Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I created a small bog garden a few years ago with a rubber pond liner buried about 1 and 1/2 feet under rich soil. The little garden is only about six feet long. Unfortunately I planted some filipendula in this garden along with more delicate plants, Japanese iris, trollius etc. By the end of the first summer the filipendula had filled the little garden and eaten most of the other plants. I dug out the filipendula and put it in another somewhat drier garden with some raspberry wine monarda. But the last few summers have been very wet and the filipendula and monarda have create a wild and colorful mass that I just leave to its own devices. Weeds are no match for these happy giants. In the bog garden the filipendula returns each spring but I am quite ruthless about evicting it.
The lovely cool, sunny weather continues. Heaven.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Adenophora liliifolia or lady bells is a lovely, graceful weed. It grows every where in my garden, especially where I don't want it. I can't imagine an easier flower to grow. It is hardy from zone 1 to 10! It prefers sun but grows well in shade. About two feet high the lovely spires don't need staking. The soft blue purple never clashes with neighbors.
We have finally had a few days of sunshine after a long month of rain. It is cool though which is fine with me. My husband is fretting because there may be no tomatoes this summer but I will gladly give up the vegies for cool weather.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I like the newer hybrids with their huge blossoms and rich colors but for aroma I don't think the old fashioned lilac species can be beat. Old lilac trees can be huge and unless they are pruned you can end up with blooms across the top that can only be enjoyed from a second story bedroom. But an old gnarled lilac bush is a lovely site even without bloom.
Be careful if you do prune because the blooms are formed on old wood, if you prune too much there will be no flowers in the spring.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I am very partial to the pink cupped beauties like the daffodil in the first picture. Another frilly ballerina.
The doubles are as lovely as a rose or peony.
Last summer was very wet and cold and I had a difficult time keeping up with the garden. The weeds thrived on the wet climate and my neglect so I am just now seeing the garden through the weeds. It is a huge job but very safisfying.
I am also doing some consolidation, there is just too much garden for one person to manage especially the beds carved out of the back field. I am giving them back to the field so the plants have been moved to older beds except for the peonies which I will move after they bloom.
These are hand crafted Moravian paper stars from the Starcraft on Etsy.
Monday, April 13, 2009
i took the top picture today using the TTV method, shooting through the viewfinder of an old Kodak with my digital camera. It is a little unwieldy holding both camera but very interesting.
The second photo is a daffodil photographed under water through the side of a vase. The frilly petals remind me of a tutu so I call this one Yellow Ballerina.
Friday, April 3, 2009
But these iris come in many colors all shades of purple and blue, yellow and white. You can see a wide assortment in the Bent and Becky's Bulbs catalogue.
Unfortunately they are not very perennial for me and I have to replant them every few years. I think this fall I will try them in garden soil rather than the lawn; maybe they will be happier there.
I will plant more this fall for my pleasure and sadly the pleasure of the many little animals who love them just as much as I.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I am very fond of the chionodoxa which flower so early and so reliably. Although I like the little blue ones I especially love the slightly taller pink version, c. forbesii 'Pink Giant'.
For years I have pronouced chiondoxa with a soft ch, but at a party my friend Abby was talking about her blooms and pronounced it with a hard ch like a K. At first I did not even realize what flower she meant. We of course had a "discussion" of the proper pronunciation. Turns out, of course, that I was wrong (I almost always am in such matters). The correct pronounciation is Chionodoxa=KI-o-no-DOX-a. The KI is a long i. From Gr. chios (snow) and doxa (glory). Thank you Abby.
In any case they are a lovely easy flower and don't seem to get eaten by the little animals who live under the garden, I guess they are not as tasty as crocus.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
TTV photographs have some of the look of the photographs from the little plastic cameras.
So I bought an old Kodak Duaflex on Ebay for $15.50 and have tried a few TTVs. The Kodak Duaflex (like the more elegant and expensive rolleflex) has a big square viewfinder on top of the camera. You point your digital camera at the viewfinder and actually photograph the viewfinder.
Some photographers make elaborate contraptions that are like long tubes to go between the digital camera and the viewfinder to screen out excess light. I will need to make something if I decide to pursue this area of photography. You can see the glare in the crocus picture especially. If you are interested in finding out more about TTV photography I recommend the Flickr group Through the Viewfinder which has a wealth of information.
