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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? I don't get any little texts.
I get a lot of long text I have to
scroll to read. 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 Sharkey 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 me. Well haven you. Thank you guys for doing
this at such short notice. It was an invitation we

couldn't refuse, absolutely, especially lunch you gave us so well,
you could not. 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 sauteid artichoke hearts. Everything from the garden.
And we also started with a large bowl of borshe

beet soup and what a delicious borsche with that smashed
potato on top, and then a dill infused sour cream,
and then we had oh for dessert, the pist Resistance,
which were two sorbets. One was black current 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 a blister rust for a
long and it's not oh, it's not okay. What is
that on fur trees? It was something that was killing
the evergreens. They tied them together. It was outlawed for decades.
So now, but I've always had black 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? I always had a
garden when I was when I was young, and um,
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 and Barbaratum in Massachusetts in Boston
so that I could really get to um 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 was. 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 or the other. So
it wasn't as if I abandoned it, because I know
that one day I will have a guard. Then he
went off and became an interior designer working with Sister

Parrish and Albert Sadly 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 orchids, especially
in his own home. He is now branched out in
his beautiful apartment to much larger specimen house plants. Yes,

describe that a little bit. Well. You know, when I
first moved into the apartment, I had giant philodendron Is
it monstrosa the giant? Yeah? Yeah, the ones that we
have now because where's the babysitters. We split it up.
We get what Kevin doesn't want, I always take because
I know that we can make something out of these disasters.

I remember I started working from 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 that that's two different plants. Yes, philodendron.
Philodendron got so big was different. I remember when it
got so big you were actually attaching it to the ceiling.
I did, and with fishing twine, thumb tax, thumb tax.

And what was that horrible storm we had? Sandy? Was
it sandy? Oh? Yes. 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 truing, 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 um,
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. It gets tons
of light. I just had to figure out. I don't
think it had. I think even though it's been rainy

and gray and hot, I don't think the palms are. Um,
they don't get enough air. They're not great endorsed. They
do not like air conditioning. Oh really it's too cold. Yeah,
oh god, they do not like air conditioning. I don't
like hot where they grow. But there are other plants

that it would do better. You should look around at
my plants and there might be something here that that
he could. Um. 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, but you know, do you feed
your plants and people don't even know you have to
feed them? And she said, well, did you eat and
the plants to So you're responsible to drink the planets

to drink, right, So, Um, I can't. I cannot eat
in the morning unless I look at all my plants
and see if they need anything first. So in good conscience,
it's the same with my pets. I mean, my cat
gets fed first, then my dogs, then my plants. Then
I Yeah, that's it. Well, I have a feeling I'll

be making another contribution to the Library of Beautiful Paths.
Oh that's why you cleared the whole table for stuff. Um,
but did you see how well the palms are doing that?
I just transplanted on the green terrace outside the green room.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah yeah. We just looked at those.
Yeah yeah. Did you see how beautifully at the green again?

Well in a week did they do that though? To
the leaves come out that quickly? Well in this kind
of weather is the weather we're experiencing here in Bedford,
temperatures were in the nineties with ninety plus percent humidity
for days on it for days and days and less.
Yesterday ten inches of rain and then was it really

ten inches inches? And it was really bad bad. But
palms is their thing. They sulk inside all winter long
and they don't push out any leaves or anything. They
just sit there. Well, these are these were not in
expensive palms. Um. 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?
Oh my god, they're so beautiful. I have three date
palms that are just screaming to be let out. So
I think the terrace is doing really well because I
did exactly what you told me to do. I put
two side cats, I have two planters on my terrace.
Unfortunately they're very shallow, but my terrace is big, so

I put two sidecat one sycat in each, and then
underneath it I planted creeping Jenny and so it's hanging
out simachia. Um and I have a feeling I asked
you today because your lisimakia has perfect green. Mine has
some brown around the edges. And I've been in Europ
a couple of weeks. At one point it can be
dry brown, you told me, kind of discolored. They're discolored

and brownish, and then it's probably dry. From it's on
the terrace, you get all the extra exposure, son men.
So it's from that to keep it water. So that's
what I'm having success with so far. And they see
I was the psych had 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 oilia like a success story.
They have been looking so perfectly. Oh good. These are
bromeliads that are kind of grayish and greenish patterned leaves,
and they're they're round leaves. 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 chalisy ones. But those in the front, two
of them, I think, right in front, the ones with
the pink flowers. Yeah, yeah, those are beautiful. So I'm
happy to be home because I did worry that my
dormen were watering too much. I like, I do it
once a week. I don't know if that's enough, but
that's what I do. Generally, your plans do very well,
and your orchids do very well. 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 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. They
just have to be fed once a week, and they
have to be You might have to come up and

