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July 19, 2023 44 mins

Whether you're an apartment dweller or have an outdoor space, there are ways to exercise your green thumb. In this episode, Martha talks with two people who share her passion for gardening; her head gardener, Ryan McCallister, and Martha Stewart brand Creative Director and co-author of Martha’s Flowers, Kevin Sharkey. Ryan oversees Martha's extensive gardens in his job. Kevin works with plants at Martha's estates and cultivates houseplants in his New York City apartment. They talk with Martha about strategies for tending to houseplants, trees and vegetables, and adapting plant care during extreme weather swings. Listen to learn tips to help you cultivate your own garden, wherever it may be.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Ryan gets how many little texts do you get from
me in a day?

Speaker 2 (00:02):
I don't get any little text. I get a lot
of long text I have to scroll to read.

Speaker 1 (00:16):
Hello everyone, this is Martha Stewart and you're listening to
the Martha Stewart Podcast. We had just finished a wonderful
lunch with a whole group of garden minded people and
I said, Kevin Sharky and Ryan McAllister please join me
on my podcast. And guess what they accepted, and they

are sitting with me here in the library of Maple Avenue.
Thank you guys for for doing this at such short notice.

Speaker 3 (00:43):
It was an invitation we couldn't refuse, absolutely, especially the
lunch you gave us.

Speaker 1 (00:51):
I was not going to but but we had a
very nice lunch. And Ryan, thank you so much. Because
Ryan and I and several other people have been growing
the most incredible vegetables this year in our new beautiful
raised bed vegetable garden that used to be the Donkey Paddock,
and so today we had for lunch we had a

green risotto with fresh peas and beautiful braised kind of
sauteed artichoke hearts, everything from the garden. And we also
started with a large bowl of borshed beet soup and
what a delicious borsh with that smashed potato on top,
and then a dil infused sour cream, and then we

had for dessert the Piesta Resistance, which were two sorbets.
One was black currant because I grow black currants, unusual
because most gardeners don't have black curtains currants, And in
many states black currants are forbidden because they have some like.

Speaker 2 (01:55):
A blister rust. For a long time they thought it
was it's not.

Speaker 1 (01:59):
Okay, what is that?

Speaker 4 (02:02):
It was like a mildew on fur trees.

Speaker 5 (02:03):
It was something that was killing the evergreen, so they
tied them together. It was outlawed for decades.

Speaker 1 (02:08):
So now, but I've always had black currents, and you
rust on any of my evergreen trees. I've seen other
things other trees, but not on evergreen. So Kevin and
Ryan are both very interested in horticulture, very very interested
in house plants, garden plants, landscape design. Kevin even admitted

at lunch when we went around the table describing our past,
that he had even contemplating becoming a landscape designer. Why
don't you talk about that, Kevin?

Speaker 3 (02:39):
I always had a garden when I was when I
was young, and I loved growing things from seed. I
remember the first thing I grew from Steed was sweet William,
and I love Sweet William to this day. So I
got a job at the arm BARBERATAM in Massachusetts in
Boston so that I could really get to experience all
facets of the whole landscape architecture program pursuit. And after

doing every possible job that a young teenager could do
at the arboretum, I decided that architecture was more what
I was really interested. I loved being in the outside,
but I had too much curiosity. I need to I
needed to explore a bunch of other things. But it
was great to work at an arboretum, and I would
encourage anybody who lives near an arboretum to become a
member of that arboretum and also to visit it frequently.

And most of them offer incredible education programs and things
like that. It can make the difference in a young
person's life one way.

Speaker 1 (03:34):
Or the other.

Speaker 3 (03:35):
So it wasn't as if I abandoned it, because I
know that one day I will have a guard.

Speaker 1 (03:39):
And then he went off and became an interior designer
working with Sister Parish and Elbert Cadley, and then came
to work for us. But at all times, Kevin has
always been a flower arranger. He has always had a
lot of plants or kids, especially in his own home.

Is now branched out in his beautiful apartment to much
larger specimen house plants. Yes, described that a little bit.

Speaker 3 (04:08):
Well. You know, when I first moved into the apartment,
I had giant philodendron is it monstrosa.

Speaker 2 (04:16):
The giant, the giant one. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (04:18):
Yeah, the ones that we have now because where's the babysitters.

Speaker 2 (04:21):
We split it up.

Speaker 1 (04:22):
We get what Kevin doesn't want, which I always take
because I know that we can make something out of
these disasters.

Speaker 3 (04:30):
I remember I started working for Martha in the magazine
and she, you know, one of one of the many
great pieces of advice she gave us when we were
styling pictures was I don't want to see a picture
of a bunch of things. You have to put some
life into it, so that you do with plants and
pets and things like that. So my apartment is quite large,
and it gets a ton of light. And so when

I moved in there I got a philodendron monstrosa. It
seems so strange to say.

Speaker 5 (04:54):
That that's two different plants. Yes, okay, philodendron, philodendron. Okay,
split leaf got so big?

Speaker 1 (05:01):
Split I remember when it got so big you were
actually attaching it to the ceiling.

Speaker 3 (05:07):
I did, and with fishing twine, thumb tacks, thumb tax
And what was that horrible storm we had? Sandy? Was
it standing?

Speaker 1 (05:16):

Speaker 2 (05:16):

Speaker 3 (05:17):
The way I knew Sandy was really happening was I
went to the living room window and I looked outside
and the Hudson River. I couldn't figure out where it
ended because it didn't end. It came right into our building.
But I also the building was twisting, torquing, and so
the tax were coming out of the ceiling. So anyway,
now I'm into palms and I'm not having a ton

of success, I don't think, but I'm trying. I have
a source that called Foliage Garden where I buy the palms,
but I don't know if everything's right in the right place.

Speaker 4 (05:52):
It gets tons of light. I just had to figure out.

Speaker 1 (05:54):
I don't think it had. I think even though it's
been rainy and gray, and I don't think the palms
are They don't get enough air.

