From Pat Curran. See images below text.
About 12 to 15 chapter members and friends met at the garden of Louise Lutz and Joe Zader to begin the garden tour on June 21. On a very hot day, the lovely shade garden on Tully Lake was a welcome respite. The Hostas were magnificent, mature clumps at the peak of perfection without a sign of deer damage. Interesting stonework, paths, water features, a variety of groundcovers, and the view of the sunny lake all contributed to a fine tour.
In the sunnier portion, I was especially interested to see the lush ornamental grasses. I had seen these the previous summer when they were so dense as to tempt one to play hide-and-seek, and Louise had told me she was planning to reduce their width. It turns out she had divided them in early May, and rescued a stone path they had hidden, but if one hadn’t known they had just been divided, one would never have guessed.
Next we went onto Donna Kraft's garden on the west side of Crooked Lake, a kettle lake. Donna has both sun and shade and many fascinating and unusual plants, such as ladyslippers. The Japanese iris and clematis, two of my favorites, particularly caught my eye, along with the large Hosta growing under the deck, the stonework, the waterfall, and the views from the hillside and the deck, and the courtyard plantings. Donna also has large flowerbeds near the road for passersby to enjoy.
Our last garden stop was a tour of Dr. Mango's garden in Solvay, created by the designer Diana Smith. Diana is also the owner of Topiary Gardens in Marcellus. There we got to explore this multi-level garden "off the beaten path" as Diana led us on a behind the scenes tour using the stepping stones she had placed for access. This stunning garden features dozens of mature Japanese maples, unusual conifers, lots of ponds and water features, hardy cactus, and incredible stonework. Dr. Mango has over 5 acres in his landscape, quite a jewel in an urban setting. I was particularly struck by the magnificent Japanese maples, mostly in full sun (and we were there during the hottest part of the day), and receiving no supplementary water. The soil must be good, and the microclimate milder than most of Tompkins County, because at Cooperative Extension, we see many samples from unhappy Japanese maples suffering from marginal scorch and/or twig dieback from drought, too hot an exposure, winter cold, or winter wind and sun.
Some folks may have gone on to Watson’s Greenhouse, but we made a little side trip to the Rose Garden at Thornden Park, and then it was back to the air conditioned car with a sigh of relief.
A big thank-you to the organizers of this great garden tour!
Ed note: Here are pictures from the June garden tour, courtesy Nigel Dyson-Hudson and Pat Curran
Donna Kraft’s garden on Tully Lake
Dr. Mango's garden
At Louise Lutz and Joe Zader'a garden on Tully Lake