for much of this season. Many of us are more than ready for spring, but Mother Nature isn’t just yet. We got another several inches of heavy, wet snow today and temperatures remain in the low 20s. I took a brief tour around the property, and while we aren’t seeing spring outside, I and my staff are inside planning for spring... with our preparations for this year’s garden tours, which I agree to host every now and then.

What also gave me hope and encouragement - seeing on the calendar that daylight saving time returns this weekend. So, remember to “spring forward” one hour before you go to bed Saturday night! If you are multi-lingual, like my grandchildren, here is a fun lesson… “spring forward” written in a variety of languages… which ones can you identify?
El resorte adelante, ileri bahar, ha'aviv kadima, gwanwyn ymlaen, musim semi maju, spring vooruit, primavera in avanti, spring framåt, mùa xuân phía trước, tavaszi előre, rebbiegħa quddiem, primavara înainte, spring phambili, jarní vpřed, spring hadapan, spring pasulong, spring maju, oldinga spring, el ressort endavant, proljeće naprijed, spring naprej, wiosna przodu, spring gancang, printemps en avant, frühling vorwärts, chūntiān qianjin, vesnoy vpered, agē vasanta…

Enjoy today's photos...

March 5, 2015

Artist Donald Judd - New York and Marfa

If you were asked to name your favorite contemporary artists, who would they be? Among mine is the late Donald Judd (1928-1994), an American artist best known for his contributions to the Minimalist movement. Judd focused his art on color, form, industrial materials, and space. He believed that the placement of a piece of art was just as important as the art itself. Many of his permanent installations are found at the Chinati Foundation, a museum he established in Marfa, Texas, and at Donald Judd's homes and studios maintained by Judd Foundation here in New York City and in Marfa.

Last month, I attended a reception at the Judd Foundation, located at 101 Spring Street – a 19th century five-story, cast-iron building in Soho, where Judd lived and worked. It was an eye-opening look at some of Judd’s finest pieces, and the works of other artists Judd admired. As you can see in the photos, Judd was passionate in his placement of everything within the building, and innovative in his approach to design.

The visit to 101 Spring Street reminded me of a 1996 story we did in our flagship magazine, Living, from the grounds of the Chinati Foundation, located on 340-acres of land on the site of the former U-S Army base, Fort D.A. Russell. I was there to attend a dinner party in Judd’s memory – it was a Texas barbecue cooked on a pit designed by Judd himself, and served in a former horse arena he renovated. I included some of the photos from that story here as well.

I hope you enjoy these pictures, and are inspired by the work and life of this great artist.

March 4, 2015

Cleaning the Equipment Barn

Usually by the beginning of March, we’re able to start some of the outdoor grounds work here at the farm, but of course, little can be done when we’re still buried under several feet of snow… And here's a surprise - the northeast is expected to get more this week! In fact, as we write this blog, it is snowing heavily in New York City and the weatherman promises eight to 10 inches in Bedford with ice as well as snow! So, to keep my garden crew busy and out of the cold for extended periods of time, I thought it was a good idea to tidy up the Equipment Barn. Keeping seasonal supplies well maintained and properly stored will always save time in the long run.

My Equipment Barn is quite large - about 40 by 120 feet, with a substantial amount of height. On one side, I store mowers, blowers, John Deere tractors, and other pieces of machinery. For this cleanup, we cleared the area, swept the floor and inspected every item before returning it neatly to its spot, so everything is organized and ready for spring. It was quite a task, but it’s always rewarding to see the finished project…

Depending on how long it takes to thaw from this deep freeze, I may need to come up with a few more important indoor chores!
Enjoy these “before” and “after” photos…