Bluets, also known by the charming name Quaker Ladies
The first day of spring! It’s official although, with temperatures hovering in the twenties, its hard to believe. Close your eyes and imagine along with me pink and orange tulips, spring dresses, (stick with me here–just don’t look out your window at the still high drifts of snow) fields of bluets, sailboats in the harbor, windows open, the music of buzzing bees, shoots of new green grass, blue skies, robin bird songs, the smell of freshly tilled earth, fog horns in the distance, baby birds, misty warm April showers, the sweet scent of jonquils, bird’s nests along the meadow’s edge, the song of the Baltimore orioles returning, walking along the beach (without bundling up), friendly Red Admiral butterflies, lilacs, plum blossoms, magnolias in bloom, dogwoods in bloom, orange poppies, sweet pea tendrils, and sweet alyssum (see there, its not that hard).
Hurry Up Spring!
Tulips at The Mary Prentiss Inn
Cornus florida rubra
Blue Lilac ‘President Grevy’
Rosa rugosa and Bee
Lilacs flower in an array of beautiful hues
Loads of earth-moving in the fall equals a world of beauty in the spring. Thanks to my awesome crew, Patrick from the Mary Prentiss Inn and Jackson from the Kendall Hotel!
The Mary Prentiss Inn is truly the most welcoming of guest houses and yesterday while there planting the smell of the cook’s apple muffins baking wafted through the garden. A bit later, plates of warm muffins greeted guests; I couldn’t resist when offered. They were divine and are without a doubt the best muffins I’ve ever tasted! I’ve been promised the recipe and can’t wait to give it a go and to share!
See previous GMG post here.
For more information on the project, visit my Design Projects page here.
Link to The Mary Prentiss Inn here.
The Power of Flowers!
Pink Carolina Silverbell is a native flowering tree (Halesia tetraptera var. rosea)
Temple of Beauty
Click to see more spring beauties here ~ Read more
Reminder: Plant your bulbs before the chilly weather is upon us!
These upcoming weeks, until Christmastime, I am nonstop with my business. My interior design client’s homes need readying for the holidays and I am very much straight out with landscape design client’s gardens; planting ephemeral spring magic and putting all to rest for the winter. I am a little bit ahead on posts planned and will do my best to keep up with all, but I may be calling on our Editor-in-Chief to fill in the gaps. I so very much appreciate all of your comments, but if your always kind and much appreciated comments are not answered immediately please do not think that I did not notice. I enjoy reading them and will respond to your comments as soon as possible. Thank you for understanding.
Trunk loads of this…
Willowdale Estate Courtyard ~ A Special Events Venue Unlike Any Other
Butterfly Courtyard with Native Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Thank you so much to everyone who came to the Willowdale Estate Artist Spotlight Garden Tour Monday night. We had an absolutely wonderful turnout. I would especially like to thank Senator Bruce Tarr who, although he could not make it, sent his liaison, Gloucester’s Barry Pett. Mr. Pett is Senator Tarr’s Director of Community Outreach and Constituent Services, and also has a background in architecture. He lives in a historical Queen Anne on Middle Street and was especially appreciative of Willowdale, which is a stunning example of an exquisitely restored Arts and Crafts stone mansion.
Courtyard window box with anemones
Thank you Briar and Sarah for your gracious hospitality and for all that you did to make last night’s event such a singing success. There were gift bags for all who attended and the staff prepared a wonderful array of Briar’s signature cookies, as well as a delicious selection of fruit and cheese, topped with a favorite sparkling wine!
The tulips were in full, glorious bloom, as were many of our native flowering trees and spring ephemerals. Both the Eastern Redbud and Carolina Silverbell were abuzz with myriad species of bees and tiny winged-pollinators.
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
The sultry colors of these tulips would make the most gorgeous cocktail dress, don’t you think?
Bleeding Heart and Tulips
All photos Willowdale Estate, Topsfield.
Thank you Kim Smith for the beautiful tulips.
Fall Planting for Spring Tulipomania at Willowdale ~ 1,500 bulbs planted, only 1500 more to go!
The Super Fantastic Willowdale Facilities Team, right to left ~ Dale, James, and Greg
Willowdale Estate ~ A Stunning Special Events Venue
Click any photo to view slideshow
For weeks I had planned to photograph the tulips in bloom at Willowdale, but only in the late afternoon sun. Each afternoon I headed out, the sky grew overcast. Last Monday the sun shown gloriously the entire day.
Fortunately I caught the tail end of North Shore Wedding Magazine photographing their Premier Issue in the gardens at Willowdale. North Shore Wedding Magazine is a brand new biannual publication featuring quality North Shore wedding professionals and venues, and is the sister publication to New Hampshire Wedding Magazine.
Sarah Boucher’s (Willowdale’s Planning Manager) lovely table styling for the North Shore Wedding Magazine photo shoot.
Kristina Hathaway with model
I hope this does not sound boastful however am mentioning because I just love it when people understand the design intention of a project. Kristina Hathaway remarked that she loved the feminine quality of the garden’s design juxtaposed against the masculine architecture of the stone mansion—music to my ears! The design challenges at Willowdale are multifold, yet rewarding, and from April 1st to until the first week of November you will find the gardens in bloom!
Tuesday evening, June 12, at 7:00 pm come join me in the gardens at Willowdale Estate. Enjoy refreshments and a tour of the garden, followed by a showing of my film “The Butterfly Garden at Willowdale Estate.” RSVP to Info@Willowdale Estate.
Click any photo to view slide show
In your rocking chair on your front porch last week you were bummed about the dandelions in the lawn but enjoying the tulips. I pulled out 523 dandelions and I now have dandelion thumb so I have changed my mind. Dandelions now look pretty and I’ll leave the rest alone.
So now I just enjoy both of them and for two plants that don’t move around much (rumors that dandelions walk across streets and into your lawn are unfounded) they sure open and close a lot.
Tulips seem to open up each day because it warms up. I guess evolution has told them that the pollinators are going to be more active in the afternoon. Then they close back up. Dandelions seem to be smarter. If it gets cold they close. But even if it gets cloudy they seem to close up before the rain beats them up unlike tulips.
So I have to go find a paper and sure enough, the Journal of Experimental Botany has a paper that explains it all and they mention tulips and dandelions a lot. Duration of darkness, osmotic pressure, all that good stuff about how and when a flower opens.
Or you can enjoy your morning coffee this weekend and watch your tulips and dandelions open up again.
This animation is from Tulip Test Gardens which has a lot of good info about your tulips. (Click to animate again.)
This is a view into the courtyard garden I designed for Willowdale Estate. The tulips are at their peak. I call this mix of colors my ‘Bridal Mix,’ because it provides a symphony of watercolor hues for the April and May weddings. Don’t you think too that the satiny sheen of the tulip petals looks like the silk satin gowns of wedding parties?
Willowdale Estate Topsfield
Click photo to view larger image. More from Willowdale spring coming.
I don’t know where the Mrs got the Tulip bulbs that her and The Bean planted last fall but I swear they are the biggest tulips I’ve ever seen. These are some Ginormous Tulips.