Category Archives: Tarrytown NY

Cultivating a Beautiful Rose Garden

The Garden Club of Irvington has been restoring and maintaining the Rose Garden at Lyndhurst for more than 50 years. Club members, led most recently by Rose Garden Chairman Lou Zapata, plant, weed, prune, fertilize and generally care for a wide variety of roses throughout the year to maintain healthy plants and robust bloomers.

Rosarian Josyane Colwell, left, has been leading the early-morning Rose Garden team at Lyndhurst every week this summer.

A Little History

We are fortunate to have as an active member a longtime rosarian and expert in growing roses. Josyane Colwell has been deeply involved in the Lyndhurst Rose Garden since joining the Garden Club in 1982. She grew up on a family farm in southern France with her grandparents, who cultivated roses for the perfume industry in Grasse. As a child, she learned every aspect of growing roses—and is not reserved in sharing that knowledge.

Josayne was featured in a 1986 cover story in the Rivertowns Enterprise about Rose Pruning Day at Lyndhurst, which is usually a public event at the end of March. We hope to be able to sponsor it again next year.

In addition to sun and water, roses need expert care to nurture new growth (the “baby shoots,” as Josyane calls them) and to help the plants survive the weather, pests and disease.

Here is some of Josyane’s advice:

Pruning

The pruning season begins in late March/early April with the removal of dead wood from the winter, and the removal of old, weak or dying branches and crossing branches, particularly those that are crowding the center of the bush. Shaping of the plant allows for strong growth, good air circulation and an aesthetic appearance during the blooming season. Cuts are made at an angle just above an emerging bud. The cutting of large canes requires sealing the exposed surface with a sealant such as Elmer’s glue to prevent future rot and disease.

Clean lopping shears or a folding saw are essential for the removal of larger canes in order not to damage the plant.

Deadheading

Cut at an angle with sharp, clean pruners.

Deadheading, the removal of spent blooms, should continue throughout the summer and early fall to encourage repeat bloomers to send out new buds and shoots.

This is also the time for heavy pruning to reshape and rejuvenate the plants so they can harden up before winter. When deadheading, never cut straight across; always cut on an angle, which prevents water from resting on the stems and causing them to rot. The cut should be just above the second branch of five (not three) leaves down from the spent bloom. Pruning shears should always be sharp and clean so as not to damage the cane and spread disease.

When the plant is pruned and deadheaded, healthy “baby shoots” emerge and bloom all season.

Climbing Roses

The pruning of climbing roses on a trellis or other structure is always a challenge, but can offer a wonderful display for a long time. In the early 1980s Josyane and her Rose Garden co-chair, Natalia Schell, could barely walk under the overgrown trellises. They spent hours almost every day removing the dead and diseased canes and tying back and training the younger canes to encourage growth and blooms on the outside of the trellises. The taller Natalia, from Russian aristocratic blood, held the ladder while the more diminutive Josyane from the farm pruned and tied from above. This French-speaking pair found great joy together in restoring the beauty of the rose trellises. Because many climbers re-bloom, this process continued throughout the summers as well. However, the length of bloom is worth the effort.

Trellises with climbing roses enhance every tier of the Rose Garden at Lyndhurst.

Maintenance

Fertilizing in the springtime will encourage healthy growth and beautiful blooms. On the farm they used manure to feed the plants. Most nurseries carry manure or can recommend an appropriate fertilizer. Turning the soil in early spring is also encouraged to allow moisture to reach the roots more easily.

Black spot, left, is a fungus that occurs in extreme heat and moisture and where there isn’t sufficient air circulation. Rose-related diseases such as black spot should be dealt with by a professional. However, gardeners can help stem its spread by removing yellow leaves with black spots, both on the plant and on the soil.

The Results

If you follow these simple tips from a seasoned rosarian, you can achieve results as stunning as these!

 

Filed under Garden History and Design, Horticulture, Landscape and Garden Design, NY and CT Public Garden Tours, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY

How to Develop a Pollinator Victory Garden and Pollinator Pathways

Did you know that communities all over the world are making and linking pesticide-free, native-plant gardens, meadows and forests to encourage beneficial insect and bird species? Especially bees, which are dying out and so essential to our ecosystems.

And we can do this right here in the Rivertowns, beginning in our own gardens.