Speaker 2 (06:04):
They're not great indoors.

Speaker 1 (06:05):
They do not like air conditioning.

Speaker 2 (06:08):
Oh really it's too cold.

Speaker 1 (06:10):
Yeah, oh god, they do not like air conditioning.

Speaker 4 (06:13):
I don't like hot I don't but yeah.

Speaker 1 (06:18):
But there are other plants that would do better. You
should look around at my plants and there might be
something here that that he could.

Speaker 3 (06:25):
I do feel guilty when a plant dies. It's like,
I'm responsible for the life of this plant. And when
Martha introduced me to this quote, you know, not that
long ago about you know, do you feed your plants
and people don't even know you have to feed them?

Speaker 4 (06:36):
And she said, well, did you eat? And the plant
has to you.

Speaker 3 (06:39):
So you're responsible to drink the plants drink, right, So
I can't.

Speaker 1 (06:44):
I cannot eat in the morning unless I look at
all my plants and see if they need anything first conscience.
The same with my pets. I mean, my cat gets
fed first, then my dogs, then my plants. Then I Yeah,
that's it.

Speaker 3 (07:00):
Well, I have a feeling I'll be making another contribution
to the Library of Beautiful Plants.

Speaker 5 (07:07):
Oh that's why you cleared the whole table for for
the restic heaven stuff.

Speaker 1 (07:11):
But did you see how well the palms are doing that?
I just transplanted on the green terrace outside the green room,
I know, Oh.

Speaker 4 (07:18):
Yeah, yeah yeah, we just looked at those.

Speaker 2 (07:20):
Yeah yeah.

Speaker 1 (07:22):
Did you see how beautiful they are?

Speaker 2 (07:23):
They leaved out, they're green again? Well in a week
do they do that though?

Speaker 4 (07:27):
The leaves come out that quickly?

Speaker 1 (07:29):
Well in this kind of weather, this is their weather.
We're experiencing here in Bedford, temperatures in the nineties with
ninety plus percent humidity for days on that for days
and days, and last yesterday ten inches of rain and
then was it really ten inches and inches? So it's
really bad bad. But palms is their thing.

Speaker 5 (07:53):
They sulk inside all winter long and they don't push
out any leaves or anything.

Speaker 2 (07:56):
They just sit there.

Speaker 3 (07:57):
Well, these are these were not inexpensive palms. I felt
really guilty writing down here with Martha because she has
the most beautiful date palms. The forms are amazing, is
that what they are? Date palms?

Speaker 1 (08:10):

Speaker 3 (08:10):
Oh my god, they're so beautiful. I have three date
palms that are just screaming to be let own. So
I think the terrace is doing really well because I
did exactly what you told me to do. I put
two syd cats. I have two planters on my terrace.
Unfortunately they're very shallow, but my terrace is big. So
I put two sycats, one sycat in each, and then

underneath it I planted Creeping Jenny and so it's hanging
Outia and I have a feeling I asked you today
because your Lisamakia has perfect green. Mine has some brown
around the edges. And I've been in Europe a couple
of weeks.

Speaker 1 (08:47):
At one point it can be dry brown, you told me,
kind of discolored. They're just colored and brownish, and then
it's probably dry.

Speaker 2 (08:55):
From what's on the terrace.

Speaker 5 (08:56):
You get all that extra exposure son when so it's
from that to.

Speaker 2 (08:59):
Keep it water.

Speaker 3 (09:00):
So that's what I'm having success with so far. And
that they see I was. The psychads seemed to be
very very happy. I got them on the flower market
for sixty five dollars each, which was great, and I
bought two backups just in case. You know what I'm
dying to see. I can't wait to go up to
the pool garden. I want to see all my.

Speaker 2 (09:17):
Oh we put your Fameilia ads familiar.

Speaker 4 (09:18):
Ads that's like a success story.

Speaker 2 (09:20):
They have been looking so perfectly.

Speaker 1 (09:22):
Oh good. These are bromeliads that are kind of grayish
and greenish patterned leaves, and they're they're round leaves.

Speaker 5 (09:30):
The round ones are in a bunch of the planters
around the pool. And then you remember the other ones
from trade Secrets years ago, the great cholaisy ones. We
put those in the front, two of them, I think,
right in front of the ones with the pink flowers. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (09:41):
Yeah, those are beautiful.

Speaker 3 (09:42):
So I'm happy to be home because I did worry
that my dormen were watering too much, like I.

Speaker 4 (09:48):
Do it once a week. I don't know if that's enough,
but that's what I do.

Speaker 1 (09:51):
Generally, your plants do very well, and your orchids do
very well.

Speaker 3 (09:54):
Yeah, I mean I was boarding my orchids somewhere for
a very long time, and I wonder if that's why
they did, because I think if I kept in my apartment,
might be.

Speaker 1 (10:02):
You you can't keep them in your apartment. But now
Kevin has a section of one of my benches on
which I placed all his boarding orchids and they look okay.

Speaker 2 (10:12):
They just have to be.

Speaker 1 (10:13):
Fed once a week and they have to be, you
might have to come up and repot some of them.

Speaker 3 (10:19):
I was so mortified because your orchids are insane.

Speaker 1 (10:24):
Yes they are.

Speaker 3 (10:24):
And one day I came up here and the cat
leaas were all over the sitting room.

Speaker 4 (10:30):
And I was just like, it's insanity.

Speaker 3 (10:33):
How you get the greenest leaves and they're so clean
and so shiny, and mine looked like a dented Kia
just showed up. So anyway, I'm hoping by osmosis that
my plants will get better.

Speaker 4 (10:46):
But I am a big fan of house plants.

Speaker 1 (10:49):
So you can see what our conversation veers towards oftentimes,
and we do talk about plants. We do talk about
the care of plants, and we do talk about our
love of plant and it's fun. Now I want to
ask Ryan about his own personal garden, So describe the
whole place and what it was like when you got it.

