Flower Magazine

MAY-JUN 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

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M AY/J U N E 2 0 1 9 | 81 CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: In the Himalayan birch allée, a ground cover of Vinca minor 'Alba' (white periwinkle) grows at the base of the trees. • A Regency-style garden urn, circa 1890, holds a foxtail fern. • Lilacs at the west end of the apple orchard drape a bench inspired by a historic gate at the house's original site. • A high hedge of European hornbeam surrounds the entry's pea stone forecourt. aerial shots. With her team of gardeners, three full-time individuals with similar energies ("we do business on a handshake," she says), she was ready to begin the challenging conservation, which would take many years. "As with all things Mother Nature, you can't rush it," she says. It took up to eight years alone to thin and remove deadwood and research suppliers for replanting. In her kitchen, a bookshelf houses her copious, detailed garden journals. "I had some lively conversations with Nancy Turner about her experiences with Mr. Steele," says McGrain. "I spent hundreds of hours scouring the blueprints Mrs. Turner left for me, along with the drawings in the library at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (the site of Steele's archives). But more importantly, I threw myself Wellie-boot- deep into the garden itself. That's where it all became clear to me: This journey will be one of the most rewarding projects of my life." Armed with a tape measure and string, she walked and charted the allées, using a pair of European beech trees on the east and west allées as her sentinels. She discovered Steele's "good bones," the journey through his "rooms," false-perspective allées, and the apple varieties long forgotten. McGrain began her hard work making lots of coffeepot decisions, as she calls them. "I knew my garden could stand on its own once again," she says. Today, there is the dance of the seasons, starting in spring, when thousands of daffodils carpet the apple orchard. The crescendo of

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