Archive for October, 2018


During a Work and Learn at the Demo Gardens, it was noticed that our Euonymus had scale. We thought it would be good to show a photo of it.
We pruned the bush back and disposed of the infested branches. This is the best remedy when it is so infested with scale. If you notice it quickly, when they first appear, you can eliminate them by simply rubbing them away. Other solutions include alcohol on a cotton swab or Neem Oil.


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Cooking Squash

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Biltmore House & Gardens

Article and Photos by Gail K.:
This week I want to share just a few photos from my visit to the Biltmore House & Gardens
in Asheville, North Carolina. I planned to see fall colors but hurricanes along with global warming
have a way of changing “normal” time frames. I also made trip adjustments so I could visit the gardens
during the Chihuly display. Not sure that was smart; more people than plants but since we saw Chihuly
pieces on display during the Meijer garden tour I thought you might enjoy. So jump in the car and
head for the HiLLS!!!!

Once there, you travel down a long winding road to get to the information area.(We had to buy tickets)

I was surprised to find so much Bamboo (a Koala’s dream) planted along the roadway.

enroute to the ticket center the road opened and we got our
first view of the vast size of this estate……….8,000 acres.

Once we acquired our tickets we set out by car to the parking
lots to catch a shuttle bus to the house.

We were fortunate they allowed open ticket sales for the last day of the Chihuly exhibit-I wonder if the crowds are as large for other major events they host throughout the year? A winding road through a vast wooded area, took us to the shuttle stop & then the house.

As we rounded a curve, we got our first glimpse of the house. The mid turret is the entry door.

Looking towards the “front yard” from the house, we could see the first
Chihuly exhibit ……………..
Per ticket time & after going thru security, we passed by #2 Chihuly display before entering the house……
Once inside the foyer, the routes to other rooms was clearly visible. This was one of the most
impressive architectural areas to me-.
This area directly off the foyer showcased another Chihuly exhibit. We heard later
in the week, that by Monday–Chihuly exhibit was gone and the space was being transformed
into a center piece for the Christmas display………

The view from the first floor rear- balcony area

Adjacent to the front lawn, on a lower level, were the “Italian Gardens”.
3 ponds, each with specific plants and a specific Chihuly exhibit.

The 3 separate pond areas and their glass exhibits.
The first one-a boat full of glass balls with others spread around

the last one-display to the front and one to the rear.

This area, obviously for entertaining. Lower from the side veranda-
higher than the gardens. Imagine if you will, attired in a sparkling ballgown-dancing
to the music of an orchestra while under the stars on a summer’s eve-the air heavy with the aroma of flowers. ## reality check:

I took this route to get to the next site, an arbor with
stone walls proved to be a great spot for several different Chihuly exhibits.
Here are 2 of my favorites from the walkway.
From the “shrub garden”–area packed full of trees,shrubs & plants. Defined by
meandering paths & occasionally a Chihuly would arise from out of the ground.

Crape Myrtle-Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ A Chihuly fits right in.

weeping blue atlas cedar-cedrus atlantica ‘glauca pendula’
narrow in the trunk but the branches were very long and draped over
the adjacent walkway………

Next level down: conservatory garden, very expansive area On the right side is an arbor covered with vines.

Mums the word.

a view of the Chihuly from under the arbor

a couple plant pics from this area:

Japanese ribbon grass???

on to the rose garden

The roses were not all in full bloom but these were a couple of my favorites.

I only took a quick look into the conservatory and moved on but
I found the doorways to be intriguing.<a

The outside edges of the Rose and Conservatory gardens had
mass plantings of perennials………

NOTE TO SELF: to meander downhill along a garden path–
eventually leads to climbing uphill to get back!!!
Goal, to get back to the house without passing out first. 🙂

I made it back:

& en-route found a friend. ? maybe this one hatched
in my yard.

From a distance a trunk on the side veranda caught my eye.
I had to check it out-not a tree, a vine-the branches up on
the top of the arbor providing much needed shade for the weary.

Quick note; I normally try not to include people in pics-it was just not feasible this time. We spent about 3 hrs on site–I did not visit the spring,azalea or bass pond gardens. The gardens clearly offer year round interest & spring probably another prime time to visit. Wish fall colors had peaked-but still enjoyable. Massive estate, multiple gardens,multiple dwellings & multiple uses.
I suggest checking out the web site. http://www.Biltmore.com (satellite view) leaving this grand place,we must follow a one way road–leads around the outside edge of the estate–exposing views of the other areas.

Steers and crop farming noted.

Inn, winery & stables–summer homes to rent..a whole village.
no matter what time of year, if ya get the chance-visit.

