Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up April 2015 Garden: Early Spring Blooms!

April Garden 2015
March went out like a lion with snow on the 29th, resulting in a layer of white blanketing the first buds and foliage for the start of April.  It was the snowiest March on record for Long Island with 19.7 inches of snowfall and the transition from winter to spring has been slow moving. As temperatures gradually climb from being mainly in the 40's to some 50 degree days here and there, the past winter feels more and more distant. Spring is a wonderful time of the year as I wait anxiously for the first signs of life to emerge in the garden.  It is time for another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up to take notice of what is blooming.  Come along for a walk in my garden!
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'

I have always admired Hellebores in other's winter garden posts so when I saw these on opening day at the local nursery I did not hesitate to purchase them and plant them on the north side of the house. These beauties are shade loving plants that bloom from late winter into early spring (January through March) here on Long Island.  I am very excited about this purchase and look forward to how the foliage will look throughout the summer and will then anticipate their late winter blooms next year.  It will be interesting to follow these in the garden.


The first established blooms to arrive this year were my white crocus.  They popped up almost overnight in a sunny spot in the garden and are showing their pure white blooms.  They are such a refreshing sight after the long cold winter.
White Crocus and Purple Hyacinth Backdrop

Being very anxious to get out into the garden I planted these new purple hyacinths in order to supply a backdrop of color to the already blooming crocus.  There are more pink and purple hyacinth buds popping up in the garden and they should bloom within the next week or so.

Purple Hyacinth

Here is how far along the already established bulbs are as this time of year.
Hyacinths Spring 2015

Coming up is the foliage from one of my newest additions, Allium 'Globemaster'. I planted the bulbs last fall and cannot wait to see the giant purple blooms that will 4-5 inches in diameter!  I also planted Allium 'Mont Blanc' in the perennial garden as a backdrop.  Having seen these magnificent flowers in many a botanical garden, I had to add some to my own space.
Allium 'Globemaster' (Giant Allium)

As you can see there are many new additions this spring. Having been retired from my 32 year teaching career for the past two years and with the particularly long winter we just endured, I have taken notice that my perennial border just outside the back door needed some more late winter/early spring blooms.  Just before my design season started up I went on a gardening frenzy adding hyacinths and daffodils along with the added crocus and allium bulbs from last fall, which can be seen throughout the property.

Miniature Daffodils
These miniature daffodils were perfect and now I can enjoy their blooms every spring.
Sedum 'Brilliant'

For some foliage, the perfectly shaped rosettes of sedum are just showing their presence as they emerge from a winter's sleep.  The succulent-like compact form of this plant is a welcomed asset to the garden all season long and is complemented by large pink blooms in late summer.
Weeping Pussy Willow

The graceful Weeping Pussy Willow has been showing more and more catkins with each passing day that can be viewed right outside my kitchen window.  There have been frequent mockingbird visits, so it looks like they will be nesting in it for another year.
Weeping Pussy Willow Catkins April

Here are the catkins close soft!
Yellow Crocus

In the front garden the yellow crocus planted just last fall are about to open...
First Robin 2015

and the first robins have arrived which signals the arrival of spring in my Long Island Garden. 
Spring Love!

Thank you to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who makes it possible for us to have blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Creative Country Mom's Tuesday Garden PartyToday's FlowersFloral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  I hope you enjoyed the visit to my garden.  If you leave a note I will know you dropped by, and will be sure to visit you as well.

Happy spring!

 And As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening - Journeys of a Garden Designer: My First Published Book!

After designing for 19 years, blogging for five years and working on content for the past two years, I am pleased to announce the official launching of my very first book!  With the exception of a few close friends, there was no mention of me working on this book, as I was questioning myself as to whether or not it would ever materialize. I decided to try a self-publishing program and the adventure began. Now, after edit upon edit, and being my own worst critic, I have finally turned my many thoughts about gardening into a published work.

The journey started as a child.  My mother's favorite flowers were daisies so I would often pick them for her, which always put a smile on her face, a warm smile that I will always remember.  At the age of five, I started requesting flower pots and seeds that I could nurture and watch bloom.  My mother taught me to have an appreciation for nature in her own way, possibly without even knowing the impact she had on me.  My father also saw my interest in living things and helped me to plant my very first tree in our backyard, which deepened my love for anything green.  As an adult I embarked on a career in education, but my love of gardening continued to flourish. I went back to school for horticulture and with the encouragement of family and friends, became a landscape designer and started up my own business.  I retired from a fulfilling 32 year teaching career in 2013 and now run my business full time.  While working just one career I also found some time to write over the past two years.  The rest of the journey continues here...

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening~Journeys of a Garden Designer 

Gardening in Zones 3-9

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening is a comprehensive guide of valuable information on plants hardy in a range of zones from 3-9, and gardening techniques backed up by my own personal experiences as a professional landscape designer, along with answers to frequently asked questions. Learn about landscape design principles, butterfly gardening, deer resistant plants, long blooming perennials, globe and weeping evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs, native plantings, shade gardening and more. Whether you are a novice or experienced gardener, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening will help you to create your own dream garden. Come along on my journey into the world of gardening!