This free public event with Kim Eierman of EcoBeneficial® is typical of Garden Club of Irvington programming.

Kim is a well known environmental horticulturist who specializes in ecological landscapes and native plants. She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and The Native Plant Center.

Please subscribe to this site and get updates and invites to all our 2019-20 events.

Filed under Conservation, Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY, Zone 7 Native Plants, Zone III Events

Photo Review of Our Flower Show—The Sunny Side of the Hudson

The members of the Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson are delighted to bring you this selection of photos of our flower show at the Lyndhurst Carriage House. The theme, “On the Sunny Side of the Hudson,”celebrated the influence of Washington Irving on our Rivertowns region of New York and featured floral and horticultural exhibits inspired by characters and situations on the pages of Irving’s books.

The show was the result of two years of hard work on the part of all our members, especially show chair Barbara Defino. Here is just one of the many accolades sent to Barbara: “Dear Barbara and Members of the GC of Irvington: Congratulations on staging a beautiful flower show. The outstanding classes and excellent club participation showcased the talent within the Garden Club of Irvington. My thanks to you, and all the members of Irvington for their incredible hospitality. We truly were on the sunny side of the Hudson on May 10.”

Guests to the show, which was open to the public on May 10 and 11, were greeted with vases of cut stems set out in tables on the patio in front of the Lyndhurst Carriage House.

Inside the tent, an entire wall of tables was set up with glorious displays of blooms cut from exhibitors’ gardens that morning. All were judged for beauty, horticultural perfection and grooming. Categories included peonies, viburnums, lilacs, and rhododendrons.

The “Best in Show’ award for Horticulture went to Lydia Wallis of the Southampton (NY) Garden Club for her cut specimen of an epimedium.

At the entrance to the Carriage House, below, the Floral Design section opened in a dramatic fashion with mass arrangements of primarily yellow flowers — such as those grown at Sunnyside Cottage, Washington Irving‘s home — displayed on pedestals.

The winners in the “360 Degrees and Sunny” mass arrangement class were Libby Welch and Anna Getz of the Greenwich, CT, Garden Club

“The Book Party” class, channeling a book signing for Washington Irving’s literary friends that included sips of schnapps and games of dominoes, was the theme of the above winning table setting by Colleen Hempleman and Christina Vanderlip of the Hortulus GC. Judges and guests admired the rich, masculine color scheme and rare, deep-toned flowers.

This table setting by Renee Shamosh and Ellen Shapiro of the Garden Club of Irvington featured an arrangement of tulips, hydrangeas and wildflowers and a faux feather made from paper and wire. According to GCA rules, real feathers are not allowed, challenging all entrants in the class to devise a way to depict an appropriate 19th-century writing instrument.

A category entitled “Sleepy Hollow Awakenings” featured arrangements of flowers in bud and in full bloom, displayed in niches. This arrangement by Emily Meskat and Kristina Bicher Rye GC took first place in the class. Richard McKeon, a former GCI member, now with the Garden Club of Millbrook, created the second-place arrangement below.

 

“Short Stories,” miniature arrangements displayed on a mantelpiece, could not exceed five inches in height, width or depth. The winner, below, was Amy Hardis of the Little Garden Club of Rye.

Visitors to the Horticulture exhibits in the tent were treated to a lush display of exquisite plants grown over specified time periods according to strict conditions laid out in the show entry brochure, or “schedule.”

The horticultural displays included a “challenge class” of window boxes in which all the plants were to be propagated from cuttings or grown from seed. The award winners included GCI members Anne Myers and Nancy Stoer, who used unusual cultivars of coleus (above), and Veronica Gedrich, for the window box (below) filled with herbs, which the judges commended for “flavorful eating all season long.”

The window box above, with dipladenia and regal pelargoniums propagated by Renee Shamosh and Ellen Shapiro, was nearly disqualified because it included a few perennials from Ellen’s garden. Propagation by division was not included in the schedule. (Note to future exhibitors: Read the schedule extra carefully!)

The Rosie Jones award for “reflecting the spirit of growing with joy and enthusiasm” went to the above “Mother and Daughter” pair of coleus propagated by Julia Burke of Rye Garden Club.

