GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2008 show48
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Show #48/1409
Historic Arizona Resort Landscape


Introduction
JOE MEETS WITH BECKY BLAINE at the Arizona Biltmore. They first talk about Phoenix. Becky feels the weather is the draw for Phoenix. They have gorgeous weather pretty much all year round. The fall, winter and spring are ideal with an average temperature of 75 degrees. There are many outdoor activities, ranging from - hiking and biking to swimming and golf that accent the outdoors. Phoenix is a great place to relax.

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Biltmore
THE HISTORY OF THE ARIZONA BILTMORE dates back to the 1920's when 2 brothers moved to Phoenix from Chicago. Warren and Charles McArthur owned a Dodge dealership in Phoenix and bought the land and started building a resort.

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Main Entrance
THEY START IN FRONT OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE and as Joe looks around he gets a sense that it's extremely well manicured, yet not extreme in its design. It has a fairly simple, yet nice feel. With all this space they could have done anything they wanted. But, they decided to keep it traditional. For example, it has Dwarf Hollies, in manicured letters which spell out Arizona Biltmore.

Click here for more info

Turf
JOE LOVES THE TURF. It's beautiful and they have some large turf areas throughout the resort. They visit the croquet, chess and checkers area made with grass, there is even a putting green. Michael says they have a good strand of Cynodon dactylon Bermuda Grass. It's a 328 tip green, hybrid Bermuda, and it does real well for most of the summer months. Importantly it takes a tremendous amount of foot traffic. They also have a Lolium perenne L. Perennial Ryegrass blend, a 3 way blend that'll make it through the cool season. They have to overseed here in early fall to keep the lush green look throughout the cool months because Bermuda will not stay nice and green during the winter months.

Click here for more info


Trees
THERE ARE OTHER GREAT TREES ON THE PROPERTY AS WELL. The front drive is lined with a Chinese Evergreen Elm, Ulmus parvifolia, which makes a really nice canopy. They also have Silver Dollar Gum, Eucalyptus cinerea. They have some European Olives and Weeping Callistemon Bottlebrush Trees as well. The Weeping Bottlebrush catches Joe's eye. If ever there was a tree worthy of it's common name when in bloom, it's the Bottlebrush.

Click here for more info


Color Choices
MICHAEL DISCUSSES SOME OF HIS PLANT AND COLOR CHOICES. In one bed he has Snapdragons in the middle with a mix of color. Snapdragons are 1 annual that Michael uses in mixed colors, because they will then bloom throughout the year. If he has yellows, reds, whites something will be popping no matter what. But if he had just one color it would be green for awhile, this way something is always blooming. They're all blooming now so it is beautiful.
Joe notices Geraniums next to Pansies. In the east or south that wouldn't work because the Geraniums are typically a summer plant and Pansies go in around October and come out in March.

Click here for more info


Deadheading
JOE DISCUSSES THE TERM DEADHEADING because he's not sure everyone knows exactly what it means. The reason to deadhead is to trick the annuals into thinking that they need to continue to grow and produce flowers. When deadheading one is looking for spent blooms, look for ones on their way out. He notices a Pansy bloom that has shriveled up, it's done its thing, pull it off. The Pansies job, as an annual, is to produce seed. If denied that opportunity by pulling the flower off, it will try to make another flower to try to produce that seed. So by going through the entire bed and plucking off spent blooms the flower is tricked, the plant thinks the job isn't finished and it will go on and produce another flower.

Click here for more info


Raised Planters
WE NEXT VISIT ONE OF MICHAEL'S FAVORITE parts of the resort. Here they have raised planters and topiaries. It is comprised of low clipped hedges filled with beautiful color. This area really provides a chance to show off annual color. In the center Michael has decided to go with Pansies because of their tolerance to cold. Believe it or not in this part of the resort in December or January if they get a frost these plants can turn to ice and not loose a bloom.

Click here for more info


Roses
THEY ADDED ROSE BUSHES knowing the area had limited sunlight and it has been very successful. It gets a few hours of overhead sun each day and the roses do great. This area has different varieties of roses from Hybrid Tea roses which are towards the back because they tend to stretch out a little more, with Grandifloras and Floribundas towards the front. There is a great array of colors.

Click here for more info


Fire Features
YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A GARDENER TO ENJOY SITTING AROUND the garden at the end of the day if you have a great fire feature. There are 3 on this property and they're great for bringing strangers together, then meeting and talking. They are also great for your own back yard. What a great place to talk with your wife and kids at the end of the day. A place to relax, recap the day, just enjoy the outdoors. It's perfect for extending the season and taking the indoors, outdoors. In many parts of the country it may mean that you can enjoy the outdoors most of the year. They're now widely available. They are available pre-made, some are propane, some real fireplaces, some even natural gas. They can be purchased and literally plopped in your back yard. For do-it-yourselfers make your own. Dig a pit, as long as you have enough air circulation to keep a fire going, that should be all you need. They are a great way to relax and enjoy the garden.

