Tuesday, June 14, 2011

May Flowers

So far this season, our gardens have shown splendidly.  The bearded irises are fading, but the siberian irises are just coming in.  Lilacs put on the best show in years thanks to lots of dead-heading, pruning, and removing of volunteer vines.  The woodland garden was resplendent in spring.  Particularly outstanding were the trilliums which everyone noticed and exclaimed about; it is always worth wandering through the woodland garden and seeing what's coming up.  Our newly renovated historic rose garden is coming along thanks, again, to Marianne's and Debbie's hard work.  Marianne, the mastermind behind our new "old" rose selections, got the plants in and Debbie Ferrer has mulched and re-weeded the area.  I seem to need to scrub and refill the birdbath at least once a week.  The birds do come and they are thirsty and dusty - ready for a good session in H2O.  I have also been busy edging various beds, giving our beds a more tailored look.  A couple of weeks back, we planted the herbs in the new herb garden area; they are still small, but growing fast.  Marianne, with Sarah's assistance, has made new labels for these herbs.  Let's all keep an eye on this garden - keeping these baby plants watered, mulched, and weeded.  Thanks to new volunteers, including Andrea, for her hard work in areas we hadn't always considered, but should, like under the elm tree.  Also to Sheila's daughter, Sarah, for pinch hitting in every direction, including the labeling project.  Ann has quietly kept things watered whenever she walks by.  Christine will be here later in June or early July as her schedule permits.  Beverly is making a comeback, helping us in more ways than we can count.  Her son, Ben, also comes when he can and is especially helpful in moving heavy things which are hard for us to handle.  Marie is our fairie godmother, sending us new volunteers wherever she can find them.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Here, Truly, I Think!

All the trees, shrubs and flowers say "Spring is here". Weeds are leaping up, especially those beautiful, golden Lesser Celandines, that are uncontrollably invasive. The two little baby bunnies that were born among the polypody ferns in the center of the wild-flower garden have left for other parts, the ruts in the Party Lawn have been filled, and much clean-up has been achieved. Daffodils, Scilla and Grape Hyacinth are blooming and the wild-flower garden sports all the spring ephemerals, Dutchman's Breeches, Virginnia Bluebells, Bloodroot, and, by golly, one Troutlily - that is the second bloom in ten years of their rampant spread. And then, of course, we now have the Trillium, both red and white, the Great Merrybells and the many kinds of ferns that we have planted in the garden. for all the other daily wonders you just have to come and see for yourselves. We continue to welcome new volunteers who enjoy working to enhance a public garden as well as gardeners interested in adding some of our overflow plants to their own homes. The money earned will help us stock our new herb garden project. Linda has appointed Kasey the new manager of the Hart House garden to continue the work of our much missed friend Sheila who has moved to Nova Scotia. Kasey is a landscape professional and will work out a ten year plan that will keep the garden moving progressively toward the goal of a historical garden to compliment our historical house. Now if we can just get her voracious computer to spit out those missing pictures.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Is Almost Here

The Hart House is healthy again and the fence at the back property line has been rebuild after it blew down under assault by wind, snow and falling limbs from our pine trees. Now look in the garden and you will find snow-drops blooming and daffies, and that horribly invasive, golden buttercup named 'lesser celandine' that the children call 'little frogs with figs on their feet'  which is a loose translation of their Latin name.
We had pictures to show of these wonders but Kasey's computer ate and digested them. So come and find the real thing.
Anyone for some spring ephemerals, Virginia blue-bells, Dutchman's Breeches? We have a very few pots of each looking for a new home.
And anyone desirous of pulling weeds for an hour or two, we can accomodate you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Construction on the Hart House Foundation

For the past months the crumbling foundations of the Hart House have been rebuild to safeguard the structure of our 1765 house. Our Party Lawn became a staging area for dumpsters, trucks, and equipment and has suffered considerable damage. It will need to be restored. However great care was taken to preserve our pear tree and the integrity of the new herb garden beds build last fall. Thank you to all the construction crews for their care. We await the arrival of spring and normalcy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Garden Under Snow

Just a few photographs of the garden under snow, and the beautiful play of shadow on the walls. In this month's newsletter I mention Marianne's idea of installing a winter sculpture garden on the lawn. You can imagine, looking at the space in the pictures, what a wonderful play of light and dark, both from the sculptures and their shadows, we would get if we did. Something to think about when we've finished marking up the seed catalogues.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Suddenly it's Winter

Last week we had night temperatures in the single and teen numbers! What a shock! Poor Old Blush has not been protected, the Liberty Bank mums were just planted in our boxes and are not yet acclimated, our mulching plans are on hold and Andy rushed from his easy chair to the garden to winterize our water system. However our Christmas wreath making project went into full gear. Sherry, Sheila, Linda and I cut carloads of greens and set up workshops first in the gallery, later in Sheila's dining room, anywhere warm. Sheila's little blue parrot urged us on with scolds and twitters and exhortations of "step up" until we produced and sold 28 wreaths and earned $700. for the garden. Shall we order perennials, herbs and shrubs in spring?  Step up!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea and Treasures

Yesterday's 'Tea and Treasures' event was well attended and a lot of fun. Besides the beautiful tea laid out in the old kitchen and enjoyed in the parlour and front room, there was a holiday boutique in the gallery, full of a wide variety of treasures - Christmas decorations, including a set of collectible carollers, a Pakistani tribal rug, jewellery, the sweetest little Penny Bright doll with all her outfits and accessories, some lovely watercolours, glass, china, and much more. While everyone else was either shopping or imbibing, Sherry Eldridge was giving a wreath-making demonstration, and the end results sold, to the eventual benefit of the Hart House Garden, as quickly as they were made. Meanwhile, out in the cold, one little yellow iris was bravely blooming.
The shop will be open during the Old Saybrook stroll and the Wassail Event.