Speaker 5 (11:09):
Since I have so much here to work with, is
do I want a large yard or a small yard?
So the houses is not small, it's four stories, it's big,
so the front yard isn't that big, and the backyard's
small enough for me to play in and do stuff.
But I don't have to take care of tons of stuff.
I can go mow the whole.

Speaker 1 (11:23):
Backyard in like under an hour, so you have grass,
have grass.

Speaker 5 (11:26):
I ripped everything out of the front all the grass,
and then the backyard I ripped all the edges out
and made beds. And then the next year I took
him in like another foot or stuff. And I want
to continue more. I was told not to, but I'm
going to do it.

Speaker 1 (11:40):
Yeah, but the front yard now, Ryan is at Ryan
Mcallister're on Instagram? Are you on threads? Now? Not yet?

Speaker 2 (11:49):
Always let people do it. They asked you. They were
sending you like why are you not on this?

Speaker 1 (11:54):
And that's what I did. I got some requests why
aren't you on threads?

Speaker 4 (11:57):
How much time is that going to take?

Speaker 1 (11:59):
No, it's not going to check time. I'm on threads.
I'm I don't want to get onto that yet. But
I'm only going to do tips. Okay, tip number one
on chip. I'm on chip number five.

Speaker 4 (12:08):
And it's just a quick tip, like a thing.

Speaker 1 (12:10):
Chip of a good good homekeeping chip.

Speaker 2 (12:13):

Speaker 1 (12:13):
So it's gonna be fun because I love.

Speaker 2 (12:15):
Doing one to day or whenever you want, oh, whenever.

Speaker 1 (12:17):
I feel like it. So Okay, you're back here. Your
front yard is so colorful. It's a mixture of shrubs, bulbs,
and plants.

Speaker 5 (12:25):
Yeah, I go crazy with the bulbs, but it was
I ripped all the grass out and then I mixed it,
like I'll try different things that aren't supposed to go together.
So I interplanted roses and azaleas in the whole thing.
It was around the same time we started doing all
the azelias here and we were talking about I'm like,
all right, so I put them all there, and I
make sure they're all different kinds so they bloom over
along a period of time. It's nice having a whole

garden that's colored like one color at once.

Speaker 2 (12:47):
But it's like in.

Speaker 1 (12:48):
Stretch blooming in it right now in that front yard.

Speaker 2 (12:50):
In the front there's not much because it's been hot.

Speaker 5 (12:52):
Some of the roses are blooming and the lilies are
just finishing, and I have a few dahlias that are
popping up and stuff.

Speaker 2 (12:58):
So it's kind of like half and half right now.

Speaker 5 (13:01):
But the sun kind of pushed everything quickly, right, But
these alias lasted for a long time, and I have
tons of bulbs in there that's mainly in spring. There's
tulips and daffodils and all kinds of little.

Speaker 2 (13:12):
Bulbs that come up. There's claudiolas that are just starting
the bloom right now.

Speaker 3 (13:15):
Can I ask you a question, and this is a
question for both of you, So today when we were
doing the garden tour, what Adam asked a question about
aliums and you said something about tulips or somebody. It's
a ball obviously, but they're not like daffodils. They don't
get better every single year, or do they.

Speaker 2 (13:31):
They don't alium No, they fade.

Speaker 5 (13:34):
Tulips fade quickly, like you get a good year of tulips,
sometimes the second year, depending the variety, and that's it.
There's exceptions, but they tend to fade over the years.
Daffodils kind of multiply and you get more and more
as the years go on. Yeah, not all of them,
the smaller ones and there's ones you can buy specifically
for naturalizing. Aliums are in between. There's some that come
back every year. The larger ones we get a couple

good years out of them, longer than tulips, but then
they start to kind of fade as well. So we're
always playing year this year though, but the key is
also variety, mixing the different varieties and to stretch the season.
It's not like you planted one hundred of the exact
same kind, so they all bloom in a week or
two and then you're done. Like we had them blooming
for over two months because we had half a dozen

at least different varieties.

Speaker 1 (14:16):
And now Ryan, they have to be dead headed.

Speaker 3 (14:20):
That's just you.

Speaker 2 (14:21):
Know, just clipping the clip the box. You can't pull
it if you call it, don't. You have to go
to the bottom, clip down. We have to dig in there.

Speaker 5 (14:30):
And then also in the pergola, all the lilies are
coming up, so you have to go in between all
the tiger lilies like an obstacle course.

Speaker 2 (14:36):
Are we saving any of this year to dry?

Speaker 1 (14:37):
Or No? I don't want any. I just want to
We've been there, done that. I want to do something
else camasia.

Speaker 4 (14:44):
But also have been there done that?

Speaker 2 (14:46):
Oh Yeah, that was that? That's like, that's so prolific.
That's yeah.

Speaker 1 (14:51):
If you're looking for a good almost ground cover, a
very early blue bill like flowers on tall stalks, plant comas.
It's also comes in a pinkish it.

Speaker 5 (15:02):
Comes in people that's read there's a couple different shades
of blue. There's a darker blue, a lighter blue, almost
a purple kind of color. But the blue shades are
the same. But their foliage states for a long time.
Alliums come up, and before the flower even comes, the
foliage is already half dead. The camasia looks nice and
to dark green. In the States, you took all the
lawn off your front. Isn't that big what he's doing.

Speaker 1 (15:21):
And there was a smallish front yard, but it's very charming,
very it's small.

Speaker 2 (15:25):
So I ripped all that out.

Speaker 5 (15:26):
And then the next one I did was the little
that little devil strip in the front. Everyone else has grass,
and I'm the last house on the street, so I
just ripped the grass out there too.

Speaker 2 (15:33):
And I did a few bushes into two devil strip.

Speaker 5 (15:36):
Yeah, that little piece between the sidewalk and the that's
what they're called why because the devils has to step
over it because they're like nothing ever really grows.

Speaker 2 (15:43):
And there's terms it.