Anyway these are my first attempts at TTV. It is certainly fun, I will see what happens when I bring this set up into my garden.
Irene Suchocki and is available from her Etsy shop.
We have a little grocery store on Maine Street and I stopped in a few days ago for some cookies. Outside were pots of daffodils and crocus and other flowers; I could not resist a pot of callas. The clerk informed me that I could just put them in the ground and they would come up next year like tulips. Well yes I said that is probably true in Florida.
No callas are not hardy in New Hampshire or other cold climates, only being hardy where there is no frost. But they are easy to grow in a pot and if you are attentive you can hold them over from year to year. They like lots of water.
Callas are much beloved of photographers and artists. I photographed these with my Lensbaby. Buying flowers is not an indulgence for me, I need them as I need food.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The botanical name is azalea mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink'. (Not to be confused with rhododendron yedoense, which is also called Korean azalea). This is a tall azalea which thrusts upward rather than mounding. It needs the same acid soil and dappled shade as other azaleas. It is an early bloomer which makes it a great plant for forcing. Elaine thinks it would be hardy here (she is in Connecticut about a zone warmer I think) and is rated for zone 5 . A flower this beautiful is certainly worth trying even on my cold hillside.
Forcing branches into flower is easy, all you have to do is pick them in late winter and put them is a vase of water out of direct sunlight. I think I will try to be more experimental next year and try things beyond the ubiquitous forsythia (though that is a wonderful flash of yellow in the house when outside it is still all snow and mud).
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
My husband is Irish and we had a wonderful vacation there several years ago.
The beach picture was taken at Tonakeera Point in Connemara, one of the world's most beautiful secrets. We had this lovely spot to ourselves even on a sunny day in July.
Irish gardens are beautiful; the second picture here shows the Burren from the Greggins Castle garden.
Think green today! You can see more of my Ireland photos on Etsy.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Today is beautiful, sunny, tantalizing. Little purple crocuses bloom in my lawn. But I am still stuck indoors. The back hill is completely covered in old snow and everywhere else it is mud. I live on a dirt road on a steep hill. Driving during mud season is a challenge, no one can visit without four wheel drive. The garden is soup.
There are compensations, the little crocus, fat little buds on shrubs and trees, and of course this is also sugering season.
But I am still inside with my winter flowers, cyclamen, orchids, geraniums. Beaufitul and elegant flowers, but how I long for the bright yellow daffodils, still weeks away.
Find of the Day:
I had the hardest time chosing from this California artist's beautiful sculptures. In addition to rings and other jewelry she also has simple sculptures in organic shapes, anemones for example. She sculpts each piece from clay so each is a little different. This red rose is a favorite, simple, modern, stunning. And the prices are affordable, only $16 for this elegant ring. Available on Etsy from FancifulForm.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Meanwhile I am finding solace weaving flower rings. Here are my two latest. The first is made with very soft colored delicas in rose and peach and pale violet and embellished with three little lucite flowers.
The other is hot, hot pink and is so bright you almost need sunglasses to look at it.
More of my flower rings can be seen (or purchased) on my Etsy shop Beaded Wire.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The first crocus are the tiny species crocus just a few inches tall. So far only the the soft purple ones have opened but in the next weeks I will have a parade of purples and yellows and whites many with bronze and brown markings. They have wonderful intricate designs well worth croaching down in the wet muddy ground to inspect and enjoy.
I have been planting 1000 species crocus each fall into my front lawn, though I lose many each year to the little animals who share this hill garden with us. Crocus are extremely easy to grow; the only problem is protecting them from the animals who find them so delicious. Planting lots and scattering them threw the lawn helps. None will come up in my garden unless I plant them in pots or other protective devices.
But to me they are priceless and worth any amount of trouble for the joy they bring each spring.
The second "photograph" here is a scan of my crocus done last spring on my flat bed scanner.
Find of the Day:
I love this print, simply called "Spring Collection" by British watercolorist Jan Harbon. All of the colors and symbols of spring form a joyous wreath around the little crocus. Delicate, exquisite painting. The print is available on her Etsy shop JanHarbon.