GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2008 show42
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
 
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Past Shows:

Show #42/1403
Gardening in Greenwich, Connecticut


Incorporating Art Into The Garden
Joe feels that the garden rooms are connected. Mike explains. THOMAS AND THERESA HAVE AN APPRECIATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, Mike feels that the art is one element that ties the gardens together. The first piece of art work was created by Paolo Corvin and placed here this spring. Art speaks to everyone in different ways. But Mike loves the bright colors and the curved lines. It gives the impression of movement. It made it easy for Mike to incorporate this artwork into the garden because he loves to use the colors in this piece of art. And, he loves to plant things in large sweeps, just like the artwork, because it gives the illusion of movement. Incorporating art into a garden is a great way to provide 4 seasons of interest and its even better when one can coordinate the plant material with the art.

Click here for more info

Using Plants That Mimic The Colors Of The Artwork
MIKE HAS INCORPORATED THE ARTWORK INTO THE GARDEN BY MIMICKING COLORS. He has the dark red leaves, yellow leaves and lighter red leaves which all mimic the colors in the artwork. He's planted things in masses and waves to give the illusion of movement, just as the artwork does. Plus, he has a nice curved bed line which ties into the contemporary art. Mike has selected Canna lily which has a natural upright form. But the beauty of the Canna lily is that it comes in a lot of different varieties and Mike has chosen colors that perfectly compliment the reds and yellows, even the blacks of the artwork.

Click here for more info

Centerpiece On A Table - Garden
THE NEXT GARDEN MIKE DESCRIBES AS THE CENTERPIECE ON THE TABLE. The restaurant guests arrive here and the guests at the Inn stroll by as they come to dine. This garden must be a showpiece. Thus, it is designed as a centerpiece, Mike feels everything must be perfect. As Mike was putting the Robinia pseudoacacia 'Tortuosa' (Twisted Locust) in the ground they were preparing Lobster Bisque. When that happens the aroma permeates the entire neighborhood. Mike was thinking how the tree represented aroma, rising up out of something. He thought, it must be rising from something. What would that be? He decided to create a cauldron and he did that with Boxwoods.

Click here for more info

Watering Tip
IT'S ON AN INCLINE THUS WHEN WATERING THE WATER HAS A TENDENCY TO RUN OFF. Mike uses mulch which is great for keeping moisture in the soil but conversely it keeps moisture out of the soil when it rains. So, Mike has developed a method for deep watering. He takes a straight steel bar and drives holes in and around the base of a plant. Afterwards he takes a hose and fills the holes with water. The holes are about 6 inches deep which allows the water to get down into the root zone, right where Mike wants it and it does not run off.

Click here for more info

Mike's First Homestead Inn Garden
JOE AND MIKE NEXT VISIT THE AREA WHERE IT ALL STARTED. When Mike first arrived there were several plantings here but there was no rhyme or reason and it was a bit of a mess. Theresa wanted to improve the aesthetics from the dining room, she wanted it to look nicer. The first thought was to create a working kitchen garden. Initially they had herbs growing inside the circle and they grew great and looked fantastic. But the problem was the chefs came out to take cuttings, meaning big chunks would be removed and that ruined the aesthetic value. So, what they decided was to move the herbs out of that bed and instead put them in wine boxes. This way they can be harvested whenever the chefs need them. If they don't look too good they can easily be moved and they can be placed in conditions they like most. Some plants like more sun, others less. Herbs don't need to go into the ground, in fact they do quite well in containers.

Click here for more info

Drive By Garden
THE GUYS FINALLY MAKE IT TO THE GARDEN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BIG WALL OF GREEN HOLLIES that didn't quite come together. Here they see what's on the other side. It is a bright garden, eye catching. Mike calls it his drive by garden, it catches peoples eye when driving by. It has Dahlias, Marigolds and Mums.

