OF GARDENS

Gardens and Garden History


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Five Years Today

Hard to believe I’ve been blogging five years today. I didn’t remember, but WordPress sent me a congratulatory email reminding me. Here are some of my favorite photos from the past five years.

AlliumIMG_0011IMG_0008 3Out in the open

Me and Piet, down in his studio

Me and Piet, down in his studio

Lupins

Lupins

At Chelsea

At Chelsea

June 27

June 27

Stewartia Flower/ photo courtesy of PHA

Stewartia Flower/ photo courtesy of PHA

Canning Daylily Gardens

Canning Daylily Gardens

Bunnies

Bunnies

Papaver_rhoeas_plantIMG_2554

Garden Pixie

Garden Pixie

Alcatraz Geraniums

Alcatraz Geraniums

IMG_0044Emma's Bouquet


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Purchased Promises

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Once again, I have purchased more seeds, and bulbs,  than there is room in my garden. Sometime in the last few months I got on my computer and purchased promises of lupines, poppies, forget-me-nots, hollyhocks, sunflowers, aquilegia, and other random seeds I don’t remember purchasing. The seeds weigh more than 8 oz all together, which a rough calculation is about 6,000 individual seeds. If I manage to grow them all I wouldn’t have room to plant them. Any way wish me luck.

I source my seeds mostly from seed houses who offer heirloom seeds. I prefer to support companies who make the effort to produce heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are tried and true varieties. They have a known history of performance and flavor  and usually disease resistance and other desirable characteristics. This means that, unlike hybrids, the heirloom seeds collected from one year will reproduce plants with most of the characteristics of the parent plant. This is a key to survival of the species. And an important part of maintaining plant diversity. Heirlooms are the antithesis of GMO.

Here are some of my sources for heirloom seeds:

http://www.reneesgarden.com

http://www.rareseeds.com

http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk

http://www.johnnyseeds.com

http://www.superseeds.com

And oh! I also found 25 Purissima tulip bulbs in the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator. I’ve planted them up and – inspired by my friend over at Garden in the Burrow   (http:/www.gardenintheburrow.com)  – I am trying, for the first time, to force them to bloom indoors.

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If I’m successful with any of the 6000 seeds or 25 bulbs, I will be sure to post about it and let you know.


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DCGardens.com

Susan Harris, the well known garden blogger from Garden Rant

http://www.gardenrant.com

has created another terrific garden tool. This week she launched the website DCGardens.com.

http://www.dcgardens.com.

DCGardens.com is a go to site for discovering destination gardens and garden events in the DC area. All featured gardens will be photographed monthly so you can see what’s in bloom and what’s happening in the gardens.

I know when I travel to another city I always research gardens to visit. DCGardens.com is a welcome resource. One I hope is replicated in other cities.


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Boston Flower and Garden Show 2015

It’s that time of year – the Boston Flower Show opens today at the Seaport World Trade Center. I was there yesterday clerking for the judges so got a sneak preview. Here are some of the sights:

Dry stone walling arch

Dry stone walling arch by Maine Stone Work

Adenia globosa

Adenia globosa

Newport Society

Newport Society

Wizard hat of flowers

Wizard hat of flowers

Noanett Garden Club Orchid Display

Noanett Garden Club Orchid Display


18 Comments

Cover Garden

Wellesley/Weston Magazine

WellesleyWeston Magazine

My garden is the the front cover of the WellesleyWeston Magazine! This is as exciting as seeing my name in print. The photograph was taken last June by their talented staff photographer, Peter Baker.  The cover photo leads into the main article about the upcoming Hills Garden Club of Wellesley Garden Tour on June 9, 2015. My garden will be on the tour; in the magazine article it’s referred to as The Formal Garden.

To read the inside of the magazine, click here:

http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/460705/47

Of course, this month, my garden gate doesn’t look anything like the above photo. Here’s what my garden gate looks like today:

IMG_2491


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SNOW: The Great Garden Ephemeral

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New England is well into the snowiest month on record. Talk has moved on from complaining about the amount of snow (over 100 inches!) to measuring the human misery caused by the snow.

My garden is blanketed in snow, like the rest of the region. The snow cover has erased almost all definition. The garden aspects of winter interest I so carefully designed are invisible, irrelevant and some are vulnerable because of the snow.

This winter, none of that matters to me. The snow itself is a wizard of interest. Because of the snow, my garden changes without any input or effort on my part. I don’t touch it but everyday there are changes. Some would look out over my garden and see only white. I like to look and see what only the snow can show. Depending on the time of day and the light conditions  I can – or cannot – see shadows. Ephemerals themselves they change moment by moment. If there is wind there will be wind patterns on the snow. Changes in temperature will stiffen or soften the snow, causing it to change shape. Animals will continue their migratory habits creating footprints, which allows me to play the guessing game: which animal was it? Where is she going? What is she eating in my garden? Fresh snow collects on tree branches and fence posts maintaining a miraculous balancing act. Icicles may hang from deciduous branches, or encase evergreen leaves. Sound is impacted by snow – open the door to your garden during a snowfall – there is a unique stillness only ever heard during a snowfall. The elements of wind temperature light  – create subtle but constant changes every moment of the day and night. We as gardeners strive to maintain some control over the appearance of our garden, but once again nature, this winter it is the snow, which eliminates all illusions that we can control our garden environment. More so than wind, or rain or drought – each of which we can attempt to influence with wind guards, or drainage or irrigation, there is nothing we can do to challenge the snow. We must let it fall and, mostly, let it lay where it falls. With time it will disappear, causing as much havoc in its departure as it did with its arrival. But, while it is here it is a marvel to behold. Snow is the greatest garden ephemeral. We cannot buy it, plant it, or schedule it. We cannot foresee it; we cannot influence its behavior. Many winters it does not visit. We can only marvel at it. With the passage of time and the seasons, the snow will go and our planned, purchased, manipulated and groomed gardens will reemerge. Come spring I will be reanimated by the re – growth of my garden, and all the hard work it represents. I will feel rewarded. And I will appreciate the miracle of rebirth more this spring because of this historic snowfall. I will try to miss the snow when it’s gone, but I won’t. I will appreciate it while it’s here, and enjoy its myriad personalities. And remember that like everything in a garden, it will have its time, and then be gone.


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Winter Bouquet

Emma's Bouquet

I haven’t posted in many months so I thought it appropriate to begin again with a wedding. My daughter was married in London on January 31, 2015. Above is her winter wedding bouquet, consisting of only flowers that were in season in England:  anemones, brunia, waxflower and eustoma.

Bridal Wreath

Her Bridal wreath echoed her bouquet, but added ivy and a touch of gypsophila.

Choosing from among what flowers were available rather than special ordering exotics created a bouquet and wreath that fit in with the day, the weather and the city. Proving once again, to me at least, that working with nature creates the most beautiful bounty.

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