GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2009 show50
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
 
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Past Shows:

Show #50/1811: A 1906 Estate Garden

THE HISTORY OF THE ESTATE
THE HISTORY OF THE ESTATE GOES EVEN FURTHER BACK, IT REALLY DATES BACK TO 1906. Joseph P. Day had been very successful in real estate in New York City and had 6 children by this time. He was looking for a place where his family could escape the city. It was during this period of time that people were establishing what were called, gentleman's farms. Not only would these farms have beautiful land but additionally they typically had greenhouses, which helped provide cut flowers, they had vegetable gardens which provided vegetables for winter and they would have animals. Mr. Day's plans were set back somewhat when in 1911 the house on the property burned. But it provided an opportunity to rebuild in a new way and they were fortunate to have an architect next door whose gardens they admired. They hired William Renwyck to remake the house and gardens and Renwyck included some outstanding features. He easily grasped the great views from the ridge on the east, thus he incorporated a series of little rustic gardens with pavilions and intimate spaces that followed the ridge on the lower slope. He also gave the Days great architecturally pleasing broad gardens with terraces. He did a fine job of framing the views and gave them a new architectural style using arts and crafts materials that were rather new at the time.

Click here for more info

THE EAST TERRACE
JOE AND LOUIS NEXT VISIT ONE OF THE TERRACES. It is eastward facing, thus sunny in the morning and adjacent to the house. But Joe notices that this looks different than some of the older pictures he's seen. That is because by the 1950's the Day's had sold the property and a newlywed couple, Peter and Adalaide Blanchard had purchased the property. They didn't have the staff nor the big family, so the house was pulled down and a much smaller Georgian revival house was built. There are a lot of similarities between the older and the newer home. The east view is and has been important for both homes, the living room and master bedroom and all other important views tend to face east. That is consistent with both.

Click here for more info

TOPIARIES
When Louis came here this terrace didn't have any defined edges, it just tapered off to some odd corners and grass. HE HAS GIVEN IT A NEW ARCHITECTURAL LIFE BY SHAPING IT WITH, PRIMARILY, TOPIARIES. He likes them because they last through the season, they come out early and stay late. Louis has then dressed the topiaries up with color and stunning plant choices underneath. And they change throughout the season. In the spring he has pots of Pansies and Tulips but during the summer he features tropical plants. For example Louis has Abutilon throughout the containers. One is mixed with some Impatiens wallerina 'Pink Sand.' Louis likes Abutilon and it looks great with Impatiens. The Abutilon is Abutilon megapotamicum Seashell. He likes it because it is easy to propagate, he can overwinter it in a small pot on a windowsill and it blooms all season long. Louis experimented with a number of Abutilons and a few don't bloom well in mid summertime but this one keeps blooming. And it looks great in a container, just like the hibiscus sabdariffa Rosella which has red tubular flowers spilling over the edge. They are great at hiding the container. This is important because Louis has inexpensive containers plus he really wants to see the plants thus the cascading plants are great for that.

Click here for more info

PRUNING AND TRIMMING
There are differences, but IN GENERAL ALL PLANTS NEED A SERIOUS TRIM IN THE SPRING when they come out from the house, greenhouse or sunroom but during summertime they require just a light trim of an occasional stray branch. Louis accordingly carries his shears with him at all times. To determine when a plant needs a trim he simply looks at the outline of the plant and when something gets a little too long he takes it off. In the summertime that is about once a week or every other week depending on the plant. The rose topiary, for example, has a basketball sized head, approximately 12 inches in diameter. This may vary depending on the type rose. If, during spring time, you were too timid and didn't cut it back enough and left it a little too big, you find out pretty soon that it gets very shaggy over the summer. When this happens the next spring you'll start with a slightly smaller head. But this plant has put on a lot of growth in June with their first flush of blooms. Thus he gives it a trim. The Laurus nobilis Bays and Cupressus sempervirens Cypress, which are evergreen, and have more uniform, architectural shapes don't need as hard a trim in spring. But they still need a good haircut, a lot trimmed off. It's like getting ready for swimsuit season; you really want to keep it trim. But no matter what the plant, the big haircut comes in early spring. Then the trim routine should be biweekly throughout the growing season. It's pretty easy.