repot some of them. I was so mortified because your
orchids are insane. Yes. And one day I came up
here and the cat laias were all over the sitting
room and I was just like, it's insanity. 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. But I am a big fan of house plants.
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 plants, 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.
Since I have so much here to work with, is
do I want a large yard or a small yard?
So the house is it's not small, it's four stories,
it's big, So the front yard isn't that big. In
the backyards 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 backyard
and like under an hour. So you have grass, have grass.
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
them in like another foot or stuff. And I want
to continue more. I was told not to, but I'm
going to do it. But the front yard now Ryan

is at at Ryan Mccalister're on Instagram? Are you on threads? Now?
Not yet? Always did it before they even let people
do it, they asked you. They were standing you like,
why are you not on? That's why I did. I
got some requests why aren't you on threads? How much
time is that going to take? No, it's not going
to I 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. Tip. I'm on chip number five and
it's just a quick tip, like a quick chip of
a good good homekeeping chip. Yeah. So it's gonna be
fun because I love doing much one a day or
whenever you want, whatever 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. 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 azalias in the whole thing. It
was around the same time we started doing all the
azalias here, and we were talking about them, like, all right,
so I put them all there, and I make sure
they're all different kinds so they bloom over a longer
period of time. It's nice having a whole garden that's color,

like one color at once, but it's like in stretch,
it bloming in it right now in that front yard.
In the front there's not much because it's been hot.
Some of the roses are blooming and the lilies are
just finishing, and I have a few dahlias that are
popping up and stuff. So it's kind of like half
and half right now. But the sun kind of pushed
everything quickly. 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 bulbs that come up. There's gladiolas that are just
starting the bloom right now? Can I ask you a
question and this is a question for both of you.
So today when we were doing the garden tour, Adam
asked a question about alliums and you said something about
tulips or somebody. It's at bould obviously, but they're not

like daffodils. They don't get better every single year, or
do they. They don't allium now they fade. Tulips fade quickly,
like you get a good year of tulips sometimes the
second year, depend on 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. Some daffodils, not all of them, the
smaller ones and there's ones you can buy specifically for naturalizing.

Alliums 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 so we're always playing
year this year though I think he is also a variety,
mixing the different varieties and a stretched 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, yeah, half a dozen at
least different varieties. And now Ryan, they have to be deadheaded.
That's just you know, just clipping clip the bottom. You
can't pull it. If you pull it, don't you have
to go to the bottom. We have to dig in there.
And then also in the pergola, all the lilies are

coming up, so you have to go in between all
the tiger lilies, like obstacle course, are we saving any
of this year to dry? Or No? I don't want
any I just want to We've been there, done that.
I want to do something else, but also have been there,
done that. Oh yeah, that was that. That's that's so. Yeah.
If you're looking for a good almost ground cover, a

very early bluebill like flowers untall stalks plant comes. It
also comes in a pinkish it comes to people that's red.
There's a couple different shades of blue. There's a darker blue,
of lighter blue um almost a purple kind of color.
But the blue shades are the same. But their foliage
States for a long time, Aliams come up and before
the flower even comes, the foliage is already half dead.

The commossia looks nice and to start green in the States.
Took all the lawn off your fronts that everybody's doing.
And there was a small ash front yard, but it's
very charming, very it's small. So I ripped all that out.
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, and I
did a few bushes. A devil strip. Yeah, that little

piece between the sidewalk and the that's what they're calling there.
Why because if devils has to step over it, because
they're like nothing ever really grows, and there's terms it
and the south that's what they always call them, and
that calm that's what they call them. It's that little
that little you know, three foot talk about the waist
land 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 a 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 do that, but it's colorful. I just
and everybody respects your front yard. Oh, everybody comes over
and ask 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 laughing be they

think I'm crazy. I was like a little headlamp, like
a little miners 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. I have a picture
of it. It looks so dumb. Do you identify the
plants like the way Martha does it? No, I just no, no,

it's just I just do it. So I'm planting 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 plants and stuff there
didn't know how to put stuff. So I dug the
half dozen his eyes out of the back and move
them to the front. And 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 they put in
theirs and dayas there they haven't bloomed yet, lilies and
I pack it. 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. I have a bunch of hydranges
in there. Is that your method too, Like with trees,
especially when you do beds of trees, what you do
is that is the intention to see what we'll live