Click here for more info

 


LINKS:

Arizona Biltmore

Garden Smart Plant List



Complete transcript of the show.

Show #48/1409. Historic Arizona Resort Landscape
Whenever one visits a nice resort or vacation spot relaxation is normally high on the list. If you're a gardener, it sure doesn't hurt when surrounded by beautiful flowers, plants and trees.
Top

JOE MEETS WITH BECKY BLAINE at the Arizona Biltmore. They first talk about Phoenix. Becky feels the weather is the draw for Phoenix. They have gorgeous weather pretty much all year round. The fall, winter and spring are ideal with an average temperature of 75 degrees. There are many outdoor activities, ranging from - hiking and biking to swimming and golf that accent the outdoors. Phoenix is a great place to relax.
THE HISTORY OF THE ARIZONA BILTMORE dates back to the 1920's when 2 brothers moved to Phoenix from Chicago. Warren and Charles McArthur owned a Dodge dealership in Phoenix. They bought the land and started building a resort, at that time it was considered the middle of nowhere because it was eight miles from the city of Phoenix. Their 3rd brother was an architect, Albert Chase McArthur. The 2 brothers had him come out from Chicago and he drew up plans for the resort. They actually completed it within 9 months and it opened February 23,1929. Albert Chase McArthur had studied architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago for about 2 years before moving here. Albert telegrammed Frank Lloyd Wright and inquired about the usage of block design. Mr. Wright then came out and was on the project for about 3 months during construction. A lot of indigenous material was used when building this property. All the block is made from sand from the property and water from a nearby canal. This resort also features the second largest gold leaf ceiling in the world, the largest is the Taj Mahal.
It is a beautiful building and attracts people from all over the world. In fact all the Presidents of the U.S., since Herbert Hoover, have stayed here while in office. Celebrities as well have stayed here. Marilyn Monroe had her favorite pool here which was the original pool, the Catalina pool. Irving Berlin was sitting by that pool when he penned the words for White Christmas. Joe thinks that makes sense - dreaming of a white Christmas while sitting in nice, hot, weather.
This spot is beautiful inside and outside as well. They're sitting in the dining room and can look outside the window and see a wonderful cutting garden. The herb garden was a collaboration between their Executive Chef, Michael Carnes and their ground Superintendent Michael Castellaneta. The chef wanted the freshest ingredients when cooking so Michael installed the garden especially for him early in the fall. Becky says there is nobody better to show the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore than Michael Castellaneta.
Joe meets Michael. Joe says there are beautiful resorts all over the country but few would rival the grandeur of the Arizona Biltmore, famous for incredible vistas, lots of sunshine and warm weather. Michael Castellaneta is Director of Landscape and feels he has landed one of the best gigs in horticulture. He has been here about 9 years but has been in horticulture all his life. It's all he has ever done. He's passionate about it, spends all his free time, weekends, days off, outside in his own garden. He grew up in Ohio, moved here in the 1980's. Even in Ohio, as a kid, he was always cutting grass, pruning and planting. It has been a passion from early on. He doesn't have a degree in horticulture but has attended the university of hard knocks. What he learns here at the resort can readily transfer to his yard and visa versa.
Top

THEY START IN FRONT OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE and as Joe looks around he gets a sense that it's extremely well manicured, yet not extreme in its design. It has a fairly simple, yet nice feel. With all this space they could have done anything they wanted. But, they decided to keep it traditional. For example, it has Dwarf Hollies, in manicured letters which spell out Arizona Biltmore. The Dwarf Hollies maintain that real manicured look. It is a wide open space, yet simple and neat. The containers extend the simplicity pattern. They're large containers, spaced all along the drive up to the main entrance. They have just 1 color which is nice because it pulls one along and unifies the entire area. That is the resort style, a lot of solid, bold colors. They make a statement. The subtlety is great because next to the Hollies is a nice Lobularia maritima Sweet Alyssum, used as a ground cover. This does great for Michael in the winter. It blooms solid, a blanket of snow colored white blossoms. It took the extreme cold temperatures in January when they had 2 days that were below 20 degrees and survived. Michael didn't know it was that cold hardy when he planted it, but they turned out great.
Top

