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© 2019,  Dianne Benson

DIRTIER ....The Every-So-Often Garden Memoir                 
Dianne B                                                                                

Volume 70, 1st week May 2016

 

 

                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is clear to me that our awful political landscape is littered with scoundrels who are not gardeners, because if they were – there is no way they could tolerate this disorder...everything extreme, usually mean and no longer natural
Reneging on climate change is inhuman.

 

April was really cruel  -- lacking in poetic misty spring rain, but persisting with freezing -- blasting  new growth with below-freezing cold snaps after a crazy too-warm February and March. No plant-friendly long-lasting blanketing snow as last year; and when it did snow - it was malicious, even those these photos are quite poetic, if I have to say so myself.

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May Day itself was dreary and damp with assuredly no maypoles but with definitive declaration that our
glorious magnolia will not be pink for my

 Garden Conservancy Open Day

Saturday, MAY 7 –
Garden Open from 12Noon to 4PM
86 Davids Lane
East Hampton


but the tree peony buds are already VERY FAT
and one or two just might open in time
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Delightful hyacinths and scilla are long gone,
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and most certainly the Dog's Tooth Violets
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but do allow me to tantalize you with a few
now beautiful come-ons:

The occasional Fritillaria persica has actually stood straight and upheld its dusky flowers


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while most just swirl their pretty blue leaves and never flower at all or have absolutely flopped
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dark tulips and vibrant chartreuse euphorbia invite
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the indigo-black muscari hyacinth, really called Bellavalia, is just coming into its own
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and the vining, climbing (only one kind does this) Fritillaria verticilata (vertical, get it) might still be
a little abloom on May 7
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and so might this gorgeous combination of Hellebore and Thalia narcissus in a shady spot
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If you are as curious as Magnolia (the dog, not the tree)  there will be plenty
things to intrigue you
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and the new leafing of Japanese maples is the tenderest moment in the garden for me
and that's just beginning
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(This spectacular Acer japonica was a several years ago birthday present
from Trevor and Karrie Wright)


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PARIS CONTINUUM & TRAVEL UPDATE

The Paris travelogue of my last DIRTIER was so
popular that I thought I would add a few tidbits for those of you who told me they were hanging on to our list
for their next visit:

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PRAY
Do not miss the glories of Saint Chapelle (right in the heart of the Conciergerie, yes – the place where Marie Antoinette was beheaded) because of the intimidating circular and obscenely steep stone stairs it takes to get to it.  After the fact of the nearly impossible climb, we learned that there is a perfectly fine elevator, but there is no indication of it - you must ask.

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EAT
Without question, you must splurge and have lunch at
Le Grand Vefour in the gilded heart of the Palais Royal - The Place for dejeuner in Paris for 230 years.

The arrival point for the Palais
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Cafe Vefour

 You must book in advance (easily done on line)
and once there - prepare for a decadent but divine three-hour lunch. Course after course of exquisite cuisine is served with all the finest trappings in a shockingly gilded glorious jewel-box.


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Pace yourself because the desserts and cheese course are TO DIE FOR...
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Now Honey...this is a poached pear...or
poire a la Grand Vefour

LOOK
After all of the obvious and not so obvious ways to see art – treat yourself to the unbelievably personal Delacroix Museum –
nestled on the rue du Furstenberg right in the artist's own well-appointed maison and atelier.
There is a great installation about his influence on Picasso and then, bien sur,
all of the fabulous antiquaires and decorator showrooms are just around the corner on the Place Furstenberg (including Jack Lenor Larsen).  Don’t miss it.

SHOP
And it wouldn’t be fair to continue about Paris without one little shopping tip. 
The SHOE STORE  CLIF – was by far
my best shopping find.

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Not too expensive, made in France or Italy and, thank God, not too ‘fashionable’; but exactly what French women actually wear.  Suffice to say... I indulged. 
There are three locations in Paris – all on the Left Bank, which tells you something already.

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BACK TO EAST HAMPTON
As I suggested earlier, warm spring days in the
1st week of March are not welcome when it is still supposed to be winter.  But even though the plants are confused,  when suddenly you see life again among all the inanimate things -- oh it is exciting.

Greek Rainbow Goddesses Unite... what a feeling
to spy that first sweet gorgeous tiny –
like a miniature painting – reticulata Iris

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or when dark ones push through the mire
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OTHER TINY WONDROUS THINGS

