Long Island is the longest and the largest island in the contiguous United States. It looks like a fish swimming along Connecticut’s shore.
From end to end, it is about 118 miles eastward from New York Harbor to Montauk Point, and the widest north-to-south distance is 23 miles between Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coast.
The total land area is 1373 square miles. In Long Island’s head lies Brooklyn and Queens, New York City boroughs. Its granite backbone, the ridge of hills along the northern coast, twice rises to a height of about 380 feet, but elsewhere Long Island is quite low. Gardiner’s and Peconic bays split the tail for a depth of 50 miles, Orient Point forming the northern tip and Montauk the southern tip.
For the purpose of this blog, Long Island will refer to only Nassau and Suffolk counties including Fire Island although the island comprises four counties including Queen and Kings counties in the United States state of New York.
The population of Long Island is composed of two distinct elements. There are the wealthy, drawn by the mild oceanic climate of the island, who live in some of the most expensive and beautiful neighborhoods near the shorelines. Then there are the working class and some inhabitants of old village stock – baymen, fishermen, and market gardeners. There are also transient summer throngs, who crowd the seaside resorts.
Constance Spry, introduced in 1961, is one of the first English Roses hybridized by David Austin and its success contributed to the founding of the English Roses. David Austin Roses is a flower arranger’s dream. They can be used to make wonderful floral arrangements either on their own or with other plant materials. With its voluptuous blossoms and dainty habit, you can duplicate the beauty and charm of an Old Dutch floral painting.
Photo Credit – David Austin Roses
Constance Spry can grow to a height of 6-12 ft. with a width of 6-8 ft. or 10 to 18 ft. as a climber. Bloom size is 3” with a petal count of 80+. It has a lovely pink color and very fragrant. The only drawback is it only flowers once in the spring but it blooms profusely.
Who is Constance Spry?
Constance Spry is the mother of modern floral design. She would have loved to use David Austin Roses for her floral arrangements. After World War 1, she changed the formal, rigid composition of floral design with unconventional pastoral compositions; flowers arranged asymmetrically with assorted shapes of foliage in various types of containers. She used all kinds of wildflowers, grasses, pods or practically anything the Victorian ladies shunned. Her style was full of drama and a refreshing reprieve from the more stiff floral design of her contemporaries.
Photo Credit – Pinterest
Connie, as she was known to her friends, was born in Derby, England, in 1886 and raised in Ireland. She found refuge from her domineering mother in the gardens of her childhood, where she began to take note of what would become her favorites: old garden roses, lilac, mock orange, laurel, buddleia, and evening primrose, as well as grasses, weeds, and other typically overlooked plants and materials.
Though flowers and gardening would be her lifelong passions, under her father’s direction she began her early professional life as an educator and social reformer. Traveling by horse-drawn wagon through the Irish countryside, she became a proponent of healthy living, educating housewives on the benefits of fresh air and nutritious food as part of a “War on Consumption” campaign. After a disappointing marriage to a coal mine manager, she took her only son back to England to begin life anew. It was there she met and fell in love with Shav Spry, a colonial civil servant who would be her lifelong companion.
It wasn’t until the age of 41, that Spry’s amateur talents as a floral designer were noticed by an influential lunch companion, leading her to Norman Wilkinson, a theater designer whose encouragement would launch her meteoric design career. With a commission to do flowers for cinemas and a perfume shop, Spry took her unorthodox visions of gathered materials and artful references out of the homes of friends and into the public eye, where she was praised for displays that in an incredibly modern twist included leaves, berries, seed pods, wild clematis, and golden hops mixed with exotic orchids.
Suddenly this middle-aged woman found herself thrust into the social scene, befriending legendary decorator and fellow entrepreneur Syrie Maugham and an exuberant crowd of theatrical personalities and social luminaries. She became the florist of choice to London high society organizing the flowers for royal weddings. She designed the flowers for the Queen’s wedding and Coronation. Her books on flower arranging made her a household name.
Besides being an influential floral artist, Constance Spry is the founder of the Cordon Bleu cooking school and an author of a bestselling cookbook bearing her name.
In 1927 while on a Grand Tour, Spencer A. Wentworth, a
young scion of a wealthy old banking family of Long Island, New York Gold
Coast, receives an urgent telegram to come home immediately. No explanation.
Upon arriving home, he was handed a huge responsibility
that he was not prepared for.
As the stock market begins to collapse, he is plagued with
worries that the family will lose everything including Wentworth Hall, his
ancestral home. Honoring his promise to preserve it, he is determined to save
Wentworth Hall at any cost including the loss of the woman he loves.
It is a tale of responsibility, love, betrayal and
suspense during the Gilded Age with a backdrop of a way of life long gone.