Speaker 5 (15:45):
In the South, that's what they always call them, and
back home, that's what they call them. There's that little
that little you know, three foot sea what you're talking about,
And like the city owns it that you have to
take care of it. People walk by all the time,
so like I didn't put fancy stuff there because I
can see people don't walk by and look at stuff.
For the little kids pick stuff. So I when I
put roses and stuff there, I put like the landscape
ones like if they pick it or mess with it,
I don't care, right do that, but it's colorful.

Speaker 1 (16:06):
I just and everybody respects your front yard.

Speaker 5 (16:10):
Oh, everybody comes over and asks me questions and they
see me out there doing it. And I do stuff
at night. I mean here during the day, but I've
always done stuff at night. I have like a little
headlamp that I wear. It so stupid, it's so dumb,
but they laugh and me, they think I'm crazy. I
have like a little headlamp, like a little miner's headlamp,
and it's like ten o'clock at night in the dark.
And you know how when you're like wake up in
the middle of night to go to the bathroom, even
though you're half asleep, you kind of know how your

room is in the layout. So I'm like that out
there at night, so I know what's where even though
you can't see plant. I have a picture of it.

Speaker 2 (16:37):
It looks so dumb.

Speaker 4 (16:39):
Do you identify the plants like the way Martha does it?

Speaker 2 (16:42):
No, I just no, No, it's just I just do it.
So I'm planting.

Speaker 5 (16:44):
I'm like out there planting extra stuff because especially in
the like in the fall, when it's like bulb season,
it's dark by the time I get home. And there
was some in the back, and whoever planted stuff there
didn't know how to put stuff. So I dug the
half dozen of eves out of the back and move
them to the front. Then I just filled that with
all kinds of stuff, and I'll put nice of stuff
back there, Like I like roses a lot, so the

fancy roses and all that stuff I put in there.
As some days there they haven't bloomed yet, lillies.

Speaker 2 (17:08):
And I pack it.

Speaker 5 (17:09):
I put way too much stuff in there because I
like to just see what grows, and that way, if
something dies, there's other stuff in there to fill it in.

Speaker 2 (17:16):
I have a bunch of hydranges in there.

Speaker 3 (17:18):
Is that your method to like with trees, especially when
you do beds of trees, which you do, is that
it's the intention to see what will live and because
not everything does.

Speaker 1 (17:28):
No. No, I plant more systematically than that, trying to
put trees in the correct places and trees that grow
taller in the back if it has back. But I
just got this big shipment from Monrovia on the Friday,
Friday Friday, lots of plants, many many plants. So I've
been thinking, oh weekend about where are they going to go?

Speaker 2 (17:50):
That's the thing.

Speaker 5 (17:51):
She has the room so she can make the big
groves of stuff or give everything I.

Speaker 1 (17:56):
Can, you know, bring it out another foot or two
and it'll be nice. But what's exciting about for me
for gardening is that it's always changing and things grow
in ways that you don't even anticipate. I mean, I
I can't believe how big our trees are and they've
gone so quickly. And yeah this this this year, all

the rain and the and the heat they are really
putting on inches.

Speaker 2 (18:21):
Is it a leap year?

Speaker 3 (18:22):
Do they do that?

Speaker 4 (18:23):
Is it like every other?

Speaker 5 (18:24):
The sleep creeping leap not leap not leave here?

Speaker 1 (18:31):
Nothing to.

Speaker 5 (18:34):
The gardener saying leap here. And you plant something that
like sleeps the first year that when it explodes out
and pick stuff.

Speaker 1 (18:41):
So we are We've had a lot of success with
the with the growth in the gardens. But we're also
experiencing massive weed infestation because of the heat and this humidity.

Speaker 2 (18:52):
And stuff's burning out quick too, like the cabbage and
barcoli come up.

Speaker 1 (18:55):
And did I tell you I got I went to
Maine for the weekend, and boy, oh boy, was there
a lot to do. But on the terrace, all that
beautiful creeping time with the little purple flowers, it has
mildew on it.

Speaker 3 (19:09):
The mold, the old one of the new stuff we
plant both is it because it's too rainy.

Speaker 2 (19:15):
Too wet.

Speaker 1 (19:16):
They have not had sun for twenty seven days. Wow,
So that's really a different climate from ours here. But
also you know, scary, it's scary that no sun for
twenty six or twenty seven days. That's unusual.

Speaker 3 (19:31):
And then didn't wasn't the planet just registered at its
highest temperature ever. Yes, three days in a row.

Speaker 1 (19:38):
It's really really scary.

Speaker 5 (19:41):
Yeah, everything's swapped. Like back home it's always dry. We
got more rain than ever back in California. Here was
the opposite.

Speaker 2 (19:47):
It's like everything's flip flopping.

Speaker 1 (19:57):
Kevin, what do you like most about my garden? You know,
you're you you spend a lot of time in the
garden when you're here. Kevin is my picker. I allow
him to pick.

Speaker 2 (20:08):
He's thoroughly trained.

Speaker 1 (20:12):
Here's the vase. I want something in this vase that
he's allowed to pick. But Ryan also picks. But Kevin,
you do the best job of picking.

Speaker 3 (20:20):
I think Lily Pond, I tell this story all the time.
Martha's going to get bored of hearing me say it.
But the first time I went out to Lily Pond,
it was that at that time it was.

Speaker 4 (20:29):
A rose primarily a rose garden.

Speaker 3 (20:31):
And I went through the gates and on the left
hand side were three or four, maybe six pear trees
that were I never get this correct. Is it pollarded? No,
they were shaped, they had trunks, and they they were
like big lollipops. Top they were kind of like topis,
but they were like two stories tall, and you had

trained these climbing roses up them, and they just had
spear you know.

Speaker 4 (20:56):
It was just like a water work of all roses.
I thought, is that a rose tree?

Speaker 3 (21:00):
And again, I've worked on breedom, so I'm not a
complete idiot, and I was just blown away by the
whimsy of that.