Extraordinarily ephemeral -  even when only a day or two
it is often plenty

The tender embrace of the curly edged pale celadon leaf around the stem of the bloodroot flower, Sanguinaria
canadensis
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I bent right down to kiss this little hepatica when I spied it among the cyclamen leaves
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Nothing  could be more velvety than Spring Green Moss
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and I don’t even know what this is – but it is heaven
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And though most of you are probably sick to death of hellebores by now –
I just can’t resist to show you a few of
this season’s greatest:
this one, an orientalis called ‘Merlin’ from LandCraft,
was in full bloom in January with gorgeous marbled leaves
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still looked vibrant on March 8th
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and faded to black it is the perfect counterpoint to spring flowers right now
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This single black with the chartreuse stamens is to die for, can anyone name it?
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Nor do I exactly know what this beauty is called, but tis
 from the Winter Jewel Series -  bought this one from
Soules Gardens  years ago and it has
just come into its prime
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and how can I resist this tender pink behind the
double snowdrops
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A FEW BIGGER THINGS
The mysterious London Plane Trees of East Hampton, also called Sycamores,
or Platanus hybrida to be more exact
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One Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’ made it through
2 unseemly winters,
but only one
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and we made the best of a very early Easter
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WINTER ESCAPE

So Palm Springs CA is nothing like Palm Beach FLA...in its weather, in its look and most certainly in its attitude.

Never a big fan of Florida, I always found myself cringing at the thought of it being our nearest warm place
in freezing February,
 but now Jet Blue is flying directly to
Palm Springs, so it is almost as close and the Palm Springs airport is much more charming than Miami International. 

Conveniently coinciding with the LongHouse Insider’s Modernism Trip to Palm Springs, we took up the kind invitation of Larry Soule via our great friend Ayse Kenmore to visit him in his abode on Sunny Lane.

  Yes...seriously...Sunny Lane
and sunny it was.
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and the inside of the house is indescribable
and deserves its own newsletter
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We had a grand time in this place of interminable blue skies, just right temps, glamorous low-slung architecture, outgoing people and absolutely NO STRESS.  It was described to us as a ‘pleasure economy’ as opposed to NY (and that includes our East End) ‘work economy’.

The design element  permeates everything:
including the boulders and the geometry of the plant life and trees.  The oh-so-glam Hollywood mystique hangs over everything giving
it a special zing.
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As for gardens – well, they are plentiful but they are not gardeny gardens, if you know what I mean...
this is the desert, after all.
And many climate-conscious (and style conscious)
souls are abandoning the mere idea of green lawns
for the much more intriguing xeriscapes.

But there were thrilling combinations, especially at
The Living Desert, which I absolutely adored and would advise one not to miss 
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Although it is SunnyLands that seems to be the
‘Go To’ place.

This is me at SunnyLands, which was as inventive as a dry old desert garden could actually be, I suppose... but we did not see the private house, as it is under renovation, which I’m sure is much more exotic.
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OUR CONTINUING TRAVEL SAGA will pick up in
Volume 71 when I shall recount my FABULOUS trip with the absolutely perfect garden club,
the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons,
to Main Line Philadelphia in the middle of April.
What can I say???
WOW did we see gardens in 2 days

Many great ones:  the Scott Arboretum on the campus
of Swarthmore, the restrained and elegant Mount Cuba, two exceptional private gardens (one of which I can
truly say was the epitome of good taste - at least my taste) and the crowning glory, Chanticleer. 
Stay tuned...

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OTHER NEWS

Our Deacon-in-Training at St. Luke’s Denise Galloway was so wonderful that when she became a full Deacon we lost her to the Bishop!
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but thank God we still have Charlie
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BIG NEWS
Laurie Anderson’s CONCERT for DOGS
SAVE the DATE  -
  August 13 – Saturday at 5PM

Heart of a Dog, her astonishing film will be shown on Thursday August 11 at Guild Hall if you have not already seen it on HBO
or in a fabulous art-film house
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The Concert will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience
 for you and your dog.
Space will be limited as the LongHouse Amphitheater will barely hold 200 people with dogs.
How often do you get to go to a concert
WITH YOUR DOG?

Details being determined.  If you are not on LongHouse mailing list, please subscribe at 631.329.3568
or longhouse.org.

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This was the reaction of Matko and me after seeing Heart of a Dog in January.
It was then that we knew Laurie's  Concert for Dogs
just had to be at LongHouse.
Laurie Anderson is a true genius.

 

A few other things not to miss:
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are two great shows both at
The Morgan Library till May 30.


John Glover
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 will appear in Troilus and Cressida at
The Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park July and August


INstore at LongHouse has been reinvented –
the 2016 new art installations are Gorgeous –
LongHouse
Open Wed and Saturday 2-5PM
...and other times too if you call and ask nicely  631.329.3568

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Our beautiful deer friends have come nibbling already on the fresh leaves of a few hydrangeas …

I have contacted my pet friendly/child friendly/eco safe friends at WHITE TAIL SOLUTIONS
to spray their magic stuff.  It really works.  whitetail497@aol.com, 631.848.7400


A Preview of our Spring ’16 Nature Trail poster
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See you in the garden...maybe Saturday
Rain Rain Go Away

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Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our
souls blossom. 
                                         Marcel Proust


And of course, you don’t have to be a gardener to make someone happy

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A BEAUTIFUL SPRING TO EVERYONE

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