Click here for more info

SOUTH SIDE GARDEN
The guys next visit THE GARDEN ON THE SOUTH SIDE and this view too is spectacular, a great long perspective. But because it is so grand it may not be realistic for the average homeowner. We just don't have this type space in our home gardens. But what can be learned is that a repeated element going throughout our garden adds punch and will work even if in a naturalistic garden. As well utilize contrasting foliage. Here they've used Spiraea x 'Gold flame' which contrasts against the dark green Buxus sempervirens Boxwood. It's very simple but makes a dramatic statement. The green grass also adds a nice touch, there are three colors of green present. On top of that at some times of the year, like springtime, they have Dogwoods and Azaleas in bloom in this area. So, it changes a little throughout they year, but looks good all the time.

Click here for more info

LARGE ROOM - WEST SIDE PATIO
The guys next visit THE WEST SIDE PATIO area and it too is different. The first impression is that it doesn't have the far-reaching views into the landscape, that were present on the east and south sides. Also this area is slate or concrete. Louis says that this area previously slightly resembled a parking lot. Louis has certainly dressed it up. But hard surfaces do have their uses. They serve refreshments here, and a hard surface is good for that. Plants have been used to dress the area up and the plants have become more elaborate over time. Importantly the plants now serve as dividers. Most of us have something in our landscape that's not pretty, whether it be an air conditioning unit or the trash can, something or an area that we want to dress up or conceal. Louis has created separate rooms with his plants. Joe and Louis start in the largest space. It has the stairway exiting the terrace. Louis reinforced that by bringing in a couple of obelisks that were not being used in the garden and again he has utilized topiaries. Here they're not as formal as in the other parts of the garden. He has used a Nerium oleander Pink and several Conocarpus erectus Silver leaf. The tall plants like Musa balbisiana Banana Plant and Canna x generalis are particularly effective in shaping the room. Louis put the table in the center of the room, on axis with the stairs. It all makes one feel as if they're in a big outdoor dining room which is something many of us do on our terraces.

Click here for more info

MEDIUM SIZED ROOM
THE MIDDLE ROOM OR MEDIUM SIZED ROOM has some borrowed views that were also available from the large room. This space is not new but they've treated it differently this year. Louis felt it needed a bit of its own character. There are a lot of unique plants in this area. Louis played off the hot colors in the larger room, the fuchsias and reds from the Cannas and Dahlias. Here he brought in some blue with pot stands and to compliment them he added light blue foliage plants like Senecio cineraria and Agave and Echeveria pulidonis and under the big Banana plants there is as nice blue leaf Italian Kale. In another area he has a Salvia leucantha which is starting to bloom and it has bluish purple flowers. This space really feels like it's on its own with the blue color contrasting with the hot colors of the big space. And just like a room in your home one doesn't see what's in that room until you go through the doorway and enter.

Click here for more info

THE SMALLEST ROOM
THE SMALLEST ROOM seems a perfect area for a good glass of wine. Because this is the smallest space he brought the big plants in close. There are a few small pots which hold plants that produce fruit, sort of kitchen things. So there is a bit of a fruit and vegetable story with the bananas, then Figs. There is some kale in the back and a few peppers. All very appropriate because the kitchen door is opposite the entrance to this room. It's a perfect space for two.

Click here for more info

DIFFERENT CONTAINERS
The containers Louis has chosen throughout are great. And, it's not always easy to select the perfect container. For ideas on choosing the perfect container,
Video Tip

Click here for more info

TEA HOUSE OR FOLLY GARDEN
THE NEXT AREA VISITED IS ONE OF THE LITTLE GARDENS Renwyck designed for the Day family and it came to Louis with the name Tea House. The proper terminology in garden architecture history for a garden like this is - Folly - which may sound a little silly but it does fit. And one can see that when visitors, especially children, enter the area. They really enjoy this feature. And that tells Louis something about how we enjoy gardens. It's the children who don't have hang-ups about what's proper and what's the right thing to do. They're the ones that enjoy this area the most. Louis believes that we need more of this type design in our gardens and a little less fear of doing the right thing. Do something in the garden that's fun for yourself. The details here give the intention away. The masks in the copper around the roof and inside the structure are striking as are the sea creatures and seders. On the pathways the Blanchards added some chess pieces with grotesque faces where originally there were Japanese animal features. This garden has had a long tradition of being a really fun spot in the garden. Joe thinks about the term - Folly. The designer did a good job of pulling that off but many across the country may want to let their hair down and not follow the rules in gardening but don't want to cross over to the tacky side. Louis knows what he means but isn't afraid to cross over to tacky because, to him, that is much better than being boring.

