Gardening December 2020

From Mélie’s Garden

The Holidays are approaching and shopping will be a bit more difficult in these unusual times. Here are a few suggestions for gardeners on your list.

There are interesting new amaryllis bulbs available. My husband gave me ‘Mystica’ last year, which was lovely. You can find the bulb at Gardener’s Supply Company or White Flower Farm. There are numerous plants this year in the White Flower Farm Christmas catalog. Logee’s also has interesting houseplants. I find it is very therapeutic to grow plants inside during the winter and last year I grew microgreens in a small kit from Window Garden that I found on Amazon. The seeds grew quickly and the greens were delicious in salads.

During the winter it is nice to curl up with a good book; I recommend these three which any gardener would enjoy.

“Heroes of Horticulture” by Barbara Paul Robinson is about eighteen people who have had a major impact on the American landscape by preserving land, revitalizing botanical gardens, restoring public parks, and forming the organizations like “The Garden Conservancy”; there is a chapter in the book devoted to Tom Armstrong and all his work there. Other heroes featured are Marco Polo Stufano and Stephen Byrns as they are in the other two books I recommend below.

“Nature Into Art” the Gardens of Wave Hill by Thomas Christopher describes the beautiful gardens created along the Hudson River just outside New York City by Marco Polo Stufano and John Nally.  The book is filled, not only with wonderful pictures of the place, but practical advice to use throughout the year on our own properties.

The last book, “Paradise On The Hudson” is the story of Samuel Untermeyer and the design of his glorious Persian garden, also on the Hudson just up from Wave Hill. Mr. Untermeyer was a very accomplished lawyer and he created the garden in the early years of the twentieth century. There he and his wife entertained their friends with concerts and dance recitals, which were performed within its exotic space. After his death, the garden became the property of the city of Yonkers and fell into major disrepair. In 1988 Stephen Byrns discovered it in ruins and he has lead the inspiring restoration of the garden ever since. “Paradise On The Hudson” tells not only about its creation and the restoration, but also the remarkable life of its creator Samuel Untermeyer – a truly fascinating story that anyone would find interesting.

Finally, there are some stocking stuffer suggestions for gardeners – I always appreciate getting new Nitrile Gardening Gloves and I would love to have another Tubtrug, both found at Gardeners Supply. And if your gardening tools don’t include a Senkichi Nejiri Gama Hoe, you need to buy one for yourself and all your gardening friends – it is my favorite gardening tool of all! You can find them on Amazon. Have a Happy Christmas.

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