Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gardens of Chez Chiacchiaro

The past week has brought nothing but rain .. rain and more RAIN!!!! SO what does one do with all this water?  I say roll up your knickers and play in the mud !!! or the Flowers, which ever you prefer.  Personally i like both, so that is what I decided to do, and it was bloomin fun .. get it?  ... BLOOMIN !!!  

I must say that my gardens are very happy and colorful after all the showers we have had, so no complaints here.  All is good in the land of foliage :)


THE VANDERBILT GARDENS are coming along nicely.  I can not express in words the joy I feel when working and caring for these amazing historic gardens.  Life is good :) ...

And I want to remind all my friends and family, please come by the gardens this Memorial Day weekend for the FWVGA plant sale.  This is our BIG annual event and we would love to have everyone there to enjoy the gardens and purchase some of our beautiful plants.

 We began planting the first group of pansies in the lower perennial garden beds. The sculpted beds are LOVERLY !!!!

 The Beautiful "Aquilegia Alpina" look like elegant dancers
 Papaver Orientale ~ "Oriental Poppy" Gorgeous!

Paeonia ~ "Sarah Bernhardt"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Manitoga ~ The Russel Wright Design Center

      I am excited to start my Internship here at Manitoga, the home and woodland garden of pioneer Industrial Designer, Russel Wright.

      Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark and is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Artists Homes and Studio's site, as well as the only 20th century modern home open to the public in New York State.

       My first project this season will begin with the woodland path, and clearing twigs and leaves from the surrounding pond borders and waterfall area.

   These small excerpt from Russel Wright's 12 pg booklet "A Garden of Woodland Paths" describes perfectly the landscape and views that he created from 1942 through the 1970's.

I have also included my photo's, some of which I too took today, which (amazingly) show the landscape remains ( in many ways) as it once was.

" Hypatica is planted on both sides of the stone steps leading to the lady slipper room.  The lady slipper and the other wild orchid, rattlesnake plantain, have seeded themselves in many areas outside this room.  In fact, they form the overall pattern of the whole walk."

"This is the highest point of the path and here you can carefully step out on the crown of a sheer granite cliff which drops straight down to the water of the pool thirty feet below.  You look out across the pool, the trees beyond the dam, and see a bit of the Hudson River and the mountains on the other side of it."


   "A curving flight of stone steps lead down to a mossy plateau where I cleared all the trees except a small grove of twisting grey birch. A friend has dubbed them the Martha Graham girls, because they look like dancers. In the spring the moss is dotted with tiny bluette flowers.  Here one always pauses to look across the pool to the waterfall and its fifteen cascades. Next you pass by large hemlocks in front of which I have planted chickory whose grey leaves and blue flowers contrast with the somber trees."

Did I mention how excited I am with my adventure towards preservation?  Stay tuned for more exciting updates on my horticulture projects.

Hug a Tree :P

Monday, May 7, 2012

Piermont Marsh 

Took a lovely walk today through The Piermont Marsh
The site occupies two miles of shoreline south of the mile-long Erie Pier, and includes the mouth of Sparkill Creek and extensive tidal shallows. The Sparkill Creek drains 11.1 square miles of watershed. Sparkill Gap, the valley of Sparkill Creek, just west of the north end of the Piermont Marsh, is the only sea level break in the Palisades Ridge.  The one mile long pier was built in 1841 as the eastern terminus of the Erie Railroad. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Such a wonderful day to spend strolling the home and gardens of Kykuit. 
This hilltop paradise was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family, beginning with the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. His business acumen made him, in his day, the richest man in America. Now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this extraordinary landmark has been continuously and meticulously maintained for more than 100 years.

Oceanus Fountain

 Over the period from 1935 to the late 1970s, more than 120 works of abstract, avant garde and modern sculpture were added to the gardens and terraced grounds from Nelson's collection, including works by Pablo Picasso ('Bathers'),Constantin BrâncuşiKarel Appel ('Mouse on Table'), Jean ArpAlexander CalderAlberto Giacometti,Gaston LachaiseAristide MaillolHenry MooreLouise NevelsonIsamu Noguchi ('Black Sun'), andDavid Smith.

 Climbing Rocks and exploring the foliage
 The boys are all buckled up for their bus ride back to Philipsburg Manor
 Nap please

After a long day, the boys are relaxing with a nice cool Mai Tai .... yummm!!!