Preview Info:  To Preview Click on the Link to the Left

Sample Excerpt
My goal for this book is to share my experiences and passion of horticulture with others. With that goal in mind, I included the information that I share with clients during the design process, such as the types of plants that are most hardy and longest blooming,  deer resistant, low maintenance or shade tolerant and those that will supply color and all season interest. I have also addressed answers to commonly asked maintenance questions that are posed by clients.  In total, there are twelve chapters, each containing information on the design and maintenance of various types of gardens, with recommended plants and answers to commonly asked questions, all backed up by my own personal experiences.  The plants mentioned in the book have been personally photographed and I have included detailed information on each. I cannot be more elated about this venture becoming a reality. The links below will take you to a preview and purchasing info for my published book. I hope to share my passion of gardening with you!

Thank you to my readers for giving me the motivation to pursue this endeavor and thank you to my husband, friends and family who encouraged me along the way.  

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Foliage Follow Up March 2015 - Bring on Spring!

March 2015 Garden
This is not your ordinary March.  March came in like a lion with snowfall on the first, followed by winter storm Thor on the fifth.  With more snow storms than I can keep track of totaling 56.6 inches, record low temperatures and snow still embracing the landscape, spring initially seemed to be so far away.  
March 2015 Snowy Garden after Winter Storm Thor

Female Cardinal

March 2015 Garden Thaw
Then…we set the clocks ahead for daylight savings time on the 8th. It felt like at that moment the landscape started its thaw, with temperatures rising above freezing and into the mid to upper 40’s, as if Mother Nature was saying "Enough already...It’s time!”  For the first time in months the grass was visible again and all that was buried in a blanket of white started to appear.  
March 2015 Garden
Along with the thaw came the wildlife.  A Blue Jay visitor perched on a tree outside the kitchen window and then eight geese landed on our lawn as they were lured in by the only patch of green grass exposed through the snow.  Cardinals, mockingbirds, sparrows and other birds became more visible as they come out of hiding into warmer temperatures to join the juncos.
Blue Jay Visitor
The Canada geese visitors stayed for hours on the property enjoying the only patch of exposed lawn.
Canada Geese 
Determined Squirrel

A very determined squirrel was entertaining as he did yoga stretches trying to get to the feeder for a bite.
March Garden Thaw Heuchera 'Caramel' Reappears

As the snow started to melt perennials reappeared in the garden...
First Sign of Daylilies
and the very first signs of growth from lilies emerged.
Nandina domestica Berries March

First Sign of Hyacinth
The next day the first Hyacinth buds appeared...
Pussy Willow Catkin March
and I was able to get close enough to the Weeping Pussy Willow to see the first real catkins getting ready to open.
Sedum First Spring Rosette Appears
They were followed my Sedum rosettes appearing from the ground.  Each day has been an adventure to see what was going to appear next.
Holly Berries March
Did I mention how much I love spring and all the joy of watching the very first buds sprout from their dormant sleep? I can't wait to see what will appear tomorrow.

Garden Gal Happy!

Spring 2015 Has Arrived!

It was a long wait but spring has finally sprung in my Long Island Garden.  The unbearable snow and cold of winter only made the first arrival of life even more appreciated and I am pleased to share the very first signs of spring with you.  Thank you to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who makes it possible for us to have blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Creative Country Mom's Tuesday Garden PartyToday's FlowersFloral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  I hope you enjoyed the transformation. Happy spring (in just five days) or fall to our southern hemisphere friends.

And As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gardening Through the Seasons: Digital Art

On this chilly February day I decided to get into the creative spirit and portray the seasons with some digital art.  I went through my photo collection from throughout the past year and selected four captures that are reminiscent of each season.   After several hours and using a combination of adobe filters, I arrived at these finished views. Descriptions of each photo are supplied explaining the combinations of filters I used for each one.  I hope you enjoy the tour of the seasons from a different perspective!
Coral Bark Maple Oil Filter and Dry Brush Stroke
Throughout the seasons the gardens are changing.  In winter the harshness of the landscape can be brightened by the glowing of red bark or golden hue of some evergreens.   The drifting snow blanketing the garden adds its own softness and beauty.
 Oriental Spruce Skylands Oil Filter (Double Applied)
Ice Crystal on Spruce Oil Filter-Dry Brush-Poster Edges

Winter Scene Oil Filter (Triple Applied)

Spring is an array of hues resembling watercolors on a painting.  When spring comes to mind I think of the some of the first signs...tulips, crocus, daffodils and allium rising up from the once frozen ground.
Tulip Art Cut Out Filter
Crocus Pallete Knife and Poster Edge Filters
Daffodil Oil Filter (Applied Twice)

Allium Bloom Cut Out and Oil Filters

Summer reminds me of roses, dragonflies and petals of brilliant colored flowers, all combining into a wonderful palette of color.
Rose Garden Oil Filter
Dragonfly on Salvia Oil Filter
Stella D 'Oro Daylily Oil Filter

Stargazer Lily Cut Out Filter

Autumn is its own mosaic of all the colors together with hues of reds, golds, tans and oranges that are the highlights of the garden.  I also think of fall as a time when wispy plumes of ornamental grasses and dried seed heads are seen throughout the landscape.
Sunflower Cut Out Filter
Nandina domestica Oil Filter
Maiden Grasses Oil and Dry Brush Filters

Fall Seed Pods Filter Grain and Oil Filters

I like to think of the garden as a fluid or changing canvas or perhaps a painting in motion.    I hope these seasonal photos helped to brighten your day. I am linking this post with Creative Country Mom's Tuesday Garden Party, Today's FlowersFloral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart Macro and Macro Monday 2.  Please be sure to give them a visit.  Thank you for stopping by....

And As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved


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