Shiitake Mushroom Logs

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Shiitake mushrooms, entinula edodes, is native to East Asia.  "Shiitake" translates to "Oak mushroom" relating to the type of wood or tree that the mushroom was commonly found growing on in the wild.

Shiitake Mushrooms will happily grow on other hardwoods too!  Here we have drilled spores into Cherry wood.  We drilled the holes, placed the spores and sealed each hole with melted wax.  The logs were placed in a shady area that received a decent amount of moisture (both sprinkler and rain).   It took two years before it fruited.  Here, in its third year, we get beautiful mushrooms reaching four inches in diameter.  We get two bountiful fruiting per year, and random in between fruiting here and there throughout the year.

Freshly picked and sauteed Shiitake mushrooms are delicious, and does have a sharper, richer taste than the ones you purchase at the grocery store.

Summertime Harvests

There is a simple earthy pleasure to reaping your garden's bounty in the summer.  It's nice to see tomatoes get red, the smell of fresh basil leaves always makes me hungry, and seeing cucumbers and zucchini hanging off the vine is always a pleasant surprise.  

  “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”    ―   Henry David Thoreau  ,    Walden

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” 
― Henry David ThoreauWalden

American Boxwood Society Symposium

  Ty consults with John W. Boyd III, the president of the American Boxwood Society as they watch Boxwood Leafminers fly around a group of boxwoods in Gail Gee's beautiful garden.

Ty consults with John W. Boyd III, the president of the American Boxwood Society as they watch Boxwood Leafminers fly around a group of boxwoods in Gail Gee's beautiful garden.

We attended the 54th Annual Symposium held by the American Boxwood Society in May.  If you are a boxwood geek - like we are, it was a perfect mix of interesting, educational and enjoyable!   Here is a photo of Ty Tan and John W. Boyd III, the president of the American Boxwood Society.  They are observing adult Boxwood Leafminers that infested this section of boxwoods in Gail Gee's beautiful garden.  Learning how to protect boxwood against Boxwood leafminer (Diptera) and the daunting fungal pathogen called Boxwood Blight (Cylindrocladium buxicola) is essential to maintaining the boxwood we install.

ROSELLA'S FERN GROVE IN THE EAST VILLAGE

  Rosella's interior design is clean with bare textures and a lush green wall made up of ferns.

Rosella's interior design is clean with bare textures and a lush green wall made up of ferns.

Rosella is a coffee shop that wanted to offer their clients something to enjoy whilst getting their morning cup of joe - a fuzzy, ferny, lush, tropical green wall.  A very unique and unexpected element for a coffee shop to add but it seems to have been adopted by the neighborhood.   People walk in all day and visit it, like a favorite neighborhood dog.  

Rosella's fern grove in the East Village is made up of Selaginella, Heart Ferns (Hemionitis arifolia), Silver Brake Ferns (Pteris cretica 'Mayi'), and Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus).

PEACHES IN THE BIG APPLE

Jean asked me to help save his plants.  He had purchased the property with a large rooftop terrace.  The previous owners were home everyday so there was no irrigation system other than hand watering.   There was a period of time without any occupancy - and it unfortunately occurred during a heatwave.  

There were two maple trees, two crepe myrtle shrubs, six hydrangeas, and a peach tree.  I could see that there were about a dozen peaches on this tree with dried burnt leaves.  My team set up irrigation, then gently fed the plants over a few weeks.  I could see the peaches get larger.  They looked beautiful!  

When I met with Jean to discuss the terrace, the peaches were ripe on the tree.  Jean graciously invited me to try one.  The peach was so juicy and sweet - it was the best I had all summer!  A delicious, fabulous fresh peach grown above the streets of 14th street in New York City!  Gotta love it!

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HUMMINGBIRDS AND MAMA BIRDS IN HARLEM ROOFTOPS

There is a certain kind of joy in having a rooftop garden.  I hear it from my clients.  Clients call me to share their happiness from their first summer blooms, or how grand their grasses looked during their fall parties. 

But Jacqui is Harlem's rooftop gardener princess.  She had a hummingbird visiting the bright pink flowers on her mandevilla vine she planted.  I always remind her of that so she keeps mandevillas on her annual plant list each year.  Then she sends me this awesome photo of three beautiful eggs in a little bird's nest she found in one of her Leyland Cypresses.  That summer she witnessed a mama bird raise her little babies till they all flew away.