Garden Diary - June 2012

Tuesday, 17 June 2012
Summertime: Monet's Garden at the New York Botanical Garden


In a New York Times article published on July 12, the author, William Grimes, visited the Monet exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden.He then decided to pay homage to Monet by creating a four square foot version in Queens. With plants sourced at a Home Depot. When I visited the show in late May the color palate was blues and pinks, with accents of yellow and some orange. (Here's a link to my previous entry about the exhibition.) Pictures accompanying Mr. Grimes article were hot oranges and red, and sunflowers. Time, I decided, for me to go back and have a second look, in the summer season. Ended up making a pleasant outing of it: I drove in while my brother Ben and sister-in-law Susan (husband's sister, not brother's wife) took Metro-North train to the very convenient stop across the street from NYBG. So even with the obnoxiously hot weather, 92 degrees Fahrenheit, we had a pleasant time. Stayed mostly in the shade, walked slow and talked slow, and enjoyed the pleasant breeze that also alleviated conditions.

We met up at the conservatory, its whitewashed glass shade-painted against the summer sun.

Some things had not changed from my previous visits. While the willows have grown the iconic bridge is the same.

Fewer delphiniums, still looking elegant as plants are constantly replaced as needed for best appearance.
Salvia farinacea fills in for summer, with vertical flower spikes in purple-washed blue and accents of
lime green flowering tobacco. Memo to self: forget delphiniums, they want to live in Maine. The rest are good.

The house facade continues to set the stage. Now, in mid-July,
grapes are beginning to swell, their clusters coloring on the vine.

Summer colors heat up the border.

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Top left: a sunflower in rich orange, its brown disc dusted with pollen. Top right: a wonderful burgundy colored dahlia
Bottom left: a glowing, hot orange Mid Century hybrid lily. Bottom right: Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia

. . . .

The lily is used repeatedly in the display, a wonderful accent partnered with other plants, as here with a green hydrangea.
Elsewhere, a similar lacecap hydrangea, in turn, partners nicely with a large, chartreuse leaved hosta.

A lily of the Nile, Agapanthus finds itself dancing with more of the lily and some cleome.

China asters, Callistephus chinensis. You likely won't find them at a big box store so if these charming
annuals catch your fancy make a note to grow your own next year, from seed. Which needs to be purchased
fresh each year as it doesn't keep. I prefer the taller ones as they also make an excellent cut flower.

And of course, Monet's garden must have waterlilies. The courtyard pools are looking splendid, both
the pool for hardy waterlilies and the other with tropicals such as this Nymphaea 'Star of Zanzibar'.
Waterlilies love the heat, and this weather has certainly provided them with what they like. The exhibition
is going from strength to strength - summer's waterlilies, yes, and the conservatory display as well.

Make a visit of your own. Enjoy the conservatory show and the waterlily pools. See the two Monet paintings
in the library's gallery. Stroll around the grounds and visit the cafe for a delicious lunch. We did all of the above
and had a delightful day. So can you, other than Mondays. Here's a link with more information and to purchase tickets.


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