Click here for more info

LINKS:

Hotel Indigo-Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Greenwood Gardens

Gardener News: Gardening Newspaper, Gardening Information & Gardening Tips

Plant List

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW.

The 1920's are often referred to as the Country Home Era. In this Episode GardenSMART visits Short Hills, New Jersey and a garden situated on a hill overlooking Manhattan. The view is stunning, it's almost like being in the sky. Elegant formal gardens, gentle paths plus a long and interesting history make Greenwood Gardens a must see destination.

New Jersey is commonly known as The Garden State and after spending a few days in the state it's easy to see why. New Jersey has everything from estate gardens to private gardens and of course homeowner gardens. But the state even has their own gardening newspaper, called The Gardener News whose tag line is Serving the Gardening Community. The Gardener News started in 2003 and continues to blossom today. It's a great paper.

Tom Castranova is the Executive Editor and Publisher. Tom was a professional landscaper for over 20 years. After completing a Master Gardener course he realized that there was a need to assemble and publish gardening information in a quick, friendly format. Each issue is different but the September issue, as an example, has on the front cover, articles on going green, inside there are gardening tips, gardening advice, gardening and cooking articles, turf columns and articles on plants. It's packed with gardening advice. The newspaper is available throughout the state. It can be purchased in numerous locations and is also available by subscription. The paper is growing legs and moving across the country. Gardeners always want to stay in the know and are interested in sharing ideas with other gardeners. Tom believes that it has become the gardener's most important gardening information resource in print. Tom does watch GardenSMART each week on New Jersey Network and always learns a lot. He feels we're a good team in the Garden State.

Just across the Hudson and Lower Manhattan is a neighborhood in New Jersey known as Short Hills. It has big beautiful lawns and lovely homes and within that neighborhood is Greenwood Gardens. Louis Bauer is the Director of Horticulture. Louis tells about his background. He grew up gardening but went off and studied architecture. But he realized that gardening was his first love, thus felt the need to return to gardening. Louis worked for many years at Wave Hill in the Bronx which is another estate garden. The founding board, of five, at Greenwood Gardens wanted a gardener to be their first hire. This showed Louis that, unlike some gardens, Greenwood was really going to be focused on the gardens. He was honored and pleased to be invited to head the horticultural activities at Greenwood, thus found himself giving up the Wave Hill job, which he loved, and joined this new venture. At Greenwood he is able to combine gardening plus enjoy and accent the architecture of this garden. He felt that his background in architecture gave him the ability to see and accent the bones of this garden. It was beautifully laid out by architect William Renwyck whose skill has been slowly revealed as they unveil the overgrowth, the moss and the vines. And, Louis loves it, he has been here 5 years and is anxious to show what has been done so far.

Joe first notices the beautiful Platanus occidentalis Sycamore allay. It dates back about 50 years and is one of Louis favorite spots. THE HISTORY OF THE ESTATE GOES EVEN FURTHER BACK, IT REALLY DATES BACK TO 1906. Joseph P. Day had been very successful in real estate in New York City and had 6 children by this time. He was looking for a place where his family could escape the city. It was during this period of time that people were establishing what were called, gentleman's farms. Not only would these farms have beautiful land but additionally they typically had greenhouses, which helped provide cut flowers, they had vegetable gardens which provided vegetables for winter and they would have animals. Mr. Day's plans were set back somewhat when in 1911 the house on the property burned. But it provided an opportunity to rebuild in a new way and they were fortunate to have an architect next door whose gardens they admired. They hired William Renwyck to remake the house and gardens and Renwyck included some outstanding features. He easily grasped the great views from the ridge on the east, thus he incorporated a series of little rustic gardens with pavilions and intimate spaces that followed the ridge on the lower slope. He also gave the Days great architecturally pleasing broad gardens with terraces. He did a fine job of framing the views and gave them a new architectural style using arts and crafts materials that were rather new at the time.