Click here for more info

 


LINKS:

Homestead Inn

Thomas Henkelmann

Garden Smart Plant List



Complete transcript of the show.


World class dining, great gardens and great gardening advice, all in Greenwich, Connecticut. This episode is a treat for all the senses.
Theresa Henkelmann and her husband are the proprietors of the Homestead Inn and restaurant Thomas Henkelmann in Greenwich, Connecticut. And, both are fantastic. In 2006 they are celebrating their 10th year anniversary at this location. That is even more remarkable because restaurants make landmark status at 5 years. Thomas came to America in 1989 and was the Executive Chef in New York for a wonderful restaurant called Maurice. After a period of time Thomas decided it was time to own his own restaurant, one can only work for someone else for so long in this business. So they started to look for property. They looked in Manhattan but there could only lease. So, because they lived in Greenwich they looked for property and found this location. It is in an exquisite neighborhood and the only business in the area. The property is "grandfathered" because it was the original farmhouse for what is now Belhaven. They love the property and love the location and love the idea that Thomas's food, which is quite sophisticated, works well here. So they bought the property, opened the restaurant Thomas Henkelmann and the Homestead Inn.
When they bought the building it had a completely different look and feel. Then it was dark brown, today it is white. As well it needed its nose powdered and when they started powdering they found it needed a little spackle. They ended up having to gut and redo almost everything. It's a very old building. It was built in 1799, so its over 200 years old. To complicate matters every owner over the years had decided to add some part that would make them happy. But today, the hotel is a luxury hotel and the restaurant is contemporary French, one of the top in the country. They wanted the Inn, the restaurant and the grounds to be first class and today they are. But in the beginning the grounds were rather barren, not a lot of plantings. There were a lot of trees but they weren't necessarily good trees, many were originally seedlings, 30 or 40 years old and most had very shallow root systems. They initially spent a lot of time trimming things away, cutting back and doing a lot of foundation planting. All, just to provide a good anchor to the buildings that are here.
Theresa doesn't take credit for the grounds today. She did, in the early stages, provide some foundation plantings and she had flowers but they weren't very good. It definitely needed some additional work. Theresa didn't have either the plant knowledge or the time needed to make the grounds world class. So she hired Mike Krupa, who's been her savior. Mike has been here about 8 years and he gets all the credit for the landscaping. And, Mike has become their good friend along the way. He works in concert with Thomas in the restaurant and with Theresa and the Inn. Joe is interested in meeting Mike and to see more of the gardens but first thanks Theresa for the introduction.
How do you improve on world class dining and a luxury Inn? By providing beautiful grounds. Mike started gardening as a child. His mother had a job in a greenhouse when he was 5 and if he took a day off from school in the springtime she would take him to work. So he started by planting Marigolds, potting them and putting them out on benches. From that point forward he was hooked. At home they always had a vegetable garden in their backyard. His dad took care of that and in order to spend more time with his dad Mike would follow him to the garden and watch what he was doing, just to spend time with him. As his dad worked more and more Mike took over more of the garden responsibilities. One year in the fall he cleaned the chicken coop and put all the manure out in the garden. The next year everything grew to 8 feet tall and Mike felt he was a Master Gardener. It gave him the inspiration to do more. He later took a job at a greenhouse, Twombly Nursery, in rural Connecticut as a perennial manager and that opened his eyes to a whole palette of plants, textures and plant material. Mike came here in 2000 to do a small garden for Theresa and he's still here. When he got here there were a lot of big trees but not much color. Much has changed.
One of the first things he did was to put in some evergreens to provide year round color and to define the beds. And, in the summertime they fill the beds with color. Joe thinks Mike is doing a great job because everywhere he looks he sees color, form and texture. Mike feels he is inspired to a great degree by Thomas. Thomas is a world class chef, he prepares unbelievable meals but additionally pays a huge amount of attention to detail, as evidenced by the meal presentation. And, that has influenced the way Mike looks at gardening.
Joe feels that the garden rooms are connected. Mike explains. THOMAS AND THERESA HAVE AN APPRECIATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, Mike feels that the art is one element that ties the gardens together. The first piece of art work was created by Paolo Corvin and placed here this spring. Art speaks to everyone in different ways. But Mike loves the bright colors and the curved lines. It gives the impression of movement. It made it easy for Mike to incorporate this artwork into the garden because he loves to use the colors in this piece of art. And, he loves to plant things in large sweeps, just like the artwork, because it gives the illusion of movement. Incorporating art into a garden is a great way to provide 4 seasons of interest and its even better when one can coordinate the plant material with the art. This piece is a hard metal structure yet it has a softness with its curves. Mike has taken plant material that is soft by definition and matched plant colors with the art work. Although not everybody can have a large art piece like this, it is nice to have any art in your garden. Importantly art in the garden provides 4 seasons of interest.
Top


