Daffodils emerging signal the start of spring. We cut and display the narcissus in a vase on our kitchen table. If you change the water daily they last longer. Happy Spring!
With all the warm weather this winter a perennial is blooming in my garden – the Hellebores foetidus. In fact, it started to bloom in December of 2015, unprecedented since I have been growing them. Usually they bloom late February, early March.
Year three and I’m still using the original artemisia base for my fall wreath. Freshly cut silver wormwood is wired to the form, adding fullness and brightening the dried artemisia.
Last fall I used hydrangeas as the decorative plant material. This year Heptacodium miconioides calyces, commonly called Seven Sons, is the focal point on the wreath, selected for its contrasting pink coloring. All floral material is from my garden, naturally!
The Garden Conservancy has selected our garden among several in Fairfield County to be viewed on June 13, 2015. We are located at 200 Nod Hill Road, Wilton, CT.
Artisans will be selling their one of a kind creations at the pop-up boutique located in the barn.
The first Pixie Perennials Plant Sale and Gift Boutique of 2015!
- Honestly You – 100% handmade organic soap, lip balm and bath bomb
- Little Red Hen Redux – Prosperity hens, handcrafted soft sculpture elephants, beaded flowers, clothespin mermaids and soft stuffed “paper dolls”
- Hook & Ladder Hand Knits
- Nod Hill Designs – Elegant & fun embellished gardening & kitchen aprons
- Arbonne – Botanical based skin care & nutritiion
- Ellen Hoverkamp – Photographic Note Cards, Prints, Scarves & Book. Winner of the 2013 GWA Gold Medal Photography Award for her collaboration with Ken Druse on “Natural Companions, The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations.” Samples from “Pixie Perennials” are featured in Natural Companions.
- Lemonade and homemade cookies
Nothing quite signifies the start of spring like the sight of hundreds of daffodils in bloom.
Today and tomorrow at the Christ Church Parish Hall 245 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT there will be the most exquisite daffodils on display. This free event is not to be missed! Mark your calendar and stop by The Daffodil Show hosted by the Daffodil Society of Greenwich, CT.
An additional treat at the show is artist Ellen Hoverkamp’s scanner photography. 23 pieces of her floral scanner photography is exhibited in the hallway next to the community room and available for purchase through the church bookstore.
At 6:20am today I awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside our bedroom window. Delightful! My view of the sunrise from our bed was nothing less than spectacular: oranges, pinks, and grays. I rolled out of bed and grabbed my camera, wanting to capture this moment in time. Reaching the window, and raising the camera to my eye to frame the shot, I notice the driveway no longer shows any sign of the blacktop that had been there when I went to sleep. The entire yard is white with snow. Shaking my head, I take another look. The snow is still there. How could this be? Spring starts in two days. The weather channel never mentioned any chance of precipitation, let alone snow in their forecast last evening! However, snow is predicted for Friday, the first day of spring. Winter doesn’t want to retire.
Normally at this time of year, snowdrops greet me each time I walk in or out of the front door. Not this year. I am waiting, not so patiently at this point for the snowdrops to peek their heads out of the ground, or for any sign of my spring bulbs. Most are buried under the biggest snow piles in our yard.
Who wouldn’t like to be greeted by a garden ambassador, the japanese anemone!? The flowers sway in the wind, high atop the foliage. It looks as if they are waving hello to me each time I peruse my garden. They never fail to bring a smile to my face.
This is a long blooming perennial for sun to part shade. A must for the fall garden. My white Anemone japonica is still blooming today.
Interested in seeing plants that will still be blooming in October? If yes, stop by the Wilton Garden Club Flower show “Timeless Gatherings” at the Wilton Historical Society, Wilton, CT. (224 Danbury Road). October 9-10, 2014.
An amazing collection of dahlias, evergreens, vegetables, herbs, perennials, tabletop, floral designs, miniatures, and photography is on display.
This is a wonderful opportunity to tour the Historical Society building. The show is displayed throughout. It is interesting to see the beehive oven inside the fireplace used for cooking by the early colonists.
Every spring I look forward to our magnolia blooming. A former owner strategically planted it to be viewed from the kitchen sink window, perhaps to cheer you as you wash dishes. An early flowering variety, the buds often get claimed by frost. Two years ago, the beautiful white with pink blossoms were opening when the temperature dipped below freezing. You guessed it, next morning the entire tree looked like someone had blown his nose into tissues and left them hanging on the tree. What promised to be a splendid showing of flowers, turned into a tan slimy eyesore that we had to look at for weeks. Almost as sad looking as a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Fortunately, this year we were able to enjoy the flowers for several weeks.