Available at various ebook formats. Get your copy today! Click here.
A weed is a plant that
you don’t want. There’s an old saying that if a week can’t grow in a garden, no
other plant will grow there either. When my roses look very healthy, my weeds
are just as healthy.
At this time of the
year, weeds are one of the biggest problems in the rose bed. The best way to
control it is to pull it out and then mulch the bed right away so it has no
time to resprout. Weed is an abhorrence in the rose garden. A garden free of
weeds is a sight to behold. Roses will tolerate some of them but the most
invasive ones will choke your roses. They take out the nutrients that you feed
your roses. Have you noticed that weeds grow luxuriantly in your rose bed?
That's because they are sharing the meal with your roses.
Years ago, I never put
mulch in the garden. I like to see the soil around the rose bushes. However, as
time goes by, I found out that I never stopped weeding. You become a slave in
your own garden. There was no time to sit and enjoy and smell the roses. By the
time I finished the last bed, the first bed was full of weeds again. That's
when I decided to put down mulch. I use cedar mulch and the rose beds look much
better with it. Mulch also retains moisture.
How about Roundup?
Roundup is an herbicide. From what I read, it does more damage to your roses
than at first believed. It does not show right away but comes up later on. If
you are using it in other parts of your garden, take extra precaution to avoid
contact with your roses. There are cases among rosarians who use Roundup where
all their roses died or began their slow death. Just a mist of the Roundup will
leave a death sentence to your precious roses. So be extra careful! I also
heard that it kills some plants nearby not just roses.
Hoeing is another
method to control weed. For those gardeners who are environmentally conscious,
this is the best method of weed control. The only problem here is that you can
be too close to the rose bushes and may damage their roots. Another
disadvantage is loosened soil, if too close to the rose bush, it will encourage
suckers. Suckers are growth coming from the rootstock (below the graft). Also
hoeing the rose bed can sometimes wake up the weed seeds that are buried under
the undisturbed soil and lets them germinate.
Whatever method you
use, as soon as you clean up the bed, you should mulch immediately and make it
at least 3" thick to discourage the weed from sprouting again.
Several million years ago, there was nothing but the enormous sea and the expansive sky. In the vast emptiness, a cunning bird came and saw the calmness of the sea and the beauty of the glorious sky. At first, the bird thought it was really pleasant, beautiful and extremely peaceful. The bird watched it every day, flying over the wave year in and year out. A few years passed and one day, the bird became restless because the scenery was the same all the time day in and day out and it started to get monotonous and boring. The bird thought what a waste it was. The bird also needed a place to land and rest its weary wings. The bird kept on thinking what it could do to make the place more interesting. For days, the bird could not think of anything else. It kept on thinking, thinking hard and thinking harder. The bird had to do something to break the monotony.
One day, a light flashed into its tiny head. “What a great idea,” the bird shouted aloud. “Maybe I can do something to create a confrontation between the quiet sea and the blue sky. I can make them quarrel with each other. I can drop a seed on the sea in the hope of opening up dry land. But where would I get the seed? There was nothing here. I could fly to some distant shore. That’s what I would do.” And so the bird did what he wanted to do.
The bird flew away to some faraway places looking for the right seed. It took the bird a long time but he found the precious seed at some distant shore. The bird returned and executed what it thought was a brilliant idea. The bird felt smugly at the prospect of what would happen next. Just as expected, the sea saw the seed begin to sprout and thought it was the sky that did it. The sea, angry at the sky spouted huge amount of foaming waves at the sky and the sky in turn grumbled and spat down tons and tons of rocks and dirt to stop the crashing waves of the sea. As the sky got wetter and wetter, the sky retaliated and sent violent thunder and blinding flash of lightning and more boulders and rocks at the sea. It went on for days.
Finally, bombarded by the sheer number and weight of the rocks and dirt, the sea gave up defeated and retreated. When things quieted down, the bird knew it achieved its goal and was ecstatic. The bird landed in the small island formed by the boulders and rocks and the Philippine archipelago was born.
frenetic world we live in, we find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked and
stressed out. Isn’t it time to change our bad habits? Most of our health
problems are due to our unhealthy lifestyle. Studies show that stressful living
causes health problems.
Stop and Smell the Roses is loaded with tips on how to make positive changes in your lives to make you happy, healthy and
successful plus tips on growing roses and a great array of beautiful roses in
full color that I grow in my garden. If you are unable to visit a rose garden,
this is the next best thing.
Do you know that roses have
curative powers? In the olden days, roses were used to make all sorts of
medicinal potions to cure maladies and drive away bad spirits. A bouquet of
roses uplifts the spirits any day of the year. Even a single rose in a room
will liven it up on dreary days. When we are in distress, a rose will cheer us