MIKE HAS INCORPORATED THE ARTWORK INTO THE GARDEN BY MIMICKING COLORS. He has the dark red leaves, yellow leaves and lighter red leaves which all mimic the colors in the artwork. He's planted things in masses and waves to give the illusion of movement, just as the artwork does. Plus, he has a nice curved bed line which ties into the contemporary art. Mike has selected Canna lily which has a natural upright form. But the beauty of the Canna lily is that it comes in a lot of different varieties and Mike has chosen colors that perfectly compliment the reds and yellows, even the blacks of the artwork. The Canna, when in bloom, has a little curve at the top which further echoes the form of the artwork. It is a great plant and a great choice. As well Mike has planted Celosia argentea. Although it grows lower it still has that upright form and it comes in similar colors. Mike has reds, yellows and oranges. Plus, it has a different look because of the texture of the leaves. He has also tied in Senecio cineraria 'Dusty Miller' because it is silver and versatile. The little pockets of silver are a great compliment because silver is another color present in the artwork. Solenostemon scutellarioides (Coleus) is a tremendous plant to use because it too has yellow flowers, it is easy to grow and very adaptable. Mike loves Coleus. They not only are easy to grow but additionally they have bright colors and they're consistent. And interestingly, all of the Coleus on the property came from 6 plants that Mike kept alive last year. He took cuttings from them in the springtime, then took cuttings from the cuttings and propagated them until he had this huge number of plants. He also likes Coleus because they're adaptable to sun and shade. So, one isn't going to compromise on the leaf foliage color even though there might be one condition or another. The Canna lilies will bloom right up until frost, then they get cut down. Mike has incorporated evergreen by utilizing Rhododendron and Buxus microphilia (Boxwood), both provide year round interest. There will always be something to look at here, a great job.
Top


THE NEXT GARDEN MIKE DESCRIBES AS THE CENTERPIECE ON THE TABLE. The restaurant guests arrive here and the guests at the Inn stroll by as they come to dine. This garden must be a showpiece. Thus, it is designed as a centerpiece, Mike feels everything must be perfect. As Mike was putting the Robinia pseudoacacia 'Tortuosa' (Twisted Locust) in the ground they were preparing Lobster Bisque. When that happens the aroma permeates the entire neighborhood. Mike was thinking how the tree represented aroma, rising up out of something. He thought, it must be rising from something. What would that be? He decided to create a cauldron and he did that with Boxwoods. He put them in a circle. It is a few years away but the Boxwoods will grow together and as they do he will cut them and prune them into the shape of a cauldron. At that point he'll move the Celosia to the outside so that what he'll then have is a cauldron with aromas rising out of it and the flame around the base. It once again is a great idea that ties in gardening with fine dining. The tree is great looking but really shines in the wintertime when the foliage is gone. They had initially tried a Contorted filbert, because it had the same architectural interest, but it didn't thrive. It had too much exposure so he replaced it. He chose the Twisted Baby Locust. It's more hardy and Mike likes the leaf better than the Filbert. Mike has placed an evergreen curtain behind it and by doing so it showcases the Locust. If the trees weren't there it could get lost. Looking down one sees Capsicum annuum 'Ornamental peppers.' Most think of these as a warm season plant, which they are, but because of their ornamental fruit they provide winter interest because when the frost hits the plant it kills the leaves but the peppers will last well into December, last year they lasted into January. The color then is just as vivid, even more so, because color is lacking in the landscape that time of year. These plants though were not easily accessible thus Mike grew them from seed. And, that's a good tip - when you can't find a plant in the nursery, it's fun to start your own.
Top


