Friday, December 19, 2008

first decent snowfall of winter '08

Here are some pictures I took in the Conservatory Garden today at lunchtime before the shoveling and snowplowing commenced.Perhaps the best shot of the bunch. This is the semi-circular pergola where the wisteria grow.

My love likes to tease me about how much and with such excitement I say "pergola" on a daily basis. However, I do think it is an amazing structure in the Italian garden.

I think what I love most about this garden, as with other successful garden designs, is that the marriage of natural forms and man-made forms marry so well together. This time of year it is funny because I hear people in the garden say "oh, there isn't anything here this time of year", and I couldn't disagree more. I love winter because it exposes the structure of a garden, and especially the woody plants!

The above Lonicera species is on the slope behind the north terrace and is original to the garden, which would make it about 70 years old. This summer I was able to limb it up a tiny bit so you could really enjoy the fluted framework underneath.

By the north gate are two Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia). This is certainly on my list of trees to plant and enjoy in my own landscape someday. The "pseudo-camellia" refers to the cup-shaped white flowers that these medium-sized trees produce in the summer. They are in fact quite camellia-like although they bloom in a completely different season compared to their relative, the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica), which typically blooms in winter. Both are members of the Theaceae family but the Japanese stewartia is more winter-hardy for us. And I'm glad it is, as the brown and silver bark of stewartia is up there among my favorites.

I forget what this guy is, but I love how horizontal the branching is.

The picture above is looking south from the English garden. Usually in summer people are looking down and focusing on the flowers so they miss all the trees around. I love how the big dark oak is emerging from the winter landscape in the background above the magnolias and mulberry and hedges.

The crabapple in the south garden, another original plant to the Conservatory Garden, is a crowd pleasure in every season.

Of course the little Tuskegee crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica 'Tuskegee') holds up pretty well too exposing its smaller structure and exfoliating bark through the winter. I think I have probably babbled enough about the four-season value of crapemyrtle trees - just plain fabulous.

I forget if this redtwig dogwood is a Cornus sericea 'Variegata' or not. But I do know that I love it when the variegated leaves drop to remind us that these shrubs are packing some heat underneath.

A pretty picturesque and classicly New York City winter scene if you ask me. And in true New York City winter fashion it never stays that beautiful for long before turning to a slushy mess.

...the lawn and hedged yews with the crabapple allees in the distance. There was a serenity in the air that was truly awesome.

...pergola, pergola, pergola, pergola, pergola...

The big amazing building outside of the garden is the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center. Often the patients will come over for a little horticultural therapy and from the upper floors you can get a sensational birds-eye view of the garden.

The French garden and the parterres of germander (Teucrium sp.), the Three Dancing Maidens in the snow, the rose arbors, the crabapples, and yes, the reminder that you are still actually in New York City.

I'm always glad to see some people making the most of their snow days.

And last but certainly not least the south crabapple allee. The longer I live in this city the more this one little place becomes my sanctuary.

Merry Christmas everyone! Love, arborboy

(and as usual, these images have been uploaded full-size for your maximum viewing pleasure but they are still my personal property and are not to be used or reproduced without my consent. Thanks for not stealing other peoples artwork.)

1 comment:

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