Sunday, September 18, 2011


An eventful week with a trip to NYC, the dentist, and the final trip to the garden.

9/11 Memorial, NYC                                                               copyright SHD 2011

I was in New York City on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011, to visit the 9/11 Memorial.  The fountains were open for viewing, the other buildings were not completed. 

Memorial Plaza, NYC                                                             copyright SHD 2011

The Memorial Plaza surrounding the fountains were lined with more than 400 young swamp white oak trees.   The trees were selected and harvested from within a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center site, with additional trees coming from locations in the Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., areas that were impacted on September 11, 2001.

The Survivor Tree, Memorial Plaza, NYC
copyright SHD 2011
But the star attaction was the "Survivor Tree."  The callery pear tree became known as the Survivor Tree after sustaining extensive damage, but living through the destruction of the twin towers on September 11, 2001.

I had a little time to stop in Central Park and check out the Conservatory Garden and also visited the Cloisters, where I viewed their medieval herb garden. They had nightshade, mandrake, wormwood, and much more. The place was lovely and I'll talk about that more in a future post.

On Thursday my wallet and I both suffered through a root canal, and on Friday I finished cleaning out the garden, digging up the plants I wanted to keep and take home, including the spilanthes, patchouli, and lamb's ear.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Best Laid Plans...

...Often go awry....

Okay, so July it was the humidity that damaged the garden.  August had back to back thunderstorms and then hurricane Irene finished the month off with a real big bang....Oh! And then the earthquake for good measure! Jeese, how could I forget that?

Most of the herbs survived fine, but all the other plants were turned to mush.  LOL  Ah, well.  So it goes....

Now, early September, and I must clean out the garden before the 19th.  They are closing early because the park where we are situated will be getting some renovations done during the coming year. 

Some of the things I learned from the garden this season?  Well, I will definitely go with a smaller space next year. This 30'x30' area was fun, but it was too much for one person to handle, even when I was able to get there 3 to 4 times a week. 

What will I do next?  Plan much farther ahead.  I saw what things worked well and what did only so-so.  I will plan next year accordingly.  I am also looking into a different community garden.

I will be digging up a few items to take home, the Lamb's Ear, Stevia, Rue, Spiderwort, Blue Verbena, Patchouli, St. John's Wort, Artichoke (which did well, but never produced a flower), Spilanthes (Tooth-ache Plant, which is doing splendidly and is simply a lovely plant), and not much else.  The Wolf's Bane all died away, sorry to say. 

I was not able to visit any herb gardens or arboretums this summer due to all the extreme weather. I am planning to take some time over the next few months to hit a few places and I will take photos. 

I have one visit already planned, On September 13th, I will be going to  New York City to see the 9/11 Memorial.  I got tickets!  If you are interested in going, the tickets are free and you can get them here.  I will check what they did with the landscaping and make a report. 

I will also be visiting a few other gardens in NYC, one is The Cloisters Museum and Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

The Cloisters is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Just the place for the aspiring herb gardener to check out exactly what types of herbs a witch might have grown way back when.  They also have a terrific Blog called "The Medieval Garden Enclosed."

And of course, Central Park, where I always stop by Strawberry Fields to pay my respects to John.

Also in Central Park is The Arthur Ross Pinetum, a four-acre landscape that features 17 different species of pine trees, as well as an Azalea Pond, Conservatory Garden, the Dene and the Gill, a great Naturalist's Walk, the Olmsted Flower Bed, and the Shakespeare Garden.   

 And last, but not least, there is Steve Brill, the "Wildman of New York." Steve is an environmental educator who gives tours and presentations in Central Park (and elsewhere) that feature a great diversity and abundance of seasonal edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms.  Gotta see this guy! Can't wait.