Recently, I toured Hollister House, owned by George Schoellkoph, with the Redding Garden Club. This wonderful garden is located in Washington, CT, in Litchfield County. I fell in love with his magnolia, a gorgeous pale yellow color. It blooms mid to late May. No frozen flowers, what could be better. Given that we live further south, it should be perfect for our yard. My understanding is he purchased the magnolia from Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT. A road trip to Broken Arrow Nursery is a must. If you are looking for rare or unusual plants and shrubs, check them out; they have more choices then you probably have areas to plant. I haven’t been there in years, but am looking forward to visiting soon.
My son found the Waterlogue iPhone app, which lets you feel like an artist. You don’t need to be able to paint to create a beautiful watercolor in several different styles. I enjoy using Natural, but other options include: Blotted, Luminous, “It’s Technical”, Travelogue, Rainy, Illustration, Soaked, Fashionable, Color Bloom, Shallow and Bold. In the gallery, I put two photos of the lower terrace, each “painted” in a separate style . One image is in Natural, and the other in Bold. The backyard garden is shown in Natural and Technical. What a difference? It is fun and easy to use. Only wish I could claim the watercolor pictures as mine, but they are my flowers. One drawback, however, is how it renders people, they do not turn out well. Stick to inanimate objects or scenes for the best results, but you be the judge. Everyone has different tastes. Hope you try the app, it’s free. Let your inner Monet out.
Fritillaria meleagris: a bulb that prefers dappled to full sun, and needs consistent moisture throughout the growing season. However, it will not thrive in soggy soil. This lily has a faint checkerboard pattern. Allow the leaves to die back before removing, they are needed for photosynthesis. By mid summer the plant goes dormant. You can pull or clip the browning leaves at this time without any worries. Fritillaria makes a wonderful cut flower.
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Snowdrops grow at the base of our dinner bell in the kitchen courtyard. Walking by them, I never fail to smile; they signify spring is on the way. Notice the chartreuse edging detail on the three shorter inner tepals. Gorgeous!
The botanical name is Galanthus nivalis. There are several common names for the snowdrop: flower of hope, common snowdrop, candlemas lily, fair maids of February, little sister of the snows, and the purification flower.
The bulb is easy to grow in rich well-drained soil, in full sun or part shade. It prefers a cooler climate. Above zone 7 galanthus nivalis will be short lived. Plant the bulbs in the fall for spring bloom. I prefer to keep the leaves on the plant after the bloom has finished. The foliage will disappear by late spring as bulbs go dormant. (Less work too!)
For a spectacular showing, plant in drifts where they can naturalize, such as the edge of woodlands or in lawns under large deciduous trees. Try lining your walkway with this fragrant early bloomer, you won’t be disappointed.
Andromedia is a great shrub for the woodland border. Blooms early in spring, tolerates light shade, and is deer resistant. There are many varieties that fit the bill. ‘Valley Valentine’ is a favorite of mine. ‘Dorothy Wycoff’ has dark green foliage in the summer, setting it apart from other Pieris japonica.
Orange daffodils have the “wow” factor going for them. Even from a distance, it is easy to see their beauty.
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Bright yellow daffodils herald the arrival of spring. There are several names used to describe this genus: daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil just to name a few. They have trumpets surrounded by a ring of petals. The most common color for this bulb is yellow, but they range in color from white, to orange, to peach, to pink, to green. Many are fragrant, and used in flower arrangements. They prefer well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight. Plant the bulbs in the fall, up to two weeks before frost for wonderful spring blooms. Great for naturalizing a woodland area. Deer avoid daffodils; they are poisonous.
Many people braid the foliage of the narcissus after the flower has passed to “tidy” it up, but it is best to let nature take its course. After flowering, bulbs rely on their leaves for photosynthesis. During the 5-6 weeks after the flower has faded, the bulb gathers and stores food for the following year. Remove faded blooms if they bother you, but leave the foliage to ensure a beautiful display of flowers the following spring. Once the leaves shrivel and brown, remove them with a slight tug. If not diseased, add to your compost pile.
Trivia: The Greek myth of Narcissus lends its name to the daffodil. Narcissus was so obsessed with the beauty of his own reflection that when he knelt to gaze into a pool of water, he fell in and drowned. The narcissus plant sprang from where he died.
A long blooming fall perennial whose flowers wave hello in the wind, the anemone japonica is a must have for the garden. Unless you have a deer fence, you will need to spray with Bobbex to keep the marauders at bay, but it is well worth the trouble.