All posts filed under: Garden

Foxgloves – Heart Stopping Magic

  Here we are at the solstice, climbing the big hill of the calendar like kids in the first car of a roller coaster. We could try to savor the moment but summer is off on a roaring start. Hang on tight! Shooting up like rocket and lasting only as long as a ride on the Coney Island Cyclone, is Foxglove, Digitalis purpea, a giant poisonous beauty used to make digitalin, a common heart-disease medication. Could it be a coincidence that it’s so stunning it makes your heart skip a beat just to look at it? I doubt it. Foxglove grows like weeds in England which is why it has become visual short hand for the quintessential cottage garden. In typical Brit fashion it is also the stuff of elfin legends; covered in freckles, aka “elf fingerprints,” they are also known by the names “Dead Man’s Thimbles” and “Witches Fingers,” no doubt because its poisonous sap keeps insects away. But not Fairies. The plant is, so they say, lousy with fairies; sleeping in the blooms, making a living …

very sweet, only slightly bitter

  This week’s flowers were a challenge.  Three challenges, to be exact. First, I took Jennie Love’s up on her weekly Backyard Bouquets challenge, where designers post an arrangement made from flowers and foliages sourced within 25 miles of one’s home.  Easy enough, as my backyard Japanese Maple begged to be admired, my local horse stable had a super abundance of bittersweet, and  I was invited to do a Flower demonstration at the Fenton St. Community Garden, right down the street.    So many of autumn’s bright jewels: sunflowers, mums, marigolds and zinnia, in walking distance.  The only non local thing is the rooster feathers, but as they came from the Darke County Fair where I was born, they are symbolic reminders of my home town Ohio backyard. Then, Love, a pioneer of Field to Vase designs, stepped it up a notch by saying she was also forcing herself to work without Dahlias. Shocking, right?! Okay, I admit to Dahlia Over Indulgence lately, so I took her up on this challenge as well. I only used three. Surely, 30 Dahlias would …

Wild Child Babies

 Tucked into bed at the Old City Farm and Guild cut flower farm are wee little baby Celosias…Celosi? perhaps? is there a special Latin plural for many celosia? Well there should be, seeing as how these little floral Wild Childs self-seed every year, spreading messy joy everywhere. I gathered these seeds from a Takoma Farm Market bunch I bought years ago – the ribbons of velvety brain tissue and exotic bird plumes of Celosia flowers drop little black poppy-like seeds EVERYwhere.  It can be annoying if you don’t know what to do with all those little black balls, but once I learned to save them in an envelop and plant the following spring, I have been up to my eyebrows in Celosia every July. I love their free-spirited, tousled, wild bed-head look and those screaming colors.  Even the stem glOWS in vibrant rich red wine shade.   Such a floozy she is.   Having a self-seeding little Party Animal in your garden, it becomes tricky to stay organized. I don’t actually know if these are the brain shaped ones, the …

the pallet wall project

We literally pulled these off the side of the road.   Teeny tiny Girlfriend and I dragged them out of trash pile with our bare hands, tossed them into the minivan and sped off with my long awaited “Under the Deck” screening project.  I was so tired of looking at the trash cans and wheel barrow and snow sleds and bent tomato cages and all the other yard clutter that roosts under the deck stairs, so I vowed I was going to do something about it. “What are you going to do with them,” finally asks Intrepid Gal Pal, she of the Roll Up Your Sleeves and Ask Questions Later school of thought.  I love that Girlie. “I’m going to plant them,” I announced.  And I did. I lined every other horizontal plank with lengthwise loops of burlap lined with landscape fabric, using the staple gun pretty heavily to make sure the potting soil would stay put.  Then I added terrarium and house plants that would love the almost all-day deep shade cast by the side …