“Rip Van Winkle” troughs could feature Alpine species or cultivars. dwarf conifers, and/or succulents owned for a minimum of three months. A special club award went to Ellen Shapiro, whose trough (below) included succulents grown from cuttings taken from her daughter-in-law’s San Francisco roof garden.

Our “Imaginary World of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” children’s class, hosted in conjunction with the Irvington Public Library, displayed fairie houses made by children 8 to 12 years old. Proud exhibitors included Fitz Anderson, above, and Jordana Laks, below, with her mom, Lisa Izes.

In the “Inside Story” photography category, honors went to Susan Van Tassell of the Short Hills, NJ, Garden Club, for her macro shot of a dahlia, and Dori Ruff of GCI for her study of the inner workings of a peony.

The conservation and education exhibit by Catherine Ludden demonstrated the beauty and benefits of adding native plants to your garden — through a slide show and a 20-page handout illustrating “Plant This, Not That” plant pairs. This exhibit, designed by Ellen Shapiro, won a judge’s commendation. It included an exquisite arrangement of native plants, below, from Cathy Ludden’s garden.

A few of the 25 GCI members who organized and staged the show took a break from setting up the exhibits. Clockwise from left: Renee Shamosh, Jo Gurley, Ellen Shapiro, Harriet Kelly, Linda Azif, and Heather Kenny. Photos in this post by Steve Beech and Ellen Shapiro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under Garden Club Flower Show Categories, Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY

Fab Flower Show “On The Sunny Side of the Hudson”

washingtonirvingsbooksThrough flowers and plants — our 2017 GCA flower (and plant) show celebrated the life and work of Irvington’s own Washington Irving. All club members worked very hard on this for more than a year to make this show happen.

The floral designs, judged by an esteemed panel of experts, were:

• “360 Degrees and Sunny” — glorious mass flower arrangements featuring yellow flowers in season.
• “The Book Party” — fanciful table settings for a book-signing by none other than Washington Irving at his Sunnyside Cottage,
• “Short Stories” — tiny miniature arrangements displayed on a mantelpiece
•  “Sleepy Hollow Awakenings” — designs with some flowers in bud and others in full bloom.

The horticulture classes included displays of  “Rip Van Winkle” alpine garden troughs and “Home Grown” window boxes — and dozens and dozens of beautiful cut stems and branches of the best in local perennials and flowering shrubs and trees in season.

Visitors also delighted in a display of photographs of historic houses and gardens at rest, among other subjects. All work was done by members of our own and other Garden Club of America clubs who register via the GCA website.

A special and timely conservation exhibit demonstrated the importance of native plants in our landscapes.

The show, chaired by Barbara Defino, was free and open to the public at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, and from 10 am to 1 pm on Thursday, May 11, at the Lyndhurst Carriage House. Photos to come soon…

Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), a native plant that is an important food sorce for Monarch butterflies. The conservation and education exhibit will feature native plants to consider for our gardens, such as the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), which is an important food source for Monarch butterflies.

The conservation and education exhibit will feature native plants to consider for our gardens, such as the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), which is an important food source for Monarch butterflies.

Filed under Conservation, Garden Club Flower Show Categories, Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Irvington NY, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY

“One of the Ten Gardens Not to Be Missed this Summer”

“And now at last we have a chance to catch our breath, and really stop and smell the roses at the annual Rose Day at Lyndhurst, home to one of our very favorite rose gardens in the whole Hudson Valley,” wrote Bill Cary in an article in The Journal News last Friday, in which he named the Rose Garden at Lyndhurst “one of the ten gardens not to be missed this summer.”

Sunday was an almost-perfect early summer day, and a record crowd of hundreds of people enjoyed an afternoon of observing, learning about, and photographing roses while they listened to live chamber and choral music, sipped punch, munched on cookies, and just relaxed. Rose experts from the Garden Club explained the finer points of planting, caring for and pruning many varieties of roses.

The Rose Garden, tended by members of the Garden Club, is on the grounds of Lyndhurst, a 67-acre National Trust for Historic Preservation property  on the Hudson River. It is open to the public, free of charge, daily from dawn to dusk. Rose Day is an annual event, the first Sunday in June.

