Thursday, July 30, 2009

Glover Perennials on the North Fork

Fields of Queen Anne's Lace on the North Fork of Long Island yesterday afternoon. On a scouting trip for some installations next week and for upcoming projects, I started off at the tip of Long Island and worked my way back. Vince rode shotgun and we picnicked on the way.

Queen Anne's Lace is important food for Black Swallowtail butterfly babies. Better than my parsley.

Below, in the Glovers' perennial garden they have growing a thick mat of Mazus reptans to demonstrate its steppable qualities. "Steppable" is a whole genre of foot-tolerant groundcovers. Steppables are steppable within reason. They are not walkables. The mazus is grown in full sun here, and not frequently trafficked. It feels very good and lush underfoot.

Milkweed growing in a ditch in the fields. We borrowed a little golf cart and drove all over, looking for inspiration for some upcoming projects. Two in deep shade, one in blazing sun. Typical New York. There was lots. Of inspiration.

The milkweed - Asclepias incarnata - sold by Jim is native to Long Island, and the best known host for Monarch butterflies. Whose cousins I have on my conscience. It blooms late - this is the end of July and it will go through August, so it is a valuable addition to a sunny garden.

Filipendula...looking a little like aruncus, crossed with spirea crossed with astilbe...

These had me jumping up and down salivating. Clematis. With shrubby habits! Blooming now. Clematis heracleifolia "Mrs Robert Brydon", above.

C. heracleifolia var. davidiana, below.

This is Allium "Millenium"... a late-blooming allium about 14" high.

Lickable flowers: Agastache/hyssop. Some of my very favourite perennials. Beautiful flowers, late blooms, lovely colour, and scented leaves.

Agastache "Black Adder".


Penstemon "Pike's Peak Purple". To 24", and now reblooming after its start in May.

"Sunburst Ruby".

On Monday we will pick up many 150 Hakonechloa (Japanese ribbon grass) from Glover Perennials, for planting on the roof garden I've posted pictures of before, and then we'll be back again for shade perennials in a birch garden and meadow flowers and grasses for some sunny terraces in SoHo.

Walking about in fields like these is so much more inspiring than sitting behind a desk and perusing books and one's own rather repetitive brain.


  1. Yes, nothing beats seeing the real plant growing in its natural habitat! and being taken by surprise by serendipitous color combinations and such. Lucky you to be going back there for multiple visits!

  2. That clematis...crossed with a campanula? I WISH I could grow it/them. Ah, well...I can have mango and pawpaw...mustn't grumble.

  3. QC - yes, it's a bit like going to a candy store. Or a cheese store, in my case.

    Dinahmow - yes! and yes :-)


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