Wild and Wonderful Wisteria ~ When to Prune?

Wild and wonderful wisteria can quickly become wildly wicked wisteria. Reader Alicia writes, “when is the best time of year to prune wisteria?”

willowdale-estate-spring-©kim-smith

Taming the wisteria (before photo). The first photo shows what the ancient wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) looked like when first I took over the gardens at Willowdale Estate. I removed much of the plant and bent one long trunk over and down, attaching it to a thick bamboo stake, to create the wisteria “arch.” The next photo shows what the wisteria arch looked like by mid-summer that same year.

willowdale-estate-zinnia-patch-©Kim Smith

Alicia asks: “Much to my surprise the wisteria is blooming and has never been this late. I really gave up on it and am wondering why? When is the best time to prune it?”

Hi Alicia,

Wisteria throughout our region bloomed later than usual I think becasue spring got off to such a slow start this year.

Wisteria grows beautifully and is easiest to control when pruned biannually, or twice a year; a summer pruning and a winter pruning.

Summer Pruning: Cut the long shoots after the flowers fade to about six inches.

Winter Pruning: In late winter, before the buds begin to swell, prune all the shoots that have since grown after the summer pruning. The shape of the leafless wisteria is more clearly visible and you can easily see the unruly, long shoots at this time of year. Cut the branches to about 3 to 5 buds and over time, these shortened flowering branches will resemble a wisteria “hand.”

photo-2Photo submitted by Alicia Mills

Happy 21 x 2 Birdthday Ann Margaret Ferrante!

Happy Birthday Ann Margaret!Friday night Ann Margaret’s friends and family threw her a fabulous and fun 21 x 2 birthday party under the tent at Mile Marker One. The full moon made for a perfect summer evening celebration and, with music provided by North Shore Acappella and delish picnic fare, everyone had a grand and festive time. Happy, Happy Birthday Ann!

John Tierney, Robert DeLeo, Ann Margaret Ferrante, Lenny Linquata ©Kim Smith 2014Congressman John Tierney, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, and Lenny Linquata

See Loads More Photos Here! Continue reading

New Film: Mark Allen ~ Sunday’s Greasy Pole Champion Walking for Loved Ones

Mark Allen Walking for Loved Ones

Congratulations to Mark Allen, the 2014 Sunday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Mark’s first win, after 16 previous years of walking! Allen was walking for for his cousin Peter “Black” Frontiero who has the second most wins of all time, with a total of nine.

Each year I look forward to filming and photographing the greasy pole events. The determination on the men’s faces, the camaraderie, the ecstasy and pride in winning, the anguish of defeat, the hilarious costumes, and the Felliniesque antics combine to create a fabulous fiesta of stories and images.

The film opens at the childhood home of the Giambanco Family, with Sefatia leading the Greasy Pole Walkers and guests in the rallying “Viva San Pietro,” the cheer that is heard throughout the city of Gloucester during Saint Peter’s Fiesta. Giambanco sisters Marianne, Grace, Rosaria, and Sefatia continue with their mother Rosalia’s, “Lia’s” custom of feeding the Greasy Pole Walkers dinner before the walk. The tradition began years ago when their brother, Anthony “Matza” Giambanco, began walking. Sefatia explains that Lia had always held a huge family feast with relatives from all around the country attending. The first year her brother walked he told his mom he couldn’t eat because he was meeting everyone. She said I don’t care; you have to eat, and told him to bring everyone back to their home. That was in 1978!

Next the Walkers head over to rally at the Gloucester House, where they greet Lenny shouting his name over and over, to a packed restaurant full of guests. Several more stops are made along the way before the next rally at the Saint Peter’s Club. The Walkers make one last stop to say a prayer to Saint Peter, and perhaps pin a gold charm or coin to the statue, before departing for the greased pole platform at Pavilion Beach

*    *    *

With special thanks and appreciation to Nicky Avelis and all the Greasy Pole Walkers for allowing me to ride on the boat. It went by way too fast! And thank you to the skipper for giving me a ride back to shore.

With thanks and appreciation to Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace for inviting me to come film the Walker’s rally at your welcoming Fiesta Sunday Feast!

The song “Love Runs Out,” is by OneRepublic for the reissue of their third album, Native.

The song “The Walker” is by Fitz and The Tantrums from the album More Than Just a Dream.