and because not everything does. No, No, I plant more
systematically than that, trying to put trees in the correct places,
on trees that grow taller in the back if it
has a 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? That's the thing. She
has the room so she can make the big groves
of stuff or give everything it 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 can't believe how big

our trees are and they've gone so quickly. This yeah,
this this this year was all the rain and the
and the heat. They are really putting on inches. Is
is it a leaper do they do that? Is it
like every other No, they're the sleep creeping lea. Yeah,
so not lea. I thought that was not leaper. Nothing
to do with leave gardener saying leap heer. You plan

something that like leaps the first year, that the third
years when it explodes out stuff. 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, and stuff's burning
out quickly too, like the cabbage and the brocoli come up,
and yeah, like did I tell you? And 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. No, the mold, the old
one of the new stuff we plant? Oh both is
it because it's too raining. It's not too wet. They
have not had sun for twenty seven days. Wow, So

that's really a different climate from ours here. But but
also you know, scary, it's scary that no sun for
twenty six or twenty seven days. That's unusual. And then
didn't wasn't The plant just registered at its highest temperature ever. Yes,
three days in a row. It's really really scary. Yeah,

everything's swapped. Like back home it's always dry. We got
more rain than ever back in California. Here was the opposite.
It's like everything's flip flopping. Believable. Kevin, what do you
like most about my garden? You know, you're you're you
spend a lot of time in the garden when you're here,

Kevin is my picker. I allow him to pick. He's
been thoroughly. Here's the vase. I want something in this vase,
and he's allowed to pick. But Ryan also picks. But Kevin,
you did the best job of picking. I think Lily Pond.
I tell this story all the time. Martha's going to
get bored of hearing me say it. But um, the

first time I went out to Lily Pond, it was
that at that time, it was a rose primarily a
rose garden, and I went through the gates and on
the left hand side were three or four, maybe six
pear trees that were, um, I never get this correct.
Is it pollarded? No, they were shaped, they had trunks,
and they were like big lollipops. They were kind of

like tops, but they were like two stories tall, and
you had trained these climbing roses up them, and they
just had spear you know. It was just like a
water work of all roses. I've thought, is that rose tree?
And again, I've worked on robaratum, so I'm not a
complete idiot, and I was just blown away by the
whimsy of that. I thought that was amazing. So that
was Lily Pond. Turkey Hill I loved Monai's garden that

you were able to approximate that was like for me
the best I couldn't. That was like watching magic. Really.
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 at Martha with Martha, then
coming to Bedford and seeing you're like Leno, 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 sight lines 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 things. So it's
nice to watch that kind of growth happen. But when
I owned my house on Lily Pon Lane and 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 are 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 paper.
It's 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 would 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. And was it explain to someone here's what
you'll get in two years, Yes, what you'll get in
five 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 alleys 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 he learned
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 view because
now we're using drones and stuff, and that's great. Here
we can see how the projects taken shape in the
trees and straight we are online, and they didn't even
really had they had premachip 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, sticks, string right and sticks.
It's the simplest thing, but you know, it's I think
it's a mystery to most people. 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.
They immediately want to go in to like start digging,

to start digging, put into plants. Like if you're baking something,
you don't just put the ingredients in the certain order
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. Oh, but it was. It was such an
eye opener to get a book like that and realize
mistakes you had made, 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 right. Because there's
so much to plant now. The big problem is getting
people to weed it and take care of it. Ryan
taking care of it. The dahlia is Ryan, are weed
infested just because they're so early. We're way ahead 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 for me in a day?
I don't get any little texts. I get a lot
of long texts. I have to scroll to read, but
these are the lists that you do. List. What's your

favorite part about gardening, Kevin? 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
to repot them all. 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. And I like
the you know, immediate so going to delay. Yeah, and
I have some nice new gloves. I'm also very decorative,
So there are certain things that I have an eye

for where you know, things can go. What's your favorite part, Ryan, Um,
I like vegetable gardens. That is my favorite. Yeah. His
attitude has changed since our new one. Described a new one. Well,
the new one's great because it's it's raised beds is easy.
We're having with the old one we had, Like 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 extent 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 figure out what's growing
well where and stuff and it's great. What are you
going to do with the old one? Marked up? There's

stuff in there, there's squashing the well, there's pump squash
on one side and corn but corn is is really weedy.
That's why I planted corn in the new garden as well.
Double oh good thing kids right there. But it's growing.
It's great, like crazy, and this in the in the
old one. So do you take it out 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 chickens. The chickens will the chickens will
feast in there after the pump is I are they
growing well? The pumpk I forgot to fast go some
of that new seed that you oh good. The first
year I've ever heard this, because every year I hear
Martha say where it might pumpkins because we move them
around every year. They've got different spots than in 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 growing great so far. Well, I just
want to have some really big turkey hilled size pumpkins
this year because I never grew better pumpkins than at
Turkey Hill. What's your favorite part of gardening? My favorite
part is um 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 camper down oh over the weekend at Surrey Gardens,
and I bought three the three one is smaller than
the other two a night 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 at least one if it's depending
on the size, by the tenor house, by the new
paths and stuff in there. Yeah, problem especially say everything
lost all the shade when you cut down all the spruce,
so it's sunny, so having something there a little bit
and then and it already has two in front by
that house has one on each side. That would nice,
it might be beautiful, and so I like doing that.

I like finding the material. Plant shopping is one of
the most fun things to do with Martha. Yeah, we
have plants like being a plant sale, a store whatever.
We have All these little plants 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. It's so much fun.
My bad habit, but um, but I just I really

do love to buy buy new plants, in 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 and 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 paths, fantastic and they're having a

great time doing it though, smiles on their faces, having
a great 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, right, Well,

I like diversity and variety, which is better because plants
all get sick, but like grassy gets sick, the whole
thing gets sick and it looks ugly. Like if plants
you have a whole garden, you know, something might get sick,
but it's not the whole thing, and it doesn't spread.
It's not as much problem. Many things is 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 go into the garden and take things out
oftentimes move them because the garden that you just reference
that was like seemed impenetrable to me. Now these paths
are crossing through it and all that. 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 here called the electrum. Oh yeah, and what's
the common name, meadow rue, But art electrum doesn't grow
like a normal meadow roof. We have the giant one
that's like, yeah, ten ten eleven feet tall, with little

tiny purple flowers on the chips, and it's pretty, but
it is it doesn't spread its seat. It spreads by seeds.
So it's just if you get in the wrong spot,
it's so big and you can't pull it out. It's
the roots are like embedded into the ground. So we
have a lot of the electrum to kind of get
rid of, uh. 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. I think it
took off because it's where all the spruces, isn't uncus
the other one that's the one white yeah plumes, Yeah,
the white and they're harder to find. The giant ones
harder to find. You can find the little dwarf ones,
but we do have the giants. You have the regular
the bear, and that's also very nice in the back
of a border or back of a garden. That's um

goats beard. Yeah, those are two plants that I love
to grow hostas. 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
a beautiful They've done fantastic like investment. They are an

amazing investment. From one plant that must have been maybe
six years old, we got how many twenty two? Yet
twenty years thirty? It was a huge plant broke up. Yeah,
and how do you break it up? Because I've seen
those they are how do you do you solve them?
Who are a knife and her tomato knife? Everybody loves them?

What time of year do you do this? Split in?
This early summer late spring so you do get leaves
out of them? Oh yeah, just have to have keep
the deer away from your only no problem. You're catinis
this year are unbelievable. Well, I've been collecting who tinis
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. Fronts between the fields is fantastic.
Back of the summerhouse has more. Is there any catinis
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 not? There's pale, but I wouldn't
say not. Now they can be kind of grayish after
a while, they but not, but smoke bush sends out
these rest seams of very fluffy flowers. Pale pink, dark pink,
dark maroon, um, whitish or pale greenish are trus color.

It's they're quite beautiful. So I just keep looking for
new ones, and they're available more readily now because I
remember every time you would discover one, it was like
finding a diamond. And now this seemed to be just
like the other dark one. You're like growing all the
nine bark that's becoming more available in all different shades
and colors and leaf sizes and shapes. It's great we
have that all around the pool. Give any idea why

it's called nine bark because it's when he gets bigger
like the other ones, it peels. It has all the
different layers, kind of like how it birch tree does.
So I guess is it nine layers? Apparently to somebody
has nine layers, but it has each layers like a
different shade. So, speaking of birch trees, you just mentioned
another one. A new birch tree just arrived at the
back gate today. M a nice twelve foot birch tree.

We get these mystery birch trees. Do you really want?
And we've never seen one. I haven't seen one. You
don't know who who? Like the person is? You have? You? Yeah,
we get it. There's like a little there's a note. Yeah. Yeah.
So now we have nine. Yeah. So they're supposed to
have twelve total twel 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 JPL n Out in Oregon. We
read their catalog assiduously and then we order vast quantities

of seedling trees. We also look at mustardswoods we get there,
and then a bunch of evergreens come from them as well.
So we've been We now have one beautiful garden just
filled with boxwood and they're doing well, doing very well.
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. Two in a year'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, you, No, once you get him
in the ground, it's fairly hands off other than weeding

and watering and you know, trembles twice a year probably
that's it. How do you decide which ones you're going
to raise from seedlings? Whatever catches my eye in the catalog?
Many different kinds of oak trees, different kinds of maple trees,
and I look for, you know, durability, do you look
for lifespam? Definitely? Yeah, yeah, the older the better I want.

I want trees at allst 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 you know, without reforestation um and so much denuding
of the landscape, we're going to be in more and more,
even more trouble than we are because of the pollution

and as a fresh air. People don't realize trees have
a lifespan. They're not going to be there for one
hundred of the 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. One of the things that I will never
forget is when you are going to buy this farm,
you sent people in to check the soil. So it
seems like if you're going to buy a house, or

you're you know, if you're going to start a garden
or just buy invest in land, it seems like it
would make sense to test the soil and plant a tree, right,
and very important you have to do that before you
do anything else. But I don't think most people think
that way, No, I really don't. Is very hard for
people to grass. 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.
But I have a friend who bought a virtual arboretum,
a famous a 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, and
the most most spectacular are the beech trees. And now

with this infestation there's some some yep attacking the beech 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. Is there always something attacking trees? Like
every year? I know one like wasn't Dutch Elma thing.

I mean I know it was well had wiped out
generations of Dutch elm And last year you had the
ash thing. And now, well the ash thing was extremely serious.
You can't just call up the ash thing because it
had 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. But is that a constant thing?

Is there always a blight of some sort? It is,
but I think now that it's more of a global
Stuff just moves globally. There's that much more of where
things established themselves in different area, so it kind of
takes over. So it's more happening more likely. Now you
have your tree people coming into sort of safeguard what
you can. 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.
And they use yeah, and they use this property as
a test too, because you have so much stuff here,
so many these stus see how many we have what's

happening so and they compare it to like the neighborhood
and stuff, because sometimes we'll get hit hard in other
places won't and vice versa. 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. Um
and we found a solution for that the top buses.
But as no solution. Beaches I'm really worried about because

I kind of stupidly now in retrospect, planted the Dalwick
Purple beachhead all around my pool and there'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. That's the problem
because they don't have that many leaves so during the
winter them surviving into springs. So next spring is going
to be the real test of like what they are
looking at gardening really is it's like just airgiving. 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 our bark sometimes where you can tell

more so plant you actually have to really pay attention,
you have to. Gardeners are the ultimate optimists. 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. Um, I read horticulture magazine.

What do you read? I still want from your desk. Good,
It's all the same. 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 gardner,
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. Um,
but then the ash tree, nobody could save it. Nobody
could save the ash the green as way it works,
once you see it, it's already too late. Yeah, and
the beaches too. I hope that that gets under control
because those are those are magnificent. They give with the boxwood.

So maybe we'll look out because we looked at when
the boxwo I but the boxwood need to be pruned, Ryan,
When is that something you do in the fall. You
only do that now there's so much rain. If we
do a little bit of shaping, it'll be I think
beneficial for them. It's better doing it a little bit earlier,
like right before winter. That's so therapeutic to do the

shaping thing. Grooming and shaping so Kevin's coming up to
We coming up to groom and shape all the boxwoods.
So you see, it's nice to involve your friends and
and uh and and to be in very conversive mood
with your anybody who's taking care of your plants, because
you're just going to have bitter plants as a result.
It's uh, 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. They loved. One hundred and fifty gardeners
came and I had five of my gardeners, including Kevin,

take smaller groups around the Proper Prey just show them.
They loved it. The structure and the actual planning, and
the longevity and the fact that it's just so many
different gardens and each one has his own different look
and stuff, the variety of what you have. It's like
it really is like a botanical garden. Well it is
um It is a lot of fun and I encourage

everyone listening to start a garden. If you haven't nurtured
those gardens if you have, and feed and water, and
especially we spend time in your gardens. Well, thanks guys
for talking. Anything else you'd like you say, Ryan, No,
that's good. I've we need to do. I guess Okay,

Well we've we've had a nice chat we have and
I hope you've enjoyed um 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.
Will we will have have them on again if you
like them. Bye, guys, Fine, bye,
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