Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: Cloisters New York

In early spring I had the opportunity to visit New York city and went up to visit The Cloisters Garden and Museum.  My New York friends were very skeptical of taking the long train ride. However, noting that they had lived in NYC for nearly a decade and needed to do something new, they acquiesced with my request :)


The Cloisters, New York Mar 2015
The 66.5-acre Fort Tryon Park was kicked off by the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1917, when he hired Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., to create the park, which he later donated to New York City in 1935. The museum and adjacent gardens were built in 1934-39 on 4 acres of the park and were created through grants and endowments from Rockefeller. With insight to future development, Rockefeller bought and donated hundreds of acres of the river front property across from the museum, the New Jersey Palisades to the State of New Jersey. The view is awesome.

The building itself looks original to the rocky point and so old. With good reason, the building was designed by Charles Collens using parts of five cloistered abbeys. Talk about repurposing :)  . Further old building from Europe were disassembled and shipped to the site where they were reconstructed and integrated into this beautiful museum.  The photos below give a small sense of the integrated feel and medieval ambiance!

Getting There

From SoHo we took the A train to 190th Street., My friend felt like they were going to Canada! The exit of the station is a strange - by elevator. We then had the opportunity to walk along  Cabrini Blvd for the views over the cliff to the river. Plus the full garden :) 

What we loved about Cloisters

As you can tell I adored the building - and I also loved the garden. However, I think I was probably a few weeks too early to enjoy the spring blooms. In summertime I would think this is a great escape from the city. 

Cloisters Herb Garden, March 2015
I liked all the people walking and jogging through the park. I loved the art and the gold items in the basement and especially the herb garden!  Plus I liked that there were small spots to just relax and soak up the experience ;)

And nearby- check out the Mexican restaurant. It was just a block or so away (north, on Broadway I recall) and easy walk. The Sunday Brunch had plenty of classic Mexican and popular treats. The drinks were exceptional too. Very crowded and fun atmosphere. 

Have a great day - my garden is calling. It's spring and there are hours of joy to be had prepping my garden today.

Teresa Marie

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cactus Propagation from Stem Cuttings

Never touch the cactus -
no fail method to propagate
Cactus can be straight forward to propagate and you can do it without injury from spines. The trickiest part is making sure you don't get poked in the process!  Here are my tips for getting more of your favorite cactus. This is a good late fall or winter activity for many cactus are not actively growing now. 

Make a Cutting:

First you need to get a piece of the parent plant. For this you need just two tools. Best way to do this is to cut the stem with a very sharp knife. I tend to use a serrated knife work - like a bread knife, which has just come out of the wash and I know it's clean and sterile. This will helps limit risk of bacterial diseases.  The second tool that you need is my secret weapon for

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dividing Potted Succulents

Repot Me PLEASE!!!
Several years ago I started this succulent (I believe a Gasteria) from a cutting received at the Huntington Garden.  It is a very slow growing plant - so just this spring I decided to divide and repot it. This is a clump-forming succulent plant, so as soon as the container is "full" the plants are clearly outgrowing their assigned space and need to be divided. It's similar for aloe, some sedums, agave, hens & chicks, and the like. For most succulents Spring and early summer are the best times to divide since it's before their growing season. However, there are succulents who's main growing season is winter - so double check before you proceed. 
Here's my approach for dividing and repotting succulents

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring Flower Show - Garfield Park Conservatory

For the Love of Tulips
Spring Showing in my Yard
Today I visited the Spring Flower show, entitled Sun Showers, at the Garfield Park Conservatory.  I look forward to spring flower and garden shows to get my creative fix. I also start thinking about the ephemeral and bulbs that will be breaking through in my own yard.  Plus it's just so great to get into a warm space that is bursting with color and fragrance! 

At Garfield Park Conservatory flower shows - one display house, the show house, is taken over by the display items. At times the explosion of flowers also spills over into Horticulture Hall and the lobby. This show was no exception. 

Please  enjoy the photos.  I'm not sure the colors are 100% true, but here are the shots of my favorites :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Planning My Vegetable Garden

Home Grown Goodness! 
One of my favorite garden activities in the winter time is planning out the plantings for spring and summer. This year I'm getting more serious about the vegetable garden. That is because I'm eating lots more veggies this year :) and my neighbor cut down mature ash/elm trees which were along the property line and reducing the sun available to my garden.

Last year I broke my wrist in the spring so the vegetable garden never really got planted. It sat fallow all year. So this year it should be ready to burst forward with an abundance of produce!

There are many great resources for planning a vegetable garden. Advice for site selection, soil preparation, and more available. My task was selecting the plants and arranging them.