 

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole Mark Allen ©Kim Smith 2014

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New Film: Kyle Barry ~ Saturday’s Greasy Pole Champion!

Congratulations to Kyle Barry, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Kyle’s second win. He was also the 2013 Friday Champion.

The first clip is especially Felliniesque but then again, whenever I am shooting the greasy pole events I feel as though I am in the midst of a Fellini film. Friday’s and Sunday’s films are coming in the next few days, with some Very Fun Footage.

I Loved this song when first I heard it and thought it perfect for Greasy Pole Walkers. Written and performed by Fitz and The Tantrums, “The Walker,” (that is really the title of the song!) is from their second album, More Than Just a Dream.

See previous Good Morning Gloucester post about Kyle Barry: Kyle Barry for the Win!

Additional music note ~ Fitz and The Tantrums will be performing at the House of Blues in Boston on November 15th.

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.

Greasy Pole Kyle Barry for the WIN! Saint Peter's Fiesta ©Kim Smith 2014 -2

 

A BEAUTIFUL SAINT PETER’S FIESTA SUNDAY ~ Part Two

To Read Part One Go Here

Good Night Saint Peter, Until Next Year!

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greasy Pole Gloucester harbor©Kim Smith 2014 -3

The ride to the platform was thrilling, and a little terrifying, as I wasn’t exactly sure how my not-waterproof camera gear would fare.

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greasy Pole ©Kim Smith 2014

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole ©Kim Smith 2014 -4Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole ©Kim Smith 2014 -2After the pole walkers disembarked, the skipper kindly gave me a ride to shore to continue filming from Pavilion Beach.

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greasy Pole Pavilion Beach ©Kim Smith 2014The Walks began under windy conditions and the tide was low, as it had been all weekend, which made for a very, very long drop when the guys hit the water.

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole Mark Allen ©Kim Smith 2014Mark Allen

Congratulations to Mark Allen for winning the Sunday 2014 Greasy Pole title. Congratulation to Sunday’s Senior Seine Boat champions, the Wharf Rats, and junior champions, Bad Intentions!

Saint Peter's Fiesta ©Kim Smith 2014.-2Festivities continued throughout the night with the awards ceremony and live music. Around 11pm, after the late night carnival crowd had dispersed, a beautiful event began to unfold. From all corners of Gloucester, people gathered around to fill the fair grounds. Saint Peter was again lifted down from the stage and a throng of hundreds lined the square to carry the statue around the Fort. With much cheering and jubilation, Saint Peter and his followers were welcomed throughout the neighborhood. Midway during the route, the procession paused and confetti rained down on all. Rounding the bend, a fabulous fireworks display had been organized for the crowd. Sparkles shot all around, and I stayed close to my friends Nina and Frank as we reveled in the sheer beauty of it all. The fireworks concluded and the procession continued, with the sight of Gloucester’s exquisite port illuminated by the nights’ light.

Arriving at Saint Peter’s Club, another shower of confetti greeted Saint Peter. The statue was carefully removed from the carrying stand and placed back in the window of the Saint Peter’s Club.

Saint Peter's Fiesta  St. Peter's Club ©Kim Smith 2014Good Night Saint Peter, Until Next Year!

Thank you to the beautiful Nina and Frank Groppo and their friends and family for always welcoming me with their open arms. Thank you to the beautiful Giambanco family for welcoming us all to their home for their fabulous Sunday Fiesta Feast and Fun!

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook

 

 

Swan Lake Notes from Liv

My daughter Liv writes about ABT’s production of Swan Lake at Lincoln Center. To this day, i can’t look at a swan without thinking about her dancing around our old apartment–she virtually lived in her swan costumes!

Reblogged from Boston to Brooklyn ~

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the American Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake at Lincoln Center. My obsession with Tchaikovsky’s ballet began at a very young age; as a three year old, my mother made me black swan and white swan costumes, which I wore threadbare, and my father taught me how to play the theme on the piano at the same age.

It only took me twenty five years to make it to a live performance, and it was far more sublime then I could have imagined. Leads Polina Semionova (Odile/Odette) and Marcelo Gomes (the prince) executed the choreography with consummate lyricism and passion, and of course Tchaikovsky’s music, conducted by David LaMarche, was purely transcendent.

Read Liv’s post here.

swan-lake-principlesPolina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes