March 25, 2019

Pruning Around the Farm

Pruning chores are in full swing at my Bedford, New York farm.

Pruning is about more than just looks; proper pruning improves the health of the plants, prevents disease, and encourages better flowering. There are different pruning strategies for different times of the year, but overall the goals are the same - to control shape, to keep bushes and trees fresh and open, and to allow for better air circulation through the center of the specimen. Over the last few weeks, my gardeners and outdoor grounds crew have been busy pruning various plantings around the farm - the apple trees, the Rose of Sharon shrubs, and the many rose bushes in my Flower Cutting Garden.

Enjoy these photos.

March 23, 2019

Starting Seeds from Floret

We’re preparing for this year's growing season here at my Bedford, New York farm - my gardeners are busy starting all the many vegetables and flowers from seed.

We sow thousands of seeds every year - all those wonderful seeds I enjoy purchasing during my travels, and seeds we order from our favorite sources. Among them - Floret, a family farm and floral design studio specializing in organic, handcrafted arrangements for special events. Located in the Skagit Valley, outside of Seattle Washington, owner Erin Benzakein has created a thriving business - in fact, she was one of our American Made Honorees in 2014.

This week, my head gardener, Ryan McCallister, planted a selection of Floret seeds, including pincushion flowers, soapworts, ornamental grasses and many more. Here are some photos - enjoy.

March 22, 2019

A Cleaning Project in My Pantry at Skylands

Spring cleaning is now underway, especially at Skylands my home in Maine - it is growing busier there as we prepare for the coming season of entertaining.

Cheryl and Gretchen, who help me care for Skylands, are in the process of cleaning the shelves and washing all the precious crystal and china I store in my butler’s pantry - beautiful pieces left there when I bought the home, as well as my own antique and vintage collections. It’s a tedious chore, but an important one that's done every year around this time - I host a lot of gatherings during the summer months. I can't wait until my next visit.

Enjoy these photos.