Filed under Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Tarrytown NY

Annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale a GCI Tradition

What should I plant in the shade? Does this plant like to be wet or dry? Should I let it grow or pinch it back? Will the deer eat it? Every year, on the Saturday before Mothers Day, Garden Club members help guests to our Garden Fair and Plant Sale at the Lyndhurst Greenhouses choose plants and provide tips on care that, we hope, will contribute to the success and beauty of many gardens in the area. An added bonus: the daylilies, coleus and hostas that are unsold are donated to Lyndhurst to enhance the plantings at this National Trust property.

Filed under Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Plant Sale, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY

A Rose Is Not Just a Rose

by Harriet Kelly

Pink and white rose

It needs a little tough love to thrive and bloom. When it comes to pruning roses, you have to be cruel to be kind. Grit your teeth and prune, prune, prune. So advised the expert rose growers of the Garden Club of Irvington yesterday—a beautiful, warm Saturday—during the club’s annual Rose Pruning Day. Under the tutelage of GCI rosarians Pru Montgomery and Bunny Bauer, club members learned how to properly use clippers, where to cut, and how much to cut (more than you think). There was a good turnout of local people who were eager to learn rose pruning techniques to use in their own gardens. All participants said that they’re looking forward to Rose Day on June 3 and promised to come back to enjoy the festivities and see how their handiwork turned out.

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Filed under Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY

GCI “Gilded Cage” Flower Show a Success

"Anna's Hats in Bloom," a design complementing a hat in Lyndhurst's costume collection.

The Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson’s GCA Flower Show last spring honored Lyndhurst and the Victorian era. The show was held at The Carriage House at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, and was open to the public on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, 2010.

The theme “THE GILDED CAGE,” a play on “The Gilded Age,” was inspired by the Gothic arches of Lyndhurst and its greenhouse, built by railroad tycoon Jay Gould, who made the Tarrytown landmark his family’s country estate in 1880.

“A GCA Flower Show is a competition judged by the rigorous standards of the Garden Club of America and exemplifies artistic and horticultural excellence,” said show chairman Nancy Stoer. “Our members worked for a year to present an outstanding show that included elaborate flower arrangements and horticultural specimens judged against ‘perfection’ as defined by GCA judging standards. Entries were prepared by members of our own club, who live in the River Towns, and GCA garden clubs throughout the tri-state area.”

Visitors enjoyed the "Victorian Wedding" arrangements staged on pedestals. The arrangements were designed as if for the 1913 wedding at Lyndhurst of Helen Gould, daughter of railroad tycoon Jay Gould, to Finley Shepard.

Floral arrangement exhibits included designs using flowers that were grown in the original Lyndhurst greenhouse (now restored and used by the Garden Club to cultivate plants for its annual plant sale in May); large arrangements suitable for a Victorian wedding; table settings for a card party on a Lyndhurst’s terrace overlooking the Hudson; and designs complementing hats in Lyndhurst’s extensive costume collection. Village of Irvington schoolchildren ages 8-12 made an exhibit of “tussie-mussies,” small hand-held bouquets expressing “the language of flowers.”

Cut specimens: Flowering trees and shrubs in bloom

Pot-et-Fleurs featuring Neomarica caerulea (Fan Iris), Phyllitis scolopendrium ‘Undulatum’ (Hart’s Tongue Fern), Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldii’ (Creeping Jenny), Oxalis triangularis (Purple Shamrock), and three kinds of zonal and scented Pelargoniums.

Horticultural exhibits included “Lord & Burnham Presents: Nineteenth Century Favorites,” which featured orchids, ferns and palms and cut specimens of locally-grown nineteenth-century favorites such as rhododendrons, magnolia, prunus, and blooming stems of narcissus and tulip bulbs. The challenge class was to grow from seed a Victorian favorite Pelargonium, ‘Black Velvet Rose.’ “Pot et Fleurs: In the Victorian Style,” featured large containers planted with with a minimum of three different species or cultivars reflecting the Victorians’ love of carefully planned excess. Special classes included topiaries and “glass houses” or terrariums.

Vistors viewed an exhibit of landscape and horticultural photography and a conservation/education exhibit that focused on the London Plane Tree or Sycamore, and showed how this magnificent tree has contributed to the ecology of the lower Hudson Valley.

Filed under Conservation, Flower Arranging, Garden Club Flower Show Categories, GCA Events, Irvington Garden Club Events, Irvington NY, Nature Photography, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY, Zone III Events