JOE LOVES THE TURF. It's beautiful and they have some large turf areas throughout the resort. They visit the croquet, chess and checkers area made with grass, there is even a putting green. Michael says they have a good strand of Cynodon dactylon Bermuda Grass. It's a 328 tip green, hybrid Bermuda, and it does real well for most of the summer months. Importantly it takes a tremendous amount of foot traffic. They also have a Lolium perenne L. Perennial Ryegrass blend, a 3 way blend that'll make it through the cool season. They have to overseed here in early fall to keep the lush green look throughout the cool months because Bermuda will not stay nice and green during the winter months. Bermuda looks green for the summer months when it's really hot, he then comes in with a winter Rye and overseeds. For about 8 months he has Rye, the other 4 months Bermuda. As the weather warms be careful Rye can burn out, they can get hot spots quickly in the afternoons. So, he keeps an eye on it and is consistent with fertilization and irrigates as much as possible.
In keeping with the traditional look of the landscape there are a lot of great looking trees that are clearly well maintained and nicely pruned. One is an Orange tree. Joe would like to pluck an orange off and bite into it. That wouldn't be a great idea, these are ornamental trees. They could be used for some marinates but are pretty sour. They make an excellent landscape tree but the fruit isn't edible.
Top

THERE ARE OTHER GREAT TREES ON THE PROPERTY AS WELL. The front drive is lined with a Chinese Evergreen Elm, Ulmus parvifolia, which makes a really nice canopy. They also have Silver Dollar Gum, Eucalyptus cinerea. They have some European Olives and Weeping Callistemon Bottlebrush Trees as well. The Weeping Bottlebrush catches Joe's eye. If ever there was a tree worthy of it's common name when in bloom, it's the Bottlebrush. The bloom looks like a red bottlebrush, something one would clean out a bottle with, so there's no mistake how it got its name. It thrives in warm climates, but probably wouldn't do well in northern or cooler climates.
Palms are important here, they're even incorporated into the block design of the building. The Phoenix Date Palm, the imprint of the frond on the Date Palm is actually in the Biltmore block. That was the intent of the architect when he designed it. These Palms are a resort staple, they do well in this part of the desert. Plus they're low maintenance and beautiful.
Joe comments that anyplace one walks on this property you don't need to look far to see great looking beds and walkways full of color. Joe congratulates Michael, he's done a great job with that. Michael says it's the tail end of their fall color season, thus they're at their best. And they are stunning. Joe sees they have used annuals versus perennials and wonders about the reason. Michael says they use annuals so that the plants will look their best throughout the season. They have about a 6 month window here where they put them in, in full bloom, and they want them to bloom out and look their best throughout the whole season when in the ground. They're the workhorse in the color bed because they bloom for such a long time versus perennials which, although they're beautiful, have a shorter bloom period.
Top

MICHAEL DISCUSSES SOME OF HIS PLANT AND COLOR CHOICES. In one bed he has Snapdragons in the middle with a mix of color. Snapdragons are 1 annual that Michael uses in mixed colors, because they will then bloom throughout the year. If he has yellows, reds, whites something will be popping no matter what. But if he had just one color it would be green for awhile, this way something is always blooming. They're all blooming now so it is beautiful.
Joe notices Geraniums next to Pansies. In the east or south that wouldn't work because the Geraniums are typically a summer plant and Pansies go in around October and come out in March. In Phoenix Geraniums are strictly a cool season flower, they don't take the winter or summer temperatures. Once above 90 for a consistent number of days the blooms are spent almost in a day and all the time is spent deadheading the Geraniums. The Pansies are used similarly to other parts of the country. They're put in in the fall and they carry through to about April. But with a few more 90 degree days they too will start to fade.
Michael feels the secret to a good looking flower bed is deadheading. One must be relentless. As well proper fertilization and irrigation is important. When watering be sure to get the edges of the beds because that area tends to dry out sooner than the middle. It pays to get on your hands and see what conditions you have every day.
Top