Speaker 4 (21:06):
I thought that was amazing. So that was Lily Pond.

Speaker 2 (21:09):
Turkey Hill.

Speaker 4 (21:10):
I loved Monet's Garden.

Speaker 3 (21:12):
That you were able to approximate that was like for
me the best I couldn't.

Speaker 4 (21:16):
That was like watching magic.

Speaker 2 (21:17):

Speaker 3 (21:18):
It was just incredible to see how those Siberian iris
and the poppies and all of that came together and
were like suspended in air. So that was my first
sort of training in Martha Martha with Martha. Then coming
to Bedford and seeing you're like Lenotre. Yeah, you've got
big plans and a big canvas and all of that,

but what I really love are these vistas that you're
creating with these sightlines with trees. It's just amazing to
me to see someone embrace trees in such a way.
And I think part of the success of now what
you're doing with trees is you're starting things so small,
so you really got these strong, strong thing So it's

nice to watch that kind of growth happen.

Speaker 1 (22:03):
Well. When I own my house on Lily Pond Lane
in East Hampton, there was a very good bookseller called
Glenn Horowitz who dealt in rare books and I would
buy rare garden books from him, and I would spend
my allowance, myself imposed allowance at his store. I went
every week to see what else I needed, and I

did buy, I think a second edition of Sir Humphrey
Repton's eighteen eleven edition of his Garden Design book. And
it's a two volume book. It is one of the
most beautiful books I own. And I remember paying, you know,
like a phenomenal amount. But I had to have this

book because in the book our overlays, so he will
there's like watercolor ink drawings of a beautiful home as is.
Then you pick up just the house and or just
the grounds, you pick up this little overlay. That's another
piece of papers, all hand cut, all hand pasted in

the book, and underneath is Sir Humphreys rendering of what
he would do with the property. So he will take
away all the trees and he will put a lake
in and that was his way of his blueprint. And
then it goes on and on. Some of them have
three or four overlays.

Speaker 3 (23:24):
And was it to explain to someone here's what you'll
get in two years, that's what you'll get in five.

Speaker 1 (23:29):
It was really more like, this is what you'll get.
Different versions of what you could get for his price
and his plan, and boy, it was so fantastic. But
then I read a lot of his writing too, and
what he talked about were allays of trees as a
mode of access of vision. So your eye is taken

down that row of trees to something, to a point
in the distance. And so I've been thinking about that
ever since I read that book. And you learn a
lot from accomplished landscape designers who worked without drones. They
worked without helicopters, without airplanes, no bird's eye view. They
had to think up the bird's eye.

Speaker 5 (24:11):
View because now we're using drones and stuff, and that's great.
Here we can see how the product and how straight
we are online.

Speaker 1 (24:18):
And they didn't even really had they had primitive surveyor's
tools in those days. But somehow they got those lines
straight and they got the whole idea of symmetry and
access of vision. They got it right measuring string and sticks,
string right and sticks.

Speaker 3 (24:36):
It's the simplest thing, but you know, it's I think
it's a mystery to most people. Like when you guys,
when you do it here, when you did it for
the vegetable garden, when you've done it for other things,
it's just amazing. But I don't think people think that elemental.

Speaker 5 (24:50):
They immediately want to go in to like start digging,
to start digging, put into plants.

Speaker 2 (24:54):
Like if you're baking something, you don't just put the
greens in the others. You need to do it in order.

Speaker 5 (24:58):
And certain techniques the same with that. You have to
set all your foundation and everything up first. The plants
are like not the after spot, but they're not the
first thought.

Speaker 1 (25:05):
Oh, but it was. It was such an eye opener
to get a book like that and realize mistakes you
had made with possibilities for the future. And and so
this place, this farm, has been such a godsend to
me because it gives me an opportunity no matter which
direction I look in to plant. Because there's so much

to plant now. The big problem is getting people to
weed it and take care of it.

Speaker 2 (25:31):
Ryan taking care of it.

Speaker 1 (25:33):
The dahlias, Ryan, are weed infested just.

Speaker 2 (25:38):
Because they're so early. We're way ahead.

Speaker 1 (25:40):
Right now, but we need to get those weeds out
of there tomorrow. Make note, Make note. But Ryan gets
how many how many little texts do you get from
me in a day?

Speaker 2 (25:49):
I don't get any little texts. I get a lot
of long text I have to scroll to read.

Speaker 1 (25:57):
But these are the lists that you do lists. What's
your favorite part about gardening, Kevin?

Speaker 3 (26:03):
When we went up to Maine for Memorial Day weekend,
I bought a whole bunch of African violets. Someone I
brought came back into the city and you brought them in.
I sat on my terrace with you know, this planter's
Matt and I had.

Speaker 4 (26:14):
To repot them all.

Speaker 3 (26:15):
That was fun just doing it was fun having my
hands in the dirt. And everybody thinks I'm so fancy,
but I actually like doing things like that. I would
make a terrific weeder. I like leaving someplace cleaner than
I found it.

Speaker 4 (26:30):
And I like the you know, immediate sign.

Speaker 1 (26:35):
Yeah, and I have and I have some nice new gloves.

Speaker 3 (26:39):
I'm also very decorative, so there are certain things that
I have an eye for where you know, things can go.

Speaker 1 (26:45):
What's your favorite part, Ryan?

Speaker 5 (26:48):
I like vegetable gardens. That's my favorite.

Speaker 1 (26:52):
His attitude has changed since our new one. Described the
new one.

Speaker 2 (26:56):
Well, the new one is great because it's it's raised beds.
It is easy. We're having with the old one. We had, like.

Speaker 5 (27:01):
After a few years or number of years, you're going
to change them up a little bit. And we were
at that point with with the one we had, and
so the new one's fantastic. It's new soil, new beds,
I can new sun exposure, so I don't have all
the problems you have. After a number of years, I
can now it's in the experimental phase. I can figure
out what's growing well where and stuff, and it's great.

