LA Arboretum

I had the chance to visit the Los Angeles County Arboretum in late May. The place was over-run with Peacocks! Showing off and trumpeting loudly. The LA Arboretum is 127 acres and is located just off Route 66, just east of Pasadena.  All of the gardens were beautiful, it was breathtaking to see, even though it was a rainy day. 

July 2017 Garden Events

This July there are many gardening events happening around Long Island. Here’s a list of things you can do this month and get outdoors! 

Farmers Markets – There are many farmers markets happening around the Island, click here to read our article on where you can find them! 

Tai Chi & Yoga – Throughout the Spring and Summer, at Old Westbury Gardens. For more information, click here. 

Bayard Cutting Arboretum Guided Tours – Free guided tours around the gardens every Saturday starting at 11AM. For more information, click here.

Talk and Tour at Old Westbury Gardens – Every Sunday and Wednesday throughout July, “Experience Art in the Landscape at Old Westbury Gardens.” For more information, click here.

The Lawn Expert! – Free lawn care advice in person or via email, Tuesdays through the end of October at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton. For more information, click here.

Botanicals with Watercolor and Colored Pencil – Thursday mornings throughout July and August, sponsored by the Peconic Land Trust. Class size is limited ($20/ class.) For more information, click here.

Visit Madoo Garden! – Open every Friday and Saturday from Noon to 4PM through September 15th. For more information, click here.

Seasonal Highlights at BBG – Throughout July, enjoy a free garden wide walk at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. For more information, click here.

Visit Longhouse Reserve – Come visit Longhouse Reserve Gardens in East Hampton on Wednesdays and Saturdays. For more information, click here.

Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies tour at NYBG – Saturdays through August 26th, visit New York Botanical Gardens for a colorful tour watching butterflies, birds and dragonflies in their natural habitats. For more information, click here.

Recycle the Rain – Open to North Hempstead Residents ONLY. For more information, click here.

Learn How to Compost – Open to North Hempstead Residents ONLY. For more information, click here.

CHIHULY – Through October 29th, World-Renowed Sculptor Dale Chihuly will be featured in NYBG. For more information, click here.

LI Dahlia Society – Saturday Mornings through November, LI Dahlia Society volunteers will meet at Bayard Cutting Arboretum. For more information, click here.

Smart Garden Exhibit – Through January 2018, visit the smart garden exhibit at BBG. For more information, click here.

Thank you to Long Island Garden Events for the original information. To read more,  click here.

National Arboretum in Washington

Over the Christmas holiday, we visited Washington D.C. and got to tour the National Arboretum. It was so beautiful, so many flowers! There were so many different types of flowers; including Hydrangeas, Orchids, Amaryllis, Bigleaf Hydrangeas, A Chocolate Tree (wow!), Bright Pink Poinsettias, Bird of Paradise, Aechmea ‘Blue Tango’, and in the center of it all was a large Christmas Tree! 

Thanksgiving 2016

This Thanksgiving, Bob and I took a walk at the Arboretum; we walked the Greenbelt Trail. Look at this cool tree we came upon! Later that day Bob made a centerpiece from flowers he found in our yard. Our friend Margie also sent us a photo of a similar idea for a centerpiece that she made from flowers in her yard. 

Project Bloom Greenhouse Update

We had a Project Bloom tree-planting photo-op at the greenhouse on 9/1616, and Trish Bergin and Alexis Weik came. When they saw the bad condition of the greenhouse, they mentioned that there might be an opportunity to get funding for greenhouse repairs or restoration from another source. In a follow up email, Trish asked if there was any quotes available. We contacted the vendor who supplies Greenhouse products and asked them to give a quote. He came out that day. The following day, I went out and saw the greenhouse restoration project over at Meadow Edge at the West Sayville Maritime Museum. It was amazing!!! I called and got the name of the company that did that job, and they came out and met with me and Bob this week. We are waiting for a final labor quote which we will present to a contact at the Parks Department. This is the PDF file with historic and current photos of the greenhouse and examples of other options.

We had a few ideas for the greenhouse:

The first plan would be to remove the old glass from the greenhouse, and install a new metal framework with polycarbonate panels to replace the glass. Photos of similar polycarbonate greenhouses are included in the attached pdf file of photos. This would make use of the existing natural gas heater, which is still in good shape, and the existing brick foundation.