Greenwood Gardens is technically a little island park inside park land. They have no neighbors on their borders, instead they're surrounded by park land. The surrounding park is open all the time, thus they needed a way to announce to their visitors that they had arrived at Greenwood Gardens. They have a temporary gate and needed to make that read as a garden arrival point, thus they've added urns. They are however somewhat temporary and plastic. But one wouldn't know that when first looking. They look like they were original to the property, they look like antiques. They are silhouettes of some old urns that are inside the garden but these are plastic. Louis, when bringing them here initially quickly realized that they needed to be raised off the ground. Urns like this would never sit on their little base, so Louis went to their garden shop, recycled some 6 by 6's and made a nice base. A little stain then made them look like they belonged to the urns. This is a fantastic idea and a great tip for us at home. To announce a garden room entrance or the garden itself, dressing up the area with a container in front works well. And, it cost about $150 for the whole package. Very affordable and very nice.
Top

JOE AND LOUIS NEXT VISIT ONE OF THE TERRACES. It is eastward facing, thus sunny in the morning and adjacent to the house. But Joe notices that this looks different than some of the older pictures he's seen. That is because by the 1950's the Day's had sold the property and a newlywed couple, Peter and Adalaide Blanchard had purchased the property. They didn't have the staff nor the big family, so the house was pulled down and a much smaller Georgian revival house was built. There are a lot of similarities between the older and the newer home. The east view is and has been important for both homes, the living room and master bedroom and all other important views tend to face east. That is consistent with both.
Top

When Louis came here this terrace didn't have any defined edges, it just tapered off to some odd corners and grass. HE HAS GIVEN IT A NEW ARCHITECTURAL LIFE BY SHAPING IT WITH, PRIMARILY, TOPIARIES. He likes them because they last through the season, they come out early and stay late. Louis has then dressed the topiaries up with color and stunning plant choices underneath. And they change throughout the season. In the spring he has pots of Pansies and Tulips but during the summer he features tropical plants. For example Louis has Abutilon throughout the containers. One is mixed with some Impatiens wallerina 'Pink Sand.' Louis likes Abutilon and it looks great with Impatiens. The Abutilon is Abutilon megapotamicum Seashell. He likes it because it is easy to propagate, he can overwinter it in a small pot on a windowsill and it blooms all season long. Louis experimented with a number of Abutilons and a few don't bloom well in mid summertime but this one keeps blooming. And it looks great in a container, just like the hibiscus sabdariffa Rosella which has red tubular flowers spilling over the edge. They are great at hiding the container. This is important because Louis has inexpensive containers plus he really wants to see the plants thus the cascading plants are great for that. They sort of hide the shoes. Louis is also using Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea' Sticks on Fire. It's a great plant, easy to overwinter, grows slowly and the longer you have it the better it looks.
Top

Some of these plants, like the Sticks on Fire, do well without maintenance. On the other hand the topiaries are quite different, they require more maintenance to keep them looking good. Many may shy away from this type plant for this very reason. But one shouldn't be intimidated. There are differences, but IN GENERAL ALL PLANTS NEED A SERIOUS TRIM IN THE SPRING when they come out from the house, greenhouse or sunroom but during summertime they require just a light trim of an occasional stray branch. Louis accordingly carries his shears with him at all times. To determine when a plant needs a trim he simply looks at the outline of the plant and when something gets a little too long he takes it off. In the summertime that is about once a week or every other week depending on the plant. The rose topiary, for example, has a basketball sized head, approximately 12 inches in diameter. This may vary depending on the type rose. If, during spring time, you were too timid and didn't cut it back enough and left it a little too big, you find out pretty soon that it gets very shaggy over the summer. When this happens the next spring you'll start with a slightly smaller head. But this plant has put on a lot of growth in June with their first flush of blooms. Thus he gives it a trim. The Laurus nobilis Bays and Cupressus sempervirens Cypress, which are evergreen, and have more uniform, architectural shapes don't need as hard a trim in spring. But they still need a good haircut, a lot trimmed off. It's like getting ready for swimsuit season; you really want to keep it trim. But no matter what the plant, the big haircut comes in early spring. Then the trim routine should be biweekly throughout the growing season. It's pretty easy.
Top


The guys next visit THE GARDEN ON THE SOUTH SIDE and this view too is spectacular, a great long perspective. But because it is so grand it may not be realistic for the average homeowner. We just don't have this type space in our home gardens. But what can be learned is that a repeated element going throughout our garden adds punch and will work even if in a naturalistic garden. As well utilize contrasting foliage. Here they've used Spiraea x 'Gold flame' which contrasts against the dark green Buxus sempervirens Boxwood. It's very simple but makes a dramatic statement. The green grass also adds a nice touch, there are three colors of green present. On top of that at some times of the year, like springtime, they have Dogwoods and Azaleas in bloom in this area. So, it changes a little throughout they year, but looks good all the time.
Top

