Archives for the month of: March, 2014



Inside – the tulips are blocks of color that pop. Outside – two foot of snow, sheets of ice and sub-zero temperatures.

The Spring Garden shows at Adams are held every March. The shows are setup inside and last for one week. There is a different garden show at each of the four Adams stores (Kingston, Wappinger, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh).  Adams is a family business which developed from a 1900’s farm stand where they left a ‘cigar box’ for customers to leave payment for produce.

  • The shows in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie are usually scheduled for the last week of February
  • The shows in Kingston and Wappinger are usually scheduled for the first week of March
  • check store websites for details!
Wooden sculpture, black bear with blue jay,

Hand carved wooden sculpture of a black bear holding a blue jay

Phil Burley, the Garden Center Manager at the Kingston store was kind enough to explain how the show is produced.

“The Poughkeepsie Landscape Design team create the show. The Kingston staff, including Jason Becker, the Nursery Manager, clear the space and help with the planting, installation and finishing details. People really appreciated this year’s concept – the rustic Adirondack look.”

Weeping cherry tree,

Weeping cherry tree at the side of a ‘creek’ surrounded by spring flowers

“The bulb stock comes from a grower, when the plants arrive they are in the ‘tight bud’ stage, ready to bloom during the Spring Show.  They are placed in the flower beds still in their pots which are covered with mulch.”

Stream with waterfall,

Creek with waterfall

The show includes both natural and artificial stone, a fork lift is used to place the large boulders. There is usually a water feature, this year it’s a natural looking miniature creek with a waterfall.

Fish fountain with sparrow,

Fish fountain – the water flows into the creek

Water always attracts wildlife and there was a pair of sparrows flitting round the fountain. (Previous shows have included Mallard ducks)

Bird sculpture with pansies and chrysanthemums,

Bird sculpture with purple pansies

Fox sculpture,

Red Fox, often seen in the Hudson Valley

Wildlife sculptures are dotted among the flowers.

Garden wall made from stone,

Circular stone wall

Stone patio,

Stone patio with metal garden seat

This patio is constructed with broken blue stone and boulders. The grass in the cracks was planted by hand – one of the many finishing touches that makes the show so impressive. The larger plants are added on the Monday before the show and the bulbs are added last.

Cedar garden structure,

The rustic ‘log home’ is constructed from red cedar logs.

Wooden sculpture, bear and salmon,

Hand carved wooden bear sculpture

In front of the log home is a wooden sculpture of a grizzly bear holding a salmon, this is a hand-made piece. A local folk art tradition, bears are carved with axes or chain saws.

Daffodils and Lilac,

Daffodils and Lilac

You would not believe how lovely the fragrance is! Flowering shrubs such as lilac and small evergreen trees  were put in place about one week before the show opens.

“It’s the temperature that makes the shrubs and plants flower. Mark Adams (son of the owner of Adams Stores) runs five acres of wholesale greenhouses behind the store in Poughkeepsie where he grows some of the annuals used in the spring shows.  The landscape crews sets up small greenhouses in the larger poly house to force the trees and shrubs to bloom just in time. Over the years Mark has gotten the timing down to a science.”

Pieris Shrub in bloom,

Pieris Shrub in bloom

I asked Phil if he had any advice for gardeners in the Hudson Valley:

  • “At this point, it requires patience, it’s not a good idea to do too much work when the ground is very muddy because the soil can become compacted, forcing out air and water pockets that plants need. In Vermont they call this the Mud Season!”
  •  “The prolonged cold temperatures have caused White-tailed deer to be more of an issue this year. The snow has prevented them from finding food and they have traveled and browsed more than usual.”
  •  “The cold winter wind increases transpiration. This and the extra cold temperatures means the roots cannot supply moisture fast enough to the plant, which can cause single branches or possibly the entire plant to die. After determining this, it’s a matter of pruning and removing the dead material.”
  • “Local people are concerned about GMO crops and absence of pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Many seed companies stated that their seeds are ‘GMO free’ this year. Adams stores do not sell GMO crops and offer organic and traditional produce. They source from local farms wherever possible and the Adams family supports many local organizations and charities.”
rock sculpture and vines,

Rock sculpture in the creek with wild grape vines behind

I love the Spring Shows at Adams, to me they are a welcome sign that spring is on the way – keep an eye out for the Adams Spring Shows in 2015!

This class is first in a series of Backyard Chicken classes this spring.  Future classes will go more in depth into housing, health, egg production, manure management, breeding, and raising meat birds.  All ages welcome!

Topics include an overview of:

  • Your town’s rules and regulations for backyard chicken-keeping
  • Getting started with chicks or hens
  • Housing, feeding, and watering needs
  • Weather and predator concerns
  • And more!

Wed. April 2, 2014
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Ulster County Fairgrounds
4-H Youth Building
249 Libertyville Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

Register by March 28 – walk-ins are welcome but space is limited.  Cost is $5 per person, or $10 per farm/family.  

To register, fill out and send in registration form on our website at  

For more information on the workshop contact Erin Campbell-Craven  845-340-3990 x327 or email

For information on registering, contact Carrie Anne at 845-340-3990 x311 or email

Additional support for this program provided by Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation

CCEUC provides equal employment and program opportunities.  Please call our office at 845-340-3990 if you have any special needs.