Another option would be to turn the existing greenhouse into a Butterfly & Pollinator House / Environmental Educational Center and build a new polycarbonate greenhouse adjacent to the old one. This would further our goal of creating a teaching garden, and the new greenhouse could be ADA compliant.

A third option would be a complete renovation similar to the amazing work done on the antique greenhouse restoration at the Sayville Maritime Museum/Meadow Edge. 

Our goal was just to keep the Project Bloom operation going next year since a full-blown restoration was likely too expensive. With the polycarbonate option or the option of putting a Butterfly House screen on the old frame, it would not prevent a full restoration in the future. 

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE PHOTOS IN THE PDF FILE:

Built in the early 1900’s, the greenhouse at Brookwood Hall was part of the original South Shore Estate. When the mansion was used as an orphanage in the 1940s – 1960s, children would help in the gardens, as seen in the photo below.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-46-53-am

This photo was dated to 1953 from the East Islip Historical Society.

In the next photo you can see a hedge-lined driveway leading to the carriage house at Brookwood Hall. In the background, the greenhouse sits in front of the fields with overhead irrigation.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-50-14-am

Restored in 1993, the first Project Bloom Season was in 1994, with 6000 plants being distributed throughout Islip.
Brookwood Hall Greenhouse has been at the heart of our community gardening program ever since.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-54-49-am

Due to lack of maintenance, the greenhouse is falling apart. It has not been painted since the 1993 restoration.  This past year has been the worst with broken panes and rotted wood. Because of the bad framing structure, glass panes have been falling out. This past June, the top roof panel which was loose in April, had finally collapsed into the gardens.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-58-07-am

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-58-21-am

This is what the top roof pane looked like before it fell into the vegetable garden.

The caulk is so worn and weak, that when the wind blows, panels of glass are just blown out.  This photo below was taken on September 21st, 2016. It shows a different roof panel about to come off the building.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-00-54-am

Due to the missing panes of glass, one of our gardeners (aged 89) had to makeshift repair with a panel of styrofoam and an office chair for support. This was used to block freezing air from killing our seedlings this spring. This pane of glass is still missing 9 months later.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-03-09-am

Thank you to all the volunteers who took seedlings and planted gardens in Islip. Here is a small but beautiful spot.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-05-39-am

We are hoping for a replacement greenhouse, and this is what we are being quoted for by one vendor. This example shows the building installed at ground level.

greenhouse_quote

We recently visited the greenhouse at Meadow Edge in Sayville. Their greenhouse was just totally restored. Here are before and after photos of the restoration. This is what we dream of for Project Bloom, but small steps first!

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-10-55-am

Before

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-11-55-am

After

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-11-18-am

To see more photos of the Project Bloom Greenhouse, click the link below to view the complete pdf file.

greenhouse-at-project-bloom

Planting Fields

On Tuesday June 21st, we attended the Summer Twilight Tour at Planting Fields Arboretum. It was hosted by LINLA (Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association.) We were taken on a tour of the gardens, with Vincent Simone as our tour guide. After the walk through the beautiful gardens, we were treated to a light dinner and learned how Vincent and his staff are improving the gardens and their own practices to become more sustainable. It was a great way to spend the Summer Solstice with an incredible tour and spend time among fellow garden lovers.

Botanical Gardens and Arboretums Around Long Island

When people say summer on Long Island, the first thing that comes to mind is our lovely beaches and parks. However, there is another way you should be spending your time this summer. Throughout Suffolk and Nassau County there are a plethora of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums. Botanical Gardens were created for the public to enjoy collections of numerous plants while also being a space for botanists to study. Arboretums are a collection of trees. Having botanical gardens on Long Island, allows us to enjoy plants from other parts of the county and even from other parts of the world. Here is a list of beautiful Botanical Gardens and Arboretums throughout Suffolk and Nassau County for you to visit this summer. A huge thank you to LongIsland.com for the original list, you can read more about each garden here.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum, AZ

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona, is an interesting place. It is not like the traditional arboretums we are familiar seeing here in New York, where there is a ton of greenery. This was a more dry, and arid place for plants to grow. Therefore making all the plants, things that could absorb and hold water for a very long time (like cactuses!) They have guided tours, nature trails, and really interesting plants!