Waiting at the entrance of Atlantic Nurseries for me, in Dix Hills, was this beautiful little weeping hemlock: Tsuga canadensis "Bennet's Weeper". I wanted to incorporate a couple into the Tribeca terrace's garden, as we need some low-growing plants in places, and I also always need to remind myself about evergreens.
Like putting candy and chips at the check-out counter, the clever staff at Atlantic put out plants that look exceptionally good Now, and that makes for impulse buys. Of course the danger is that one snaps up everything that looks good in mid September and forgets about April - August, and all the well thought-out plans one has made.
This is Viburnum dilatatum 'Michael Dodge'. 11/11/09: Oh dear. Invasive in the Northeast.
Three of the yellow-berried viburnums are waiting for pick-up in two weeks. Later, one of the salespeople, Sonia, drove me around after I'd looked at everything and we pulled all the plants I'd chosen, loaded them onto several little trucks and carted them to a holding area.
Ha. Below is another V. dilatatum, this time "Cardinal Candy". I think I'll call and have some added to the list. I'm still missing a few things. Then Sonia told me about a sale on V. plicatum tomentosum "Mariessii", one of my favourite viburnums, with its typically horizontal branch structure, and we picked one of those up, too. It was a beautiful, full shrub, but I must remember that they get big, and place it appropriately. Some of its leaves were already beginning to tun a heavy burgundy-red.
So I had already chosen four plants that I had not planned on, but this site is good (I think) for viburnums: shade until very late morning, because of walls to the east and south, and then shade again from early afternoon, high walls on the west. They are a rewarding shrub because of their spring flowers, of course, in addition to fall colour and berries, and I still picked up a V. x burkwoodi "Mohawk" - this was on the plan! It has a wonderful scent from its pink-budded, snowball clusters of white-when-open flowers in mid-spring.
I wanted some camellias, not a plant I use too often at all, but because of the three-walled site, I'm gambling that there is enough protection for them. They are evergreen, an added bonus, and I chose two white flowered, late fall blooming ones, C. "Winter Snowman" and a pink, C. "Pink Icicle", early spring blooming. Half of the garden is very much visible year-round, through glass sliding doors and a window, at garden level, and the rest is looked down on from a floor above, so I'm aiming for as much year-round interest as possible.
The original idea for the garden had been more minimalist, which I based on some architectural decisions, but the owners decided they wanted a more gardeny garden -an unusual choice, sometimes, in New York, and one I was very happy to accommodate, since I love plants so much.
Below, the Camelia "Winter Snowman" with buds already in place.
Wow. I'd seen a few of these, an upright and a rounded form, in the tree section, and then started to read labels, which said 'related to daphne' - which hooked me - and later I looked it up in Dirr, in the nursery's office. Edgeworthia papyrifera. Blooms in March, tiny yellow, fragrant flowers - very fragrant. How unusual. Considered marginally hardy* here. But then crape myrtle were marginally hardy until recently. Now we use them on exposed rooftops! The climate's a-changing and so are our plant palettes.
* 9/18/09: but the most recent print edition of Fine Gardening lists it as hardy to Zone 6. Online, howsomever, they say Zones 8-10. And why do they never credit their photographs?
I bought two. Plant collector's delight. I may have to protect it in winter, just in case
Cornus kousa "Wolf Eyes"...a variegated dogwood. Snapped it up.
The fruit. Which I ate. Like ripe papaya. Skin not nice. Spat out. Compost.
There was a tree I saw later, when the camera was back in the car. I reserved one: Franklinia alatamaha. I saw the white, anemone-like flower and thought stewartia. But it starts to bloom in September. Extraordinary. Used to be an eastern seaboard native, now thought to be extinct in the wild.
And then , after more travels and getting a bit lost on the way to find some birches, we pulled over to look at the sea and had our car picnic. By then rain was falling and wind beating.
Saucisson, baguette and cheese from Stinky, on Smith Street.
Triple cream, salted French butter. Vince thought it was cheese and started to chew on a chunk before he realized...
Even the postman was having a picnic. And two cormorants, one of whom caught a fish, and five cygnets plus parent, and many gulls.