This area has challenges. IT'S ON AN INCLINE THUS WHEN WATERING THE WATER HAS A TENDENCY TO RUN OFF. Mike uses mulch which is great for keeping moisture in the soil but conversely it keeps moisture out of the soil when it rains. So, Mike has developed a method for deep watering. He takes a straight steel bar and drives holes in and around the base of a plant. Afterwards he takes a hose and fills the holes with water. The holes are about 6 inches deep which allows the water to get down into the root zone, right where Mike wants it and it does not run off. When that's done he goes back with a hoe and covers the holes with mulch which completely covers the hole. What he's created is a little cup area where moisture can sit.
Top


JOE AND MIKE NEXT VISIT THE AREA WHERE IT ALL STARTED. When Mike first arrived there were several plantings here but there was no rhyme or reason and it was a bit of a mess. Theresa wanted to improve the aesthetics from the dining room, she wanted it to look nicer. The first thought was to create a working kitchen garden. Initially they had herbs growing inside the circle and they grew great and looked fantastic. But the problem was the chefs came out to take cuttings, meaning big chunks would be removed and that ruined the aesthetic value. So, what they decided was to move the herbs out of that bed and instead put them in wine boxes. This way they can be harvested whenever the chefs need them. If they don't look too good they can easily be moved and they can be placed in conditions they like most. Some plants like more sun, others less. Herbs don't need to go into the ground, in fact they do quite well in containers. And by using containers that might otherwise have gone into the trash Mike has created a great recycling feature. Mike even has Eggplant growing in the containers and they're doing very well. Mike likes Eggplant, thinks it has a great structure and they grow well in containers and he likes the ability to move them around. Mike likes to have the ability to easily move a plant to another location. Joe also notices peppermint which Mike has used a lot. And it looks great.
Mike has a Gourd growing up a fire escape or staircase. This is a great example of utilizing space. The view wouldn't be nearly as attractive without the Gourd. This is a technique we can all utilize at home. The Gourds grow well here and since it's an annual at the end of the season it can be taken out and it doesn't effect the fire escape.
Joe notices a waddle fence. This is particularly attractive when in the dining room and looking out. It sets off the garden nicely. Mike had decided to change the look of this area, had taken the waddle fence down but in no time some of the customers inquired about the fence and asked when it was going back up. So, he was only too happy to do just that and put it back up. And, it's a simple procedure. He takes long saplings, Birch in this instance but anything will work as long as it's a live tree. When they're alive they still bend because moisture is still present. Once dry they break. One needs to set the posts in place then weave the branches in and out. Very simple.
The arbors nearby are nice and provide vertical interest. Mike got this idea from his friend Sarah Wolfe. She had built an arbor across her entire yard and then grew Rosa. Sarah spends a lot of time in France and has seen similar arbors there. She came up with the concept and designed it. They felt that since this is a French restaurant that it is appropriate. Mike was going to plant Roses to climb the arbor but instead found Diplandenia Mandevilla splendens and has fallen in love with it. He likes the flower, it has a longer bloom period, it's easy to grow, and the leaves are nice, dark and shiny green. He has had problems in the past with Rose leaves but thinks the Mandevilla is working quite well and it will work it's way up and cover the arbor in no time. The arbor will be completely covered next year with Mandevilla.
One of the first things one notices when coming on the property are the Hydrangea paniculata 'PeeGee.' They are beautiful and they're strategically placed throughout. Many people think of Hydrangeas as a shrub form that is pink and blue. This is an example of a different variety yet not all that new. And one doesn't normally see them this large. They are quite unusual and quite a bit older than most. If allowed to grow they can certainly grow tall. Hydrangeas bloom on new wood thus they're pruned in the spring. The blooms initially are white then with time get a pink blush. It's a perfect plant for the fall. This Hydrangea prefers full sun to get the best show, unlike other Hydrangeas that prefer a more shady situation. This is a versatile plant and different than most.
Joe and Mike next visit the patio garden. Typically guests come here and drink their coffee in the morning or read a newspaper or book. It's a very relaxing environment. The water feature helps. It is important to Thomas with his presentations to stimulate all the senses, water does the same thing in the garden. It creates a sound that is calming but it also serves double duty because it's a wonderful tool for masking sounds. In this area at Christmas they put a 20 foot Christmas tree which is completely covered with lights. It is easily viewed from the dining room and as well towers 12 feet over the hedge, thus is a sight to see from about any angle.
Joe notices a beautiful thick hedge. It could have come together completely but instead it has been left open at the center. This, of course, is by design. This technique teases you, it makes one wonder, what is on the other side. Mike is anxious to show Joe the other side.
On the way Joe notices a Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Contorted Filbert). Joe remembers Mike had said these didn't grow well on this property. Mike explains. They did try it in the centerpiece garden but it was too exposed to the elements thus didn't do well. In this area it's more protected, thus thriving. This is a little micro climate which offers protection. This is a good lesson. Just because a particular plant doesn't work well in one spot in your garden doesn't mean it won't work somewhere else. This plant is a testament to that.
Looking beyond Joe notices a beautiful Birch Betula pendula var. gracilis (Weeping White Birch tree). It is Mikes favorite tree on the property. It is fully mature, a perfect specimen, it has white bark and silver foliage. It's a real beauty.
Top


