My Stone Castle


my castle life | blog

- G A R D E N I N G -


welcome to the garden

I have learned, from years of good intentions and naivete, that more is not always better. That certainly applies to gardens. But brown, untended earth, is a petri dish for weeds and regret, and that’s no fun either. So it's a delicate balance. I have learned to ask myself some important questions when planning a garden. Questions like: How much time do I have to manage it? (This is why I leave vegetable gardening to my friends and local farmers market; my time is precious.) How often will I enjoy it? What is the feeling I want to create? Is there water and a hose nearby?

In addition to the physical and mental work, there is also the financial factor. Gardening is expensive!! Money doesn’t grow on trees, and it certainly doesn’t grow in the garden. Plant materials, containers, fertilizer, tools, plumbing, hard scaping, and furniture can really add up. There have been times that I have grown tomatoes that, in the end, cost me $150.00 each. It’s nuts! However, I am a slave to garden aesthetics, gorgeous blooms, seasonal foliage, texture, color, depth and statuary. I also love the work. Early spring planning eases into digging in warm soil, planting and watering and waiting for the blooms to pop. Being a dirt monkey doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it runs in my family. My 89 year-old mom (who is currently quaranting with me) gets up every morning, gathers her bag of tools, tucks her socks in her pant legs (a tick defense move) and digs in. She wields a mean rake and trowel and can be found tucked into hillsides, along streams and in overgrown beds, pulling and clipping and raking. I grew from that stock. As self-appointed head gardener at the castle, I have carved out a few spots, begging for attention, that will provide me with enjoyment throughout the summer. They are patios, terraces, hillside, stream edges and garden beds that have been neglected and overgrown for years. This spring is a fresh start. Last year, we focused on clearing the overgrowth. 

This year, it's a chance to create and reclaim.

My springtime mission is to fill the dozens of planters, pots, and urns that grace my stone walls, terraces, and courtyard. My mandate is to make them   balanced yet unique, memorable yet harmonious.  I learned from a wise gardener, my mom, that a good planter has three components: a thriller, a filler, and a spiller.  […]

a spring rampage   Where does inspiration come from? For me, it’s the seasons, the land, and my local market.  My husband also has a big say in what looks good so we share meal planning.  He chooses the main course and I curate and cook the meal. Today he came home with beautiful fresh […]

Centerstage is always the star. The jewel of the property, the Central Courtyard has been a focal and gathering point for the Castle at Cornwall for a century.  It is back-dropped by the castle on one side and pine-covered mountains and waterfall on the other.  The dark greenish blues of the pines and the gray-green […]

The Gold Standard   The builder of the Cornwall Castle, Charlotte Martin’s, first foray into architecture was Turtle Bay Gardens, a series of 19 brownstones in New York that she bought in 1918 to turn into an enclave for New York’s artistic and literary set. Her creation still stands today along East 49th street, and […]

Rise and Shine! Morning sun pours into this nook outside the kitchen door and, before the house stirs, I can grab a few minutes of quiet time before I start my day.  My WiFi actually works out here . . . the only outdoor spot on the estate where I get a signal. I think […]

Whistle While You Work In addition to being HGIC (head gardener in charge), I am also the castle servant. I cook, shop, clean, wash, and putter. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I have dedicated this garden to myself on behalf of all housewives and househusbands everywhere, tasked with the daily maintenance of […]

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