Speaker 4 (27:23):
What are you going to do with the old one?

Speaker 2 (27:24):
There's stuff in there, there's squashing, well, there's.

Speaker 1 (27:26):
Pumpkin squashed on one side, and corn. But corn is
is really weedy.

Speaker 5 (27:32):
That's why I planted corn in the new garden as well.

Speaker 2 (27:34):
Double thank you.

Speaker 4 (27:36):
It's right there.

Speaker 2 (27:36):
But it's growing. It's like crazy in this in the
in the old one.

Speaker 3 (27:40):
So do you take it like at some point where
you decommission it and then let the chickens have it
for a while or put the donkeys in there, or.

Speaker 1 (27:47):
Chickens and the chickens will the chickens will feast in
there after the pumpk is I are they growing well?
The pumpkers I forgot.

Speaker 2 (27:53):
So so fast. Some of that new seed that you
the first.

Speaker 3 (27:56):
Year I've ever heard this because every year I hear
Martha say, where might pumpkins?

Speaker 5 (28:01):
Because we move them around every year, they've got different spots.
And then the past couple of years we had all
the rain. This year we have none, so then there's
always something. So this year they're going great.

Speaker 1 (28:08):
So far, well, I just want to have some really
big Turkey Hill size pumpkins this year because I never
grew better pumpkins than at Turkey Hill.

Speaker 4 (28:18):
What's your favorite part of gardening?

Speaker 1 (28:20):
My favorite part is actually conceptualizing finding plant material. I
really like to look for plant material. I like to
go to all the nurseries in Maine. Oh. I found
three weeping camperdown oh over the weekend at Surrey Gardens,
and I bought three the three. One is smaller than

the other two, like a nice matched pair. So think
of where a matched pair of camperdowns can go here? Okay, okay,
I'm going to bring them here and one smaller one.

Speaker 5 (28:53):
At least one if it's depending on the size, by
the house, by the new paths and stuff in there. Yeah, probably,
especially say, everything lost all the shade when you cut
down all the spruce, so it's sunny, so having something
there will a.

Speaker 1 (29:04):
Little bit and then and it already has two in front.

Speaker 2 (29:07):
By that house has one side I would match nice, it.

Speaker 1 (29:10):
Might be beautiful, and so I like doing that. I like
finding the material.

Speaker 5 (29:15):
Plant shopping is one of the most fun things to
do with Martha. We have plans like be it a
plant sale, a store, whatever.

Speaker 2 (29:21):
We have.

Speaker 5 (29:21):
All these little plans are like when you go to
trade secrets and she goes through so quickly. It's like
been like five minutes and she's already picked out a
thousand things and it's done.

Speaker 2 (29:28):
It's so much fun.

Speaker 1 (29:30):
My bad habit, but but I just I really do
love to buy buy new plants and different plants, and
keep records of them and see how they grow. And
I love to make a new garden. And now I'm
fixing up the ten in house garden here in Bedford.
And Pete and Fernando, these are two guys who have
worked for me for quite a few years. They are

building the nicest, nicest past.

Speaker 3 (29:54):
Fantastic and they're having a great time doing it, smiles
on their faces. I've been a great well.

Speaker 1 (30:00):
We're eliminating grass as much as I can. I want
to get rid of the grass here because I'd rather
have plants. It is you know, it's a lot of weeding,
but it's easier than mowing in a funny way, easier
than mowing, and it enables us to get even more
plant variety in the gardens here. I like diversity and

a variety.

Speaker 2 (30:22):
Which is better because plants all get sick. But like grass,
you gets sick.

Speaker 5 (30:24):
The whole thing gets sick and it looks ugly like
if plant. You have a whole garden, you know, something
might get sick, but it's not the whole thing, and
it doesn't spread.

Speaker 3 (30:31):
It's not as much problem many things as dying here
when they get too big. How do you because you
could basically open up your own nursery if you wanted to,
between the paeonies and all those other things. So how
do you do? You go into the garden and take
things out, oftentimes move them because the garden that you
just referenced, that that was like seemed impenetrable to me.

Speaker 4 (30:51):
Now these paths are crossing through it and all that.

Speaker 1 (30:53):
But there is looking more open just because we have
like three new pads and it's going to look nicer
and nicer and nicer. I promise you, uh, and thinning out.
I mean, we have a one plant that is rampant
in some of our gardens. Cir called the electrum. Oh yeah,
and what's the common name for the electront meadow roo?

But ourth electron doesn't grow like a normal meadow room.

Speaker 2 (31:19):
We have the giant one that's like.

Speaker 1 (31:21):
Yeah, ten ten eleven feet tall, with little tiny purple
flowers on the chips, and.

Speaker 5 (31:28):
It's pretty, but it is it doesn't spread it see,
it spreads by seeds. So it's just if you get
in the wrong spot, it's so big.

Speaker 1 (31:33):
And you can't pull it out. It's the roots are
like embedded into the ground. So we have a lot
of electron to kind of get rid of. And it's
very prolific. It's it's a crazy plant. But if you're
looking for a good background plant, the electrum is a
very nice one.

Speaker 2 (31:50):
I think it took off because it's where all the spruce.

Speaker 1 (31:52):
Isn't the other one that's the one back or white?

Speaker 5 (31:56):
Yeah, yeah, the white and they're harder to find. The
giant ones harder to find.

Speaker 2 (32:00):
You can find the little dwarf ones, but we do
have the giants. We have the regular and that's also
very nice.

Speaker 1 (32:05):
In the back of a border or back of a garden.
That's goat's beard. Yeah, those are two plants that I
love to grow. Hossas. We just did a show on
our television Roku television show about hostas and their propagation
and they're they're they're dividing and they're replanting, and boy

they're beautiful.

Speaker 4 (32:25):
They've done fantastic investment.

Speaker 1 (32:28):
They are an amazing investment. From one plant that must
have been maybe six years old, we got how many
twenty twenty years thirty?