JOE DISCUSSES THE TERM DEADHEADING because he's not sure everyone knows exactly what it means. The reason to deadhead is to trick the annuals into thinking that they need to continue to grow and produce flowers. When deadheading one is looking for spent blooms, look for ones on their way out. He notices a Pansy bloom that has shriveled up, it's done its thing, pull it off. The Pansies job, as an annual, is to produce seed. If denied that opportunity by pulling the flower off, it will try to make another flower to try to produce that seed. So by going through the entire bed and plucking off spent blooms the flower is tricked, the plant thinks the job isn't finished and it will go on and produce another flower.
Joe and Michael visit containers at pool-side. Here Michael selected the boldest color possible so it would stand out against the hardscape and the blue water background. Again, he used Geraniums but here he used a hot coral variety that is more vivid, a little more orange, not quite scarlet, not orange, it's in between. It's an electric color and the blooms per plant are amazing. Michael here, also has Petunias in containers next to Geraniums. He likes Petunias in containers they tend to cascade down the side adding a splash of color. A good, full look. Both the Petunias and Geraniums are heat tolerant, which is great around the paved surface and reflected heat. They're very hardy plants and do well in this environment. These plants are all hand watered, the gardeners come in with a hose with a water deflector, so its not a sharp stream of water shooting into the container and soil. Normally they're watered throughly in the morning before the crowds start arriving. As the plants mature they require more water. That's because they develop a lot of root system which requires a lot of water, pretty much a daily watering.
Top

WE NEXT VISIT ONE OF MICHAEL'S FAVORITE parts of the resort, a partier garden. Here they have raised planters and topiaries filled with colorful annuals. The low clipped hedges are filled with beautiful color. This area really provides a chance to show off annual color. In the center Michael has decided to go with Pansies because of their tolerance to cold. Believe it or not in this part of the resort in December or January if they get a frost these plants can turn to ice and not loose a bloom. They carry on and send out new blooms. So, Pansies not only have vibrant colors they take the cold. The vibrant colors in this area are crown blue, next to yellow, which just jumps at you when side by side. He has repeated plant material throughout the grounds which tends to tie it all together. This type of garden design is best viewed from above because this allows one to see the entire panorama allowing one to appreciate how gorgeous it really is. Others may say this is unrealistic, I couldn't do this in my garden. But this type design would work very well in a smaller setting. Because of the plant material available today this is doable. Pick a geometric pattern, utilize hedge material, fill it with color and you can achieve the same look.
Speaking of being realistic. Even though Michael has a crew of 30 or so that maintain the grounds every day, even professionals have die back issues and it is ongoing. The low clipped hedges are planted closely together, thus compete for the same root space. Now and then you're going to loose one. Here they simply patch it, in between seasons. They replace the ones that have failed which sometimes can be as many as 10-20 per season. That's just part of gardening. Michael thinks that's what makes gardening fun.
Joe and Michael visit another area. Joe, when he first visited this area stopped in his tracks. It is a narrow strip, with limited sun that is full of beautiful roses in bloom. Since most think roses thrive in full sun, this area caught Joe's eye. This was one of the first projects Michael completed when he came here as an assistant. His boss knew his passion for roses, thus let him cut his teeth in this area. There wasn't, at that time, one rose bush in the resort. This was a dark area but very well traveled so they wanted to brighten it up. THEY ADDED ROSE BUSHES knowing the area had limited sunlight and it has been very successful. It gets a few hours of overhead sun each day and the roses do great. This area has different varieties of roses from Hybrid Tea roses which are towards the back because they tend to stretch out a little more, with Grandifloras and Floribundas towards the front. There is a great array of colors. Michael says roses do well in Phoenix, if they are watered. Here they use drip irrigation, and fertilized regularly and they thrive. Once in a while they may have an aphid problem in early spring because aphids like the tender growth. But, just use a sharp hose spray, or even the heat, will eventually do them in. They don't have many insect problems. Cutter bees will come by later in the season but they basically just cut little half moons in the leaves but don't damage the roses themselves. Michael and his crew prune the roses back in late December or early January. This is a hard cut, right down, leaving just a few of the main canes that are doing well. If done in January by early April they grow to 3 or 4 feet tall and then bloom. Roses given just a little bit of care in the right conditions, want to bloom, they want to perform and in this case they're doing just that.
Top

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A GARDENER TO ENJOY SITTING AROUND the garden at the end of the day if you have a great fire feature. There are 3 on this property and they're great for bringing strangers together, then meeting and talking. They are also great for your own back yard. What a great place to talk with your wife and kids at the end of the day. A place to relax, recap the day, just enjoy the outdoors. It's perfect for extending the season and taking the indoors, outdoors. In many parts of the country it may mean that you can enjoy the outdoors most of the year. They're now widely available. They are available pre-made, some are propane, some real fireplaces, some even natural gas. They can be purchased and literally plopped in your back yard. For do-it-yourselfers make your own. Dig a pit, as long as you have enough air circulation to keep a fire going, that should be all you need. They are a great way to relax and enjoy the garden.
Joe thanks Michael for the tour. We've enjoyed his gardening insight and knowledge. This has been a real treat. We hope to see Michael again and soon.
Top


LINKS:

Arizona Biltmore

Garden Smart Plant List


   
 
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