Influences in Horticulture ~ Gary Pagura

A collection of winter hardy palms arrived at work the other day, so I quickly called my friend and fellow plant enthusiast, Gary Pagura, to share in my excitement. After confessing that he has a 'special love' for monocots, (which to me was stating the obvious), he placed an order, sampling five of the six types of palms that we had received. I had a three day weekend coming up and suggested that I would be able to deliver the goods.

I hadn't been out his way in a year or so and was looking forward to seeing how his property had matured and how his collections had grown.

Located deep in the Southampton woods, Mr. Pagura has created a veritable ark of flora & fauna & art that any renaissance man (or woman) would love to call home.

Most apparent when pulling down the long driveway through the pine & oak are the many types of bamboo & conifers surrounding the house, suprisingly well established, a green oasis in the leafless winter woods.

I first met Gary when I was working at Marders, a large garden center, nursery & landscape company in Bridgehampton, NY, and a few years later we worked together at C. Whitmore Gardens in Amagansett, NY.

Over the years I think I have absorbed more plant knowledge from Gary than from any other single person or source (so far in my horticultural life). I think I'm an obsessed plant collector, well , Gary puts me to shame!

I was given a tour of the house first, entering through the art studio, greeted by my host's two faithful dogs and a gray parrot. Gary's latest endeavour are beautiful, fresh, cold water aquariums, lush with plants & thriving fish populations. By adding additional CO2 through a system of off-gassing yeast, the plants thrive & the tanks reach a balanced state with no algael growth. Crustaceans & mollusks round out the mix & the effect is like looking into a slice of some river or pond. Amazing & beautiful.

In addition to black, plump, chickens, pigeons in a coop, & a duck( that I believe is convinced it is also a chicken), which all live outside, there are also finches & quail which Gary breeds. They reside in aviaries in a sunny room between the main house & the greenhouse.

Next we went to the greenhouse attached to the main house. Cacti & succulents every where in shapes & colors that only an avid collector could amass. Many, realizing spring had arrived, were blooming away.

As I had only a short time to visit and the landscape still reflected the abuse of a trying winter, I took in what I could with the promise to return soon for some cuttings to add to my collection.


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