Speaker 2 (32:38):
It was a huge plant. We broke up.

Speaker 3 (32:40):
Yeah, and what how do you break it up? Because
I've seen those they are how do you do you
see them?

Speaker 2 (32:46):
Or a knife and her tomato knife?

Speaker 1 (32:49):
Everybody loves them.

Speaker 3 (32:51):
What time of year do you do this?

Speaker 1 (32:52):
Split in this early summer, late spring so.

Speaker 4 (32:55):
You do get leaves out of them?

Speaker 5 (32:56):
Oh yeah, just have to have keep the deer away
from You're only no problem.

Speaker 4 (33:01):
Your catinas this year are unbelievable.

Speaker 1 (33:04):
Well, I have been collecting Tina's now for quite a
few years, and whenever I see an unusual shade, I
don't know them by name, but I buy one or
two of every variety that I see, and I'm making
headway because boy, that front entrance is so beautiful this year.

Speaker 2 (33:21):
Front's great.

Speaker 5 (33:22):
Between the fields is fantastic. Back of the summerhouse has more.

Speaker 3 (33:27):
Is there any catinas that's actually white? So it really
because they call it smoke bush, right right, So is
there any that's actually the color of smoke?

Speaker 5 (33:36):
There's pale, but I wouldn't say not. Now they can
be kind of grayish after a while they faded bit,
but not.

Speaker 1 (33:41):
But smoke bush sends out these rast semes of very
fluffy flowers, pale, pink, dark pink, dark maroon, whitish, pale,
greenish or true's color. It's they're quite beautiful. So I
just keep looking for new ones.

Speaker 3 (34:02):
And they're available more readily now because I remember every
time you would discover one, it was like finding a diamond,
And now they seemed to be.

Speaker 5 (34:09):
Just like the other dark when you're like ground. All
the nine bark that's becoming more available in all different
shades and colors and leaf sizes and shapes.

Speaker 2 (34:17):
It's great. We have that all around the pool. Do
you have any idea come.

Speaker 1 (34:20):
In Why it's called nine bark because.

Speaker 2 (34:22):
It's when it gets bigger, like the other ones. It peels.

Speaker 5 (34:24):
It has all the different layers, kind of like how
a birch tree does. So I guess, is it nine layers?
Apparently to somebody has nine layers, but it has each
layer is like a different shade.

Speaker 1 (34:33):
So, speaking of birch trees, you just mentioned a new
birch tree just arrived at the back gate today, a
nice twelve foot birch tree.

Speaker 5 (34:44):
We get these mystery birch trees. You really month and
we've never seen one. I haven't seen one.

Speaker 3 (34:49):
You don't know who who, like the person is?

Speaker 1 (34:52):
Have you?

Speaker 2 (34:52):
Yeah, we get it. There's like a little no.

Speaker 4 (34:54):
There's a note.

Speaker 2 (34:55):

Speaker 1 (34:55):
Yeah. So now we have nine.

Speaker 2 (34:56):
Yeah, they're supposed to have twelve total.

Speaker 1 (34:58):
Twelve by the end of the year, so we should
make sure that gets into the ground tomorrow. Another thing
that we're doing here at the farm, which really does
fascinate people, is that we are growing most of our
trees and shrubs from rooted cuttings. So we're going to

places like jp LN out in Oregon. We read their
catalog assiduously and then we order vast quantities of seedling trees.
We also look at mustards, boxwoods.

Speaker 5 (35:36):
What we get there and then a bunch of evergreens
come from them as well.

Speaker 1 (35:39):
So we've been we now have one beautiful garden just
filled with boxwood, and.

Speaker 2 (35:44):
They're doing well, doing very well.

Speaker 1 (35:45):
Especially this rain is helping. We don't have to water
so often. And it goes from a dollar a cutting
or a dollar fifteen a cutting to in a year
it's worth more like about twenty dollars, and then the
second year is worth more like sixty dollars, and then
the third year it could be worth you know, way
over one hundred dollars for one ball boxwood. But very

nice for experimenting with because it's not it's not a
lot to take care of.

Speaker 5 (36:14):
No, once you get them in the ground, it's fairly
hands off other than weeding and watering, and you know,
tremble once twice a year probably that's it.

Speaker 4 (36:21):
How do you decide which ones you're going to raise
from seedlings?

Speaker 1 (36:25):
Whatever catches my eye in the catalog? Many different kinds
of oak trees, different kinds of maple trees, and I
look for, you.

Speaker 3 (36:33):
Know, durability, do you look for life spam?

Speaker 1 (36:36):
Definitely? Yeah, Yeah, the older the better I want. I
want trees that'll last for a long, long time, so
we have been we've been having fun with that, and
that's something that everybody should really pay attention to because
without reforestation and so much denuding of the landscape, we're
going to be more and more, even more trouble than

we are because of the pollution and as a fresh air.

Speaker 5 (37:01):
People don't realize trees have a lifespan. They're not going
to be there for hundreds of years most of the tree,
so you have to replenish them. And if they're clearing
everything out between them and underneath them, they're not going
to do that naturally.

Speaker 3 (37:11):
One of the things that I will never forget is
when you are going to buy this farm, you.

Speaker 4 (37:16):
Send people in to check the soil.

Speaker 3 (37:17):
So it seems like if you're going to buy a
house or you are, you know, if you're going to
start a garden er, just buy invest in land. It
seems like it would makes sense to test the soil
and plant a tree, right.

Speaker 1 (37:29):
And very important. You have to do that before you
do anything else.

Speaker 4 (37:32):
But I don't think most people think that way, No,
really don't.

Speaker 3 (37:35):
Tree is very hard for people to grasp.

Speaker 5 (37:37):
Trees were the first thing I tell people when they
buy a house like before you like start painting your
walls inside and redecorating, plant a tree outside, like within
the first couple of years if you have to, you
can move it, just get it to start growing.

Speaker 1 (37:47):
But I have a friend who bought a virtual arboretum,
a famous man who loved trees, and he planted many, many,
many different kinds of trees. And she is about maybe
forty acres, but many of them of specimen trees is
and the most most spectacular are the beach trees. And
now with this infestation there's some attacking the beach trees,

She's going to lose her specimen trees on her property,
which will really make that property less value. It's a
very sad story.

Speaker 4 (38:21):
Is there always something attacking trees? Like every year?

Speaker 3 (38:25):
I know one like, wasn't Dutch elm a thing?

Speaker 1 (38:27):
I mean I know it was, Well, it wiped out
generations of Dutch elm.

Speaker 4 (38:32):
And last year you had the ash thing, And now, well.

Speaker 1 (38:34):
The ash thing was extremely serious and you can't just
call it the ash thing because it killed every single
ash tree on this property, which is more like four
hundred or five hundred trees. I didn't even count them yet.

Speaker 3 (38:49):
But is that a constant thing. Is there always a
blight of some sort?

Speaker 2 (38:52):
It is?

Speaker 5 (38:53):
I think now that it's more of a global stuff
just moves globally. There's that much more of things established
themselves in different area, so it kind of takes over.

Speaker 2 (39:01):
So it's more happening more likely.

Speaker 3 (39:03):
Now you have your tree people coming into sort of
safeguard what you can.

Speaker 1 (39:08):
We use a company locally called Save a Tree, and
I've been working with them for a long long time.
And you have to really kind of latch onto somebody
who's accomplished and a really good tree man to get
them to really pay attention to each and every tree.

Speaker 5 (39:25):
And they use this Yeah, and they use this property
as a test too, because that's so much stuff here.

Speaker 2 (39:31):
See how many we have what's.

Speaker 5 (39:33):
Happening, so and they compare it to like the neighborhood
and stuff, because sometimes we'll get hit hard and other
places won't and vice versa.

Speaker 1 (39:39):
So we had we have had the ash tree problem.
Now we're having the beach tree problem. And then we
had the boxwood problem and we found a solution for
that the top boxes, but astue no solution beaches. I'm
really worried about because I kind of stupidly now in retrospect,

planted the Daric purple beach hedge all around my pool
and it's a lot of that was how many different
how many different trees. And this year the tops came
and the bottoms came and nothing in the middle. And
they have been gradually opening up. But I'm terrified about them.

Speaker 5 (40:22):
That's the problem because they don't have that many leaves
so during the winter them surviving into spring, so next
springs them to be the real test of like what
they are looking.

Speaker 4 (40:29):
At gardening really is it's like just hair giving.

Speaker 5 (40:34):
Really, they're alive and they can't tell you what's wrong
with them other than looking at them. You know, a
pet can yeah, me hour bark sometimes you can tell
more so a plant. You actually have to really pay attention,
you have to.

Speaker 4 (40:45):
Gardeners are the ultimate optimists.

Speaker 1 (40:47):
But there's a lot of There are lots and lots
of good articles about the care of all these I've
been reading the British horticultural magazines. I've been reading the
Garden Club of America magazine. That's very useful. I read
Horticulture magazine. What do you read?

Speaker 2 (41:05):
I still them from your desk. Good, it's all the same.

Speaker 1 (41:12):
Please do because the more you read and the more
you understand, and the more you talk to other people
about your your occupation, which is gardener, the more you're
going to be able to take care of all these
beautiful plants. And it is a shame when you lose
something because of either lack of care or or ignorance,

when they could have been saved. But then the ash tree,
nobody could save it. Nobody could save the ash the.

Speaker 2 (41:40):
Green it works on. You see it. It's already too late.

Speaker 1 (41:43):
And the beaches too. I hope that that gets under control,
because those are those are magnificent to good with.

Speaker 5 (41:50):
The box would so maybe we'll look at it, because
we looked at when the box went on.

Speaker 1 (41:54):
But the box would need to be pruned.

Speaker 3 (41:56):
Ryan, When is that something you do in the fault?
You only do that.

Speaker 1 (42:00):
Well, now there's so much rain. If we do a
little bit of shaping, it'll be I think beneficial.

Speaker 2 (42:06):
For them a little bit earlier, right before winter.

Speaker 3 (42:09):
That's so therapeutic to do the shaping thing, grooming and shaping.

Speaker 5 (42:13):
So Kevin's coming up to weeds, coming up to groom
and shape all the box woods.

Speaker 1 (42:17):
So you see, it's nice to involve your friends and
and to be a very conversive mood with your anybody
who's taking care of your plants, because you're just going
to have better plants as a result. It's it's something
that we all love. And if you do take gardening seriously,

there are many many things you can do to make
your gardens even more beautiful. And we're going to continue
to talk to gardeners. We just had the Zone three
meeting here with a Garden Club of America. One hundred
and fifty gardeners came and I had five of my gardeners,
including Kevin, take smaller groups around the proper already just

show them.

Speaker 5 (43:01):
They loved it, the structure and the actual plan and
the longevity and the fact that it's just so many
different gardens and each one has his own different.

Speaker 3 (43:09):
Look and so the variety of what you have. It's
like it really is like a botanical garden.

Speaker 1 (43:14):
Well it is. It is a lot of fun, and
I encourage everyone listening to, uh, start a garden if
you haven't nurtured those gardens, if you have, and feed
and water and spend time and especially we spend time
in your gardens. Well, thanks guys for talking anything else

you'd like to say, Ryan, No, that's good.

Speaker 2 (43:38):
I've weeding to do. I guess get out there.

Speaker 1 (43:41):
Okay, Well we've we've had a nice chat we have
and I hope you've enjoyed this imprompt you get together
with Ryan McAllister, gardener at Cantato Corners and Kevin Sharkey,
design director of Martha Stewart Living. Thank you very much.
Thank you will we will have them on again if
you like them.

Speaker 3 (44:04):
Bye guys, Bye bye h
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