The guys next visit THE WEST SIDE PATIO area and it too is different. The first impression is that it doesn't have the far-reaching views into the landscape, that were present on the east and south sides. Also this area is slate or concrete. Louis says that this area previously slightly resembled a parking lot. Louis has certainly dressed it up. But hard surfaces do have their uses. They serve refreshments here, and a hard surface is good for that. Plants have been used to dress the area up and the plants have become more elaborate over time. Importantly the plants now serve as dividers. Most of us have something in our landscape that's not pretty, whether it be an air conditioning unit or the trash can, something or an area that we want to dress up or conceal. Louis has created separate rooms with his plants. Joe and Louis start in the largest space. It has the stairway exiting the terrace. Louis reinforced that by bringing in a couple of obelisks that were not being used in the garden and again he has utilized topiaries. Here they're not as formal as in the other parts of the garden. He has used a Nerium oleander Pink and several Conocarpus erectus Silver leaf. The tall plants like Musa balbisiana Banana Plant and Canna x generalis are particularly effective in shaping the room. Louis put the table in the center of the room, on axis with the stairs. It all makes one feel as if they're in a big outdoor dining room which is something many of us do on our terraces.
Top

THE MIDDLE ROOM OR MEDIUM SIZED ROOM has some borrowed views that were also available from the large room. This space is not new but they've treated it differently this year. Louis felt it needed a bit of its own character. There are a lot of unique plants in this area. Louis played off the hot colors in the larger room, the fuchsias and reds from the Cannas and Dahlias. Here he brought in some blue with pot stands and to compliment them he added light blue foliage plants like Senecio cineraria and Agave and Echeveria pulidonis and under the big Banana plants there is as nice blue leaf Italian Kale. In another area he has a Salvia leucantha which is starting to bloom and it has bluish purple flowers. This space really feels like it's on its own with the blue color contrasting with the hot colors of the big space. And just like a room in your home one doesn't see what's in that room until you go through the doorway and enter. That's the way it's been done here and it works. A nice job.
Top

THE SMALLEST ROOM seems a perfect area for a good glass of wine. Because this is the smallest space he brought the big plants in close. There are a few small pots which hold plants that produce fruit, sort of kitchen things. So there is a bit of a fruit and vegetable story with the bananas, then Figs. There is some kale in the back and a few peppers. All very appropriate because the kitchen door is opposite the entrance to this room. It's a perfect space for two.
Top

The containers Louis has chosen throughout are great. And, it's not always easy to select the perfect container. For ideas on choosing the perfect container, video tip.
Top

THE NEXT AREA VISITED IS ONE OF THE LITTLE GARDENS Renwyck designed for the Day family and it came to Louis with the name Tea House. The proper terminology in garden architecture history for a garden like this is - Folly - which may sound a little silly but it does fit. And one can see that when visitors, especially children, enter the area. They really enjoy this feature. And that tells Louis something about how we enjoy gardens. It's the children who don't have hang-ups about what's proper and what's the right thing to do. They're the ones that enjoy this area the most. Louis believes that we need more of this type design in our gardens and a little less fear of doing the right thing. Do something in the garden that's fun for yourself. The details here give the intention away. The masks in the copper around the roof and inside the structure are striking as are the sea creatures and seders. On the pathways the Blanchards added some chess pieces with grotesque faces where originally there were Japanese animal features. This garden has had a long tradition of being a really fun spot in the garden. Joe thinks about the term - Folly. The designer did a good job of pulling that off but many across the country may want to let their hair down and not follow the rules in gardening but don't want to cross over to the tacky side. Louis knows what he means but isn't afraid to cross over to tacky because, to him, that is much better than being boring.
Top

LINKS:

Hotel Indigo-Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Greenwood Gardens

Gardener News: Gardening Newspaper, Gardening Information & Gardening Tips

Plant List

Top

   
 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By Stacey Hirvela, Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs, Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Weather-wise, northerners may not have much of an advantage, but when it comes to selecting plants for the landscape, they certainly do. The entire system of plant recommendations in North America is based on plant hardiness - in other words, how much cold a plant can withstand without experiencing extensive damage or death. Read more...


Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.

This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.

Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!

To register call: Alki Tours at 800-895-2554


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.