THE GUYS FINALLY MAKE IT TO THE GARDEN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BIG WALL OF GREEN HOLLIES that didn't quite come together. Here they see what's on the other side. It is a bright garden, eye catching. Mike calls it his drive by garden, it catches peoples eye when driving by. It has Dahlias, Marigolds and Mums. Although Mike likes the plants he's most proud of the stone. It was a stone lying on the ground covering a well that had gone dry. It was taking up space and Mike couldn't plant because it was taking too much space. So, Mike dug a trench next to the stone, he stood the stone up, it fell right into the trench and has been there ever since. Mike felt that when he did this it was the first time Thomas had an appreciation for Mike's artistic abilities. And that made him proud. It's a great story and a great application for using something that's already there and incorporating it as garden art. Well done.
Mike would like our audience to understand that this beautiful garden is the result of years of trial and error. He's planted a lot of different types of plants, many didn't work. What we've seen are the plants that did work. When he finds plants that are successful he plants more of them. Site selection is very important. If you put the right plant in the right place it's going to thrive.
Joe thinks that philosophy works for humans as well. It's obvious that Mike has found a home here. Mike likes to be a part of something bigger than himself.
Thank you Mike this has been a great experience, we're enjoyed the Homestead Inn, Thomas Henkelmann and the lovely grounds.
Top



LINKS:

Homestead Inn

Thomas Henkelmann

Garden Smart Plant List


   
 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By InstantHedge, Photographs courtesy of InstantHedge

We have a new sponsor - InstantHedge. InstantHedge is unique, they utilize precision agriculture techniques that make purchasing a clean looking, square hedge, that has typically required years of waiting and work, possible in a single day. Thank you InstantHedge for your support of GardenSMART. Underwriter dollars make GardenSMART possible. To read more about InstantHedge and an interesting article click here.


  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
   
   
 
   
   
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.