Susan Harris, the well known garden blogger from Garden Rant


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

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

SNOW: The Great Garden Ephemeral


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.

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.

Chester Flower Show and Tea


One of my favorite events of the year is the Annual Chester Flower Show and Tea in Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Every year  I have been coming to Chester I have gone to the Flower Show and each year I enjoy it as much as the previous years. It is an old fashioned Flower Show, held in the local Royal Canadian Legion for one afternoon only.


The entries are sophisticated to low key with the majority of material provided from the participants’ own garden, with an occasional tchotchke highlight.  The diversity  of participants  range from winners of blue ribbons at the Philadelphia Flower Show to young children. Chester is a town in the Canadian Maritimes so a nautical theme will often find it’s way into a flower display.


High tea is served, with tea sandwiches and desserts and the tea itself is poured from a silver tea service!!


Among my favorite exhibits each year are the miniatures. Although they are the smallest with the least amount of material, their diminutive size requires the most amount of scrutiny.


This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Chester Garden Club, and there was a cake to celebrate:


Part of the fun of the Flower Show is being able to vote for your favorite arrangement and hope that it wins the People’s Choice award. Every year I vote, but my choice has never won. Each year I can’t understand why not.

This arrangement got my vote. Don’t you think its a winner?


Vernal Equinox

Potted Pansies
Potted Pansies

There is cause for much celebration because today is the Vernal Equinox!  It is the first day of spring.

Each year the vernal equinox happens this time of year  on either March 19, 20 or 21st. The date is decided by the path of the sun. When the sun shines directly on the equator the length of day and night are almost equal all over the globe.  This happens only twice a year, on the spring equinox and the autumn equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere today we celebrate spring, while in the Southern Hemisphere today they are celebrating the autumnal equinox.

It is traditionally a time of new beginnings.  Ver  is the Latin word for spring, so officially the day is known as the vernal equinox, but is more commonly called the spring equinox.

Although this is an unusually cold spring  and there is still a lot of snow covering my garden, I will be celebrating today’s first day of spring by potting up pansies and keeping an eye on the temperature to see when I can put them outside. What are you doing to celebrate?