Behind the Scenes: Martha's Planters in Maine
At Skylands, Martha's home in Maine, the terrace is decorated with pots brimming with beautiful and unusual combinations of plants. See what it takes to create them.
Many of Martha's tropical plants spend the winter in this greenhouse at her home in Bedford, New York. Then they get moved to Maine in May, and Martha goes up as well to enjoy a weekend planting.
The plants are loaded into the trailer.
More plants are brought in.
The packing is nearly complete—it's time to drive to Maine.
The post-winter terrace at Skylands starts out rather bare. Martha and her crew are looking forward to a busy weekend of filling things in.
Bird's-nest ferns, staghorn ferns, alocasias, big agaves, and many filler succulents and small trailing plants have been taken to Maine. They also wintered over many ferns and colocasias in Maine, where Martha has a small greenhouse.
The giant, heavy planters by Eric Soderholtz (reinforced concrete from the 1920s) are now planted with a large silver-blue agave, lots of echevaria, and dichondra.
The beds descending with the stairways to the lower path are filled with alocasia.
The vines on the retaining walls and the house are ancient actinidia, which are small kiwi. This great, fast-growing, sturdy vine is fruit-producing.
Ryan McCallister, Martha's Bedford gardener, supervises all of the planting with Martha.
Francesca is very helpful!
A ponytail palm looks great in the lead planter.
Golden lysimachia is wonderful for underplanting. As it grows, it spreads and trails over the edge of the pot.
Even the back porch now looks a bit more summery, with ferns and planters ready to burgeon.
After a good sweeping and sprinkling, the terrace has begun to look pretty. It will be much more lush in a few weeks.
A view from the terrace, looking over Seal Harbor and Sutton's Island in the near distance.