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By Gail K.
This week, I want to show you pictures from the afternoon portion of our tour:
the home of Edsel & Eleanor Ford on the shores of Lake St. Clair. For the last 90 yrs, the notable features which designated this home a National Historic Landmark are the lake shore and the designs used to create the various garden rooms. While we are lucky to have Linda to assist us with design questions, the Ford’s used Jens Jensen.

The entry is located up on the roadside (where the staff stayed) one of the features there is a butterfly house and pollinator garden.

Our docent spoke to the major features of the estate. One major problem the gardeners are facing, is the aging landscape. All of the Elms on the property have been treated to prevent Dutch Elm disease. Mr. Jenson loved to create “rooms of trees”.

I don’t have the exact size of the estate but we started from the road and went to the shoreline–we could not see the water until we actually reached the shore. Here is a path to show just how vast the area is–

this is the “playhouse” for their daughter which was built to scale

This shows a bit of size comparison with the adults on the right of the area. We all spoke to just how much fun
a child would have had on this estate. While you note the designs when you look at the following pictures,imagine playing a game of hide and seek.

Some of the rooms were hidden by design but they all connected–again; we are walking in a fairly straight path heading towards the water. One of the major plants on this estate are the 700 roses.

Note the design-dictates the type, color to be planted in each area.

One of several areas where events are held within the garden areas.

The “pool house” is another. What is so unique with this feature, the water comes from the lake and is filtered back to the lake via a water fall feature.

Again, I am going to remind you we are still not to the shore, “Darling, will you please bring me my towel”

we have arrived …………do we have to leave?????

As we walked along the shoreline towards the HOUSE–
we came to this impressive tree-An Austrian Pine

As we ended the tour, it brought us to the house. Whew!!! Our docent tells that when the whole family was on site-they had 50 people to assist them while they were there.

the rear-facing the water

courtyard between the rear and front portions of house

Here is a front view of the house.

Edsel and Eleanor also have “life size” bronze statues on site
I had Pat pose so you could get a real perspective on the size.

We did not get a handout pamphlet about the estate but were told if you have an iPhone…you can download a free tour app….”Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Tour.” As we leave, note yet another path to ????? Mr. Jensen was a real visionary.

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by Gail K.:
For those of you who are unfamiliar (like me) the college usually covers 3 days.
the second day this year included 2 options. First-a choice from 5 full day
tours or an afternoon workshop. So this week’s blog topic will focus on the full day
tour I attended: Explore the Shore. The tour’s primary focus was the gardens of Fair Lane;
home of Clara & Henry Ford, and the Edsel & Eleanor Ford estate. Please, take a seat-enjoy
the trip.

Our docent, having worked on site for 30 yrs. was a wealth of knowledge. Here are some pictures with a few highlights. The gardens are currently under an “Interpretive”restoration. The gardens were designed by Jens Jensen who used the “natural environments.”

The tour of the grounds started with the new grand entry, the powerhouse/garage-cutting garden with the adjacent potting shed,& greenhouses. The property abuts the Rouge River-Jensen used the river to create a dam needed to produce hydro electric by the powerhouse. Today, the restoration includes creation of a stepping process beside the dam for fish to move up stream to spawn.

The garage, powerhouse and cutting garden

Greenhouse site, in the process of restoration

the dam area viewed from back of house-the fish track is on the far right (calm water)

Hillside garden looking to the other end of the river
Below is a young snapping turtle who crossed our path as
we waled to the rose garden.

The estate has a large number of “rooms,” each with a different purpose & story..
I have a pamphlet with the 27 various aspects of the estate. We did not get to all of them.
Much of the lecture took place while we stood in the rose garden-at one time, Clara tended 10,000 roses
on 2.5 acres (now in ruins).

In the rose garden are life size bronze statues of Henry & Clara. Both were small in stature (under 6 ft)

note of interest-in the early 20’s, Mrs Ford along with Ellen Biddle
Shipman—transformed the early rose garden into an English garden.
Today’s features date to that time; tea house, pond, garden gate etc.

We continued our trek across the back of the house which faces the river. In an earlier photo, you saw the “blue garden” The house is also under renovation, this is a view of the rear and the side of the house.

From the side of the house you can view the “great meadow” The Ford’s were very progressive-
loved nature & natural features, organic gardening practices and ecological preservationists.

The great meadow. As you can see from this next picture-front view, even the architecture of the buildings is

To think that at one time all of this was destined to be torn down because
no one cared enough to save it……….luckily that did not happen. Today, this project is a National Historic Landmark.

As Master Gardeners, we can volunteer in a variety of ways on this project, go to http://www.henryfordfairlane.org for more information.

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