June 5, 2008

Come join the garden tour at my house! I love reading your comments -- please leave one!

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Brooklyn, New York, to attend the wedding of Laura Normandin, a deputy editor of Holiday and Crafts at Martha Stewart Living. With some time to spare before the lovely event, I decided to visit my friends at the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Garden. BBG is a 52-acre visual delight of world-class plant collections and specialty gardens, where I always learn and garner new inspiration. I urge anyone visiting Brooklyn to make this wonderful place a destination. While I was there, I suggested to Scott Medbury, the president of BBG, that perhaps he would like to bring a group to my farm and tour my gardens. He happily accepted, the tour was organized, and, thankfully, the weather cooperated!

Unfortunately, I could not be there to greet everyone as I was in Detroit on business. I would like to thank BBG for their kind gift of two rather rare yellow magnolias to add to my yellow magnolia collection adjacent to the summer house. One is a Judy Zuk, named after a former president of BBG, and the other is called Skylands Best -– a coincidence to my home in Maine in name only.  This magnolia was named for Skylands, the New Jersey Botanical Garden.   


. Check out the new map of my gardens in Bedford!
Thank you Carly Blake and Susan Bryan for helping me to create this map.


Here's Jodi
speaking to a group in the vegetable garden. About 80 guests came by
tour bus that day, all members of BBG's Gager Society. Named after the
first president of BBG, the Gager Society is comprised of avid plant
lovers who are also big donors to BBG.

This is my cold frame –- now uncovered. Things grow well here, under glass, during cold weather.

Meet Ester Leaming Tuttle, more commonly referred to as Mrs. Faity Tuttle. My foreman, Chhiring Sherpa, is driving her around the property on the Kawasaki Mule. At 97 years of age, Faity is still a working actress/model. She was also chairman of the board at BBG during pivotal times.

This is the front of the greenhouse facing Girdle Ridge Road.

Here are two guests admiring the currant bushes. It was very sunny and hot
and they were wise to wear their hats.

This is the shade garden in front of Alexis's house. The gentleman in the white shirt and sunglasses is Fred Bland, the chairman of the board of trustees at BBG.

The guests were all given the latest issue of Living magazine to enjoy on their return ride to Brooklyn.

Pierre made a little snack for everyone. My young hens
are laying small eggs -– a perfect size for deviled eggs. Pierre
seasoned the yolks with sweet paprika and a bit of cayenne pepper. He
made little puff pastry palmiers, layered with blue cheese. The round
crackers are cheddar shortbread.

My housekeeper, Laura Acuna, made a refreshing punch. Here's Jodi serving it to guests.

Francesca and Sharkey loved all the company.

The peonies are exploding! Oh, the fragrance!

This is Elizabeth Scholtz, the director emeritus of BBG. A native
of South Africa with degrees in botany and zoology, Ms. Scholtz
began working at BBG in 1960. She claims it was the perfect move for
her -– a total distraction from what she refers to as her midlife
crisis. Ah, the power of gardening!

Here's the whole group in front of the peony garden. Kneeling are Erika, Jodi, Kim, and George –- my wonderful garden crew.

This is a nice photo of some of the trustees from BBG. Sarah Young, director of gift and estate planning; Patrick Cullina, VP of
horticulture; Fred Bland, chairman of the board of trustees; Scott
Medbury, president of BBG; and Leslie Findlen, VP of development.