16 different classes to choose from – each related to this year’s theme, ‘Edibles & Ornamentals’ 

Also Garden Marketplace and Door Prizes!

  • Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County
  • Saturday, April 12   8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • At SUNY Ulster, 491 Cottekill Rd, Stone Ridge, NY 12484
  • Pre-registration $35 or $40 at the door
  • Visit  for details and to register
  • FMI please contact Master Gardener Coordinator, Dona Crawford at 845-340-3990 x335

Sounds like a great event!

English Ivy arch and drystone wall garden, from

View from the street

The historic 1864 building was abandoned for 15 years before Rickie and James Tamayo, proprietors of the popular B&B Tamayo, renovated the building and transformed the adjoining vacant plot into a unique garden.

Dry stone garden wall and pillars, from

Garden entrance

English Ivy arch and metal garden gate, from

Enter the garden through an ivy covered arch

English Ivy Arch

Blue stone path, pergola in background

The garden was originally an outdoor dining area for their restaurant (now closed) – the blue stone patio with tables and chairs was screened from the busy road by a stunning dry-laid blue stone wall. The path in the center of the garden now leads to the B&B.

English Ivy arch covered in snow, from

Ivy arch, from within the garden looking out to the street

As Rickie explains “In the winter, the bold elements, the walls and arch hold the garden together. The ivy covered arch is most beautiful in the snow. All of us want to see the green ivy leaves peeking through the snow to remind us of spring.”

Dry stone wall, blue stone, from

Dry-laid blue stone wall,

“We value natural materials and blue stone is native to our area. We love working with different artisans.  Sean Fox (Master Stonemason) was a young stonemason when he built the wall. Several people we asked did not want to build a dry-laid wall with pillars to that height, but he is wonderful to work with and very talented, he built a work of art.”

Boston Ivy in Winter, from

Boston ivy (leafless in winter) on building wall

The building was originally covered in Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) which is still flourishing today – in the fall the leaves turn a beautiful copper color which is a nice contrast to the English Ivy in the garden. Rickie and James chose English Ivy (Hedera canariensis) because it’s evergreen and there’s no leaf litter to pick up.

English Ivy and drystone wall, from

Beneath the arch, looking out at the wall

Jean Hunter a customer,  brought them eight cuttings of ivy from her beautiful garden on the Hudson River ; one cutting for each upright on the arch.

English Ivy from

The ivy is supported by chicken wire which is attached to the top of the arch

Rickie knows the old adage about English Ivy –

First year, it sleeps. Second year, it creeps. Third year, it leaps! 

It took about three years of careful work to get the ivy to fill in on the arch. “We used butcher’s twine (from our restaurant kitchen) to carry the ivy from one metal run to the next until it covered the arch.”

vintage metal gate with ivy detail, from

Vintage metal gate with ivy leaf detail

The auction house is no longer there, but Rickie remembers “We bought the metal arch at Danny Malone’s old auction house on Livingston Street in Saugerties. The metal gate includes decorative ivy leaves – we wanted something that would look looked pretty before the ivy grew over the arch.”

English Ivy, from

Elegant hanging ivy stems

A low maintenance garden, they periodically trim any low hanging strands of ivy and add flowering annuals in the summer.

vintage metal birdbath, from

Vintage metal bird bath from Danny Malone’s auction

vintage metal garden urn, from

Vintage metal urn, perfect for annuals in the summer

“There have been tons of different annuals over the years, recently we have been too busy dealing with renovations, but this year we will do more work on the annuals and the area around the pergola. It’s going to be an outdoor year! There’s way more shade than there used to be so we will take that into consideration.”

English Ivy covered pergola, from

Pergola with ivy and arborvitae evergreen trees from Augustine’s Nursery, Kingston NY

English Ivy stems, from

Ivy stems growing up the pergola, the aerial roots enable the ivy to cling to surfaces

Wind chime from Woodstock Chimes,

Wind chime hanging from the pergola roof

I asked Rickie if she had any advice for Hudson Valley gardeners:

“No advice! There are so many better gardeners, so many great gardeners in the Hudson Valley and Saugerties! I am a ‘Seat-Of-Your-Pants’ gardener, we used our imagination. For example we had a vision of how we wanted the arch to look and it turned out just as we envisioned it.”

“If you stand back down Jane Street (opposite the garden) and look at the wall and ivy arch – I just love the view. Tourists and locals come to the arch and take pictures, it makes them happy. It’s all about creating a great environment where you work and it’s important in a village like Saugerties to have beautiful space”.

Garden with blue stone wall and ivy arch,

This blue stone and ivy garden is an unusual and beautiful addition to the Saugerties Village business district.

* Thank you Rickie and James for being so generous with your time and talent,  and thank you for the interview! *

Here’s some relevant connections you may find helpful

Contact B&B Tamayo. James Tamayo is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Services include cooking classes and parties, check out the website for details.

Contact Sean Fox, Master Stonemason at Authentic Stone Works, Hurley NY

Contact Augustine Nursery, Kingston NY

How to Propagate English Ivy

How to Prune English Ivy   

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